A $2.50 pioneer gold coin tops sale of Allan Collection of Bechtler coins

Market Analysis: Kagin’s builds on strengths in gold offerings at March 2017 ANA auction
By , Coin World
Published : 03/28/17
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More than $6.385 million in rare coins traded hands at Kagin’s auction held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Orlando, Fla.

Core collections in the auction included the Dr. Christopher Allan Collection of Bechtler Coins, which is among the finest sets of this North Carolina pioneer gold coinage ever assembled. With its home base in the San Francisco area, Kagin’s has a particular expertise in pioneer gold coins, including California gold, so it is only fitting that the auction offered strong examples of these fascinating and specialized areas.

Here is one of three we profile in this Market Analysis:

The Lot:

Undated (1831 to 1834) C. Bechtler $2.50 pioneer gold coin, Mint State 63, CAC sticker

The Price:

$123,375

The Story: 

Dr. Christopher Allan’s interest in North Carolina Bechtler coins started by chance. As he shared in the catalog, “In the course of developing some interest in Southern gold Dahlonega mint coins, one day in 1980, I saw my first Bechtler coin, and I was hooked!” After putting together a virtually complete set, he thought, “Perhaps it is good for the hobby that I move on and give others a chance to obtain some very good and interesting items for their collections.”

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The top lot of his collection was an undated (struck from 1831 to 1834) C. Bechtler $2.50 pioneer gold coin graded Mint State 63 by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. As Kagin’s writes regarding the hand-struck coin, “The crudeness of the punch devices is a delight to behold in this day and age of homogenized perfection.”


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The lot description concluded, “Whether you appreciate this beauty at arm’s length or under low magnification, you will come away knowing that you have just seen something special, something that is liable to make all others of its kind seem blemished or diminished in some way.” Considered the finest-known of the Kagin-8, 75 G. Beaded Border variety, it realized $123,375.

Keep Reading About Kagin’s Sale of Pioneer Gold Coins:

This Clark, Gruber & Co. coin served a dual purpose when it was minted:  Clark, Gruber & Co. was a private minting firm in Denver that manufactured gold issues dated 1860 and 1861.

1853 California gold coin1853 California gold half dollar sold in Kagin’s auction features less common obverse design:  These coins are tiny compared to most California gold issues. Struck in 1852, they were meant to compensate for the short supply of silver coinage.

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