One of the great things about rare coins is that discoveries are made frequently and these discoveries keep things fresh and provide opportunities for sharp-eyed scholars.
But rarely are discoveries as curious as the special strike modern-era coins that were recently identified in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection by dealer Jeff Garrett and confirmed by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.’s Mark Salzberg.
These special coins are distinct from business strikes intended for circulation but they are certainly not Proofs. They were delivered to the NNC directly from the U.S. Mint, where it’s obvious that special care was taken in their production.
Starting in 1950, these special strikes span all circulating denominations and types, and come from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints. Then, in 1979, they stop. The resulting coins are certainly mysterious and their discovery poses questions that future generations of researchers will endeavor to answer.
The NNC is taking the coins on the road, and select examples of the discovery will be on display at American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., Aug. 13 to 17. There, collectors can compare these special strikes with regular issue and Proof strikes, and form their own conclusions.
A lot of eyes will be on Heritage’s Platinum Night auction in Rosemont on Friday, Aug. 9 before the ANA show. The firm will be offering a Class I Original 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar graded Proof 62. The last time it sold at auction, in 2008, this dollar realized more than $3.7 million, and as the rare coin market’s appetite for rarities increases, one can only venture a guess as to the level where it will sell this time around.
The official ANA auctions by Stack’s Bowers Galleries features a trove of rarities from around the globe, and with more than a dozen world mints attending, the show offers something for everyone.
If you’re making it to Chicagoland for ANA, be sure to visit the Coin World booth and say hello! We’d love to meet you.
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