An 89-year-old Delaware woman has kept a treasure trove of coins
stored in a box under her bed for decades.
She decided recently that, at her age, it was time to liquidate the
accumulation so that the net proceeds could help benefit her family.
The coins were handed down through several generations in the
woman’s family, to the women in the family. The woman, who requested
anonymity, inherited the coins upon her mother’s death.
Connect with Coin World:
up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on
us on Twitter
The coins were apparently amassed by the woman’s grandmother, who
worked as a cross stitcher on women’s clothing for an apparel firm on
Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
While the assemblage includes some foreign coins, the bulk of the
coins are United States issues, with examples representing just about
all denominations from half cent through $20 double eagles.
Included in the box was an envelope containing two coins and a note
from the woman’s mother indicating that she believed the two coins
were valuable based on some numismatic research she had conducted on
The two coins turned out to be 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERICA, No
Periods cents from among the first production at the Philadelphia Mint
of the denomination for circulation.
One of the coins has been graded and encapsulated Fine 12 by Professional Coin Grading
Service and the other was graded Fine 15 by PCGS, in conjunction
with the Whitman
Baltimore Coin Expo Nov. 9 to 12.
While the PCGS grading insert did not include a variety attribution,
a large cent specialist to whom Coin World emailed images of
the coins identified them as being of the Sheldon 3 die marriage, as
cataloged in William H. Sheldon’s Penny Whimsy.
The two coins are consigned to Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville,
New Jersey, for sale in a March 16, 2018, auction.
Dissemination of the Delaware woman’s collection is being handled by
Joe Piane from Assorted Past Antiques in Bear, Delaware.
Piane told Coin World he is still going through the accumulation of
coins owned by the Delaware woman to determine what other interesting
coins the assemblage may contain. Once that assessment is made, Piane
said he will meet with the woman to discuss the best course to
liquidate the property.
Piane said he was contacted recently by the woman in conjunction
with one of two free appraisal gatherings he holds monthly at a local
Piane said he eventually met with the woman at her home to examine
the coins she talked about that her grandmother apparently had accumulated.
Piane determined that the woman’s mother, to whom the coins had been
bequeathed by her mother, had taken a more noticeable interest in the coins.
While most of the coins stored in the box under the Delaware woman’s
bed were loose or separated into envelopes, some were housed in
Whitman coin folders by denomination and series, including one folder
for a U.S. type set.
Piane said the coins included 18th and 19th century half cents and
large cents, 2-cent coins, copper-nickel and silver 3-cent coins,
5-cent coins from different series, early Bust half dimes and dimes,
Seated Liberty coinage of several denominations, Bust half dollars,
Barber coinage, some early 20th century issues, and a number of gold coins.
Piane said the woman’s family was not rich, but the grandmother
found value in putting the coins away so that her family could one day
benefit from her frugality and foresight.
Piane said there still are many interesting coins waiting to be
discovered or rediscovered.
Another surprise find
Piane added to the same March auction a 1793 Liberty Cap cent, S-13
die marriage, that he recently purchased with a group of worn British
pennies in a junk tray at a local antiques shop.
“I was in a local antique shop and in a small dish were
approximately 10 or so British pennies ranging from 1750 to 1920,
approximate dates, the whole dish was $5,” Piane said. “I bought the
whole dish. Amongst them was the Liberty Cap; I could see where
someone lightly rubbed where the date was and they must have given up
and just tossed it back with the others. Needless to say it was the
best $5 I ever spent.”
PCGS has certified the Liberty Cap cent as PCGS Genuine,
Environmental Damage, Very Good Details.