by Tony Davis – Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers ……….
The introduction of a coin hoard to the marketplace is always an event of great interest and discussion. Sometimes it can drastically alter the value of a specific coin, especially when hoards are composed of numismatic or collectible coins. Some of the highest profile hoards involve silver dollars, as they were commonly purchased by investors in bank bags, in large quantities. ( See my article on the NY Subway Hoard and the Redfield Hoard) When these bags were kept as an investment, often they would be disregarded for years, and when the owners passed on and these hoards were ultimately discovered, the sheer numbers and quality of these coins tended to have an impact on the numismatic silver coin market. Below are a couple of examples of high profile coin hoards; one of which is fairly recent.
The Continental-Illinois National Bank Hoard
In the early 1980s, the Continental-Illinois National Bank hoard was released with a nearly perfect selling technique. As banks are required to keep a portion of their holdings in cash, the Continental-Illinois National Bank opted to house much of their reserves in silver dollars. As the bank crisis of the 1980s became apparent, the bank saw extreme financial difficulties, which led to the dissolution of their hoard of silver dollars. With over 1.5 million coins in high end condition, a flooding of the market would have decreased their value significantly. 1,000 of the bags were never circulated, and the remaining 5,000 bags were still in remarkable condition, though most of the coins were common date specimens.
Instead of selling the hoard to a coin dealer or individual investor, the bank instead turned to three different retailers, selling across a broad avenue of purchasers. They were largely sold through mail order. Not only did this strategy prevent the coins from experiencing a marked reduction in value, the market for choice quality Morgan silver dollars actually rose over four-fold! The introduction of these coins managed to spur the interest of the public, and made a coin that was largely overlooked into one of the most collected American coins in history.
Big Sky Hoard
The Big Sky Hoard composed of Eisenhower Dollars is another high profile coin hoard that recently came to market. The 223,000 coin hoard was purchased by Littleton Coin Company in December of 2011. The coins, which are largely in brilliant uncirculated condition, were found in the basement of a Montana bank after sitting for over thirty years. These coins are currently being sold for a premium, as is typically the case with high profile coin hoards, but may not be a solid long term investment, as the coins are being sold at levels well above standard Eisenhower silver dollar rates.
While the collection has its share of choice uncirculated coins that may have some upside potential, the sales of this product are primarily dependent upon the hoard’s fame. If you’re a collector that is fascinated by the story behind various coins, it might be worth it to you to purchase a coin or two from this hoard. However, for the most part, this collection doesn’t appear to have much upside potential, as the popularity and interest for Eisenhower silver dollars continues to remain muted.
Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Visit his website at www.atlantagoldandcoin.com for additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 404-236-9744.