Coin auction firm GreatCollections auctioned a 1922-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle graded MS-63 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) to raise funds for Witter Coin University. Last month, the San Francisco-based numismatic education program hosted 40 young numismatists aged 13 through 21 for eight days of immersive courses, seminars and field trips to help build knowledge and camaraderie among the young collectors.
The auction ended on July 24 and the coin garnered 29 bids, selling for $25,312.50 (including buyer’s fee). All proceeds from the sale of the 1922-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle, including the entire buyer’s fee, will be donated to Witter Coin University, which has a goal of raising $175,000 to help cover tuition, boarding and other costs associated with hosting the 40 young numismatist students.
“The 1922-S Saint-Gaudens was once considered a greater rarity than the 1929, 1930-S, 1931 and 1932,” explains Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections. “However, a few small hoards were discovered overseas between 1950 and 1983. It is still rare – a much better date than its Philadelphia counterpart.”
“We at PCGS are proud to have encapsulated this coin,” said Stephanie Sabin, PCGS president. “We encapsulated it in a custom special, oversized holder that includes a special insert declaring the coin’s special Witter Coin University ‘2022 Charity Auction’ and ‘The Old Granite Lady’ pedigrees and accommodates signatures by several numismatic luminaries involved with Witter Coin University.” Among the signers of the exclusive label are Witter Coin owner Seth Chandler and PCGS Director of Numismatic Education and Grading Team Leader Steve Feltner, who serves as a numismatic instructor alongside Jim Stoutjesdyk, Devin Hipp, John Brush, Kevin Kaufmann and David McCarthy — all who signed the label.
Another prize going to the successful bidder of the 1922-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a one-hour luncheon or one-on-one phone call with John Albanese, who co-founded PCGS and serves as one of the hobby’s leading experts on rare coins and industry trends. Meanwhile, GreatCollections will assist the winner of the rare gold coin with a formal appraisal. This could assist the buyer in realizing a potential tax deduction for part of the final bid, which benefits Witter Coin University, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (the buyer is recommended to seek counsel from their tax professional).
“Witter Coin University would like to thank Ian Russell at GreatCollections; Stephanie Sabin, Heather Boyd, Steve Feltner, and Keith Dewald at PCGS; John Albanese; all of our 2022 instructors; Abby Zechman; and all bidders – especially the winning bidder,” said Seth Chandle of Witter Coin. “This would not have happened without you!”
Hipp, who was the winner of the PCGS Coin Grading Competition at the June 2022 Long Beach Expo in California announced that he too is donating his prize winnings. His prize, which includes $1,000 in PCGS Grading Credit, is going to Witter Coin University, where Hipp is instructing courses on numismatics for young collectors.
“Devin Hipp is an inspiration to all of us here at PCGS,” said Sabin. “Our congratulations to Devin Hipp, a true student of grading who aptly demonstrated his grading skills at our popular PCGS Coin Grading Competition and someone who wants to teach his skills to foster a love for our hobby among young people. We were simply moved when he informed us that he wanted to donate his prize to Witter Coin University. He represents the epitome of numismatic altruism.”
“I asked PCGS to donate the $1,000 prize to Witter Coin University, where I am co-instructing 40 young numismatists this summer,” explained Hipp, who expressed his admiration of Witter Coin president and owner Chandler, who organized Witter Coin University in 2021. “The talent that Seth Chandler has been able to put through this program has been some of the brightest kids in numismatics, and I am honored to be helping build the next generation of great numismatists through this program.”
He added, “I have been collecting and involved with numismatics for the past 26 years. I was given great advice early on to become proficient at coin grading; since it was so challenging, I dove in at a very young age to learn everything I could about the subject. That early and continued study has provided me opportunities beyond what I thought was possible in this business, and I love every minute that I am able to work in this industry.”
For more information about applying for Witter Coin University’s Class of 2023 or to donate to the Witter Coin Fund, visit www.wittercoinfund.com.