The highlight of the Damon Collection, a rare 1876 Centennial Year Proof Set which consists of 14 coins, from one cent through to a $20 Double Eagle in the original presentation case. The set is estimated at $250,000-300,000.

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Hawaiian banker Samuel Mills Damon (1845-1924) was responsible for amassing the collection, which has long intrigued dealers, collectors and curators curious to know its extent and rarity.

Damon was a partner and eventually sole owner of Honolulu-based bank Bishop & Co, which later merged with several other banks to become Hawaii's biggest banking corporation, BancWest. In 2001, Damon's estate sold its interest in BancWest to France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, for $500m.

The auction of the Damon Collection follows the death of the banker's last living grandchild, Joan Damon Haig, in November 2004.

The highlight of the collection, which will be auctioned by Doyle New York on March 23, is a rare American coin set estimated at $250,000-300,000. The 1876 Centennial Year Proof Set consists of 14 coins, from one cent through to a $20 Double Eagle, contained in the original presentation case. A maximum of 45 sets were made.

In total, the Damon Collection is almost 700 lots, ranging in value from scarce treasures to trinkets for the new collector. It has numerous American, Hawaiian and international rarities, as well as previously unrecorded items.

Hawaiian items include a lot of eight 1883 silver dollars estimated at $50,000-70,000, a Kingdom of Hawaii $10 bill estimated at $40,000-60,000, and a Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society Medal c.1850-57 estimated at $15,000-25,000. The $10 bill has the serial number one and is believed to be one of only three known uncancelled examples, the other two being in the collection of the Bishop Museum in Hawaii and a private collection in Europe.

Among the international items in the Damon Collection are an 1870 Japanese 20 yen coin estimated at $30,000-50,000 and a Peru 1863 four Escuados coin from the Lima mint estimated at $10,000-15,000.

Doyle expects the sale of the Damon Collection to easily exceed its upper estimate of $1.4m-1.9m.