US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for April 8, 2024: Finds foster hope

The revelation of gold coins kept in a vault for 100 years means there's discoveries yet to be made

Images courtesy of Matador Rare Coins.

it could be my imagination or it could be because I am writing this at 5:52 a.m., but I’m thinking we should keep looking for previously undiscovered numismatic treasures whenever we get an opportunity.

Before you dismiss me as a modern-day Don Quixote on his first adventure taking on giants that are actually windmills, hear me out.

Start with Coin World's April 22 issue cover story. Few of us expected to hear about this quantity and quality of gold coins kept in a vault for over a century. Even John Albanese was quoted as saying this was a surprise to him because he thought we had seen it all when it came to the great collections. It leaves you wondering “what’s next?”

I will admit I was just a bit wary when I got the news on April 1, after reading about some of the epic April Fool’s pranks that had been played over the years. (The Sidd Finch saga comes to mind and I was stunned to find it was nearly 40 years ago. If you’re not familiar, look it up.) The other news of the day, the Stack’s Bowers acquisition of World Banknote Auctions, seemed legit enough despite the date. You have to trust your sources and, in the case of the Philadelphia gold, I knew I could.

Then you have the story from Paul Gilkes about the gold coins found long ago in a garden. It’s worth the read.

In a recent issues, Jeff Starck presented the story of a man who found coins 60 years ago and kept them until recently. Gerald Tebben’s recent “Coin Lore” talked about findings in history. Some of those finds were a bit shady, but finds nonetheless.

While there have been discoveries over the years (and we haven’t even touched on shipwrecks), just what remains to be discovered?

It’s the mindset we have had for generations. The chance of discovery drove the young collector who searched through pocket change in the days of silver coinage. It drives the roll searcher who wades through clad coinage with the idea that something different or unusual can be found squeezed between two otherwise pedestrian coins. It keeps the enthusiast searching through auctions looking for the missing piece or pushes the registry set collector to improve on the ranking by obtaining the best coin.

We need to stay curious. The next discovery is out there. We don’t know when, where or what, but it’s there. I feel it. I hope you do too.

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