Shrouded in mystery and a complex history, this 1895 Morgan Dollar is one of the rare coins from the Kerry Rudin Collection that numismatists will enjoy during Heritage Auctions FUN US Coins auction. Image: Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TEXAS- The Kerry Rudin Collection will be the major highlight at Heritage Auctions FUN US Coins auction slated for January 3 through 8 at the Florida United Numismatists Convention in Tampa. The Collection includes some of the most amazing rare coins collected over five decades.
One important example from the collection and one of Kerry’s favorite is a splendid1895 Morgan Dollar PR67 Deep Cameo PCGS. In addition to being described as one of the greatest enigmas in American numismatics, the history of the Morgan dollar is also shrouded in mystery. Although a minuscule business-strike mintage of 12,000 Morgan dollar pieces was accomplished in 1895, accompanied by 880 proofs, many numismatists are surprised that only very few have appeared at auctions. No business-strike coins have ever been seen by numismatists, leaving only the tiny supply of proofs to satisfy the intense demand from the legions of Morgan dollar collectors seeking an example for their sets.
One question numismatists have been trying to find answers to is why “no business-strike coins have ever been seen by numismatists?” Here lies the mystery. Several theories have been propounded over the years about why Morgan dollar business-strike coins have never been seen by numismatists. One theory as explained by Henry T. Hettger is that “no regular-issue silver dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1895”, concluding that “the entry for 12,000 pieces in the Annual Report of the Director of the Mint was a simple accounting error.” The other theory came from Roger W. Burdette, who in the July 3, 2006 edition of Coin Values magazine contended that “Mint Director Robert Preston authorized the striking of 13,000 blank silver dollar planchets that were on hand at the Mint in June of 1895, because silver dollars were worth more than the bullion value of the planchets.” Therefore, “12,000 silver dollars appeared on the cashiers’ daily balance sheet on June 28,” he wrote. The fate of the other 1,000 blanks has added to the mystery surrounding the Morgan dollar business-strike coins.
History and provenance have made the Morgan dollar more valuable. It is not just certain that no business-strike1895 Morgan dollars have ever been available to numismatists, the rarity of the issue as a date has become legendary. Weighing 26.73 grams, the Morgan Dollar PR67 Deep Cameo PCGS contains 90% Silver, 10% Copper. It is an outstanding Gem proof, with razor-sharp definition on the design elements and deeply mirrored fields throughout.
Another important example from the collection is a1879 Flowing Hair Stella certified PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. Like the Morgan dollar, the history of Flowing Hair Stella is cloaked by mystery. Barber designed coin was one of an estimated 425 examples distributed to members of Congress and eventually collectors from late 1879 through early 1880. Although several of these coins have been seen by numismatists, only very few rival this example at Heritage Auctions. This is a Premium Gem proof and one of two with a Star designation by the NGC. It weighs 7.00 grams and contains 86% Gold, 4% Silver, and 10% Copper. With dramatic contrast and a classic orange-peel texture, this strongly struck coin features a central motifs display across the horizontal striations.
The 1943-S bronze Lincoln cent certified AU53 NGC is another of the rarities that will attract the public as well as collectors young and old. A dream coin of Lincoln cent specialists, this legendary piece was found in circulation by 14-year-old collector Kenneth S. Wing, Jr. of Long Beach, California in 1944, and the coin is accompanied by Kenneth Wing’s extensive research file including correspondence with Mint officials that is, in itself, an important numismatic resource as well. The 1943-S bronze Lincoln cent weighs 3.11 grams and contains 95% Copper and 5% Silver.
Kerry Rudin lifelong passion for coins and all things numismatic began with Lincoln cents. In an enthralling biography provided to Heritage auctions, he details how his fascination for coin collection began. He writes:
While my first love was Lincoln cents and I continued to upgrade and collect them by date, mintmark, and variety, I decided that I could never afford to buy everything, so I found it very rewarding to collect by type. I may not have every Buffalo nickel ever made, but I sure wanted an example of the 1936 proof and the 1916 doubled die! I don’t have an example of every large cent, but I have an amazing 1793 AMERI Chain cent in an old green label holder that I have owned for decades. You know, special coins… classic coins… coins with history… coins that reflect good and tough times in America… coins that, to me, were special. Coins that you can hold in your hands and appreciate that story behind them.
In over five decades, Kerry has grown his collection to the envy of other rare coin collectors. For him, coin collection was a source of pleasure. He notes:
For over 55 years of collecting, these special, historic, beautiful, and unique coins were my passion. It gave me many years of pleasure. My heart tells me how much I would like to keep them but my body says it is time to part. I only hope others get as much passion and pleasure out of owning these historic treasures as I did.
In addition to the Kerry Rudin Collection, Heritage Auctions will also be offering other important rare coins, including the finest certified 1879 Schoolgirl dollar, graded PR66 Deep Cameo by PCGS. Struck in silver with a reeded edge, only 15 examples of the Schoolgirl dollar in silver have been traced by Saul Teichman. Four of the 15 examples are in museums: Two are in the Smithsonian, one is in the ANS, and the ANA Museum has the DiBello-Bass coin.