Wells Fargo Hoard
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The 'Hoard' of United States 1908 $20.00 gold 'Double Eagles'  approximately 19,900 coins was found in a Wells Fargo bank vault.  Does anyone really know where this came from? 

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I have been reading up on this and I own one of those coins so I've got a renewed interest in the 1908 No Motto $20.00 coin.  

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Posted (edited)

Goldfinger started a thread on this subject which should answer your questions. You can also consult my Saint-Gaudens Double eagle book, "Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections" available from Heritage Auctions, Dallas, TX (648 pages).

Edited by RWB
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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2022 at 2:14 PM, Alex in PA. said:

I have been reading up on this and I own one of those coins so I've got a renewed interest in the 1908 No Motto $20.00 coin.  

Congrats on the coin, Alex !!   Mazel Tov !!  (thumbsu

Here's the other thread with many useful (and useless xD) posts.  I think I have some links here and some quotes from interesting websites.  Thread was originally much older but I re-started it on Page 2 about a year or so ago:

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)

And at the risk of promoting commercialism on the site -- which I have no interest in doing -- let me just echo Roger's point above on his magnus opus on Saint-Gaudens DEs.

And a good way to support niche research like that or have the authors (we have several here) contribute selfessly and generously in posts here is to support their work by buying a quality book like that and spreading the word. (thumbsu

Yeah, I'm biased..... and have no problem admitting it. (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2022 at 2:12 PM, Alex in PA. said:

The 'Hoard' of United States 1908 $20.00 gold 'Double Eagles'  approximately 19,900 coins was found in a Wells Fargo bank vault.  Does anyone really know where this came from? 

Maybe the Mods want to lock this thread and link it to the one I posted above ?

Barring that, let me just answer your basic question Alex so you don't have to go fishing for an hour to find the answer:  the 19,900 coins were probably part of an international trade settlement.  Most likely a South or Central American country (coins moved very infrequently, unlike European hoards, which explains the superb quality)....and of course, their origin and place over the decades has NOTHING to do with a Wells Fargo branch.  They were simply stored at one in Las Vegas, NV while the sellers and buyer (Gillio) did their counting, tabulating, etc.

Remember, NOT all 1908 NM's are Wells Fargo Hoard coins.  I believe 1908 NM's were in OK supply before the WF Hoard was found.  After that, as I've detailed, the price at all Mint State grade points become the most affordable for any Saint in that particular grade.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Hey Alex...more tidbits on The WF Hoard.  This is from a back-and-forth over on the CU (PCGS) message boards a few years ago, I thought it was interesting.

Does any one know why it seem that the Wells Fargo ones seem to be graded higher than non
wells fargo coins?

Yup. When you have nearly 8,000 gem 1908 NM saints put aside at time of issue, it's not much of a stretch to figure there could be a lot of high grades in there. The median grade was MS66 when PCGS first did these (all OGHs). Only a single coin graded less than MS65....a lone MS63. Besides never being circulated, these bags of 1908's must
have rarely moved because they don't have the hits often seen on coins this size and weight.

When these came out this lone hoard had >10X the number of 1908 NM MS66's than had ever been graded at PCGS. There had only been <25 MS67's and 0 MS68's up to that time. I've generally liked the quality of WF OGHs that I've run across though many people think they're over-graded. No doubt many were cracked out and resubmitted or sent to NGC. The heavy grade inflation in MS64-67 Saints really didn't begin until the 1998-2004 period. If not for this hoard MS66 and MS67 $20 Saint type coins would be a lot harder to come by. It's interesting that CAC has yet to sticker a single 1908 NM WF Saint. Here's the break down. 

MS65 - 2237 coins
MS66 - 4867 coins
MS67 - 695 coins
MS68 - 98 coins

Coins were brought onto the market thru Ron Gillio. They were in SDBs in a Las Vegas branch of Wells Fargo. More meaning thru a frontier-days meme, I suppose. They all went thru at once. Think about the gradeflation when grading a group as close to technicallly perfect as these pass thru the grading room for days and days as a steady stream. Helluva bell curve. or, as Broadsruck put it, "hoardflation"... Disagreeing with roadrunner (was the thread a year ago?),

I've observed these coins, and, because of them, all '08 NMs to be awful "investments" and a drag on the whole common-date Saints market. They are discriminated against for a reason. The coins may be technical 7+, but the satiny lustre has no immediate visual impact. The absence of detraction/distraction may be very apparent, but the blaze is not there. 

And they don't dip out worth chit.

FWIW, the shop I was working at happened to buy in a large group (100+) of BU Saints and send them in at the same time the "Wells Fargo" hoard was going through. The grades we got were, on average, about two points higher than we expected. Some of them were so overgraded we did not feel comfortable selling them to our retail customers, so we wholesaled them out instead.

I can't agree with the Colonel that the 1908's have been lousy investments....what generic gem gold hasn't been for the past 4-6 years? I can live with the 1908's having satiny luster that doesn't blind you like a 1923-Dsaint. Can't have it all.

I'm sure a lot of MS66 and MS67 common date "O" mint silver dollars don't have the luster pizzaz of an
1880-S or 1881-S....think 83-0, 84-0, 85-0. And they tend to be much more softly struck. So be it. Some coins don't come from the US mint in AAA quality, eye appeal, and moon monster blast. I'll take them as they come. Gem WF Saints are nice looking coins to me. And who really cares if gem original coins can't dip out for an upgrade? I
sure hope that the majority of WF saints didn't go through the dip machine before getting originally graded.

The odd part is, as a bourse buyer, I almost never see these high grade Wells Fargo coins. With 8,000 of them graded, where are they? As type collector I might consider buying one of these "stigmatized" coins if the price was right (relatively cheap). Getting to upgrade a gold coin from the era from MS-65 to MS-67 could be exciting, but like I said I never see the coins.

As a collector, I'd rather have an '07 in PCGS 64 CAC for a NM type coin, even for more money. Great skin, lustre and color are available. Or a '24-'28 in MS65 as my one type coin. Put a 27P in 66CAC next to an 08NM in 67. Don't think, use your reptile brain . . . Per JA "They're really pretty bullion, aren't they?"

YMMV

Just my 20 bucks worth . . .

My guess as to why not that many around is because lots of ignorant people were sold super-grade coins via promotion by Spectrum at a time when CAC wasn't around. Which may not have mattered. All the NGC coins are attempted upgrades. Some made it, some didn't.

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I cannot believe anyone can walk around with this quite voluminous body of knowledge. I cannot believe a single question elicited it!  Many thanks, gentlemen!  (thumbsu  🐓  

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Can anybody confirm it it is still true that CAC/JA have never stickered ANY 1908 NM from the WF Hoard ?

They may have stickered the older, non-WF 1908 NMs.  Want to know about the 1908 NMs from WF.

I don't think this is on the CAC website.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2022 at 11:19 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Can anybody confirm it it is still true that CAC/JA have never stickered ANY 1908 NM from the WF Hoard ?

They may have stickered the older, non-WF 1908 NMs.  Want to know about the 1908 NMs from WF.

I don't think this is on the CAC website.

As I posted to another thread here, a short while ago, CAC has stickered more then 3000 1908 No Motto Saints. I bet some of those are Wells Fargo examples, even if no longer designated as such.

Edited to add: The link below, from the Heritage auction archives, pulls up multiple CAC examples.

https://coins.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?Nty=1&Ntk=SI_Titles-Desc&Ns=Time|1||Lot+No|0&N=51+404+790+231&Ntt=1908+wells+fargo+cac&ic4=SortBy-071515

Edited by MarkFeld
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