Did you know #7

1880-O $1. Micro O. (Source: Heritage Auctions)
1880-O $1. Micro O.
(Source: Heritage Auctions)

…that there are three New Orleans Mint Marked Morgan Dollars that were widely collected, now considered to be counterfeit, and more valuable now than they were then? In 2005 PCGS grading service determined that the 1896, 1900 and 1902 “Micro O’s” were not New Orleans Mint products. They believe they were made in the early 20th century, maybe into the mid 1940’s. The coins were tested and found to contain 94% silver and 6% copper – 17% more silver than the real thing! Because these dates are considered to be more expensive if real, there was an easy market to exploit here. PCGS has offered to buy back any coins previously encapsulated by them. I wonder if they have had any takers.

…that ship wreck coins have a greater value when the provenance is known and there is an original certificate of authenticity that accompanies the coin? The vast majority of early ship wreck “cob” coins have been sea salvaged, but do not have a certificate of authenticity telling where the coins came from. Often, you will see the coins with an unsubstantiated statement that this coin came from the Admiral Gardner, Atocha or Maravillas. Occasionally, they will have a crude, low quality copy of an original COA. Coins without original paperwork may sell for $50-$100 each. Coins with the proper paperwork will currently sell for $300 or better, especially if the coin is attractive, shows great detail, or had a readable date. So, don’t spend the big bucks unless you get the right paperwork.

…that the 1913 Walton Specimen Liberty Head Nickel, recently sold for over 3 million dollars, sat on a closet shelf for over 40 years marked as a “counterfeit”? George Walton was known to be an owner of the elusive 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. He was killed in a traffic accident on the way to a North Carolina coin show in 1962. Material from his car was strewn along the highway, and picked up by police. When Stacks later catalogued his coins for sale, they came across a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel but proclaimed it counterfeit. It was returned to the Walton heirs, and kept in a shoe box in the closet for 40 years. The remaining four nickels were to be shown together for the first time at the Baltimore ANA in 2003. A $10,000 reward was offered to anyone that could show the 5th “lost” nickel. A new generation of Walton’s suspected that their “counterfeit” nickel might actually be original. When compared by experts to the other 4, it was confirmed that there coin was the real thing! Not only did they now own a multi-million dollar coin, they received a $10,000 bonus for bringing it to the show!

Scroll to Top