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.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – 1879-S MS66 Binion Morgan Silver Dollar - Coin of the Week

My coin of the week is an 1879-S Binion Morgan silver dollar graded by NGC as MS66.  There were only 273 coins dated 1879-S graded and authenticated in the Binion hoard and of those only 16 were graded as MS66 (only 2 coins with higher MS grades; 1 MS67 and 1 MS68).  The low population and high grade for this coin makes it a prized addition to any Binion collection.

The example shown below is one of the 16, 1879-S Binion’s graded as MS66 by NGC.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Pattern Coins – 1879 Goloid Dollar

A “Pattern” coin is a coin that was produced for consideration to be used in circulation but, for the most part, never released to the general public and not released into general circulation.  Many have interesting and detailed designs and some resemble coins that actually made it into circulation with minor differences.  Often times, the samples were given to Congressman, Senators, high-ranking government officials and Presidents.  And for this reason, I have classified them as having a “Pedigree” status. 

Sometimes a Pattern coin can be traced through its’ life but most times the ownership trail has vanished.  But still, it is intriguing to know that the Pattern coin you now have in your ownership may have been the property of a US Senator 100 years ago.  

The Patterns that I particularly enjoy are the dollar coins and the half dollar coins.  Regarding the dollar coins, my favorite is the “Goloid” dollar.   Patterns for this coin were produced in 3 years (1878, 1879 and 1880).  Also, a number of varieties were produced (approximately 100 different patterns have been identified and they were struck in other metals, including aluminum, copper, normal coin silver, lead, and white metal.).

My favorite variety is the Judd-1626 variety.  The technical description is:

J-1626, Goloid metric dollar. The William Barber design. The obverse has a head of Liberty facing left with E PLURBUS UNUM above) and the date 1879 below. Miss Liberty is wearing a cap inscribed LIBERTY in incuse letters. The cap band is ornamented with ears of wheat, and cotton leaves and bolls. There are 13 stars at the border arranged seven left and six right. Reverse with the inscription 15.3: G. /236.7 -S. /28 -C. / 14 GRAMS centered within a circle of 38 stars. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the denomination GOLOID METRIC DOLLAR above the circle, and the motto DEO EST GLORIA and the denomination 100 CENTS below. Goloid alloy, reeded edge.

This particular Goloid pattern was made up of primarily gold, silver and copper.  Other trace elements were included in the content of the coin.  The mixture was such that gold accounted for 50 cents of the value and silver the remaining 50 cents.  The coinage was ultimately rejected because it was too similar to the silver dollar and could not be distinguished without chemical analysis.  The coin would have created the opportunity for counterfeiters to use more copper as a substitute for the gold and make lower-value copies.
Shown below is an example of the 1879 Judd-1626 Goloid Pattern dollar.  Please note the unique reverse of the coin and particularly:  1.)  It lists the gold, silver and copper composition;  2.)   On the top it states “Goloid Metric Dollar” and around the bottom 100 Cents”.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – 1976-D Eisenhower Dollar – Golden Nugget Casino - Coin of the Week

My coin of the week is the 1976-D Bicentennial “Ike” Eisenhower Dollar from the Golden Nugget stash that was brought to market about a year ago.  While this coin does not have the intrigue of other Las Vegas hoards like the Binion, Fitzgerald or Cortez collections, it still has developed a following of loyal collectors.  As a result of these collectors, the Golden Nugget Casino coins generally bring an attractive premium when appearing in auctions.

ICG was the principle grader/authenticator of the hoard except for a few coins that were submitted to PCGS.  Collectors can thank ICG for placing the Golden Nugget Casino name on the label thus protecting the authenticity Pedigree.  Unfortunately, the few that went to PCGS were not Pedigree noted as Golden Nugget Casino; however, they do have a certificate of authentication linking the PCGS slab number to the authentic Golden Nugget Casino dollar.

As a final note, many of these coins have some unbelievable toning.  I am not sure how this toning developed, but if these coins were silver I believe they would surpass the Battle Creek Collection in beauty.
Shown below is a 1976-D Bicentennial “Ike” Eisenhower Dollar from the Golden Nugget Casino hoard graded by ICG as an MS64.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – “Stacks W 57th St. Collection”

The link shown below is Stack’s press release on the W 57th St. Collection:

I have read the article a couple times and cannot get much out of it.  To me, it is not a pedigree but more of a marketing strategy to sell their inventory.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rick's Pedigree Coins – 1898 Fitzgerald Morgan Silver Dollar - Coin of the Week

The 1898 Morgan silver dollar from the Fitzgerald stash is another one of the semi-rare classification varieties with a population of only 97 coins.  It does appear in auctions from time to time, but is not one you find listed for sale every week.  Additionally, for being from one of the more interesting and popular hoards, it only carries a slight premium over similar non-pedigree coins.
The 1898 Fitzgerald shown below is graded as MS65 and one of the more popular varieties because of the higher grade.