The Legend Collection of United States Seated Dollars
To view these lovely coins, start here.
I started on this set in 2003 when I had the opportunity to purchase the Sterling Collection intact. This collection was nearly complete [missing only the 1870-S] and ranged from AU55 to MS64. Because Legend already had a customer [JFS] starting a top grade set of circulation strike coins, I intended to keep it mostly intact and upgrade it only to midrange unc, but alas - circumstances later arose that changed my direction. The Rudolf Collection came up for auction at Stacks a few months later. This was an amazing set with many beautiful coins. At the very same time, the Share Collection was available privately - this set consisted of a complete MS and Proof set, along with Patterns and Gobrechts. The Share Collection was not as high grade as the Rudolf Collection and the coins meshed with the Sterling Collection almost perfectly - keeping half of each set created a mid range uncirculated collection - with the exception of the 1870-S, which consisted of the Eliasberg AU50 specimen. In addition, it contained three coins that really struck my fancy - the finest known gem 1872-CC and 73-CC seated dollars, and a rare upgrade to the Trade Dollar set - the finest known 1878-CC Trade! Because of JFS's focus on the Rudolf Collection, I decided to purchase the Share Collection and to focus on only two specimens at auction [the Norweb 1845 and the Stack 1871-CC] as I knew this customer was going to be quite aggressive. This meant that I passed on a dream coin - the Stack 1870-S [the finest known example and the only unc]. True to his form, JFS bought up many of the choice unc coins from the Rudolf sale, including the 1870-S.... fortunately I was successful on the two I pursued for myself.
Many months followed with a coin here or there from auction - always in mid range uncirculated condition. I passed on several chances to buy gem specimens as I had no intention of starting down that path as long as JFS was intent on buying them all up for his set. After about 9 months, I was a bit frustrated and considered offering many of my expensive coins to JFS as they were head and shoulders above the rest of the set in value and if the set wasn't going to be improved then why have those coins? Fate intervened.
At the 2004 FUN show, Laura just happened to walk past David Akers' table. He had two of his personal seated dollars for sale - magnificent specimens [the MS66 1848 and 1854] at magnificent prices. Normally, she would have told me about them that evening when she updated me on how the show was going, but this time she called me from the table. Now, I had never seen those coins but I knew about them - David Akers' personal set was quite famous to dollar enthusiasts. Boy, was I excited! I told her to get the best price possible but not to leave the table without the coins ... a fortuitous act as unbeknownst to me Oliver Jung had eyes on the 1848 and was on his way back to the table to buy the coin! Not an hour later, the Fairfield 1849 was offered and purchased... another monumental coup! Later that evening, Laura stated JFS was considering selling his set and asked if I was interested. Funny how things worked out - I was ready to sell my key coins a day earlier and in the span of 24 hours not only picked up some once in a lifetime coins, but now was being offered all the coins I was forced to pass on earlier in the year! Amazing.
After purchasing the JFS's set, the Legend Collection was complete in uncirculated condition - the first seated dollar set to ever achieve this milestone. A few magnificent coins have been added in the time being, some from auction and some privately. The end result is a seated dollar set so magnificent in quality that has been entered in the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame.
I've illustrated each date and mintmark in the writeup section with the Legend Collection coin. To view these lovely coins, start here.