Author Archives: Kyle Johnson

The Rarity Factor in Numismatics

1873-CC Arrows at Date with Motto Seated Liberty Half Dollar, MS64+, WB-4, R.4

There are many factors to consider when valuing an object, and rarely does a piece have all the elements to make it a true rarity. For numismatics, these can include low mintage, collectability of the series, surface, eye appeal, grade, grade relative to the known population, and whether the coin is fresh to market. These concepts have been addressed in previous blogs, but we’ll briefly overview some of these terms and why they’re desirable in a coin.… Read More

Conditional Rarity & the Set Registry Effect

Unlike most pieces of decorative arts offered at auction houses across the country, the number of coins produced by series, year, and mint is well documented by the governing bodies that created them. This allows for fairly consistent estimations of rarity. With the introduction of third-party grading in the 1970s and 80s came a standardized system in which a coin’s condition is assigned a numerical value. This led to an accurate estimation of a coin’s worth based on what examples at the assigned grade had previously sold for.Read More

Choice Older Collections Lead Skinner Coins & Currency Auction

The February 2020 Skinner Coins and Currency auction offered choice older collections; and experienced spirited bidding with many lots far surpassing their high estimates, with particularly strong results for ancient and world coins, with American rarities, peppered throughout the auction. The auction was 99% sold by lot. Three of the more prominent collections were amassed in the mid-20th century, creating excitement with our buyers for such fresh-to-market material.  

Approximately 128 Mostly Roman and Byzantine Ae Coins, sold for $11,250 1940 Greek George II Proof 100 Drachmai, NGC PF65, sold for $2,125

Some of the more notable groups of ancient Greek and Roman coins included denarii of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Cassius, and Marc Antony (lot 1002), and sestertii of Nero, Trajan, Caligula, and Nerva (lot 1008).… Read More

Nuances in Numismatics

While much of numismatics and connoisseurship focuses around type, years, mintages, and condition, there are other nuances worth considering while enjoying coin collecting. Many individuals build their collections around a type that they enjoy, whether that be the Morgan dollar series, Barber coinage, or period, such as the early Federal era. From here, they attempt to collect each year, mintmark, and major/minor variety, sometimes with a focus on pieces in mint state, other times just what they can afford at the time.… Read More

Country Americana | A Specialists Perspective

Skinner monthly Discovery auctions are approachable and keenly followed by seasoned and novice buyers alike for their affordability and diverse, eclectic offerings.  A recent Country Americana auction featured a broad and eclectic selection of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century furniture, folk art, ceramics, metalwork, fine art, and textiles. Department specialist Kyle Johnson weighs-in on some of the areas where he saw strong auction results.  

 

Six Graduated Painted Firkins, 19th century

  This group of six graduated buckets hammered for $1,300, outperforming the expected $600-800 estimate.… Read More

The First Paper Currency of Panama

1941 Panamanian notes are some of the most collectible and widely sought after pieces of world money in the numismatic community,

so much so that the 20 Balboa note is featured on the back cover of an issue of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. While this issue is relatively modern, its story is what makes any survivor a rarity of increasing value. In 1941, the then president, Dr. Arnulfo Arias, petitioned to enact Article 156 of the Panamanian constitution, authorizing the printing and issue of a national paper currency.… Read More

Collector Spotlight: The Joel and Sharon Schwartz Collection

Joel and Sharon Schwartz began collecting together just prior to their marriage. Having purchased a Georgian brick home in Newton, MA, they felt the need to fill it with wonderful objects that were both fun and consistent with the character of the house. A wicker cart with “more panache than utility” as Joel puts it, was their very first purchase. This cart can be found as Lot 1800, the first lot of their collection offered for in our current Discovery – Interiors online auction.… Read More

The Last Currency of The Republic of Texas

Prior to its annexation as the 28th state by the United States, The Republic of Texas was its own sovereign nation. Having fought for and gaining their independence from Mexico by 1836, the young republic found itself with significant financial/economic and political issues, leading to their eventual annexation in 1845. These nine tumultuous years in-between originated some of Texas’s rarest and most sought after currency.

The Panic of 1837 halted commerce to a standstill, sending Texas’s land prices and the value of its paper currency on a downward spiral.… Read More

How to Spot a Counterfeit Coin

One of the largest nuisances in the field of numismatics is detecting counterfeits. Dealers and collectors alike can still find themselves susceptible to coins and currency meant to deceive. Everybody has a story from when they were duped or made mistakes regarding valuable pieces or even seemingly insignificant ones. Every now and then, we see counterfeit pieces brought in by consignors who are unaware of the item they have. Here are a few easy tips to make sure your coins are original.… Read More

Coins of The Carson City Mint

Carson City Morgan dollars are some of the most iconic coins in American numismatics. The Morgan dollar series in and of itself is highly collectible, obtaining staggering prices for higher end pieces. However, coins from the Carson City Mint, bearing the “CC” mintmark, have always excited numismatists, especially Morgan collectors. The branch mint produced only thirteen years of Morgan dollars, while the whole series experienced twenty-eight years of issue.… Read More

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