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Another Baltimore Show Report

6 posts in this topic

I will try not to gross everyone out as much as EVP did. I will talk about the coins first and then the other stuff.


Duncan Lee had the 1861-S quarter in NGC AU53 (tied for second finest known) from the Heritage Long Beach sale. It went for $4600 in the auction and he was asking $6000. The coin looked better than it had on the web & I was sorry I did not bid on it before. There is no substitute for seeing stuff in person. Jim O'Donnell shared a table with Duncan was showing a number of "old friends" on the seated quarter front. O'Donnell had a totally choice XF 1852-O quarter that unfortunately had a small "x" engraved left of the date which he had just bought.


Dave Bowers appears to have reconstituted as "American Numismatic Rarities" - Frank Van Valen was there collecting names for their mailing list, and they were giving out free coins as an enticement to sign up. A forum member here won a commemorative, I forget which issue. The web site "americannumismaticrarities.com" has been registered, presumably for their use. I didn't personally see Dave there so I can't absolutely verify that he is behind this. Seems obvious, tho.


Osburn reports that he will be dealing full time starting with the ANA show & will also have a web site started. Traded him my duplicate 1854 NGC AU58 quarter for an NGC AU58 1855. If you like bust or seated stuff this guy is an indispensible source.


John Burns and Charles Davis had literature booths on opposite sides of the floor. You have to really admire these guys hauling tons of books around the country to setup at shows. I bought a couple things from Burns which I probably could have gotten a lot cheaper with a bit of looking around, but the books were there so I bought them.


I didn't find much else in the way of seated quarters except for a nice raw irridescent AU 1853AR at Julian Leidman's table. Left it with NGC for grading. EVP reported buying a run a circulated quarters, I wish I had ten sources as good as his smile.gif


OK, now on to the other stuff. I have been doing research into the Baltimore gold hoard of 1934 - there was an article on this in Bowers Rare Coin Review #150. Anyway, one of the things left hanging at the end of the article was what happened to the two kids that found the gold. It was known that one of them died soon after, but the other one was a mystery. Last Friday night I was fortunate enough to interview the son of the "mystery man". This guy lives in Baltimore, not too far from the convention center where the coin show was at. Anyway, after talking awhile, he goes, "I am gonna show you my Dad's coin collection". Now, understand that the original hoard consisted of about 6000 US gold coins, and many of them were gem Unc. This is a probably a $10M collection today, maybe $15M if it gets marketed the right way. So, he gets out this thing that looks like a soup can, and a screwdriver to take the top off. I'm hearing all the coins jingle around inside, and I am SURE that I am about to make numismatic history by finding a bunch of unknown $20 branch mint Uncs and so forth (there was an 1856-O in the original hoard which is easy a $100K coin today). Understand, before the SS Central America, this hoard was the primary source of unc type I $20s. So he pours the coins out.........should I tell you now or wait a couple days to post smile.gif ...........and.........it was a BUNCH OF CIRCULATED US 20th CENTURY TYPE COINS!!!!!!!!! Total value maybe $100 of junk silver. All the gold was GONE GONE GONE!!!!!!!!! I was a little disappointed but not really surprised. Other than that it was really interesting to talk to this guy and I will get a formal article out about this out at some point.


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If it was found in 1934, wouldn't the government have confiscated it? Unless of course it was considered collectible. Either way, I would love to learn more about this story.

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None of the hoard coins were dated past 1856, so they were considered "collectible" and therefore not subject to government seizure. The Secret Service did make inquiries into the case, but the judge presiding over the hoard disposition had a pretty good understanding of the law and made the Secret Service guy look kinda dumb when his testimony was taken (score one for the good guys!)

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I will try not to gross everyone out as much as EVP did.


Your mentioning of the "x" on that '52-O 25c piece is much worse than anything I wrote... I share your disappointment.




BTW, on Saturday, Jim wanted me to find you to talk to you. I had you paged, but you didn't show up. I think you should give him a call.


A forum member here won a commemorative, I forget which issue.


Our friend is just a "lurker". He hasn't signed up yet for an account. And, I think the commem was an Ohio in a rattler.






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