This press release came out a week or two ago and I've been wanting to publish it for the coin bag illustrations, as a follow-on to some earlier articles on the topic. Interesting find. The Franklin Half pictured is a stock image.
A canvas bag containing 2,000 silver half-dollars struck in 1963 at the Denver Mint and sewn shut there 60 years ago will bring a pretty penny for an elderly northeast Oklahoma woman who received the coins as a gift from her father a half-century ago.
This original, mint-sealed bag contains $1,000 face value of fifty-cent denomination coins, but each 1963 half-dollar depicting Benjamin Franklin contains about $9 worth of silver. Also, mint condition 1963 Denver Mint half-dollars usually sell today for about $50 each, so I would not be surprised if this bag sold for $100,000 or more, stated Rick Tomaska, co-founder of Rare Collectibles TV (www.RareCollectiblesTV.com) of Los Angeles, California.
The firm will offer the bag of half-dollars at auction on national television on July 27, 2023 with bidding starting at $69,000.
The owner of the coins, an elderly woman who wants to remain anonymous, received the bag in the 1970s as a gift from her father, a Denver dentist, who purchased bags of silver half-dollars for each of his four children. The woman's siblings eventually sold their coins over the years, but she kept hers for five decades, explained Tomaska.
Printing on the bag reads in part:
U.S. MINT DENVER HALF DOLLAR $1,000 1963. In addition to the mint's original stitching to seal the bag, there is an American Airlines tag dated April 20, 1967 when it was shipped to Oklahoma where the retired father then lived.
This is undoubtedly one of the last if not the very last known surviving, mint-sealed bag of 1963 Denver Mint Franklin half-dollars. The woman told me she kept it all these years because she loves silver, said Tomaska.
This is the first time I've seen an original, mint-sealed bag of Franklin silver half-dollars in almost 40 years in the rare coin business, he added.
The person who wins this auction will be a custodian of a super rare numismatic artifact. I hope the next owner never opens it to maintain the bag's Mint-sealed heritage.
The United States Mint began producing half-dollar denomination coins in 1794. The 90-percent silver half-dollars depicting early American patriot Benjamin Franklin were struck from 1948 to 1963, and the design was changed in 1964 to honor assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
So what will become of the bag itself? Will the new owner leave it intact? It's an interesting and fun but expensive souvenir.
The live auction will be on DirectTV channel 222, Dish channels 85 and 224, as well as online at
https://www.rarecollectiblestv.com/watch-live-tv at 8 PM Eastern/ 5 PM Pacific on Thursday, July 27, 2023.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
COLLECTING AND CATALOGING U.S. MINT BAGS
AN ESSAY ON COIN BAGS
NEW BOOK: U.S. MINT COIN BAG GUIDE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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