Bob R. Simpson Collection Debuts at $14.6 Million at Heritage Auctions
“Numismatic royalty.” Those are the words the auctioneer used to describe legendary collector Bob R. Simpson and his renowned collection of proof coins and ultimate rarities. When the gavel fell on the last of the 349 lots offered in Part 1 of The Simpson Collection, the tally surpassed $14.6 million at Heritage Auctions.
“I’m happy to share the collection with so many enthusiasts,” Simpson said. “Heritage did a wonderful job promoting the auction, and the results exceeded every expectation I had.”
The likes of Simpson’s collection have not been seen on the market in years. For example, his 1894-S Barber dime, graded an extraordinary PR66 PCGS – one of but nine survivors –captivated the hobby when it sold for $1.5 million.
Simpson, whose collection is ranked by Professional Coin Grading Service as one of the best ever amassed, is deaccessioning selections from that collection through Heritage continuing into August 2021.
Simpson’s name is synonymous with discerning quality. His 1796 JR-1 dime, SP67 PCGS, is the best-certified example of this variety. Angling for their chance at this lone specimen, collectors pushed the auction price to $750,000. The fields on this unparalleled first-year, first strike coin are fully proof-like throughout both sides. Not only does the coin show that clear and special care was taken in its preparation, striking and preservation, it is also the earliest die state known, by far, for the 1796 JR-1 dimes.
The highly anticipated 1795 Flowing Hair dollar, B-7, BB–18, MS65+, the finest with Silver Plug and considered the second-finest overall, ended at $630,000. Simpson’s selection of gold was led by the coveted 1808 BD-1 Quarter Eagle, MS63. The one-year type is the sole second-finest example graded by PCGS and closed at $576,000. “We are grateful to Mr. Simpson for selecting Heritage to conduct these auctions,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Offering a collection such as this is a highlight of our work and relationships. We are simply thrilled for him.”
A gold 1854 Kellogg & Co. Twenty, the single-finest certified at PCGS at MS65, served as the centerpiece of his territorial gold collection. Its $336,000 auction price connotes its spectacular gem condition, and informed numismatists believe it is the finest circulation-strike Kellogg $20, regardless of date and variety. Also bringing $336,000, Simpson’s stunning 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter, MS64+, is tied for the finest full head coin known. It also has the single most impressive pedigree of any known 1918/7-S. The quality is undeniable, and the importance of this coin is unsurpassed.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
- $336,000 – Lot 10156: The single finest O-Mint gold coin known, the 1899-O Liberty Eagle, graded a stunning MS68+, with a provenance of being purchased directly from the New Orleans Mint.
- $240,000 – Lot 10163: The iconic Western gold relic, the 1851 Augustus Humbert Fifty Dollar, MS63 PCGS, ranks among the finest of its kind.
- $240,000 – Lot 10008: The stunningly beautiful 1856 Flying Eagle Cent is the finest ever graded at PCGS. This PR67+ representative easily earns its grade, speaking to its status as one of the original coins distributed to congressmen and struck “on a regular production press at normal speed,” per to Snow. The flashy, proof-like fields and moderately frosted devices are suggestive of an early impression from the dies, while the breast feathers are slightly rounded. Bronze-gold color dominates each side, but there are gorgeous accents of copper-orange, magenta, powder-blue and mint-green throughout, delivering top-notch eye appeal.
Additional selections of the Bob R. Simpson Collection will be offered by Heritage Auctions throughout 2020 and 2021, with key specimens of his patterns collection being offered for the first time in decades. Full and complete results of the Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part I are available for review.
All lots offered in Part 1 of the Simpson Collection may be viewed here.