Skip to main content

Community Voice Responses (August 7, 2018)

From the July 13 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:


Are you more likely to bid in an auction with recovered treasure in it?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

For myself, I would bypass the treasure auction bidding. This, being beyond my means, for No. 1. As for the rest, this venue may be inflated because of this area. Other auctions, maybe.

Gary Kess
Sherman, Texas

I bid on auctions that have items to be added to the collection. Treasure is not one of those items. I have observed, however, that auctions containing treasure tend to bring higher prices across the board, and a bit of shopping is necessary to find stuff that is equal or better at a lower cost.

Bob Fritsch
Nashua, N.H.

Of course there is a longer answer as well, which may not be quite so simple. I do not bid in auctions BECAUSE there is recovered treasure in them.

In my opinion, auction companies like to use recovered treasure or shipwreck treasure such as that of the S.S. Central America as a marketing draw for their upcoming auctions. But, since I am not a collector of shipwreck treasure or shipwreck coins, or conserved coins which may have come from a treasure hoard, this really does not drive me to the auction as a customer.

But, like most people, I do have a general interest in recovered treasure. Of course! Who doesn’t?

The idea of silver and/or gold glittering at the bottom of the sea waiting to be recovered is very alluring. That’s why the recovered treasure is such the marketing draw for auction houses.

For me, though, the reason I frequent auctions or auction websites is to bid on specific coins or look for specific types of coins that are available to be acquired there. Not really for any reason related to recovered treasure.

Just my two cents

Matthew Kable
Visalia, Calif.

No, too expensive and of no interest to me.

Dennis Navrat
Address withheld


Richard Tritz
Address withheld

Recovered treasure is sea salvage. Most salvage is corroded or damaged, so I am less likely to bid in such an auction. When auctions occur, the prices realized tend to be high, making my bidding even less likely.

Police auctions featuring seized coins are a better way to acquire coins at a reasonable price, as long as the former owner does not try to recover them.

Bruce Frohman
Address withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Subscribe to our monthly Coins magazine - a great resource for any collector!

• Download The Metal Mania Seminar with David Harper to learn more about the metals market.