US Coins

Early Saddle Ridge hoard gold coin sales total in millions

Nearly half of the 1,427 coins in the Saddle Ridge hoard of United States gold coins were reported sold as of 11 a.m. Eastern Time May 29 at fixed prices totaling $4.1 million.

The coins went on public sale at midnight Eastern Time May 27 via Amazon.com and Kagins.com.

David McCarthy, a senior numismatist and researcher for Kagin’s — the Tiburon, Calif., numismatic firm contracted to market the hoard — said demand has been strong for the coins in the hoard regardless of their condition.

The hoard is being marketed through Kagin’s as well as Amazon.com. Different coins are being offered through Kagin’s and Amazon.

McCarthy said Kagin’s believed — at least, for 10 minutes — that the highest-priced lot in the sale had been sold May 28. A single Amazon lot, offered at $2.75 million, contains 14 gold $20 double eagles from the Saddle Ridge Hoard certified by Professional Coin Grading Service as the finest known or tied for finest known. Among the 14 coins is the PCGS Mint State 62 1866-S Coronet, No Motto double eagle, alone valued at $1 million 

McCarthy said the lot disappeared from the Amazon website for 10 minutes. 

Coins offered for sale disappear from the Amazon website when a sale is made. On Kagins.com, coins are illustrated, but buyers have to telephone the firm to consummate a sale. Lots are then removed from the Kagin’s website after a sale is confirmed.

McCarthy said it wasn’t known if the buy option on the Amazon website for the 14-coin lot was mistakenly activated. The lot shortly returned to its place on Amazon and was still available for sale as of noon Eastern Time May 29.

Background of the hoard

The Saddle Ridge hoard comprises 1,427 gold coins — four $5 half eagles, 50 $10 eagles and 1,373 $20 double eagles discovered in eight metal cans in February 2013 by a couple walking on their northern California property.

The coins range in date from 1847 through 1894, with most of the coins struck at the San Francisco Mint with the S Mint mark. Other Mints represented are Carson City, Philadelphia and Dahlonega.

McCarthy said the couple retained an undisclosed number of coins from the hoard.

The first coin sold from the hoard was a PCGS About Uncirculated 53 that the couple who discovered the hoard had donated to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society to raise money to renovate the second San Francisco Mint (often referred to as the Old Mint) at Fifth and Mission streets and develop an on-site American Money and Gold Rush Museum.

The coin brought $15,000 at a fundraising event May 27 at the Old San Francisco Mint just hours before the coins available from the hoard were placed on public sale.

Multicoin lot

In addition to the 1866-S Coronet, No Motto double eagle, the single lot of 14 coins, each graded and encapsulated by PCGS, includes the following:

??1866-S Coronet, With Motto double eagle, MS-62+.

??1870-S Coronet double eagle, MS-62.

??1877-S Coronet double eagle, MS-65.

??1878-S Coronet double eagle, MS-63.

??1880-S Coronet double eagle, MS-65.

??1881-S Coronet double eagle, MS-64.

??1882-S Coronet double eagle, MS-64+.

??1884-S Coronet double eagle, MS-65.

??1889-S Coronet double eagle, MS-65+.

??1890-CC Coronet double eagle, MS-63.

??1890 Coronet double eagle, MS-66+.

??1892-S Coronet double eagle, MS-65+.

??1894-S Coronet double eagle, MS-65.

Whoever purchases the lot will also receive the rusted metal can from which the 1866-S Coronet, No Motto double eagle was unearthed.

Each coin being offered through Kagins.com and Amazon.com, regardless of grade, is encapsulated by PCGS with a certification label tying its provenance to the hoard. The encapsulated coins are then secured inside a lightly stained wooden box branded with a Saddle Ridge logo designed specifically for marketing the coins. Also included in each box is a color-illustrated catalog detailing the hoard find.


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