US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for April 2 2018

One of the first coins curated by Numismatic Conservation Services from treasure recovered from the SS Pulaski is this 1836 Classic Head gold $5 half eagle, which was then graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

Background image in public domain. Coin image courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

Coin World’s April 16 issue (the one going into the mail today and already available in its digital edition) features three articles that fall into a category that is a perennial collector favorite: treasure and hoard finds.

Where is the missing 1908 pattern formerly in the designer’s collection?Where is the missing 1908 pattern for the original 1908 Indian Head half eagle formerly in the designer’s collection? Also in this issue, we take a look at both old and new varieties and what collectors are finding in their collections.

Two of Paul Gilkes’ articles in that issue separately focus on the curation of the treasure recovered from the 1838 shipwreck SS Pulaski and on the FBI’s recent search in Pennsylvania for a missing Civil War shipment of gold that may or may not actually exist (nonspoiler alert: nothing was found). They are joined by a third article written by Jeff Starck about a recent Dutch coin hoard find.

Treasure stories in recent years have generated a lot of reader interest — the Saddle Ridge Hoard of gold coins found in California, multiple hoards of Roman-era coins in Great Britain, the discovery of the SS Pulaski and the recovery of coins at the wreck site, the 2014 return to maybe the biggest treasure ship of all (the SS Central America), the discovery of maybe an even bigger treasure ship off the coast of Colombia. These are great stories.

But why do collectors like them so much?

It probably has to do with universal dreams of hitting it big, whether by winning the lottery jackpot or finding rusted tin cans filled with 19th century gold coins while on a hike, or finding a gold 8-escudo coin on the beach after a storm, uncovered from a nearby wreck site. Any one of us could be the lucky person making such a find some day.

So, what is the next big treasure story? We do not know yet, but I can guarantee it will be interesting.

We have hit pause on our Monday Morning Brief videos. They will return later this year.

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