By CoinWeek News Staff.....
In 2007, the ANA Museum Collection Manager Wyatt Yeager stole approximately $1 million in coins and numismatic items from the ANA. Efforts continue to restore the collection to its pre-theft condition to this day.
On May 1st, the American Numismatic Association announced the recovery of a coin stolen in 2007 from the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum: an 1863 U.S. Indian Cent Pattern .
The 1863 U.S. Indian Cent Pattern Judd 302 is graded PR-66CA. It was returned to the ANA by a collector who wishes to remain anonymous.
In a press release concerning the matter, ANA Executive Director Kimberly Kiick is quoted as saying:
"We are thrilled to have this coin back where it belongs — in the Money Museum's collection.... We encourage collectors who may have purchased coins that are missing from the museum collection to be a part of the ANA's recovery process."
Images originally supplied by the ANA strongly appeared to match the coin to a piece sold at a Heritage Auction's Platinum Night Sale in July 2009. Ironically, that auction was held in Los Angeles a week before that year's ANA National Convention.
The Heritage piece, lot #1381 from Catalog 1128, is described as a "Rarely Seen Copper-Nickel 1863 Indian Cent Pattern PR66 Cameo".
The coin is the highest certified example by PCGS and was given an "Eagle Eye" sticker by Indian cent specialist Rick Snow.
When asked for confirmation that the recovered coin was also the coin listed in the Heritage auction, the ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick and ANA Counsel Hollie Wieland confirmed that it was.
ANA recovery efforts continue
The ANA credits the recovery to its collaboration with various law enforcement agencies and targeted recovery efforts. Snow also played a large part in negotiating the coin's return.
The ANA has released new lists of missing and recovered coins from the Money Museum, which can be found at money.org/coinrecovery.
The table of recovered coins lists 40 pieces, including the 1863 cent pattern, while more than 300 coins remain on the ANA's missing list. Among the missing are 37 examples that the ANA has confirmed as being certified by one of the major third party grading services. The ANA is now providing the public with the certification numbers of these coins, but cautions that the missing coins may have been cracked out since discovered.
CoinWeek reached out to officials at the ANA regarding the 1863 cent pattern and how it was discovered and returned. Representatives from the organization declined to give specifics, citing an agreement with the coin's former owner.
However, the ANA is asking collectors who believe they may be in possession of a stolen coin to contact them, adding that the ANA may, at its discretion, offer reimbursement for stolen artifacts.
Per the ANA press release:
"Our goal has always been to recover all of the artifacts missing from the Money Museum, but we also want to be fair to the collectors who unknowingly purchased stolen coins," said ANA Vice President Jeff Garrett. "We don't want to victimize those collectors who purchased a coin in good faith. We want to work with them to come to an agreeable solution to all parties. We hope that our reorganized lists will enable the numismatic community to more easily review their collection and determine whether they are in possession of the ANA's missing coins."
The ANA has received insurance funds to help with recovery efforts.
© May 2014 CoinWeek, LLC.