The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 19, May 12, 2019, Article 23


In a May 10, 2019 blog post dealer Doug Winter discusses a hoard of U.S. gold coins ands its implications for the coin market. Here's an excerpt, but be sure to read the complete article online. Thanks to Martin Kaplan for passing this along. -Editor

1857-O+$20 ex-Fairmont

Starting around May 2018, one of the most amazing hoards of United States gold coins I have ever seen started appearing for sale. Graded by PCGS and marketed by Stack’s Bowers, this massive group—likely containing tens of thousands++ of coins—consists of eagles and double eagles dated as early as 1850 and as late as the 1920s.

Known as the Fairmont Collection, these coins derive from an overseas bank and they likely have been off the market for 75 to 125+ years.

I have paid careful attention to these coins and have learned a tremendous amount about surface preservation, natural color, and rarity. I’d like to share some of my observations with you.

When I first learned about this group, I was simultaneously excited and scared. Excited because I knew I would be able to purchase quantities of virgin original coins; the exact sort of coins that I have been championing for many years. Scared because I was unaware of quantities and wondered if some currently rare issues would be ruined by an oversupply of coins.

Given my assumption that the majority of the really good 19th century coins have already been sold, I have been able to make an extremely important determination. Most of the No Motto eagles, Type One double eagles, and Type Two double eagles that I thought were really rare are. Dates that I scoffed at as faux-rarities have proven to be the traps that I always assumed they would be.

I wouldn’t have expected many rare date New Orleans double eagles to be in this hoard, and my hunch has proven to be correct. There have been no 1854-O, 1855-O, 1856-O, 1860-O, or 1861-O, and just a single example of the 1859-O and the 1879-O. The 1857-O has been represented by four coins sold (so far), with the finest of these grading MS60, while the 1858-O has been represented by three coins sold.

The single most expensive double eagle from this group sold to date was a PCGS/CAC AU53 1861-S Paquet Reverse which realized $96,000 as Stack’s Bowers 6/18: 195.

The quantity of the obviously common Type One double eagles in this hoard appears to be vast. As an examples, there are hundreds of nice EF and AU 1857-S (with original surfaces; a notable difference to the seawater coins seen most often). As recently as a few years ago, an EF45 1857-S double eagle was a $2,000 coin. Today, it is worth $1,500 and the coins which are available are—for the most part—exceptionally nice.

It is my belief that these coins, at today’s lower market-adjusted price levels, are absolutely fantastic values. In over 35 years of specializing in US gold coins, I have only seen a handful of hoard coins which were as nice as these Fairmont coins.

Typically, coins from overseas banks have dark black smudges on the high spots. I refer to this as "vault dirt" and while it doesn’t bother me, it certainly isn’t attractive and it is a turn-off to many collectors.

The Fairmont coins were stored differently and instead of getting dirty, they became nicely toned. The New Orleans coins have acquired a deep green-gold hue, the San Francisco coins show more of a reddish-gold coloration, and the Philadelphia coins have color which varies by decade with the older coins showing a darker green-gold hue while the newer coins show a lighter greenish shade.

To read the complete article, see:
One of the Coolest Hoards of US Gold Coins Ever Seen Has Entered the Market, and You (Probably) Don't Even Know About It... (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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