Rare Philadelphia coin sells above estimate contrary to post-auction reports
Dallas, Texas (January 14, 2019) — An uncorrected reporting error republished by more than 1,000 media outlets worldwide included an incorrect pre-auction estimate of the 1943 bronze Lincoln cent auctioned January 10,
South West News Service (SWNS), a global wire service, issued an article to its subscribers stating that the coin was expected to sell for the inaccurate estimate of $1.7 million. The correct estimate from Heritage was $170,000 to $200,000. The error was simply a made-up number by a staffer at SWNS based on an internet search result of a much rarer but similar coin.
SWNS admitted its error via email to Heritage Auctions on January 8, 2019, shortly after erroneous stories appeared in prominent media outlets just two days before the coin was set to sell at auction. However, the mistake was not corrected before media outlets published articles around the world.
The coin sold for $204,000, well in line with Heritage Auctions’ original estimate of $170,000 to $200,000. It was part of a very successful January 6-16, 2019, series of numismatic auctions by Heritage, which realized over $70 million, well exceeding pre-sale estimates.
The error has ultimately become the basis of misleading and, in some instances, damaging post-auction news reports by some of the worlds’ most widely read media outlets.
Heritage Auctions strives to provide its clients accurate and transparent pre-sale estimates at all times. SWNS’s error has cast a pall on the successful sale of one of America’s most famous coins. Heritage is demanding that the wire service issue a worldwide correction and that its representatives contact those media outlets that have published misleading and negative articles to set the record straight.
Heritage Auctions is one of the largest fine art and collectibles auction houses founded in the United States and is also among the world’s largest collectibles auctioneers. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
Heritage Auctions has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions, and enlargeable photos.
Press release courtesy of Heritage Auctions.