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Back in 1952...

Back in 1952 my mom and dad were married and received 3 gold coins as a wedding gift from his parents. I was born in 1960 and heard stories of these coins but had never seen them. Sadly we lost my dad a week or so ago and my mom like 12 years earlier. I miss him so much. He was 97.

I went to empty out his safety deposit box to retrieve important papers for his lawyer. I removed the papers and to my surprise there was a little white pouch there. I carefully opened it up and to my surprise, wrapped in a paper towel that was starting to disintegrate were 3 gold coins. I almost cried. So I just wrapped them back up and left the bank.

When I got home I put on my cotton gloves and took them out of the pouch. God they are beautiful. I had never held a gold coin in my hand so I was thrilled. These coins are something my brother and I will never sell. What an awesome memory my mom and dad left us. They were two amazing people and I love and miss them so much.

They look MS to me. Should I grade them?

Comments

  • calgolddivercalgolddiver Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭✭✭

    priceless memories and great find ... always seems right to protect gold with certification (IMHO).

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  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for sharing such a moving story. I had two circulated Barber dimes graded that my mom gave me me many years ago. I did it to protect them and single them out for posterity. Otherwise sweet to keep them in that pouch.

  • goldengolden Posts: 8,962 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for your story. I am sorry for your loss.

  • Joe_360Joe_360 Posts: 1,577 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great story and nice gold coins. No, I would not grade them, just keep them as they are, this way you can hold them in your hand and press them against your heart...

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very sorry for your loss.

    Agree that the 1907 is likely the only coin that might receive an MS grade, and even then it would be very low MS.

    Personally, I would follow @braddick advice and keep them just like that. Pull them out to handle them every once in a while. There’s nothing like holding raw gold, especially gold with sentimental value. They’ve already circulated enough that you can’t really hurt them by keeping as-is.

  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,599 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great story.

    Keep these gold coins as they are. If you and your relatives ever decide to sell them you can always have them graded by a TPG just prior to you selling them. If these coins will not be sold and will be kept in the family then enjoy them as they are.

  • JW77JW77 Posts: 445 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful coins!

  • NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I would grade them to protect them. I would probably have custom labels made with their names and wedding date, but that's certainly not everyones thing. I would want to look at them often, especially since they have had such family significance for so long. To me, it's not about whether they are MS or not... to me it's about ensuring that the coins and story are protected for the next generation.

    If I did not get them graded... they would live in the purse, as they always have.

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

  • jfriedm56jfriedm56 Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great story. Even better to have a part of your parents to hold onto. That’s beautiful.

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,508 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is a great story. Love the gold pieces. I don't know exactly what I would do, but I'm leaning towards leaving them in the white pouch.

    So sorry for your loss.

    Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
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  • WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,027 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congratulations on such a great story.

    Gold coins can last thousands of years.

    I wonder if the dates on the coins have any family significance like birth years.

    :)

    https://www.brianrxm.com
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  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,966 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GiveMeProof said:
    They look MS to me. Should I grade them?

    There are three reasons to get a coin graded:
    - Authentication
    - Preservation
    - Valuation for resale.

    They are gold coins; they're perfectly capable of preserving themselves without much help. And since you're wisely not planning on selling them any time soon, their valuation is unnecessary unless you're needing it for insurance, and/or there's an issue with fairly dividing the value of the estate among the family members.

    Which just leaves authentication - for which I also see little necessity as I highly doubt your grandparents would have willingly given fake gold coins as a gift to loved ones.

    Gold coins were not in circulation in 1952, nor easily obtainable by the general public thanks to the gold restrictions then in place. It's likely these were already family heirlooms when they were given back then, perhaps given to your grandparents by their parents when they got married.

    I think you do need to make sure to show and tell the story of these coins to your own heirs, lest they treat them as bullion or as mere collectables.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

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  • CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry for your loss.

    The only way I would even think of slabbing them is if in one slab with a personal notation.

  • DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry for your loss.

    Only worth slabbing for sentimental reasons, in all likelihood. Would suggest some capital plastics holders for them instead. Much cheaper.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,901 ✭✭✭✭

    Sorry for your loss! I've the same suggestion as DelawareDoons and others -- save the cost of slabbing (there's no need, and as well, there's a small risk of loss/damage in transit.) You can very safely protect them in Capital Plastics holders, 2x2's are very available, as are, with enough looking, "fancier" (hand-finished edges) 3x3 Capital Plastics holders -- you can look through eBay for ideas. It is even possible to have a custom Capital Plastics holder made with 3 ports and you can dictate lines of text embossed onto the holder -- of course pricier to do. Equally protective would be Air-Tite holders; up to whatever suits you and your brother.

    Regardless of the holders the coins sit in, of course also keep the sentimental white purse, perhaps even the tissue, no reason not to. And yes, you could leave the coins as they are in the purse, they are in a condition where normal handling won't harm them at all. The reason for a holder(s), if you do drop one or all, that's what the holder does, protects them.

    Thanks for telling the story of your family's special gold coins!

  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭

    Great story & great set of gold coins. I personally would send them in and put them in 1 single larger holder with a cool inscription

  • Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 834 ✭✭✭✭

    Nice memento of your folks. Be sure you put a note with the coins to document the history. We have a bunch of family pictures but unfortunately, no idea who they may be. My mom knew everyone in the photos, but unfortunately, she passed and did not leave any indication as to identification of those in the photographs.

  • HillbillyCollectorHillbillyCollector Posts: 485 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    If the coins were mine, I wouldn’t slab them. You’re not going to sell them, so does it really matter what grade they are?
    And as Dan said there’s nothing quite like holding a actual raw gold coin. I would keep them and when you occasionally take them out to look at them, you’ll think back to the years gone by when you’re parents looked at them the very same way.

    Just my .02;cents

  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,901 ✭✭✭✭


    Something like this is the fancier 3x3 version of a Capital Plastics holder, typically they'll be in black or white, just have to hunt around for them a bit.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree that there is no need to slab these. I like the Capital Plastics holders idea.
    Do you have siblings?

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • TrampTramp Posts: 652 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Damn it! Brought a tear to my eyes.

    What a beautiful story and family keepsake.

    USAF (Ret.) 1985 - 2005. E-4B Aircraft Maintenance Crew Chief and Contracting Officer.
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  • GiveMeProofGiveMeProof Posts: 560 ✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    I agree that there is no need to slab these. I like the Capital Plastics holders idea.
    Do you have siblings?

    Yes, I have 1 brother. Had another but he passed away. I'm beginning to think as others have suggested to just keep them in that little snap purse so I can take them out and hold them once in a while and remember my story.

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,966 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am just glad that the coins inside the little white purse were gold coins. If they were made of anything else... we may have been having in this thread another deep conversation about how to clean corroded coins.

    I have occasionally found such little white purses in deceased estate bulk lots, and wondered what they were - I had assumed some kind of doll's purse. It never occurred to me they might be wedding keepsakes. But the coins I found inside the last such mini-purse I found were all base-metal circulation coins (from Denmark, if I recall correctly), and they were all badly corroded - that little purse seems to have outgassed some nasty corrosive chemicals over the decades.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GiveMeProof said:

    @CaptHenway said:
    I agree that there is no need to slab these. I like the Capital Plastics holders idea.
    Do you have siblings?

    Yes, I have 1 brother. Had another but he passed away. I'm beginning to think as others have suggested to just keep them in that little snap purse so I can take them out and hold them once in a while and remember my story.

    I am sorry that your brother has passed away. You could have drawn lots to see who gets each piece.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • GiveMeProofGiveMeProof Posts: 560 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all for your comments and condolences. It is much appreciated. I am so happy to have this forum to tell my story and sprinkle in a little good with the bad. Great people here. Thank you.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,382 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Losing your parents is hard. My mother passed in 2010. My dad died in 1997. You have my condolences.

    I pulled out my 6th edition of the Red Book to see what the retail value of those coins would have been in 1952. Although the book reads "1953-1954" on the title page, the copyright is 1952. Here are the numbers.

    1912 $5 gold Fine $12, An "Unc." would have cost your $15
    1898 $10 gold $25 in Fine, $35 in Unc.
    1907 $10 gold also $25 in Fine, $35 Unc.

    Adding up the numbers using "Fine" for the first two coins and "Unc." for the last piece, it comes to $72. According inflation statistics, a 1952 dollar is worth $11.35 which make the gift $817.20 in today's dollars.

    According to the Grey Sheet, the coins would have these values:

    1912 $5 gold EF $505
    1898 $10 gold EF $960
    1907 $10 gold Liberty MS-60 $985

    Total $2,450.00

    It looks like those gold coins beat inflation.

    Back in the 1960s, the "coin investment experts" said that U.S. gold coins were "a safe investment" with no much upside. My experience was quite different. I did well with all of the gold coins I bought when I was in high school in the 1960s.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

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