In the first three parts of the story of this landmark collection I spoke of the Amon G. Carter Family, father and son, who built this very important collection.
The father and son shared the goal of assembling a collection of very high quality, as complete as possible, with a focus on the coins’ pedigrees as a guide as to what could be available. Through the years they were successful in collecting the very best available at the time. Because of the number of varieties needed to complete a collection of early Bust type half dollars they did not pursue this denomination but left it to a later date to begin.
From the 1930s to the 1950s, dealers from all over the country had the privilege of offering many important collections. Included among the renowned collections sold during the initial period that the Carter Collection was formed included Dunham, Neil, Col. E.H.R. Green, Atwater, Olson, and Roe. The King Farouk, Roach, Granberg, Newcomer, Haseltine, and many other collections came to market in the 1930s through the 1960s. Those collections were mostly started at the turn of the century, and are still recognized today as highlights of numismatics. Those buyers had the opportunity to find and acquire the best, and their collections would be almost impossible to assemble again. Many of these pedigrees are still cited in catalogs in the 21st century. Stack’s and B. Max Mel were the dealers who were fortunate enough to sell many of these great collections. The Carters, father and son, were active and aggressive buyers from these important sources.
In January 1984 Stack’s had the pleasure of offering the Carter Family collection. The sale featured an beautiful array of copper and silver coins of the United States including sets of small cents, Shield, Liberty and Buffalo nickels, Liberty Standing quarters, Liberty Walking half dollars. Plus there were many early type coins, including the 1837 No Stars half dime and dime in Proof, and a 1836 Reeded Edge half dollar Proof, among many others.
One of the finest and most complete collections of U.S. silver dollars was a major highlight of this collection. The silver dollars were introduced by three different varieties of the Continental dollar, all in superb preservation. The early dollars began with a Mint State 1794 and continued through an l804, a beautiful example from the J. Allen Collection. The majority of the early dates were Mint State and some were prooflike, and there were superb Proof examples of 1801,1802 and l803. Rarely seen and almost impossible to assemble in one collection, there were four different types of Gobrecht dollars, 1836-1839.
Highlights of the Liberty Seated dollars, 1840 to 1873 included a full offering of Proof examples of the earlier issues — the 1851, 1852, and 1858 to mention but a few. Also in the collection was an outstanding example of the extremely rare 1870-S, plus superb examples of the 1870-CC, l871-CC, 1872-CC, and 1873-CC,
The trade dollars were complete, and had outstanding examples of the 1884 and 1885 rarities. The Morgan dollar collection was also complete and featured many "finest known" examples, including 1883-S, 1887-O Proof, 1892-O, 1892-S, 1893-S, 1893-CC, 1895, 1895-S, 1903-S, 1921 Proof — if not Proof many were Gem Mint State!
The above is but a small listing of what great rarities made up the silver and copper collection, with most coins coming from great and well known collections from earlier in the century. The United States Gold coins from the Carter Family Collection will be outlined in Part 5 and the balance of the collection will be featured in the coming weeks.