What is your favorite coin that has a well known pedigree?
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What is your favorite coin that has a well known pedigree?  While not my favorite - I'll start things off with this ex-EPN holding. I will also add one of my favorites with a great pedigree - my father. Happy New Year!

 

 

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I bought a really cool 8 piece Piedfort with Essai set of Moroccan coinage, that was owned by Pittman. Unfortunately they're all covered in PVC and so I need to send them in for conservation - but they are still really cool. 

 

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This is the one that started me collecting Wildman coins. I wa nted one but had pulled the trigger, I also wanted an ex-Newman coin. This one checked both boxes. Now I have a bunch of Wildman's but this is still my favorite.

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37 minutes ago, jgenn said:

This Spanish 8 reales is ex Archer M. Huntington collection (HSA 1001.1.4612)

I'm not familiar with the Huntington Collection. Can you tell me about it? 

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Cribbing from my journal post from a few years ago...

Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955), philanthropist and patron of the arts, is known for founding the Hispanic Society of America (HSA) as well as his scholarly works in the field of Hispanic Studies. He was also a member and benefactor of the American Numismatic Society (ANS, not to be confused with the ANA). His interest in all things Spanish included a 38,000 coin collection spanning ancient to near modern times that was mostly completed by 1908. This collection was bequeathed to HSA and placed on long term loan for study with the ANS.

In 2008 the HSA, facing financial troubles, decided to deaccession the coin collection, but not without a legal challenge from the ANS on the grounds that it violated Huntington's intention for the preservation of the collection for future study. With the legal issue resolved in their favor, the HSA sought but failed to find a buyer that would keep the collection intact. Sotheby’s auctioned off the collection in 2012, estimated between $25 -$35 million USD, to a consortium of European coin dealers. Several of these houses (Jesús Vico, Morton & Eden, Numismatica Genevensis, Jean Elsen & ses Fils) have subsequently auctioned off parts of the collection to the public. A few anonymous benefactors have arranged the purchase of large and important parts of the collection and placed them, on long term loan, back with the ANS.

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Ah, now that you mention it, I do recall that. Very sad for the ANS, but I'm glad they got most of it back! 

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I have four coins that are ex: Willis (Glendining's, 10/7/91). They are all sixpences, 1845 (MS65), 1869 (MS64), 1876 (MS64) and 1879 (MS64). 

I bought them at the auction but sent them into NGC just last year.

I have one ex: Newman (1892 sixpence, MS63) and one ex: Ernst Otto Horn (1824 sixpence, MS65).

I make a point of recording provenance on my database and have coins from other named collections such as Bole and Bursell. Not sure what constitutes "well known".

Edited by Jaggy

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 9:39 PM, jgenn said:

Cribbing from my journal post from a few years ago...

Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955), philanthropist and patron of the arts, is known for founding the Hispanic Society of America (HSA) as well as his scholarly works in the field of Hispanic Studies. He was also a member and benefactor of the American Numismatic Society (ANS, not to be confused with the ANA). His interest in all things Spanish included a 38,000 coin collection spanning ancient to near modern times that was mostly completed by 1908. This collection was bequeathed to HSA and placed on long term loan for study with the ANS.

In 2008 the HSA, facing financial troubles, decided to deaccession the coin collection, but not without a legal challenge from the ANS on the grounds that it violated Huntington's intention for the preservation of the collection for future study. With the legal issue resolved in their favor, the HSA sought but failed to find a buyer that would keep the collection intact. Sotheby’s auctioned off the collection in 2012, estimated between $25 -$35 million USD, to a consortium of European coin dealers. Several of these houses (Jesús Vico, Morton & Eden, Numismatica Genevensis, Jean Elsen & ses Fils) have subsequently auctioned off parts of the collection to the public. A few anonymous benefactors have arranged the purchase of large and important parts of the collection and placed them, on long term loan, back with the ANS.

I don't know what is in this collection and remember seeing any of it for sale.  Dpeneding upon what was sold, I certainly would have bene interested in some of the coins.  I see the Vico and Morton & Eden sales on Sixbid but don't recall seeing this one.

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I don't care about pedigrees except to the extent it is useful in establishing a better claim to authenticity.

One of my favorite coins is the 1758 Peru Pillar 1/2 real (now NGC MS-63) which I bought in May, 2014 through Calico from the Trestamara collection.

I also suspect that I own several of the Peru pillars from the Patterson collection auctioned by Morton & Eden in 1996.  No pedigree on the holder but the coins have the same appearance which indicates to me they were stored under similar environmental conditions for a long time.

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Where do I begin. I have a lot of unique Crusader States coins that Alex Malloy owned in his collection.

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14 hours ago, the_Thing ® said:

Where do I begin. I have a lot of unique Crusader States coins that Alex Malloy owned in his collection.

I'm not familiar with crusader states or Alex Malloy. Please tell me about his collection.

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Personally, I have never found it important to collect coins based on who owned it at one time. I typically buy the coin because I like it, and don't really care who owned it at one time. Certainly would not see why one should pay a premium for it.   Of course If I'm selling a coin and some one wants to pay a premium because of who owned it at one time that's ok. :takeit:

Edited by kmag

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I'll take the opposite side of the discussion. I think owning something that a legendary collector researched and had in his collection is special. I like to trace where my coins have been and who owned them if possible. The journey is interesting to me. I am willing to pay a slight premium for well known pedigrees. But that's just me. Hopefully someone else will feel that way when it's time to sell them.

Edited by Zebo

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51 minutes ago, Zebo said:

I'll take the opposite side of the discussion. I think owning something that a legendary collector researched and had in his collection is special. I like to trace where my coins have been and who owned them if possible. The journey is interesting to me. I am willing to pay a slight premium for well known pedigrees. But that's just me. Hopefully someone else will feel that way when it's time to sell them.

I would and will if it helps establish authenticity but don't consider that an issue with many (edit: make that most) coins and won't otherwise.  I also suspect that my definition of "legendary collector" differs from yours.  Most of the supposed prominent collections aren't known to most other collectors, even when these people collected the same series or coins.

Edited by World Colonial

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Numismatics's is history. The coins are history, the era they're from is history, why they were made is history, and the provenance of the coin is another part of its history. Ignoring the provenance is to ignore a significant part of a coins history. A coin without a provenance has no knowable history from the time it was struck until the time you bought it. But with the provenance you can trace that coin back through the years from one collector to another. in most cases you're not going to get anywhere close to the its beginning, but you'll know more about that coin than you would about one with no provenance.

Edited by Conder101

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5 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Numismatics's is history. The coins are history, the era they're from is history, why they were made is history, and the provenance of the coin is another part of its history. Ignoring the provenance is to ignore a significant part of a coins history. A coin without a provenance has no knowable history from the time it was struck until the time you bought it. But with the provenance you can trace that coin back through the years from one collector to another. in most cases you're not going to get anywhere close to the its beginning, but you'll know more about that coin than you would about one with no provenance.

True, and why would most collectors care about this for most coins?  The answer is they don't.

I am aware that a few do but most coins are far too generic where it has any useful value.  As with numerous other things in collecting, by an amazing coincidence, it seems to matter a lot more to US collectors than anyone else.

The reason I gave is by far the most important one I know.  Disproportionately, the provenance history is known best for a very low number or proportion of British and US coins such as the 1804 Dollars and the 1861 CSA half dollar.

JGlenn mentions the Huntington collection.  Yesterday, I performed a web search to find out what I already knew.  His Spanish colonial coins were sold by Morton & Eden in 2013.  Approximately 1500 coins.  Of these, four Peru pillar minors were sold in one group lot, including a 1762 Real which I would grade low to mid-AU (by far the best and maybe the only one I have ever seen) which I didn't buy because I wasn't aware of the auction.

Due to it's low value at the time, I'd rate the chances as virtually nil that anyone would have counterfeited this coin up to 1908 when the collection was purportedly completed.  The face value equivalent of this coin was 12 1/2 cents and I'd guess he paid less than a quarter for it.  But if a better and much more expensive coin from this or one of my other series came up for sale for a scarce/rare date I had never seen, I'd care if it came with a provenance such as this one.

On the other hand if and when my collection is sold, I don't see why anyone would care and I probably have one of the best collections from this mint since the coins are really hard to find and few collect it.  Practically all are in NGC and PCGS holders and that's worth a lot more to a prospective buyer.

Of the most prominent collections, I know that most others have a much higher opinion than I do for most of them.  Of those I know, I'd rate Eliasberg, Ford, Pittman, Farouk, Norweb, and maybe Garrett and Lilly as the first tier.  Others such as Newman and Bebee somewhat below it. 

I have a lower or much lower opinion of the more recent collections.  Every one I know is much narrower and the perception (usually by US collectors) is substantially if not disproportionately driven by minor differences in quality.  If a poll were to be taken on this forum and PCGS, I'd guess that older collectors would choose one on my list (probably Eliasberg) while (somewhat) younger ones would choose Pogue.  While acknowledging Pogue as one of the best ever, I don't see it in the same league as those I listed.  Sure, it's ultra high quality but it isn't that hard to buy most of the coins in a slightly lower one.  The biggest obstacle is the money. 

With the collections I listed, many of the coins aren't expensive but even with the internet, aren't necessarily much easier to buy now versus then because a multiple are competing for it, very few are available and will only be sold at much higher proportional prices versus market value.  Assuming you know the owner's identity, it can be bought for "stupid money" but not otherwise.

Lastly, for collections consisting of a single series such as the highest rated registry sets, I'd assign the provenance a value of exactly zero.  This includes the most widely collected US with the highest number of registry participants where by traditional standards, essentially identical coins can be bought by the dozens, hundreds, thousands and sometimes even more.

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10 hours ago, World Colonial said:

prominent collections, I know that most others have a much higher opinion than I do for most of them.  Of those I know, I'd rate Eliasberg, Ford, Pittman, Farouk, Norweb, and maybe Garrett and Lilly as the first tier.  Others such as Newman and Bebee somewhat below it. 

 

These are the collections that I am referring to and believe owning them would add interest and history to my collection - at least in my eyes.

 

10 hours ago, World Colonial said:

Lastly, for collections consisting of a single series such as the highest rated registry sets, I'd assign the provenance a value of exactly zero.  This includes the most widely collected US with the highest number of registry participants where by traditional standards, essentially identical coins can be bought by the dozens, hundreds, thousands and sometimes even more.

On this - I agree for the majority of them. There may be some that are truly outstanding collections, but I have not seen them to really comment on them.

I do agree 100% with Conder's comments. History is important - to some of us.

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4 minutes ago, Zebo said:

These are the collections that I am referring to and believe owning them would add interest and history to my collection - at least in my eyes.

 

On this - I agree for the majority of them. There may be some that are truly outstanding collections, but I have not seen them to really comment on them.

I do agree 100% with Conder's comments. History is important - to some of us.

It will have different value to different collectors.  

On the highest ranked registry sets, my contention is that practically none of them are actually "outstanding" because the significance is contrived along with the "scarcity" and "rarity".  Worth collecting and nice?  Certainly.  Are these collections remotely what most US collectors apparently imply or claim?  No.  The biggest challenge is actually coming up with the money, not finding the coins.  

Of course, many (and maybe most) US collectors think or claim otherwise but then, that's because no collectors in the aggregate elsewhere have the same tendency to exaggerate the merits of the coins they like and collect.   I don't find this surprising either because it's human nature to rationalize something which should be obvious to any impartial observer.  The biggest rationalization is to justify the hugely inflated price level.  That's exactly what South African collectors also do (just a lot less than here) and though these coins are usually much scarcer, it's also financially driven and based upon minor quality differences.

Lastly on the history, that's another topic where I disagree with practically every comment I have ever read on any coin forum.  Used in the abstract, I understand why forum contributors think it.  When used literally with most coins, it makes no sense generically and has little if any significance.

Every coin has a history and a provenance.  To take this concept to its illogical conclusion, I suppose it's supposed to matter who owned every 1957-D wheat cent.  If this sounds ridiculous, I intend it to be and I use this example because there isn't actually much difference with the overwhelming majority of coins.

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Simple question:

You have two identical or nearly identical objects (doesn't matter what). One has a rich history or story attached to it including being owned by a prominent personality or expert in their field. The other does not have any information or story that you can attribute to it.  The reason you are interested in owning it is to enhance your collection.  Would your collection be more interesting to you or others with or without the pedigree and/or story?  Why not pay a little extra for enhancing the interest in your collection? 

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Sure, I understand your point.  If the object actually met the criteria you described, maybe I would. 

The point I am making is that by my definition, it hardly ever does or doesn't at all.  Not at all in coin collecting and certainly doesn't for any of the coins I collect.  I don't consider any of the "famous" or "prominent" collections or collectors to be famous or prominent at all.  

I am aware it presumably does by the standards of most other contributors on this forum and PCGS but then, it should be apparent from prior posts that my standards of significance and distinction are a lot higher.

Whether it would be of interest to others depends upon who the "others" happen to be.  Sure, to US collectors, the Eliasberg pedigree carries some weight along with a few of those I listed.  But then, most of the coins owned by current collectors from these collections were an afterthought in the context of these collections.    Maybe a nice coin (or not) frequently with a (much) higher perception than when this collector owned it due to the really low standards of significance prevalent among US collectors in the last few decades.

From your prior posts, I understand you collect Sovereigns and I collect pillar minors as my primary collecting interest now.  Your series is more widely collected than mine but there are no actually famous collections or collectors of either.  I presume in the UK more collectors know of the prominent Sovereign collections but it's likely to still be a low minority and almost no one elsewhere  has ever heard of them.

With my series, I'd be interested in owning certain coins from the Patterson, Norweb (now ANS) and a few other collections.  However, my motive is because there are few (and maybe no) remotely comparable specimens elsewhere.  I really don't care that this person owned it, other than helping to confirm authenticity.  If the coin(s) comes up for sale, it's possibly my one and only opportunity to buy it, like the 1763 PCGS MS-62 Peru Real I bought last year which I believe came from Patterson.

As for the perception of the non-collector for these pedigrees, public perception of these collections and collectors should be apparent.  

 

Edited by World Colonial

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On March 17, 2018 at 5:12 PM, World Colonial said:

Whether it would be of interest to others depends upon who the "others" happen to be.  Sure, to US collectors, the Eliasberg pedigree carries some weight along with a few of those I listed.  But then, most of the coins owned by current collectors from these collections were an afterthought in the context of these collections.  

Agree partially, some significant coins have been purchased from these collections to be added to other substantial collections. For the common man, however - totally agree.

On March 17, 2018 at 5:12 PM, World Colonial said:

  I presume in the UK more collectors know of the prominent Sovereign collections but it's likely to still be a low minority and almost no one elsewhere  has ever heard of them.

A few collectors in the U.S. and Australia are aware besides the UK, maybe Canada, but I agree they are few and far between. 

I still like a good story and tracking the history of a few nice coins in my collection. So I guess it to each his own. 

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4 minutes ago, Zebo said:

A few collectors in the U.S. and Australia are aware besides the UK, maybe Canada, but I agree they are few and far between. 

I still like a good story and tracking the history of a few nice coins in my collection. So I guess it to each his own. 

My assumption is that most Sovereign collectors are located in the countries you state, since this is where the coins were struck other than India and South Africa.  Can't speak for India but South African collectors only collect their own either totally or almost exclusively.  The 1923 circulation strike is rare, the 1924 is scarce (not rare) and the 1923 proof is one of the most overrated and overpriced coins in the entire Union series.  The rest of the dates (1925-1932) are common, both the Sovereign and half Sovereign (1925, 1926).

Nothing wrong with a good story.  I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or knocking their preference for pedigrees.  I'd compete for one in my series from one of the more prominent collections but otherwise would never pay any premium for what is otherwise a common coin, but my standards not those of most other collectors.

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Since we are on the topic of pedigrees -- some very nice U.S. Double Eagles with pedigrees for sale on eBay. You can register for the auction if you have very deep pockets.

http://www.saintset.com

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A very rare copper pattern from the John Jay Pittman collection.  I bought this myself via mail bid from the August 6-8, 1999 sale.

A beautiful coin and an almost never encountered pattern.

 

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While the pedigree is, to me, not that relevant, these are my 3 favourite coins as such:

1. Mexico 1902CN JQ 2/INV 2. Norweb. Very rare.

2. Mexico 1861/0GA 2 escudos. Pittman. 

3. CAR 2 reales 1832. Stuart. Very rare.

 

 

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Edited by Abuelo's Collection

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While I like gold, that 1902 is really nice. I also like the fact that you honor

your grandfather - now that is a pedigree

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