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Press Release - December 20, 2004

Heritage's FUN Signature Auction Features Important Dollar Collections

Dallas, Texas: Heritage Numismatic Auction is offering several important collections of Early, Seated, and Morgan Dollars at its FUN Signature Auctions, January 12 to 15 in Fort Lauderdale (the Fiftieth Anniversary of FUN conventions). These anchor collections were assembled by collectors who had very different goals in pursuing these classic rarities of America's largest silver coin. The Dr. Hoffnagle Collection of Morgan Dollars features stunning Deep Mirror Prooflike specimens. The Jerry Bagne Collection of Proof Morgan Dollars includes many Gem examples of these beloved mirrored strikings. The Tillamook Collection of Early & Seated Dollars, assembled by a very private collector, is a date-run of high-grade examples begun in the late 1950s. These collections illustrate a wide variety of collecting interests, and the range of marvelous bidding opportunities available at Heritage's FUN Signature Auctions.

The Dr. Hoffnagle Collection of Deep Mirror Prooflike dollars

"The Dr. Hoffnagle Collection of Morgan Dollars is a stunning numismatic achievement," noted Heritage President Greg Rohan. "Dr. Hoffnagle has assembled a selection of Deep Mirror Prooflike dollars that will have specialists competing for coins that cannot be found anywhere else, and may not again be available for many years. For example, consider uncirculated 1892-S Dollars: just over 100 pieces have been certified by the major grading services in any Mint State grade; of these, only six have received the Prooflike (PL) designation; only one -- Dr. Hoffnagle's -- has attained the coveted Deep Mirror Prooflike designation. Many other coins in this collection are unsurpassed with the DMPL designation. This is an opportunity for most discriminating collectors. The Dr. Hoffnagle Collection pedigree will inspire and motivate Morgan Dollar specialists for many years to come."

Another Hoffnagle coin otherwise unknown in DMPL is the 1901, another notable condition rarity. Heritage co-founder Jim Halperin, in his book How to Grade U.S. Coins, states that this date is "of the highest rarity with PL surfaces." Dr. Hoffnagle's specimen is also graded MS61 by PCGS, and is the only DMPL among the five mint state 1901 dollars that have received any kind of Prooflike designation from the major services.

"As one might expect," continued Rohan, "a connoisseur of mirrored Morgans might include the one proof-only issue, and Dr. Hoffnagle has not disappointed in this regard. His 1895 dollar, graded Proof 65 Cameo by PCGS, is a black and white eye-opener that will undoubtedly delight specialists."

Other outstanding DMPL dollars in this collection are: his "almost unknown as a full prooflike" 1904, PCGS MS65 DMPL, ex: Jack Lee, and the finest of three known specimens with the designation; his 1901-S, PCGS MS66 DMPL, ex: Jack Lee, and the finest known with the designation; his "extremely rare in PL" 1894, PCGS MS64 DMPL, the finest of three with the designation.

Dr. Hoffnagle came from a family of philatelists, but since stamps had little appeal to him, he decided to focus on rare coins. In 1991, Dr. Hoffnagle started to collect Morgan Dollars with Deep Mirror Prooflike surfaces. He bought from auctions or dealers, wherever he could find these astonishingly reflective Morgan early strikings. When a better specimen came along, he would usually upgrade, selling the ?lower' grade at the earliest opportunity. He advises a new generation to follow his model for enjoyment: "pursue coins you like, understand the appearance you desire, and buy the highest grade you can afford."

Other highlights from The Dr. Hoffnagle Collection include:

The Jerry Bagne Collection of Proof Morgan Dollars

Jerry Bagne began collecting in 1976, buying from auctions, dealers, and attending shows. He spent most of his adult life in the printing business, and he retired in 1993 after selling his company. In recent years, he immersed himself in his coin collecting.

Highlights from The Jerry Bagne Collection include:

The Tillamook Collection of Early & Seated Dollars

From a very private collector comes the Tillamook Collection, a small fraction of his total numismatic holdings. The Tillamook Collection is a date-run of high-grade Bust and Seated Dollars which the consignor began in the late 1950s. Through perseverance and a sharp eye, he built a fine collection, which he reluctantly decided to make available so other collectors can derive the same enjoyment from his coins that he did over the decades.

"The Tillamook Collection's Bust Dollars," noted Heritage's Larry Abbott, "boast beautiful detail mixed with only a hint of wear. Four of the coins have been graded AU58, a grade often described as "MS63 with a little bit of rub." Foremost among these coins is an exceptional 1795 Draped Bust Dollar, extremely popular as the first date of the type. The Seated Liberty Dollars in the Tillamook Collection reflect such quality and depth that the collection has earned the #7 ranking among Seated Dollar sets in the NGC Registry. For date collectors, the collection begins with a nearly complete run from the 1840s, almost all of which are Mint State. Chronologically, although certainly not numismatically, the Tillamook Seated Dollars end with the scarce 1872-S dollar, a Condition Census graded MS62 by NGC. The 1872-S is the only collectible San Francisco mint Seated Dollar minted in the 1870s, and one of only two collectible San Francisco mint dollars in the entire series."

Highlights from The Tillamook Collection include:

The Don Orban Collection

Mr. Orban has been collecting U.S. coins since 1965, and his passion has always been Morgan Dollars. He started accumulating high-quality Morgans in the mid-1970s while pursuing his quest to assemble a complete date set. Over the last two years, Mr. Orban completed his set of PCGS certified Morgans, emphasizing overall high quality and astonishing rainbow toning (on dozens of gem examples). When it was only possible to obtain brilliant white examples, he sought especially premium quality examples. In addition to his PCGS set, Mr. Orban also cherishes his many NGC graded Gems, including his 1883-O from the Binion Collection, which features spectacular iridescent rainbows.

Among the Orban Collection highlights:

Featured consignments to the 2005 FUN Signature Sale include The Jerry Bagne Collection of Proof Morgan Dollars, The Paul Bolyard PCGS Registry Collection of Washington Quarters, The Richard Chouinard Collection of United States Coins, The Cincinnati Collection, The William and Harrison Hiatt Collection, The Gene Holland Collection of United States Coins, Part II, The John C. Hugon Collection of Barber Coinage, The Kenny's Bennies PCGS Registry Set of Franklin Halves, The Gold Rush Collection, The Krist Collection, The Lang Collection, The Wes Rasmussen Collection, The Larry Rausch Collection, The Paul Taylor Collection, The Tillamook Collection, and The Stan Zurawski Collection.

Catalogs for this auction are now available. To purchase a catalog, please contact Customer Service, 800-872-6467, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX, 75219.

Images, descriptions, and prices realized from past auctions are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at the Heritage website.

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