It’s every collector’s dream. A coin purchased 50 years ago for little more than $200 is expected to bring at least $25,000 at auction this month.
GreatCollections will auction a newly discovered Mint State 1842-O Eagle, which ranks among the finest known.
The coin was originally purchased in the early 1960s for $225 at Woodward and Lothrop, a major department store in Washington, D.C. The original envelope, with the dealer’s handwriting notes “only 27,000 minted,” as well as the purchase price, will accompany the coin when it is sold by auction on June 26.
“The quality is amazing,” said Ian Russell, GreatCollections president. “Out of the estimated survivors, this ranks as one of the finest. PCGS has graded just three examples as Mint State, and this is the lone Mint State currently approved by CAC.”
The original owner of the coin worked as a secretary at the CIA. Her family said she bought all the coins in her collection at the department store, known as Woodies by the locals, and although there are some other nice coins, nothing else comes close to the caliber of the 1842-O Liberty Eagle, Russell said.
“One doesn’t really think of going today to Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s to buy rare coins, though back in the 1960s, select major department stores had a rare coin counter, where collectors could buy and sell coins.”
After a long career with the CIA, the woman retired to her small hometown in Illinois. She died seven years ago, leaving the coins to her brother. Upon his death last year, the coins went to his son, who consigned them to GreatCollections.
“This was the jewel in the collection,” Russell said. “Relatives of the late owner can remember family stories about this rare $10 piece, without knowing exactly how rare or valuable it was.”
The coin was recently certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS, a division of NASDAQ: CLCT), as well as approved by CAC. PCGS is one of the leading third-party grading companies for rare coins, while CAC is an independent coin grade verifier.
“No one in the family had any idea the Liberty was worth so much money,” Russell said. “Aside from the phenomenal appearance and quality, what adds interest to the coin is the pedigree back to the early 1960s.”
And being able to include the original envelope with the $225 price on it adds to the appeal.
“That envelope makes it a cool story,” Russell said.
And as for the proceeds from the sale, they will go toward college expenses for the original owner’s great niece.
GreatCollections planned to display the coin at the Long Beach Coin Expo June 2-4 and also at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, June 16-19.
Clients can also view the coin by appointment at GreatCollections’s Irvine, Calif., office.
Bidding is open now through June 26. To register or view more information about this or other certified coins, please visit www.greatcollections.com or telephone 1.800.44.COINS.