Rare United States coinage - the collector and investor's cornerstone

During the first 150 years of American history, the nation's money was struck in silver and gold. Its value was intrinsic rather than symbolic. In 1933 the government recalled and melted most of its gold coinage in an attempt to stave off the worst effects of the Great Depression. That proved to be the end of an era, as America never returned to circulating gold coinage. Today, gold coins that escaped recall and melting have a special place in American history, and represent an appealing focus for collectors and investors alike.

Pre-1933 gold coins are available in more common dates at prices that are close to bullion value, providing a viable alternative to modern issue bullion coins. For the serious collector and numismatic investor there are also key dates and varieties whose values are based primarily on their rarity and desirability. The long-practiced collector strategy of acquiring a specimen of each coin in a set or series helps create stellar demand and value for those hardest to find.

1907 $20 SAINT-GAUDENS "NO MOTTO"  After Augustus Saint-Gauden's original ultra-high relief pattern coin was deemed too challenging to strike with accuracy and efficiency, the Mint was able to produce just over 12,000 specimens in substantially high relief, giving Lady Liberty and the Eagle a strong three-dimensional quality. Despite the groundbreaking aesthetic achieved, the coin continued to draw ire from various quarters. Mint staff declared the coins still too difficult to produce within customary quality and efficiency guidelines. Some did not think the Roman numeral date to be appropriate, while many more objected to president Roosevelt's insistence that the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" be kept off the design. Congress restored the motto, making these early no-motto specimens a hot collector item. We have a selection of $20 Saint-Gaudens gold struck in the original no-motto design. These specimens will forever document the tumultuous times during which our money entered the 20th century, with a new vision, one to give American artistry a voice distinct from its European heritage.


1915 PAN PACIFIC $50 GOLD  From Ron Guth, as published in PCGS Coinfacts: In 1915, San Francisco hosted the Panama-Pacific Exposition, a massive celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal.  To record the event, the U.S. Mint produced a variety of commemorative coins, including a Half Dollar, a Gold Dollar, a Quarter Eagle, and two versions of a $50 gold piece (one round and one octagonal).  Attendees at the Exposition could purchase the coins singly or in a variety of combinations.  The most extreme combination was a double set (two of each coin) housed in a specially made copper and glass frame.  Because of the high face value of the $50 coins, sales failed to meet expectations, resulting in hundreds of unsold coins.  These were eventually melted down, resulting in a net mintage figure of only 645 pieces.

The $50 Panama-Pacific gold coins are massive, heavy coins made of a relatively soft metal.  As a result, the coins are susceptible to wear and damage, making it difficult to find exceptional examples.  The vast majority of survivors are Mint State, usually in MS63.  Gems are very rare, and the best examples top out at MS66.


Ancient Coins

Ancient coins provide boundless opportunity to connect with history, with many accessible to the budget-minded collector. Popular categories of ancient coins include Greek and Roman pieces dating from the biblical era. While scholars disagree about the precise identity of some coins mentioned in the Bible, others are more certain, with both Greek and Roman issues represented.

ABOVE: Roman gold coins depicting the "twelve caesars" of the Roman empire. We have a special allotment of these coins currently in our inventory.

Many metal types are represented among ancient coins. Gold and silver coins share the spotlight with bronze, copper, brass, and alloys including tin and zinc. One of the most intriguing metals found in ancient coins is electrum, a naturally-occuring alloy of gold and silver.

Ask one of our professionals about any historical era you might take particular interest in. Chances are, we can find coinage associated with your interests that matches your budget. It's just another way we can show you that we're a new kind of coin dealer.™