A $100,000 reward is being offered for the return of the finest
known 1870-CC Coronet gold $20 double eagle, stolen from an Oct. 14,
2011, Brinks shipment from California to Texas.
The current auction record for an 1870-CC double eagle is
$414,000. The record was set in a March 1, 2009, Bowers and Merena
auction for an example graded About Uncirculated 55 by Numismatic
The stolen coin, graded NGC AU-58, was the lone coin in the Brinks
shipment from Professional Coin Grading Service in Newport Beach,
Calif., to Heritage Auctions in Dallas.
The investigation into the theft is being spearheaded by the FBI
in Dallas. Katherine Chaumont, the FBI’s public affairs specialist in
Dallas, confirmed to Coin World Sept. 17 that the investigation is ongoing.
Chaumont said anyone with information about the theft should
contact the FBI’s main telephone number in Dallas at 972-559-5000.
Heritage officials said the stolen coin is fully covered under the
firm’s insurance, but they still want the coin to be found.
The $100,000 reward and its dissemination for any information
submitted concerning the coin’s whereabouts are being handled by Doug
Davis from the Numismatic Crime Information Center in Pantego, Texas
(website: www.numismaticcrimes.org, telephone 817-723-7231).
No one associated with the case is disclosing who is posting the reward.
The coin had been consigned to the Platinum Night segment of
Heritage’s January 2012 auction, to be held in conjunction with the
Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando, according to Paul
Minshull, Heritage’s chief operating officer.
Minshull said the coin has been in the family of the consignor for
more than 50 years, and surfaced when submitted for consignment in
2011. After being certified by NGC, the coin was submitted to PCGS to
be crossed over into a PCGS holder.
The coin was shipped back to Heritage, however, in its NGC
encapsulation with certification number 3414402-001.
Minshull said the coin theft was discovered when the Brinks
shipment arrived at Heritage in Dallas on Oct. 17, 2011, sans the rarity.
The stolen coin is one of fewer than 50 examples extant from a
recorded mintage of 3,789 double eagles struck at the Carson City Mint
in Nevada during its inaugural year of production. The entire recorded
production was released into circulation. All known examples show
signs of wear. ■