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Fairmont half eagles

jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

Stacks Bowers has been auctioning off eagles and double eagles from the Fairmont collection for a year or longer. Fairmont is an overseas bank hoard which had a huge amount of very original gold coins. Personally, for the near term I have decided to stay away from buying $10s and $20s since this release since I have no idea how many more are still out there. Some previously scarce dates have become much more common.

In case you missed it, in their August 6th auction Stacks Bowers started to sell some half eagles from this Fairmont hoard. Unusual because most overseas hoards did not include half eagles. The auction had a somewhat complete date/mint set of 200+ coins starting with the Classic Heads and going thru the Indians. All of the pre Civil War coins were circulated. Wonder if there are any $3s, $2.50s or $1s coming next?

After reviewing the lots, I'd guess that SB tried their best to complete a date/mint set from the hoard with the best grade they found.

Therefore what is most interesting to me is what they didn't have...

I'd guess that if their 40-D was graded details that was their best for that date.

I'd also guess that if they didn't have a 56-O that they didn't find one in the hoard.

I believe that some common dates are going to be even more common once all these are released, and it has the potential to really inflate the CAC pops.

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Comments

  • coinlieutenantcoinlieutenant Posts: 9,305 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 12, 2020 10:34AM

    This hoarde is definitely interesting to watch.

    Some of the coins were nice. Some were decidedly not very nice. Definitely a hit and miss type of auction that could be explained by your thesis.

    .

  • skier07skier07 Posts: 3,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It seems odd to me that the Fairmont Collection, which is supposedly a European bank hoard, would be able to put together a near complete date/mint mark run of half eagles. If SB was able to accomplish this they could be sitting on hundreds or thousands of more half eagles.

  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There were some really nice original circulated half eagles in that recent sale.

    More like those will be swallowed up quickly, the market loves that material.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really good article from Doug

  • CrustyCrusty Posts: 1,072 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The coins I was watching all went for strong money

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The hoard is mysterious in so many ways. There were only a few half eagle dates where duplicates were offered. Who knows how many more there are? I was impressed by how strong the prices were at auction. I expected them to be strong, but many nice coins set substantially higher new price records for their respective grades. I found it tough to tell from the photos whether the record prices were warranted for some of them. Perhaps they were. I had hoped to maybe snag a nice common mid-AU Philly date for fun, but prices were steep even for those. Anybody here win any of the Fairmont half eagles?

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wahoo554 said:
    The hoard is mysterious in so many ways. There were only a few half eagle dates where duplicates were offered. Who knows how many more there are?

    If there were enough bags of half eagles to find a 71-cc and 50-O and 39-P in them there are a lot more where those came from. Reminds me of putting together a set of Lincoln cents when I was a kid...I cherrypicked out the coins I needed and then re-wrapped the rolls and took them back to the bank to the exchange them for new ones...the difference is that Fairmont was the bank and they kept everything...and the coins were gold $5s not copper pennies..

    I think you'll get your chance to get a mid-AU P date at a later date at a more reasonable price. The SB coins were nice but the dearth of inventory on the market right now seems to make it a good time to sell. DW will re-selling a few of his winnings later this week for a modest mark up if you really want one.

  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hmmm, No 1854-S. Surprised that wasn't mentioned in the article.

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 22,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:
    Really good article from Doug

    If he wasn’t such a gold savant he would make a great college professor. Shamhart as well. They have the look to boot

    m

    Walker Proof Digital Album
    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Justacommeman said:

    If he wasn’t such a gold savant he would make a great college professor. Shamhart as well. They have the look to boot

    m

    ...novelist?? Agree with Brian and I lost some money on my $10s and $20s due to Fairmont and I was thinking I was safe with $5s...fortunately none of my dates have showed up so far...

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A better date type 1 $20 like the 1856 lost nearly half of its value when looking at high AU coins

  • ShadyDaveShadyDave Posts: 2,186 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good article, thank you for posting it.

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:
    A better date type 1 $20 like the 1856 lost nearly half of its value when looking at high AU coins

    A lot of nice XF and low AU coins in the Fairmont old gold...I took a big hit on a 50-O $20 in P/C XF45...just after I bought mine they just kept coming...

    Wonder if a hoard like this expands the collector base for old gold or just dealer's inventories...

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,804 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good link! Thanks.

  • TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,589 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder how many of these newfound gold coins will stay original surfaces and how many are already earmarked for “improvements”? I sure hope it stays as original as possible...

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TurtleCat said:
    I wonder how many of these newfound gold coins will stay original surfaces and how many are already earmarked for “improvements”? I sure hope it stays as original as possible...

    Given the relatively few MS pieces, I’d hope the vast majority stay as is. Small price spreads for Mid AU philly pieces and the low grade branch mints don’t warrant “adjustment”. At least I hope!

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hopefully the additional supply translates to a wider collector base and stabilization of prices. The renewed interest in bullion shouldn’t hurt either.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Check out the upcoming Kunker auction. If you own a 1862 $5 I’d be worried. 5 in this auction!

    Highly probably that this is more of the Fairmont hoard.

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:
    Check out the upcoming Kunker auction. If you own a 1862 $5 I’d be worried. 5 in this auction!

    Highly probably that this is more of the Fairmont hoard.

    Thanks for pointing this out...Kunker is definitely not on my radar screen...surprised they are selling the coins raw unless one of two of them have problems...I was under the impression that SB had the exclusive on Fairmont but may be wrong...even though the first Fairmont coins surfaced more than 2 years ago little is known about their origin...glad I don't own an 1862 $5...

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonruns said:

    @Boosibri said:
    Check out the upcoming Kunker auction. If you own a 1862 $5 I’d be worried. 5 in this auction!

    Highly probably that this is more of the Fairmont hoard.

    Thanks for pointing this out...Kunker is definitely not on my radar screen...surprised they are selling the coins raw unless one of two of them have problems...I was under the impression that SB had the exclusive on Fairmont but may be wrong...even though the first Fairmont coins surfaced more than 2 years ago little is known about their origin...glad I don't own an 1862 $5...

    It appears that everything MS is certified by NGC. A few CC coins as well.

    I don’t know if Stacks has the exclusive on the Fairmont sale supply or the marketing of that name in the US. Undoubtedly there are a huge amount of US gold coins coming to market across a variety of sources.

    5 1839 $10’s n the sale!

  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What we need is more collectors, more demand. This will help address increased supply.

    Glad these coins exist and can be collected. What a shame if they had been melted.

    We live in an interesting time, with incredible transparency into number of coins existent (known) and pretty quick reassessments when new hoards come to light.

    This time seems similar to the Morgan dollars being released in the 1960’s. Some bags were game changers. 1904-O Morgans.

    He who knows he has enough is rich.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @btcollects said:
    why are there so many US gold coins in European banks? why not European gold coins in European banks? was this sort of the old equivalent of Chinese holding our debt? or is it an indication that these banks needed foreign exchange to buy US products 100 years ago when I guess we made a lot of stuff for European export?

    A lot of gold coins were shipped to Europe in 1933 when gold coins were called in by FDR.

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 16, 2020 10:17PM

    Wow, just looked at the catalog. Worth noting: six 1860-S eagles, one in AU53, four in 55 and one in 55+. Five 1863-S eagles in AU and XF. Five 1865-S eagles, one grading MS61. So many high grade CC half eagles and eagles... Not only are there 5 1839 $10’s in the sale, but 3 of them are being sold as a bulk lot raw. Very odd.

  • mvs7mvs7 Posts: 1,661 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:
    The absence of great coins like the 42 LL (aside from the countermarked piece), 47-O, 58-S make me very happy that such under-appreciated coins will remain scarce and desirable. The scarcity of the 50-P and 59-P hopefully stand up post hoard. If I still had a six figure collection of scarce and better date $5’s, this hoard would scare the crap out of me.

    Very glad I don't have a large San Francisco gold collection any more; this hoard would've given me a heart attack.

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is a seller PMJ coins that has a 1901 $5 MS63 from Fairmont for sale on their web site for $675...if you go down 100# in the PCGS certificate sequence you'll see 100 more of the same coin/grade...if you go up 100# you'll see a 1901 $10 MS63...all identified as Fairmont...there must be thousands and thousands of coins in this hoard...

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @btcollects said:
    why are there so many US gold coins in European banks? why not European gold coins in European banks? was this sort of the old equivalent of Chinese holding our debt? or is it an indication that these banks needed foreign exchange to buy US products 100 years ago when I guess we made a lot of stuff for European export?

    America has a long history as a debtor nation. After the American Revolution, War of 1812, and then finally with the discovery of gold in California> @Wahoo554 said:

    Wow, just looked at the catalog. Worth noting: six 1860-S eagles, one in AU53, four in 55 and one in 55+. Five 1863-S eagles in AU and XF. Five 1865-S eagles, one grading MS61. So many high grade CC half eagles and eagles... Not only are there 5 1839 $10’s in the sale, but 3 of them are being sold as a bulk lot raw. Very odd.

    And importantly, no 64-S $10's. The 60-S was a real sleeper with 25 coins (not accounting for duplicates) in 12 years of auction records. Roughly the same for the 39 type 40 & 63-S (25 in 9 years).

  • ranshdowranshdow Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭✭

    @mvs7 said:

    Very glad I don't have a large San Francisco gold collection any more; this hoard would've given me a heart attack.

    I have a fairly large SF gold collection. I'm not having a heart attack. ;)

  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wouldn't worry about 5 of this or 3 of that in scarce dates. Unless there is a large run of 10 or 20 most of those will hold up price wise long term, especially if they are circ or low mint state.

    There is enough of a collector base US Classic gold to absorb, especially if they are original surfaces.

  • mvs7mvs7 Posts: 1,661 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ranshdow said:

    @mvs7 said:

    Very glad I don't have a large San Francisco gold collection any more; this hoard would've given me a heart attack.

    I have a fairly large SF gold collection. I'm not having a heart attack. ;)

    Of the issues I've seen of your collection @ranshadow, I wouldn't worry much either.

    To be more specific, I wouldn't lose much sleep over any of the early dates with CAC approval of any denomination, but for example the complete set of fairly generic S-mint half eagles I had 1878-1916 in AU-MS64 grades could potentially have had some dramatic declines in value, only partially mitigated by the rise in gold spot recently. You saw the same thing in the 2008-2015 period where the value of, for example, a 1901-S $5 PCGS MS64/CAC went from about $1,200 to about $600 in a fairly linear fashion.

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Smudge said:

    @btcollects said:
    why are there so many US gold coins in European banks? why not European gold coins in European banks? was this sort of the old equivalent of Chinese holding our debt? or is it an indication that these banks needed foreign exchange to buy US products 100 years ago when I guess we made a lot of stuff for European export?

    A lot of gold coins were shipped to Europe in 1933 when gold coins were called in by FDR.

    Yep. And European banks were savvy enough to open numismatic departments.
    Americans ran around scared like chickens turning their gold in.
    Hmmmmm???????

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was perusing Collectors Corner and noticed that Flower Hill Collectables bought a ton of the Fairmont half eagles. I had assumed that collectors rather than dealers were the ones that ended up winning many of the lots at record prices that were often hundreds/thousands higher than all price guides and prior APRs. Will be interesting to see how liquid these coins are when you add another 10-20% on the Fairmont prices that were already steep e.g. the 1855-O $5 XF45 CAC that sold for $5,760 and is now listed at $6,700.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wahoo554 said:
    I was perusing Collectors Corner and noticed that Flower Hill Collectables bought a ton of the Fairmont half eagles. I had assumed that collectors rather than dealers were the ones that ended up winning many of the lots at record prices that were often hundreds/thousands higher than all price guides and prior APRs. Will be interesting to see how liquid these coins are when you add another 10-20% on the Fairmont prices that were already steep e.g. the 1855-O $5 XF45 CAC that sold for $5,760 and is now listed at $6,700.

    Good luck to Flower Hill! Buried!

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They had better hope that another round of the Fairmonts aren't coming soon. As posted before Kunker has an amazing run of half eagles, which I presume to be from the same source.

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Upon further investigation I agree that the Kunker coins are from the same source.

    Did collectors buy any of the Fairmont coins from the SB auction? Between DWN and Flower Hill Collectibles it looks like they bought most of them LOL...

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonruns said:
    Upon further investigation I agree that the Kunker coins are from the same source.

    Did collectors buy any of the Fairmont coins from the SB auction? Between DWN and Flower Hill Collectibles it looks like they bought most of them LOL...

    I put in strong bids on several with no luck... seems you had to be fine with owning the most expensive home on the block to win anything. Just an example, I liked the VF35 1839 a lot as a potential “affordable” type coin. Early on I thought somewhere in the $1k range might have a decent chance of winning. It sold for $1,800. That’s $400 more than the highest APR for an XF45 CAC. No thanks. Flower Hill wants $2,350 for it... Good luck.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wahoo554 said:

    @jonruns said:
    Upon further investigation I agree that the Kunker coins are from the same source.

    Did collectors buy any of the Fairmont coins from the SB auction? Between DWN and Flower Hill Collectibles it looks like they bought most of them LOL...

    I put in strong bids on several with no luck... seems you had to be fine with owning the most expensive home on the block to win anything. Just an example, I liked the VF35 1839 a lot as a potential “affordable” type coin. Early on I thought somewhere in the $1k range might have a decent chance of winning. It sold for $1,800. That’s $400 more than the highest APR for an XF45 CAC. No thanks. Flower Hill wants $2,350 for it... Good luck.

    $2350 is an impossible price to sell that for unless they absolutely bury a new collector

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    $2350 is an impossible price to sell that for unless they absolutely bury a new collector

    Conversely DWN has already sold all of their Fairmont coins with the exception of their 1857...which vs previous APR looks priced a little high...probably a combination of smarter bidding and a better following...as an old gold collector I had never even heard of Flower Hill before they were mentioned here...

  • skier07skier07 Posts: 3,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonruns said:
    Upon further investigation I agree that the Kunker coins are from the same source.

    Did collectors buy any of the Fairmont coins from the SB auction? Between DWN and Flower Hill Collectibles it looks like they bought most of them LOL...

    Why do you think Fairmont and Kunker are from the same source?

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:

    @Wahoo554 said:
    I was perusing Collectors Corner and noticed that Flower Hill Collectables bought a ton of the Fairmont half eagles. I had assumed that collectors rather than dealers were the ones that ended up winning many of the lots at record prices that were often hundreds/thousands higher than all price guides and prior APRs. Will be interesting to see how liquid these coins are when you add another 10-20% on the Fairmont prices that were already steep e.g. the 1855-O $5 XF45 CAC that sold for $5,760 and is now listed at $6,700.

    Good luck to Flower Hill! Buried!

    Sounds like a cemetery, appropriate.

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonruns said:

    $2350 is an impossible price to sell that for unless they absolutely bury a new collector

    Conversely DWN has already sold all of their Fairmont coins with the exception of their 1857...which vs previous APR looks priced a little high...probably a combination of smarter bidding and a better following...as an old gold collector I had never even heard of Flower Hill before they were mentioned here...

    Flower Hill may want to invest in better photography and some telemarketing in order to get the prices they want. I could do a much better job with my iPhone. The lack of attention towards decent photography by many dealers is baffling.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,866 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @skier07 said:

    @jonruns said:
    Upon further investigation I agree that the Kunker coins are from the same source.

    Did collectors buy any of the Fairmont coins from the SB auction? Between DWN and Flower Hill Collectibles it looks like they bought most of them LOL...

    Why do you think Fairmont and Kunker are from the same source?

    The Fairmont Collection is just a fancy name for a big European Bank hoard. Kunker surely is a heavy weight in Europe...where else do 5 1862 $5’s and all the other major stacks of rare dates come from.

    If yu were entrusted with dispersing this hoard would you dump it all in one market under one name or seed some here, some there, Europe, America. It is massive and disruptive.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wahoo554 said:

    @jonruns said:

    $2350 is an impossible price to sell that for unless they absolutely bury a new collector

    Conversely DWN has already sold all of their Fairmont coins with the exception of their 1857...which vs previous APR looks priced a little high...probably a combination of smarter bidding and a better following...as an old gold collector I had never even heard of Flower Hill before they were mentioned here...

    Flower Hill may want to invest in better photography and some telemarketing in order to get the prices they want. I could do a much better job with my iPhone. The lack of attention towards decent photography by many dealers is baffling.

    Agree when you look at an 1861 QE and can’t determine new or old reverse from the photos, that’s not good

  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I saw that 1839 in hand and it is spectacularly honest, plucked from circulation. I was out when it hit $1300.

    I don't know if it will sell for $2350, that's aggressive but it does have the fact that it is a first year coin and the other recent sales of the date were not as nice. Finding mark-free unprocessed us classic gold is tough.

    The price guides and auction sale records might not be telling the whole story in this case.

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 5, 2020 4:40PM

    @fathom said:
    I saw that 1839 in hand and it is spectacularly honest, plucked from circulation. I was out when it hit $1300.

    I don't know if it will sell for $2350, that's aggressive but it does have the fact that it is a first year coin and the other recent sales of the date were not as nice. Finding mark-free unprocessed us classic gold is tough.

    The price guides and auction sale records might not be telling the whole story in this case.

    I’ll bet it’s very nice in hand. True that APRs and guides don’t tell whole story, but there’s a rather attractive XF45 CAC that sold for $1,400 a few years ago, so with that APR out there it is very hard to justify paying that or more for the Fairmont one, even if it’s really nice. Fine if the buyer has no intent to sell, but very tough to get such a strong price on the back end.

  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can make a case for paying more, its a nicer coin though 10 points lower technically.

    Personally I wouldn't, but a case can be made...throw out the price guides on exceptional material that doesn't come along often. A lot of the Fairmont pieces don't trade that often, the XF45 is a 4 year old auction record.

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 5, 2020 6:43PM

    Agree re: price guides and APRs aren’t always reliable when dealing with exceptional coins that don’t come around often. Not sure the 1839 Philly $5 is the best example. If that coin were from Dahlonega or Charlotte the analysis would probably be different. I think a better example is the 55-O $5 that sold at Fairmont. Opportunities to acquire one, let alone a nice one are much more rare. Definitely a coin worth paying up for. The Stacks buyer may have a tough time ever breaking even, let alone profiting, but I like the odds on that one much more than the 39. I’m interested to see how the secondary market treats the Fairmont half eagles now that the dust has settled. I have not seen any of the coins in hand, but I find it hard to believe that coins like the 1840-O in VF35 that sold for $2,400 will sell for that same amount outside this specific auction context.

  • jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've found that buying A coins usually involves paying a premium...and that when you go to sell that dealers only want to offer B coin money...so unless you can find a collector who really wants/needs the coin there is going to be a loss...

    Flower Hill's price of $6699 for the 1855-O XF45 is significantly higher than CAC price guide of $3590...I love NOLA old gold but that is a pretty steep increase to need to make up for a collector grade coin...

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