One of the most frequent questions I am asked is, “What is your favorite Pedigree coin?” That is really a tough question because there are so many that I enjoy because of their remarkable stories. But my favorite is the $20 St. Gaudens from the Champagne Lanson Bonnet Vineyard Collection. This coin has a remarkable story that is summarized below:
The Champagne Lanson Bonnet Vineyard Collection – In the eastern village of Les Riceys, France, a vineyard worker was busy remolding a former grape-drying facility when he accidentally dislodged a hidden treasure of US gold coins from the attic above his head. While it is unknown how the treasure found its’ way to the attic, the building was once owned by a wine producer who did business with the US and England in the 1930’s. In total, the Lanson Bonnet find consisted of 497 US gold coins minted between 1851-1928 with an estimated value of $1 million.
Bonhams brought the coins to auction in Los Angeles on June 3, 2013. Lanson BCC Group announced that half of the proceeds from the auction will go to the individual who discovered the coins in the house. The vineyard has described him as a modest employee of the Lanson firm, who brought the Collection to the attention of the company not knowing that he would be entitled to half of the proceeds under French law. According to the vineyard, this anonymous individual will now be able to buy or build a house for his family with the auction proceeds. Information source: Bonhams press release, January 25, 2013.
I was fortunate to acquire mine in a Great Collections auction that can be found at: http://www.greatcollections.com/This is a relatively new coin auction site that has excellent customer support. It also is very easy to browse and has excellent coin pictures. If you are not familiar with this site, give it a look and I think you will become a regular.