David Akers (1975/88)
For many years, the 1825/4 was considered to be unique, the lone specimen being the coin in the Louis Eliasberg Collection. Mr. Eliasberg obtained the coin when he bought the extensive John Clapp Collection in the early 1940'S for more than $100,000 (an extraordinary price at the time since even the entire Dunham Sale in 1941 realized only $83,000). Prior to being in the Clapp Collection, the coin had been sold at the George Earle Sale in 1912 and before that at the 1875 Cohen Sale. The Eliasberg coin is very choice and has been described in some quarters as a "proof"; however, in my opinion, its "proof" status is questionable. In the summer of 1978 a second specimen appeared on the market. This one, grading VF with several tiny edge marks where it was held by tacks for display on a wall, was offered by RARCOA with the N.M. Kaufman Collection. The coin, after vigorous bidding, sold to Art Kagin for $140,000. Both specimens were struck from the same dies and the overdate is extremely prominent. The reverse of both coins has the center dot that appears on most, if not all, 1825/1 Half Eagles.
Significant examples (2 known)
1. Proof-60. Ex - A.E. Cogan's sale of the Colonel Mendes I. Cohen collection, October 1875, Lot 145 - Henry Chapman's sale of the George H. Earle collection, June 1912, Lot 2394 - John H. Clapp - Louis Eliasberg - Bowers & Ruddy Galleries' sale of "The United States Gold Collection, October 1982, Lot 381, sold for $220,000.00 - Stanley Kesselman. Called "Ex-proof" by Breen.
2. EF45 estimated grade. Ex - William Story Jenks collection, 1921 - N.M. Kaufman - RARCOA's sale of the Nathan M. Kaufmann collection, August 1978, sold for $140,000 - Kagin Coin Company - Auctions by Bowers and Merena, Inc. "Four Landmark Collections", March 1989, sold for $148,500.00 - Raymond Sansoucy - Auctions by Bowers and Merena, Inc. "Witham & Sansoucy", September 1992, sold for $105,000.00 - Donald Knaack - Julian Liedman - Heritage Rare Coin Galleries - Superior's sale of the Dr. Juan Suros collection of overdates, February 1999, Lot 246, "NGC AU-50", sold for $241,500.00 - Rogers collection - Heritage 1/2008:1955, $690,000
Sources and/or recommended reading:
"A Guidebook of United States Coins" by R.S. Yeoman, 56th edition.
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen
"Rarity of 1825/4 half eagle often overlooked" by Jeff Starck, COIN WORLD, August 25, 2003, page 66.