AoC Market Report: Niel Armstrong Sale II, The Price of Armstrong Coin Pedigree

The second batch of Armstrong coins hit the auction block, and the results were very similar to the first batch. (Here is a link to our first article which followed the first sale, back in November of 2018.)

1922 Peace Dollar, NGC certified MS-63, from the Second Sale of the Niel Armstrong Family Collection. This coin appears to be properly graded, unlike most others.
1922 Peace Dollar, NGC certified MS-63, from the Second Sale of the Niel Armstrong Family Collection. This coin appears to be properly graded, unlike most others.

Coin Grading

The grading ranged from, “pretty good – I’d almost buy that story” to “HOLY CRAP WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GET HIGH BEFORE GRADING THESE COINS?”.

Just like the first time.

The Kennedy Half Dollars appeared to be in the range, one Franklin may have been under-graded (genuine shock!) and most of the rest of the coins were one to two steps over-graded. The highlights have to be the XF Details Peace Dollars being sold as AU50s. Sure, weakly struck on worn dies gets you pretty far, but … really?

And just like the last time, these are not numismatist’s coins or numismatist’s grades.

A Collection of Peace Dollars with Niel Armstrong Coin Pedigree

There were a batch of Peace Dollars, nine in all. They were the kind of Peace Dollars you’d get $10 bucks each if you took them in to a coin shop. In other words, none of them nice. Just run of the mill Peace Dollars.

I don’t mean to disparage the coins, they’re fine. But these are not the finest collector’s coins, if you know what I mean.

A 1922-D Peace Dollar certified by NGC as AU-58. If that's AU-58, I know a whole lotta coins need to be resubmitted asap.
A 1922-D Peace Dollar certified by NGC as AU-58. If that’s AU-58, I know a whole lotta coins need to be resubmitted asap.

Solid, good ol’ Peace Dollars. But NGC chose to do silly things with the grades, which didn’t matter because of who they belonged to.

It’s funny, the coins with the smallest Pedigree premium were the better coins. Which means, there was a cash price in mind on the floor for the name and that’s kinda what they went for. The coins had nothing to do with it.

The least expensive coin was the ’22-D in “AU-58” (really more like choice XF or really low AU). But as you know, that’s a slightly better date. It sold for “only” $237.50. Again, mind you this is a coin you could buy for $20 or $25 at any coin shop in the country right now.

But $237.50 is a lot less than most. On the face of it, perhaps the best buy of the day was the ’24-S in AU-50, selling for only $500. That really is a better date for a Peace Dollar. Unfortunately, the coin has the look of a 20, so the 1000% premium is still in effect.

No, the best buy was probably the ’22 in MS-63. It actually looks like it could pass for a 63, and it sold for only $450. Not the cheapest, but as a numismatist who cares about these things goes, it seems a solid coin for the money.

Price or Premium for Pedigree

So what’s the money? Is it 1000% pedigree premium or a $300+ cash pedigree premium? It’s pretty tough to say.

This 1964 Kennefy Half Dollar was the star of the sale. NGC certified it at MS-65, which actually seems about right. It sold for $1,875.
This 1964 Kennefy Half Dollar was the star of the sale. NGC certified it at MS-65, which actually seems about right. It sold for $1,875.

The Kennedy Half Dollars were spectacular again, but this time they weren’t all ugly. A 90%er with clear signs of abrasion sold as an MS-63 brought $1,000. The other, another ’64, graded 5 (and that might or might not be a stretch), but it brought $1,875.

Any way you look at it, the few folks that picked up these coins can now say they have something somehow related to Neil Armstrong.

And that just might be priceless.

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