World Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Aug. 31, 2020: Gold finds excite

A hoard of gold coins was found by students participating in an archaeological excavation in Israel.

All images by Yoli Schwartz, courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority.

Gold — humans have long deemed it both valuable and desirable, turning it into money, jewelry and other things decorative and functional. It is so in demand that recently it blew past the $2,000 level in the marketplace, before setting back a little below that once-impenetrable barrier.

For collectors, gold coins hold special appeal, even for those who lack the monetary means to buy them. But they love to read about gold coins both historical and modern, and they especially like to learn about unexpected finds of gold coins.

This week’s issue features two articles about recent gold coin discoveries.

In the lead article on Page 1, Jeff Starck examines the discovery of hundreds of ancient gold coins by students participating in an archaeological dig in Israel. The find excites archaeologists, numismatists and historians alike. The 1,100-year-old hoard contains approximately 130 gold dinars, 30 deliberately defaced coins of various origins, and a large group of dinar fragments, or about 425 gold pieces.

The coins include one whose presence surprised archaeologists, though the study of the hoard is just beginning.

In Paris, a find of another kind was made at Professional Coin Grading Service as reported on Page 6 by Paul Gilkes. In a submission of 14 bullion coins was an 1884-CC Coronet gold $10 eagle, a low-mintage rarity of which maybe 300 pieces survive.

The discovery of one of these coins was surprising enough, but even more amazing was the condition of the coin.

PCGS grades the gold coin Mint State 62+, making it the second-finest known example of the coin.

It was just a few weeks ago that another rare gold coin surfaced, this one an 1870-CC Coronet $20 double eagle, brought to an Ohio coin shop along with several other gold coins. That double eagle is a major rarity, with examples in a similar grade selling for six-figure prices.

We all dream of the big find that will bring us riches whether monetarily or otherwise. For some lucky individuals, dreams come true.

Community Comments