Rare Gold Coin to be on Display in Boston

The city of Boston will play host to the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money from August 10 to 14, 2010. This show will put on display coins brought in from various dealers, collectors and international mints. More than 1,100 licensed dealers and around 18 international mints are expected to make a showing. The biggest attraction, however, is the 1804 Proof Gold Eagle. This is an extremely rare bullion gold coin, being one of a batch of only three proof editions. This coin was commissioned for President Andrew Jackson.

Rare Gold Coins: The 1804 Proof Gold Eagle

An interesting fact about this coin is that it has the label 1804 but was actually created in 1834 at the Philadelphia Mint for Andrew Jackson and was supposed to be a diplomatic gift.

The coin is currently under the ownership of a Texas-based collector. It was sold by the Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey, together with a rare silver $10 Eagle. Regarding the sale, Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics said, “The 1804 proof gold Eagle is a classic American rarity and the silver pattern is an amazing companion to it. Both coins are now part of the incredible collection being assembled by Bob R. Simpson of Texas, a connoisseur of numismatic quality and rarity, and a long-time client and friend.” Trade experts are predicting the sale price between $2.5 million and $7.5 million.

The Bass-Dannreuther book, however, puts a contradicting history to this coin. According to it this book, the coin was issued as ‘R-7+’, which implies that it was made in a batch of 4 to 7 coins. On the other hand, the tenth edition of the Judd book, puts the coin as an ‘R-8′, which means that only two or three copies actually exist. This book puts a price tag of $1,500,000 on a single copy of this coin.

The doubts arise from the fact that this is too low a price for a coin of this rarity. The remaining two coins have been in public view for quite some time. One of these rare gold coins rests in the Harry Bass Core Collection, while the other one has its position among the collection of the King of Siam. Considering this, the initial sale should have gone in millions.

Rare Gold Coins: Why Was the Initial Sale of the 1804 Proof Gold Eagle so Cheap?

The initial collectors did not fully comprehend the value of proof versions of a popular coin series. This is probably why the Eliasberg 1804 silver dollar went for $1,815,000 in April 1997, while the rare 1804 Proof Gold Eagle got tagged at $1,500,000.

In the initial days of gold coin production, mixing of business strikes and proof editions was common place. This could mean that for completing a set of Gold Eagles, an 1804 Proof Gold Eagle was not required; instead a business edition would have done just fine.

Rare Gold Coins: Transaction History of 1804 Proof Gold Eagle

The 1804 Proof Gold Eagle has undergone a series of very heavy transactions. The $10 rare gold coin is graded as an NGC PF65 Ultra Cameo. It came into the possession of Legend Numismatics from the initial collector through the mediation of John Albanese of Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC). The actual cost of this transaction was never disclosed. But an estimate can be made from the fact that this coin made headlines when it sold for a staggering $5 million in 2007. Earlier, it had been sold for $1 million (2003) and for $2.47 million (2005).