Monaco Rare Coins Purchases 4th-Rarest Regular Issue U.S. Coin for $1,610,000
by Adam Crum
Prices realized on true rarities shattered records at this year’s ANA World’s Fair of Money in Denver last month. Most notably, gold rarities set the pace, but anything truly rare—whether it was silver, copper, nickel or gold—was worthy of applause.
Starting with the first auction, the pace for the event was set with a 1852 Humbert $10 in Specimen-67 crossing the block at $948,750 and shattering all previous records for any territorial coin. In fact, that would be the case all week long for western pioneer gold. Many of the items from this historical era that were auctioned should be mentioned, but I will limit it to just these few:
The first seen since a hoard of tiny gold Moffat & Co ingots came to market 10 years ago or so, a Moffat ingot weighing less than an ounce with a face value of $16.00 surfaced during the week and sold before week’s end at $137,500. A damaged and tooled Humbert $50 Lettered Edge octagonal ingot with a net grade of high AU sold for $103,500, and another notable Humbert LE in XF sold for an impressive $94,875. To say the least, these octagonal ingots or slugs are red hot and have seen a 30% price increase over the last year…and I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet!
For you 1850 Baldwin Horseman $10 lovers, this should raise an eyebrow: An AU50 sold for a record-setting $138,000. In addition, a rarely-seen 1849 Bowie $5 gold piece in AU50 brought an amazing $333,500…and an 1861 Clark & Gruber $20 sold for an impressive $71,875. I have been saying for a couple of years now that this segment of the market should be pursued, and I continue to believe the pool of collectors of these rarities will expand ten-fold in the coming decade. Certainly, events of the past year suggest this to be the case, and I will continue to aggressively acquire interesting pieces for inventory.
Another interesting and expanding area of the market is Colonial coins struck before 1792, the inaugural year of the first United States mint. Many of these coins, especially the rarest issues, sold for more than listed price levels in the Redbook, and these coins seem to have growing appeal with collectors and investors seeking undervalued areas. Considering many of these interesting early American coins are available for less than $5,000, or even $2,000 in some cases, it is easy to understand this growing demand. They truly are “history in your hands” pieces of our nation’s tumultuous birth!
For those of you tracking the double eagle market…let me just say that the market was STRONG! Although, there were too many auctioned to list them all, here are a few notables: A MS64 1854-S from the SS Central America realized $46,000…an AU50 1854-O realized $301,250…an AU50 1856-O realized $345,000…and finally, a GEM++ Proof 1861 $20 brought in a whopping $483,000!
But real history was made when two regular issue $20 gold coins set world records: An inexplicable 1921 Saint-Gaudens in choice MS63 sold for a whopping $1,495,000. Why? How? I can’t explain it! However, I can explain this one: The fourth rarest issue of a United States coin, and a coin listed in Jeff Garrett’s “100 Greatest United States Coins” book is the 1861 Philadelphia “Paquet Reverse” Type I $20 gold coin. It set a world record for a regular business strike issue U.S. $20 gold coin when Monaco Rare Coin purchased it at the ANA auction for $1,610,000. I was offered $1.8 million before the night ended by another dealer who was present at the time of the sale. However, I passed on the offer in order to place the coin in the hands of a collector and client of Monaco. This coin is one of the most intriguing coins in our market and I was prepared to pay more. We plan on exhibiting this remarkable coin at FUN 2007 and in a number of other venues before “putting it away in the vault” for safekeeping.