A recently surfaced 1849 Mormon gold $20 coin tucked away in a family’s lock box for more than 50 years has been graded and encapsulated Mint State 62 Secure by Professional Coin Grading Service, and has been called the finest example that PCGS has certified of the pioneer gold type.
The grading service considers the coin to be in a finer state of preservation than the example that has been in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History since 1968 as part of the Josiah K. Lilly gold coin collection.
The Lilly Collection became part of the National Numismatic Collection under special legislation passed by Congress to provide tax advantages to the Lilly estate for the numismatic donation.
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The newly certified PCGS Secure MS-62 coin will either be brokered for sale by private treaty by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers or consigned to the firm’s September auction, Larry Goldberg told Coin World June 15.
Goldberg said the newly surfaced 1849 Mormon pioneer gold coin was brought to the Goldbergs’ Los Angeles offices by appointment by a representative of the coin’s owner.
Goldberg said the owner’s representative indicated the coin has been secured in a family lock box since the early 1960s, but no information was provided as to provenance.
The coin’s owner remains anonymous, Goldberg said.
David Hall, president of Collectors Universe, parent to PCGS of which he was a co-founder in 1986, has had the opportunity to examine the Smithsonian’s Mormon gold piece.
“As I stated in my narrative for PCGS CoinFacts, I believe PCGS would grade that coin MS-61,” Hall says. “This new discovery coin is, in my opinion, superior to the Lilly coin, and as such [is] the finest known example of this historically important U.S. gold coin rarity. I’ve been paying attention to ‘Territorial’ gold for 46 years, and this is the finest Mormon $20 I have ever seen.”