The Rev. Dr. James Gore King McClure Collection certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) achieved strong prices in virtually all categories when it was sold at Heritage Auctions’ June 8-13 Long Beach sale.
Assembled from the 1860s to the 1930s, the Rev. Dr. McClure Collection was kept intact from 1932 until its recent sale. Considered to be one of the finest “time capsule collections” ever offered, the McClure Collection gave numismatists a unique look at the interests of a collector of a bygone era. The opportunity to acquire an example from such a historic collection clearly excited bidders, who in many instances paid prices that dramatically exceeded NGC Price Guide values.
The top lot in the sale was an 1895-O Morgan Dollar graded NGC Mint State (MS) 65-plus that achieved $258,500 USD (about $333,600 Cdn.). Another 1895 Dollar, an NGC Proof-64 representative of the rare Proof-only 1895 issue, sold for $65,277 USD (about $84,250 Cdn.).
The 1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar in NGC MS-66 was particularly significant as well. Tied with one other for the finest example graded by NGC, it sold for $188,000 USD ($242,600 Cdn.), a record price for this key date issue.
A second Walking Liberty Half Dollar, a conditionally rare 1920-S in NGC MS 65-plus, was also a highlight. It realized $42,300 (about $54,600 Cdn.), doubling the NGC Price Guide value.
The 1822 25 over 50 Capped Bust Quarter graded NGC About Uncirculated (AU) Details, Improperly Cleaned, was notable because the $35,250 (about $45,480 Cdn.) price it realized topped the NGC Price Guide value for a problem-free NGC AU 50 example. Another impressive quarter was the 1926-D in NGC MS 65 Full Head that sold for $49,350 (about $63,700 Cdn.), a record price for the grade and five times the NGC Price Guide value.
“The NGC-certified McClure Collection has demonstrated the depth and resilience of the U.S. vintage coin market in spite of recent softness,” said NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg. “Collectors and dealers are willing to pay significant sums when rare, high grade and interesting NGC-certified coins are offered for sale.”
There were also a wide range of exceptional performers in the $10,000 to $25,000 range. One noteworthy example was the 1923-D Peace Dollar in NGC MS-66 that realized $15,275 (about $19,700 Cdn.), triple the NGC Price Guide value. Another Peace Dollar, an NGC MS-65 representative of the 1924-S, sold for $12,925 ($16,675 Cdn.), more than 3.5 times the NGC Price Guide value.
Smaller denominations similarly attracted the attention of bidders. An 1877 20-cent piece in NGC Proof-65 sold for $21,150 (about $27,300 Cdn.), more than double the NGC Price Guide value and a new record price for the grade. Also worthy of mention is the 1923-S Mercury Dime in NGC MS-65 Full Bands that more than doubled the NGC Price Guide value with a price realized of $12,337.50 (about $15,900 Cdn.).
Besides regular issue U.S. coins, the McClure Collection featured many tokens and medals including more than 200 Civil War Tokens that may have been saved contemporaneously by the Rev. Dr. McClure during the war. Two of these Civil War tokens featured the famous USS Monitor.
The first, attributed as Fuld-241A/417Aa and graded NGC MS-64 BN, realized $8,812.50 (about $11,370 Cdn.). The other, attributed as Fuld-241A/417Ab and graded NGC MS-62, sold for $5,170 (about $6,670 Cdn.). These are the two highest prices ever paid for Civil War Patriotic Tokens at Heritage Auctions.