Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Gilded Age Collection of Double Eagles

David Lawrence Auctions and Sales recently offered a 1908 St. Gaudens from the “Gilded Age Collection”.  The “Gilded Age Collection” included a near complete set of $20 Liberty Head Double Eagles as well as St. Gaudens Double Eagles assembled by prominent numismatists Robert Galiette.   For those interested in more information on this collection, you can refer to a CoinWorld story at:

The collection was originally brought to public auction by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on August 6, 2014, at ANA’s Worlds Fair of Money in Chicago.  Now most of the coins reside in private collections and it is rare to find them on the secondary market.

This is the 2nd rare pedigree that David Lawrence has made available to the public in the past few weeks so pedigree collectors may want to bookmark his website ( and give it a view for future hard to find pedigrees.   The photo shown below is courtesy of David Lawrence Auctions.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Rainy Day Collection – Another Personal Collection

The “Rainy Day Collection” made its auction debut in February 2000 in a Kingswood Coin Auction (February 16-17, 2000).  A press release on January 10, 2000, contained the following information:

“Have you put anything away for a rainy day? Well, one collector did, and Kingswood XII is pleased to offer the "Rainy Day Collection," a large sampling of $20 pieces that focus on Carson City issues. There's also the ultra-rare 1885 in MS63, the finest graded 1893-CC and much more in the $20 Liberty section. The $20 St. Gaudens offering is highlighted by a 1910-S in MS66, a 1911-S in MS66, a resplendent 1924 in MS67 and the rare 1931 in MS65.”

Every coin I have seen listed in auctions or by coin brokers from the “Rainy Day Collection” has been graded by PCGS.  While many are from the Carson City mint, I have also observed coins minted at the New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Francisco mints.  Additionally, most of the coins I have seen are double eagles but again there have been some eagles and $5 gold pieces observed.
Shown below is an example of a “Rainy Day Collection” Double Eagle that appeared in a recent Great Collections auction (

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – North Shore Collection

The “North Shore Collection” was a personal collection originally brought to public auction at the January 2004 FUN Signature Auction.  The press release at the time announced the public offering as:

“Heritage is privileged to present the North Shore Collection as a part of the January 2004 FUN Signature Auction. This is perhaps the finest collection we have ever had the opportunity to handle, with a tremendous combination of rarity, quality, and value.

The North Shore Collection was assembled by the Chairman of a large, well-established New York manufacturing company, who resides on the "Gold Coast" on the North Shore of Long Island. His passions are his family, philanthropy, and his world-class collection of US gold rarities.”

A review of some of the examples in that collection at the time of the auction show many to be graded by both NGC and PCGS, but none of the slabs reflected the collection name on the label.  For the time period, this is not uncommon.  Sometimes collectors/dealers that purchased the coins returned them to PCGS/NGC for the collection notation to be applied to the label.  Of course, chain-of-evidence documentation is required.   Most of the coins from the auction now reside in private collections with only a few found from time to time in the public market place with the collection name noted on the label.

Shown below is a rare 1929-D Standing Liberty from that collection currently offered by David Lawrence Auctions & Sales (  Fortunately, the coin was graded by PCGS with the pedigree heritage noted on the label.  Thanks to David Lawrence Auctions & Sales for allowing use of the photo.    

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Key West Collection

The following is taken from PCGS’s set registry:

“About this set:  The Key West Collection represents a continuing "work in progress", of PCGS graded Morgan Dollars. Many PCGS coins, to this day, are continually being sought to complete, upgrade and enhance the Key West Collection. Many of the coins included in the collection are PL and DMPL examples which exhibit outstanding strikes, excellent luster and stunning eye-appealing characteristics for their respective dates and mintmarks. Obviously, finer examples exist, however, the Key West Collection represents many enjoyable hours of reading, researching and viewing many, many Morgan Dollars. The "trip" to completion of the Key West Collection is, and has been, a very gratifying and exciting experience as every coin represents a special story unto itself. It is hoped that the viewer of the Key West Collection will enjoy and appreciate this Morgan Dollar collection as much as it has been, and continues to be, to collect, assemble, and share this Collection via the PCGS Registry Set site.”

I have observed several coins from this collection and they are some of the most beautiful and well-struck Morgan silver dollars that I have seen.  Every coin (46 in total) that I have seen in auction has been graded by PCGS. 
Shown below is a 1900-O/CC Morgan from the Key West Collection that recently appeared in a Great Collections auction (  Photo courtesy of Great Collections.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – 2015 FUN Show – January 8 thru 11, 2015

Florida United Numismatics 2015 Winter FUN show will be held January 8-11 in Orlando FL at the Orange County Convention Center.  Details on the show can be reviewed at the following website:

Selected coins from my books, “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency” and “Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection – The Purple Gang Set”, will be on display in the Exhibits’ section of the FUN convention hall.  
This is one of the “must do” shows if you are interested in numismatics. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Buying Opportunities For Some Pedigree Coins

Do you think the market is soft for Pedigree coins?  To me, it appears that the market has become soft and the Pedigree collector may have an opportunity to pick up some of the higher “intrinsic value” gold coins at a bargain.  For example, one of my favorite (but lesser known) pedigrees is the Champagne Lanson collection/hoard.  Since I cover this story in my book, I will not go into detail on the pedigree other than to say it is one of the most interesting “newly discovered” finds in the last few years.  And when you consider:

1.)    the intrinsic value of the coin (the raw gold value)

2.)    the market value for a similar non-pedigree coin, and

3.)    the collectible value (premium over intrinsic for a comparable date/mintmark coin)
you will find that the purchase price for the pedigree coin contains little premium for the pedigree.   

I have also seen bargains in the Rive d’Or Collection, Wells Fargo Hoard and Suwannee River Collection.  While these pedigrees do not have as interesting stories as the Champagne Lanson Collection, they are still nice additions to a pedigree collection when you can get them for no premium addition to the purchase price.
As a word of caution, not all gold pedigree coins are bargains.  Some are still priced well above realistic market pricing - - and they are not being purchased.  This is more of a reflection of the sellers’ philosophy than the market “buying” conditions.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Big Sky Hoard - Littleton Coin Company

The “Big Sky Hoard” is another Pedigree hoard brought to market by Littleton Coin Company.  A summary of LCC’s press release about the hoard follows:

“After thirty years in a Montana bank vault, a previously unknown hoard of over 220,000 Eisenhower dollars was discovered in 2011. Put away for years by a prominent Montana family, most of the coins in this remarkable hoard were still in original mint-sewn bags and were untouched by the wear and tear of general circulation. Shipped from the Denver Mint right to a Federal Reserve Bank in Montana, the coins missed the traditional movement between the mint and local banks, and escaped the widespread use of "Ike" dollars in western casinos.”

The first nice thing about this hoard is that you can acquire an NGC graded and authenticated example for a very reasonable price.  And since the coins are economically priced, you can try to gather as many different dates/mintmarks as you can find.

The second thing I like about this hoard is that it is Eisenhower dollars.  To me, the “Ike” dollars are one of the last true “coins” that have a collector feel to it.  It will be interesting to see what other Eisenhower dollar Pedigree named hoards will pop up in the future.  We already have the Big Sky Hoard, the Golden Nugget Casino find and the Rainy Day Hoard.  I am sure there are a lot more out there waiting to be discovered.