Friday Night Gold
Finally getting images of some recent pickups. Here is the best of show below. I participated in Heritage FUN auction vying for a few of John McCloskey's coins. I managed to get 2 in the FUN auction. Another portion of his coins were just auctioned last week at Heritage. I started with a list of 17 and then reduced it down to, as it turns out, 0, by the time the live auction started. There were some neat coins in Round 2 but I was just not comfortable bidding strong without seeing in hand. For the 2 in the FUN auction I had enough info I felt to bid on them based on in hand opinions from others and what I could see in the images.
So here is my best of show. This is the 3rd 79-CC half eagle I have owned. In the past I had a P30/CAC and a P35 no CAC. I have also in the past owned around another dozen CC half eagles. CAC or not, they display a wide range of colors and surfaces so owning all of those previous CC half eagles has given me experience to know what I like in that series (1870-1884 and 1890-1893 with some years missing, 19 different dates total). The 79-CC is about in the middle for rarity in the CC half eagle series, and the most common for the 70's. But much less common than CC half eagles from 90-93, and about the same extant as those from 80-84. When I saw this one online I could see right away that I liked the color compared to my previous 2 of that date and had my views confirmed by getting an in hand view from a knowledgeable numismatist. CAC has beaned 43 79-CC half eagles, 3 in 35, 6 in XF, 14 in AU, and 2 in MS. So not a condition census coin either but still pretty nice.
Some may object to the toning but that is okay - there are splotchy coppery areas but I like the look. The luster is very strong and comes through in some areas in my images, the overall color is that which I like best on CC half eagles. Ignoring dipped out examples, late 70's through 80's can be drab with a russet toning and subdued luster (I have had a few of these), and even if original and not too messed with these are not a great look in terms of eye appeal. Later years (90's) quite commonly are more orange in color with stronger luster. A few have the look here - somewhere in between the russet and the orange end members but carrying some strong flash even in VF and XF grades. Heck I had a couple XF45-AUs from the 80's (with CAC stickers) that were drab and lacking in luster compared to this 79-CC. I won't be crossing this for a while, with the long waits with PCGS for grading right now, forget about it. And, the McCloskey label on the NGC slab is quite nice.
John McCloskey was not a collector of condition census coins but he has a great legacy in numismatics. Alot of his stuff at auction were in details slabs, he was collecting in part to do research on the series he had a passion for. He brought an enormous amount of research to the table on early coins. He was a leader in working out die varieties for many series and his legacy is going to live on forever. Much of what I have learned on the early series I collect starts with what John has written about them. I had the fortune of seeing him at LSCC meetings at FUN and ANA for a few years, he always had a big smile and he exuded enthusiasm. It is an honor to be steward of a couple of his coins for a while.
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