Monday Morning Brief for June 13, 2022: When missing coins resurface
- Published: Jun 13, 2022, 7 AM
The news that an off-center 1882-CC Morgan dollar sold during the 1970s General Services Administration sales (see Page 28) has resurfaced raises more questions: Where are some of the other “missing” coins?
Every collector has probably lost or misplaced a coin or related object. I once had a mini-medal that was struck by the Franklin Mint made of metal that went to the Moon during one of the Apollo missions; I lost it some 40 years ago and never found it.
Prominent coins can go missing as well, vanishing from the public eye because of theft or being placed into an anonymous collector’s collection. The off-center 1882-CC Morgan dollar remained hidden in a couple of collections from 1973 to recently, and it is going back into another anonymous collection. At least we now have photographs of it and a rough idea where it’s been all those years.
One of the five 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coins vanished after its owner was killed in a 1960s automobile crash that also scattered the man’s collection over the accident site. It eventually resurfaced after the numismatic community staged a massive public search for the coin; turns out it resided with the owner’s family all that time, misidentified as an altered coin.
Equally famous 1804 Draped Bust dollars have gone missing through theft, lost for decades before resurfacing. An 1894-S Barber dime has been missing since its theft in 2019, along with two other rare coins.
Theft is only one reason coins slip from the public eye. My favorite coin ever, the unique 1907 Indian Head gold double eagle cataloged as Judd 1905, resides, somewhere, in a private collection, its whereabouts not publicly known. It is not really missing; the hobby community has just never seen it on public display, and its owner, whoever that lucky person is, is keeping it safe and hidden. If that gorgeous pattern ever resurfaces and heads to auction, I am confident that its reappearance will immensely excite the collector community and set a new auction record.
The resurfacing of the off-center 1882-CC Morgan dollar is evidence that most “lost” coins eventually become found.
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