NGC Certifies du Pont 1866 Dollar

Posted on 3/1/2004

The recently recovered du Pont example of the famed 1866 No Motto silver dollar has been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. The company has encapsulated this important rarity Proof-65.

The recently recovered du Pont example of the famed 1866 No Motto silver dollar has been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. The company has encapsulated this important rarity Proof-65.

One of just two known 1866 silver dollars lacking the national motto IN GOD WE TRUST, adopted that year, this fabulous coin was recently located after having been missing for more than 35 years. Belonging to the family of chemical company heir Willis du Pont, this coin was among more than 7000 pieces stolen from the du Pont home outside Miami in October of 1967.

In a chain of events that is still being unraveled, the coin came into the possession of an unnamed librarian residing in Maine, who was unaware that it had been stolen. On becoming aware of this fact, he agreed through intermediary agent American Numismatic Rarities of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, to return the coin to its rightful owners.

Harold Gray, Rick Montgomery, Mark Salzberg and Christine Karstedt
Harold Gray, Rick Montgomery, Mark Salzberg and Christine Karstedt
1866 Coin
1866 Coin
 

On Thursday, March 11, it was submitted to NGC for grading by Christine Karstedt, president of ANR. NGC's team of three graders examined it at the convention site, grading it PF-65. In the presence of Harold Gray, the du Pont family's attorney, and Christopher Cipoletti, Executive Director of the American Numismatic Association, the coin was then encapsulated with the pedigree “WILLIS H. DU PONT.”

At a press conference the following day, this rare silver dollar was placed in the care of Executive Director Cipoletti. It is expected that the famous No Motto dollar will join its quarter dollar and half dollar companions on display at the ANA's museum in Colorado Springs. These two coins have been on loan to the ANA from the du Pont family since their recovery in recent years.

“It's a great honor to be entrusted with the certification of this coin by the ANA and the du Pont family,” stated NGC Chairman and CEO, Mark Salzberg. “NGC has handled all of the great rarities, but this coin is truly special.”

NGC certified the only other known example of the 1866 No Motto silver dollar in 1997. That was the Virgil Brand specimen that the company graded Proof-63.

NGC Vice President Rick Montgomery was among the team that authenticated and graded the newly recovered du Pont dollar. Describing it as “a very attractive coin,” Montgomery added, “The historic importance of this coin was in our minds as we examined it. I want to thank American Numismatic Rarities and the ANA for making this opportunity possible.”

NGC is the official grading service of the ANA and the Professional Numismatists Guild, providing complete numismatic services to their memberships.