Auction review: Long Beach sales bring more than $21.5m USD

More than $21.5 million USD (about $26.6 million Cdn.) changed hands during Heritage Auctions’ Sept. 6-12 coin and currency sales held in conjunction with California’s Long Beach Expo.

Continuing a trend of rare Canadian notes achieving impressive realizations, a rare 1920 $100 Port of Spain Royal Bank of Canada Trinidad issue brought $36,000 USD (about $44,500 Cdn.) as Lot 28137, topping its pre-sale estimate of $35,000 USD. It was graded Choice Very Fine-35 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

“The note carries a valuation of $20,000 Canadian in Charlton and we see no reason why this piece that just misses being full XF [Extremely Fine] will not well exceed that figure,” reads the auction catalogue. “Rare Canadian Charter Notes continuously achieve impressive realizations at auction and this note offers both grade and rarity.”

The note was graded Choice Very Fine 35 by PMG.


“Near-complete sell-through rates are important to our clients and serve as a barometer to the overall health of the collecting market,” said James Halperin, co-founder of Heritage Auctions. “Bidders are eager to fill collections and still pursue excellent examples of rare mintages.”

Altogether, the auction’s offering of U.S. coins sold for more than $9.1 million USD. The top lot in this segment was a 1795 reeded edge cent certified as genuine by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). Only 10 examples of this odd variety are known, and this coin, from The Padula Family Foundation Collection, was discovered only seven years ago. It sold for $192,000 USD as Lot 4230.


Lot 4230 was one of only 10 examples of the 1795 reeded edge cent variety (obverse shown), which sold for $192,000 USD.

Another rare coin, this a 1831 Russian Proof rouble in Proof-64—one of only four pieces certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (NGC) and PCGS combined—sold for $45,600 USD to take top-lot honours among world coins.

1900 Russian Nicholas II Proof rouble in Proof-65 Cameo sold for $38,400 USD as the single best-known example of four known to exist.

The auction of world and ancient coins resulted in a 96 per cent sell-through rate, according to auctioneers.


1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve note in PCGS Very Choice New-64 sold for $144,000 USD to lead $5.4 million USD in auction totals for the Long Beach event’s currency segment.

A scarce $2 denomination from The Salt Lake City National Bank of Utah hammered for $60,000 USD. The rare specimen stands out as not only a $2 bill but was also offered at auction for the first time in 100 years.

1905 $20 gold certificate in PMG Gem Uncirculated-66 EPQ (exceptional paper quality)—one of America’s most beloved currency designs—sold for $50,400 USD while a 1905 $20 gold certificate PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 Net brought $48,000 USD.

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