Monday, September 21, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Fitzgerald 1882-O Morgan Silver Dollar - Bonhams Auctions

Fitzgerald Morgan silver dollars are becoming more difficult to acquire in both common and rare dates.  When I say common dates I am referring to date/mintmarks that are common to the hoard and rare dates relative to the Fitzgerald population for the coin.  Currently, common dates seem to be demanding a premium to acquire and the rare dates are almost impossible to locate.

I have had a little luck in expanding my search for the rare dates from the traditional Ebay source to GreatCollections ( and David Lawrence Rare Coins (   Both have provided me with some more difficult Fitzgerald Morgan’s as well as Binion silver dollars.  As I continue to “beat the bushes” for Fitzgerald surprises, I ventured on Bonhams Auctions (  Bonhams brought collectors the Champagne Lanson Bonnet Vineyard Collection of gold coins that I covered in an earlier article.  At first, I just had a passing interest in the auction because I really did not think they would have anything of Pedigree interest so I quickly scanned the offerings in their September 14, 2015, auction.  Like many auction houses, what is of interest and importance to me (Pedigree coins) does not enter their radar.  They are not alone in this view as Heritage, Stacks and the old Teletrade also often ignore Binion, Fitzgerald, etc., pedigrees.  But then, while looking at a bundled group of “throw-away” coins I noticed a very rare Fitzgerald date/mintmark Morgan.  (“Throw-away” coins: common, low value and/or poor eye appearance coins that are not worth promoting or selling individually).

My find was an 1882-O Fitzgerald Morgan silver dollar “hard” graded as MS63.  It really did not register with me at first how rare this coin was in the hoard.  I glanced at my Fitzgerald inventory and saw I had one – and again almost past the coin by, but I noticed mine was “soft” graded as AU.  Suddenly I had a little more interest and reached for my Fitzgerald bible, “Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection – The Purple Gang Set” and referred to the population report.  The Fitzgerald population report showed only 25 coins were hard graded from the hoard.  Since it was late on a Friday and the auction was Monday morning, I had to jump through some hoops to get registered (authorized) to bid.  I won’t mention names, but one lady in Bonhams’ client services went beyond boundaries to get me registered and able to bid.  Thanks to her, I know own one of the 25 known hard graded 1882-O Morgan’s from the Fitzgerald stash. 

(The "hard" graded 1882-O Fitzgerald Collection Morgan silver dollar appearing in Bonhams' September 14, 2015 auction).

(The "soft" graded 1882-O Fitzgerald Morgan silver dollar that appeared in "Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection - The Purple Gang Set").

Although I have cut back on my Pedigree coin collecting, one thing that still interest me are coins from the Binion and Fitzgerald hoards that have populations within those respective hoards of less than 50 coins.  As a reminder, when I talk populations I talk of coins that have not only been authenticated as from the hoards but also received “hard” grades.  My population figures do not include “soft” graded coins designated simply as “Brilliant Uncirculated” or some similar designation.  All this “jargon” is covered in detail in my book “Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection – The Purple Gang Set”.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Listings on GreatCollections Auctions – Final Listing

GreatCollections Auctions ( has listed the remainder of the  pedigree coins consigned to them that appeared in my book, “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency” in their auction with a starting bid of $1.  The listing includes:

GC Item
 Redfield Silver Dollar
 Battle Creek Collection
 Rive d'Or $10 Liberty Gold
 Golden Gate Collection $5 Indian Gold
 Carson City Collection Morgan Silver Dollar







Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Ancient City Coin Club (St. Augustine, Florida)

The Ancient City Coin Club in St. Augustine, Florida, represents the oldest (continuously occupied for purists) city in the United States.  I have had the opportunity to speak at a club meeting and also attend one of their coin shows and completely enjoy their people and the hospitality they extended.  
While attending their show, I noticed that their club also had a medal produced as a fund-raising memento and purchased one for my collection.  How can you pass up the opportunity to have a souvenir like this from the “First City”? 



The coins being sold by the club were offered raw and I purchased mine from a local dealer who had them encased by ANACS.
Anyone interested in more information or purchasing one of the coins can contact David James at:


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Listings on GreatCollections Auctions – Ten Pedigree Coins with a $1 Starting Bid

GreatCollections Auctions ( has listed over 20 of the coins appearing in my book, “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency” in their current auction.  Ten of those pedigrees have a starting bid of $1 with no reserve.  This may be a good chance to pick up a pedigree coin featured in the book at a bargain price.  The following pedigrees are included with the low opening bid price:

Teich Family Collection Morgan Silver Dollar
 Lincoln Highway Hoard Dollar
 Olathe Silver Dollar
 New Orleans Mint Hoard
 Benson Collection Mercury Dime
 Patriot Collection Peace Dollar
 Big Sky Hoard $1 Eisenhower Dollar
 Richmond Collection Buffalo Nickel 
 Richmond Collection $5 Liberty Gold
 McClaren II Morgan Dollar
You can also purchase the pedigree book from GreatCollections.  Quantity discounts are available for collectors that purchased one of the pedigree coins.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Coin Pedigrees & Retirement

As many of you noticed, I have been selling the Pedigree coins that appeared in my book, “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency” over the past few months.  Some went to friends that I developed through pedigree coin collecting and allowed them to extent their sets.  Others went to fellow pedigree collectors that wanted the opportunity to share in the ownership of a coin featured in the book.  To all I say thank you and wish you the very best.

For the most part, I will be moving on from the pedigree coin collecting field and into retirement.  I am enjoying it (retirement) but finding that even though the US Government took a significant amount of money from me when I was working, they are not all that keen on giving any back.  Maybe I should start a blog about “blood sucking leaches”? 


I am also finding a difference in word terminology.  When I worked, fellow employees liked the “donut holes” that I bought from a local bakery as a treat at the end of a hard week.  Now I am learning that “donut hole” means you pay a lot more for drugs than you did when you were working.  If you are retired, you will understand the pun.

GreatCollections ( has been (and is continuing) to handle the sale of the pedigree coins.  I am not sure where they stand on the sales but think about half are sold.  I am leaving all that up to them.  It is their specialty and they are doing a good job.  I have kept about 6 to 10 coins back because I really like the stories or, for some reason, the coins just interested me.  The rest will be released/listed as GreatCollections determines.  If you are interested in any special coin that appeared in the book, write GreatCollections or me and I can let you know the status of the coin.


I will continue to add a column or two in the blog, but will slow down in the writing/researching efforts.  However, I am not going to cover pedigree coins at the same rate I did in the past and I am not going to give much attention to the fabricated pedigrees that coin dealers, brokers and auction houses are throwing on the market.  When we see the damage these groups are doing to the pedigree hobby, let's be sure to blame the right person. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – 1900/00 O/CC Top-100 VAM-9 Fitzgerald Collection

Shown below is a (the) 1900/00 O/CC Top-100 VAM-9 Fitzgerald Collection Morgan silver dollar graded by NGC as XF40.  This coin date/mintmark/variety has a population of “1” from the Fitzgerald Collection.  It recently appeared in auction and now resides in a private collection.


Anyone interested in the Fitzgerald Collection of silver dollars may find the book Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection – “The Purple Gang Set” a valuable resource.  It is available at GreatCollections ( in their book section.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – Pedigree Coins Appearing in Book: "Rick's Legacy - Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency"

Coins appearing in my book, "Rick's Legacy - Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency" are now listed in GreatCollections auctions:

Anyone interested in any of the coins in the book should review GreatCollections auction listings.  The currency has not been consigned.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Founders’ Edition Pedigrees from SS Republic Shipwreck

I discussed coins from the SS Republic shipwreck in an article a couple months ago and how they fit into the “pedigree collecting” world.  I also mentioned different approaches for collecting examples from this shipwreck and how I found the collection of recovered 1861-O Seated Liberty half dollar varieties as an interesting approach.  The two things I enjoy most about pedigree collecting are the stories associated with the pedigree and unique examples from the pedigree.

First, let me refresh memories on the SS Republic shipwreck:

SS Republic: The SS Republic was a Civil War-era side-wheel steamship operating between New York and New Orleans when it was lost in a hurricane on October 25, 1865. The ship contained a fortune in gold and silver coins meant to assist in the rebuilding of New Orleans after the Civil War. Discovered in 2003 off the Georgia/South Carolina coast. Authenticated and Graded by NGC.   

There is a lot more to the SS Republic story and the internet is full of articles covering the history and obstacles in the recovery.  For those interested in more details, have fun in your research.
Now back to the unique examples.  The 1861-O Seated Liberty half dollar has an amazing story having been minted by 3 governments and all being found in one shipwreck.  I thought I would never find a more interesting and unique option for collecting pedigree examples from the SS Republic, but then I stumbled upon something known as a “Founders’ Edition Set”.  As I understand it, investors in the SS Republic exploration/recovery were given priority in acquiring some of the first coins recovered from the vessel.  The coins were sealed in an NGC slab with a special label that showed the NGC certification number and also a unique number for the coin as well as the Founders’ Set population.  And to top off the Founder’s Edition Pedigree, the coins were packaged in a wooden presentation box with the name of the recipient and number of the coin.  Please see the photo’s below.         


The Founders’ Edition Set feels like it brings you one step closer to ownership in the pedigree and the story.  While the Founders’ Edition Sets are not often found in the secondary market, from time to time they do appear.  I have seen them in both Heritage Auctions and Ebay auctions.  You just have to work a little harder to find them.
So now the dilemma, do you want the 1861-O Seated Liberty varieties or the Founders’ Edition Set for your pedigree example from the SS Republic?  Here I will reference the 2003 inspiration movie “Radio” starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.  When the waitress asked Radio which kind of cobbler did he want, peach or blackberry?  Without hesitation, Radio replied, “both”.  This sounds like a sound strategy for a true pedigree collector.



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Coins by Daniel Carr - Status

Following-up on my blog post last night about Daniel Carr and the Moonlight Mint, I received the following information from the Greater Jacksonville Coin Club:

Rick: The Greater Jacksonville Coin Club has 3 limited edition medals available from GJCC. They are silver, brass, copper. Only 250 each were made by designer Daniel Carr. Proceeds benefit the club's programs.  Each medal is encapsulated and signed by the designer. For more information visit Medals will available at the FUN convention in Orlando on July 10, 2015, at table 135, or by mail. Tom Bobbitt, GJCC President.

All medals are graded MS69 by ANACS, and encapsulated with a special Moonlight Mint label signed by Daniel Carr.

  • Gold Medal, 50-gram, SOLD OUT
  • Silver Medal, smooth edge marked "ONE TROY OZ .999 SILVER", $45.00  (Limit 5)
  • Copper Medal, $20.00
  • Brass Medal, $20.00

Ordering information:

It seems like an economical investment if you want to add one of these special coins to your collection.



Friday, July 3, 2015

Rick's Pedigree Coins – Coins by Daniel Carr

From time-to-time, fellow pedigree coin collectors tell me about interesting branches of the hobby they have incorporated into their collections.  You may recall an earlier article I wrote about shipwreck coins and how one collector specialized in the 1861-O Seated Liberty half dollar varieties found in the SS Republic recovery.  Along that line I recently had a conversation with another pedigree collector and he told me how he expanded his pedigree collection into including coins/medals/tokens designed and minted by Daniel Carr.

Daniel Carr is an accomplished coin and medal designer that designed the New York and Rhode Island state quarters for the US Mint.  His design submission for the Maine state quarter was also adapted for use on that coin.  His creative talents are also shinning in the designing of coins/medals for clubs and organizations, and this is where my pedigree-collecting friend has developed an interest.  And I must admit that Mr. Carr, along with the assistance of the clients requesting his service, has designed and minted unique and attractive mementos for private organizations.

Coins/medals designed by Mr. Carr are minted at Moonlight Mint in Loveland, Colorado.  Moonlight’s heritage can be traced back to “Clark Gruber & Company”.  Yes, the same Clark Gruber & Company from the gold rush era of the 1860’s.  And adding further royalty to Moonlight’s heritage is they acquired and are still using a Grabener coin press that was manufactured for and used by the US Denver Mint from 1986 to approximately 2001.  In 2001, the press was sold in auction and Moonlight acquired the press in 2007.

In addition to the design and production of coins/medals for clubs and organizations, Mr. Carr has produced fantasy coins (rare US coins and the speculated 1964-D and 1965-D Peace dollars), Clark Gruber coins and mementos, treasure cobs, hard time tokens and other unique specialty items.  A complete listing can be found on their website.

However, my pedigree-collecting friend limited his focus to numismatic associations and coin clubs because of the beautiful and unique designs developed for each organization.  A listing of those along with production figures can be found at:  

Shown below are examples of the medals produced for the Jacksonville, Florida coin club.  They were all graded and authenticated by ANACS and Daniel Carr personally autographed each label.




 Note:  All photo’s courtesy of GreatCollections Auctions (

My friend admitted that finding examples from the various organizations are sometimes a challenge because of the low populations and has had to employ some non-traditional avenues to track the coins down.  Some suggestions he had are:

1.)    Local coin shows in the area where the coin clubs/associations reside.

2.)    When you attend larger/national coin shows, check dealers from the area you are targeting.

3.)    Call coin shops in the city where the organization is located.

4.)    Contact the organization.

5.)    Good old Ebay.

6.)    GreatCollections Auctions.

Information about Moonlight Mint and Daniel Carr was taken from the below listed websites:
Pedigree coin collectors may want to look into adding a Daniel Carr designed coin to their collections.