A Member of The Family



After owning it for 16 years, it was time to have it graded.

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last posted a journal entry. I hope to be a little more prolific in the future.

This 1895 Liberty Head five dollar gold coin pictured below has been in my family for many years. I don't know exactly how many, but I'm reasonably certain that my paternal Grandfather acquired it before 1933, and probably sometime in the 1920's. He was not a collector, but rather a hoarder of silver and gold coins. If you've read my bio, you know that my Grandfather is the person responsible for starting me down the path to becoming a coin collector and numismatist. Beginning in the early 1960's he would give each of his grandchildren a couple of Morgan or Peace dollars at Christmas time. I am the oldest of all of my siblings and cousins, so I actually benefited the longest from his generosity.

He passed away late in 1973, but it wasn't until mid 1974 that we realized just how many coins he had stashed away in the attic of the family home. Being the oldest child, my father was the executor of his will and with me being the only serious coin collector in the family, I was was given the task of dividing the entire coin hoard equitably between my Father, and his three siblings. There were at least 500 each of silver dollars, half dollars, quarters and dimes. Several thousands coins in all, the hoard included:

- Morgan and Peace Dollars

- Barber, Walking Liberty, and Franklin Half Dollars

- Barber, Standing Liberty, and Washington Quarters

- Barber, Winged Liberty, and Roosevelt Dimes

- Three gold coins (Two $5 and One $10)

All of the dimes, quarters, and half dollars were probably obtained from pocket change since the majority of the dates were between 1930 and 1964 and all of the coins with earlier dates were very well worn. There were roughly two Morgan dollars for every Peace dollar and I think many were obtained during trips to Nevada in the 1950's and 60's.

Being the executor, my father gave each of his three siblings one of the gold coins, keeping none for himself. This aggravated me at the time, but in hindsight this is the fairest thing he could have done and makes perfect sense. This coin came into my possession when my Aunt passed away in 1999 from pancreatic cancer. I would greatly prefer that my Aunt was still with us, but I am glad to have at least one of the three gold coins from my Grandfather's estate.

From a numismatic perspective, this coin is a relatively common date AU, and was probably also taken from circulation in the 1920's. As a piece of family history however, it is priceless, which is why I decided to send it to NGC for grading and encapsulation. It now has a well defined value and will be protected from any further degradation in the new scratch resistant holder. With a little luck, it will remain in our family for many years to come.

Thanks for reading.


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