A local New Orleans television station ran an interesting story about the journey of the 1844-O Eagle which was brought from Florida to the New Orleans Mint museum for display. -EditorThe airport is often about a clutching goodbye, but one day in September it was about a homecoming.
That was the day New Orleans coin collector and dealer Paul Hollis walked through Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, flanked by an armed security guard and a State Police escort. Hollis walked through the airport, carrying in his hand a one-of-a-kind coin, sold at auction two years ago for a price that reached into seven figures.
.Well, traveling with a coin worth millions of dollars is, I mean it.s fun, but at the same time, you.ve got to be a little guarded,. Hollis said.
He arranged to have the coin shown here in New Orleans on loan, and flew to Florida to pick it up from an anonymous collector, then held it tightly in his hands for the next five hours.
.I'm not putting it in my sock,. he joked. .I'm not putting it in my briefcase. I'm going to carry this coin the entire way back to New Orleans..
A short drive later, from the airport to the French Quarter and the Old U.S. Mint, meant the coin was back in the Esplanade Avenue building where it was minted 164 years ago.
.To bring it back here, I couldn't help it. I got goosebumps,. Hollis said.
.I got goosebumps when I landed and when I walked into the New Orleans Mint, to know that that coin.s been brought back over a century and a half later. It was really, really, exciting for me..
Part of the desire for the coin is the mystery that surrounds it. Hollis says it.s so rare that initially it wasn't in any collector books. In 1911, there is one mention, when the secretary of state at the time, William Wooden, sold it at an auction.
But then it disappeared for 90 years.
.And not just off the market where it wasn't available for sale. Nobody really knew about the coin,. Hollis said.
The 1844 "O" proof will be on display at the Old U.S. Mint until January 18, then it goes back to its owner in Florida, tightly in Paul Hollis. hands, the same way it got here.
To read the complete article, see: One-of-a-kind coin returns to New Orleans (http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/wwl112008mlcoin.1d1d5c1d1.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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