NGC Certifies the Katherine D. Ortega Collection of Modern US Coins

Posted on 10/26/2021

The Katherine D. Ortega Collection provides a fascinating overview of US coinage in the 1980s.

Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®) is proud to announce that it was chosen to certify the modern US coin collection of Katherine Dávalos Ortega, the 38th Treasurer of the United States. The collection, comprised of dozens of coins amassed between 1983 and 1989 while Ortega served as Treasurer, includes five certified numbered strikes, American Silver and Gold Eagles and a variety of commemorative issues. All coins in the collection achieved a grade of at least NGC MS 69 or NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo. Each coin was encapsulated with an NGC certification label featuring the Katherine D. Ortega pedigree.

Ortega was sworn in as US Treasurer in 1983. She oversaw a $220 million budget, raised $40 million toward the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and helped to revamp the nation's currency to discourage counterfeiting. She also spearheaded the effort to have the West Point Bullion Depository designated as an official United States Mint.

Since leaving her position as Treasurer in 1989, Ortega has served as an Alternate Representative to the United Nations General Assembly and has worked in an advisory capacity for the National Park Service.

Numbered Strikes

1986 $50 Gold Eagle graded NGC MS 70 with a designation of Fifth Coin Struck
Click image to enlarge.

Among the most fascinating coins in the Ortega Collection are five NGC-certified numbered strikes, including the fifth 1986 $50 Gold Eagle ever struck.

On September 8, 1986, at the US Bullion Depository in West Point, N.Y., a day before production officially began on the new one-ounce American Eagle, Ortega took part in a ceremony in which she personally struck her coin — the fifth of more than 20 million uncirculated $50 Gold Eagles produced over the last 35 years.

“Being able to certify one of the first-struck Gold Eagles as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the American Eagle program is especially rewarding,” said Mark Salzberg, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer.

Ortega participated in similar ceremonies for the striking of the 1986-W Statue of Liberty Gold $5; the 1987-P and 1987-W Constitution Bicentennial Silver Dollars; and the 1988-D Olympics Silver Dollar commemoratives. All of these personally struck coins have been certified by NGC, which has graded more than 1 million US commemorative issues.

LEFT:1986-W Statue of Liberty $5 graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo
with a designation of Fourth Coin Struck.
RIGHT:1987-P Constitution Bicentennial Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 70
with a designation of Third Coin Struck.
Both are pedigreed to the Katherine D. Ortega Collection
Click images to enlarge.

In order to receive an individually numbered strike certification, a coin’s minting must be witnessed and documented by an authorized representative of NGC, or the coins must be accompanied by a copy of official mint documentation that individually identifies the order in which the coins were struck. Ortega's coins were submitted with official Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) from the US Mint.

Ortega said that she entrusted her collection to NGC because of its unparalleled commitment to accuracy, consistency and integrity, which has made it the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals.

“We are honored to have been chosen to certify this important collection of modern US coins from an extremely accomplished and influential figure in US history,” said Salzberg. “Ms. Ortega’s decision demonstrates the value that the numismatic community finds in our services.”

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free NGC eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the NGC eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List

Add Coin

Join NGC for free to add coins, track your collection and participate in the NGC Registry. Learn more >

Join NGC

Already a member? Sign In
Add to NGC Coin Registry Example
The NGC Registry is not endorsed by or associated with PCGS or CAC. PCGS is a registered trademark of Collectors Universe, Inc. CAC is a trademark of Certified Acceptance Corporation.