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Natural disasters and coins. What has been lost?

ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

With all the west coast fires, gulf coast hurricanes, and other natural disasters that befall the planet, what coins or collections do you know have been destroyed?

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    ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 14, 2017 9:20AM

    Anyone remember ksteelheader (an old time member since banned) who lost most of his collection in a house fire? He was a good guy.

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!
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    BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 14, 2017 11:37AM

    I was always told that some serious collector coins were lost in The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. Perhaps part of the Garrett Collection? Bowers later auctioned some of this for John Hopkins University? Memory fails me and the book is not at my fingertips.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Baltimore_Fire

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Garrett

    (Several prominent members of this family after the founder).

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would guess that some of the 24 1894-S dimes were lost in the Great San Francisco Earthquake and fire of 1906.

    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.
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    CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,135 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Guess that is why they keep minting new ones.

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    BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How was The Saddle Ridge Hoard involved in a natural disaster?

    In fact, what do we really know about the Saddle Ridge Hoard? Very very very very very very very very much obfuscation there.

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    PRECIOUSMENTALPRECIOUSMENTAL Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps the 1933 ban on citizens owning gold I guess?

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    BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 14, 2017 12:59PM

    I thought the topic was 'natural disasters and coins'.

    Granted, a large fire in a city may or may not be a natural disaster.

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    ldhairldhair Posts: 7,129 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Shamika said:
    Anyone remember ksteelheader (an old time member since banned) who lost most of his collection in a house fire? He was a good guy.

    Old forum friend. I miss him.

    Larry

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    JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 22,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ldhair said:

    @Shamika said:
    Anyone remember ksteelheader (an old time member since banned) who lost most of his collection in a house fire? He was a good guy.

    Old forum friend. I miss him.

    Agree. He was a throw back

    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......
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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember seeing huge lots of off center cent mint errors after hurricane Katrina that where ruined by water damage.

    I stayed well away from those corroded lots.

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    ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    I thought the topic was 'natural disasters and coins'.

    Granted, a large fire in a city may or may not be a natural disaster.

    Don't forget, the San Francisco fire of 1906 that all but destroyed the city was caused by a huge earthquake so in a way it was due to a natural disaster.

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!
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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The question of coin collection losses is an interesting one. Unfortunately, I suspect that only the insurance companies will know as they try to avoid having to pay claims on them. Unless someone bought the ANA insurance or has a rider on their
    homeowners/renters policy the collectors will likely be out of luck.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    metalmeistermetalmeister Posts: 4,584 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday. I imagine older date collectibles are getting more rare as far as surviving numbers go.

    email: ccacollectibles@yahoo.com

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    kiyotekiyote Posts: 5,568 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's why I kind of actually like modern bullion coins. At least a melted 1 ounce gold coin will be worth a chunk of its original value even as a melted blob.

    "I'll split the atom! I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!" -Gef the talking mongoose.
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    thebeavthebeav Posts: 3,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hesitate to even bring it up, especially since it was such an unnatural disaster, but I can't imagine what disappeared on 9/11. God Bless those people......

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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll take that a step further and say that is why I don't collect paper money! If your house burns at least there will be something left of your coins....not so with paper money!

    @kiyote said:
    That's why I kind of actually like modern bullion coins. At least a melted 1 ounce gold coin will be worth a chunk of its original value even as a melted blob.

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    derrybderryb Posts: 36,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    and let's not forget the centuries of storms at sea where untold fortunes still lie at the bottom of the ocean.

    Give Me Liberty or Give Me Debt

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    Sandman70gtSandman70gt Posts: 979 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For sure the SF earthquake and fire took alot of the already scarce 01 S quarters.

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    OnWithTheHuntOnWithTheHunt Posts: 1,175 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sold a coin on ebay to a buyer in Dallas in an auction that ended on the day Harvey made landfall. Guy had 100 percent favorable feedback but never heard from him. Waited 2 weeks and sent a couple of messages, then cancelled the deal. Figure he had bigger problems.

    Proud recipient of the coveted "You Suck Award" (9/3/10).
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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can think of an instance where a fire put some great collectibles into collectors hands.

    There was a fire in a Washington DC post office in 1935 where a quantity cancelled $10,000 gold certificates were being held for destruction. When the fire started, workers threw these out into the streets. Many were picked up by spectators and never recovered. Today the census for these notes stands at several hundred but for many years after the fire they were not offered publicly for fear of confiscation.

    Here's one offered by Juliancoin currently on Ebay:

    ebay.com/itm/1900-10000-Gold-Certificate-Currency-PCGS-VF-30-Cancelled-Fr-1225e-Scarce-/182410889287?hash=item2a78894847:g:cXQAAOxy63FS1sC~

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Shamika said:

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    I thought the topic was 'natural disasters and coins'.

    Granted, a large fire in a city may or may not be a natural disaster.

    Don't forget, the San Francisco fire of 1906 that all but destroyed the city was caused by a huge earthquake so in a way it was due to a natural disaster.

    My point exactly.

    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.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    During the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 the Post Office burned, and an iron safe containing various coins got very hot. A quantity of half dollars in it got enlarged and rippled by the heat and may have been at the point of puddling when the heat subsided for whatever reason and the coins cooled as they were. There used to be two of them on exhibit at a historical display in the old water tower pumping station, but I understand that that exhibit got moved elsewhere.

    Back in 1978 I pulled an enlarged and rippled 1864 half out of a dealer's junk bowl for $2. He thought it was a counterfeit, but I believe it was one of the Chicago Post Office pieces. I carried it as a pocket piece for almost 30 years before losing it.

    Now I know that the Great Chicago Fire was PROBABLY not a natural disaster (it wasn't Mrs. O'Leary's cow, and researchers are pretty sure they know who accidentally started it), but there is a fanciful theory that it was caused by a hot meteorite from an alleged meteorite shower that fell across the upper Midwest. On the same day that the Chicago Fire started The Great Peshtigo Fire started in northern Wisconsin, and it claimed over 1,200 lives.

    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.
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    BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 15, 2017 1:09PM

    Had a decent response written up, the message system ate it. Briefly...

    Lot of posters here who don't understand what a 'natural disaster' is.

    I qualified my own comment a bit because many writers and investigators believe that the San Francisco authorities OVERPLAYED the earthquake part because all kinds of human negligence exacerbated the fire part and because the civil and military authorities of the day made all kinds of dubious decisions during the fire stage of the disaster. Apparently photographic evidence also tends to discount the earthquake damage and support the theories that the bulk of losses came from the fire.

    I have read and re-read 'The San Francisco Earthquake' by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt a bunch of times over the years. Last winter I sat down and read it again. I am certain that their spin on the disaster has greatly influenced me on this subject.

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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,481 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coincidentally I guess - my 2nd great grandmother lived in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake and fire happened. I have a gold watch that she found in the rubble of her burned out home - fire damaged of course and stuck at the time it stopped at when the fire consumed her home. If it was not damaged it would probably be a $30-40K item, as it is a rare watch made by a San Francisco jeweller in the 1880s.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

    @SaorAlba said:
    Coincidentally I guess - my 2nd great grandmother lived in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake and fire happened. I have a gold watch that she found in the rubble of her burned out home - fire damaged of course and stuck at the time it stopped at when the fire consumed her home. If it was not damaged it would probably be a $30-40K item, as it is a rare watch made by a San Francisco jeweller in the 1880s.

    But the history is priceless!

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!
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    ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

    @sellitstore said:
    I can think of an instance where a fire put some great collectibles into collectors hands.

    There was a fire in a Washington DC post office in 1935 where a quantity cancelled $10,000 gold certificates were being held for destruction. When the fire started, workers threw these out into the streets. Many were picked up by spectators and never recovered. Today the census for these notes stands at several hundred but for many years after the fire they were not offered publicly for fear of confiscation.

    I've never heard that story before. Thanks for sharing it.

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    Had a decent response written up, the message system ate it. Briefly...

    Lot of posters here who don't understand what a 'natural disaster' is.

    I qualified my own comment a bit because many writers and investigators believe that the San Francisco authorities OVERPLAYED the earthquake part because all kinds of human negligence exacerbated the fire part and because the civil and military authorities of the day made all kinds of dubious decisions during the fire stage of the disaster. Apparently photographic evidence also tends to discount the earthquake damage and support the theories that the bulk of losses came from the fire.

    I have read and re-read 'The San Francisco Earthquake' by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt a bunch of times over the years. Last winter I sat down and read it again. I am certain that their spin on the disaster has greatly influenced me on this subject.

    Agreed. The correspondence between Frank Leach, SF Mint Superintendent, and the Mint Director supports the idea that earthquake damage was very modest. But, gas and water lines were ruptured and there were no contingency or emergency plans to handled those problems. Fire, in some places nearly a fire storm, was the primary cause of death and destruction. The earthquake triggered the human-exacerbated disaster in SF in 1906 just as the hurricane triggered the human-exacerbated disaster in Houston in 2017 and New Orleans, and enhanced results of neglect in Puerto Rico last month.

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ship sinkings were probably produced the greatest loss of treasure including "collections." In many instances, we don't know what was on board in passengers' possessions.

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    BAJJERFANBAJJERFAN Posts: 30,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    How was The Saddle Ridge Hoard involved in a natural disaster?

    In fact, what do we really know about the Saddle Ridge Hoard? Very very very very very very very very much obfuscation there.

    If you were the "finder" of the Saddle Ridge hoard, I'd venture that the less that was known about it the better off that you'd be.

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    oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,907 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here in "Tornado Alley", I can not imagine what treasures have been redistributed to unknowing people.

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

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    KkathylKkathyl Posts: 3,762 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would say that most of the recent natural disasters that have occurred with exception to the CA wild fires probable did not cause any major losses. Thankfully with Irma we had some notice to prepare. I was also wondering about this with the Texas flooding, a lot of dealers in that area. Great reading all about the past known losses. Good Topic.

    Best place to buy !
    Bronze Associate member

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    BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2017 10:01AM

    Tornados are very bad, but the average tornado's path is only a few miles long and several hundred yards wide. The Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925 was on the ground for a maximum length of 235 miles and a maximum width of 1,200 yards. If you don't get directly hit by a tornado, less than one-quarter of a mile may be sufficient separation to avoid big damage.

    Twenty-two years ago, my brother's farm house had a tornado pass by one-eight to one-quarter of a mile away - two old chicken coops were destroyed, but the house was practically unscathed - it still stands today.

    I do know of two collections of gold jewelry (chains, bracelets, lockets) that were in buildings that were directly hit by tornados. One of the collections I actually viewed before the disaster. Neither collection was ever reported to be found.

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    HydrantHydrant Posts: 7,773 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2017 10:55PM

    Forget it. Changed my mind. Be happy!

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    BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 8,051 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @amwldcoin said:
    I'll take that a step further and say that is why I don't collect paper money! If your house burns at least there will be something left of your coins....not so with paper money!

    @kiyote said:
    That's why I kind of actually like modern bullion coins. At least a melted 1 ounce gold coin will be worth a chunk of its original value even as a melted blob.

    If the coins that were consumed in a fire were slabbed, how much damage, if any, would be to the coins from the melted plastic? I would assume they would be somewhat blackened by the burnt plastic. Anyone here have that experience?

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As evidenced by historic disasters in Europe (i.e. Pompeii, wars etc.), coins have been found in ruins destroyed by such things.... undoubtedly, should we last long enough...future excavations will turn up some real numismatic treasures. Cheers, RickO

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    ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:
    The Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925 was on the ground for a maximum length of 235 miles and a maximum width of 1,200 yards.

    >

    Goodness gracious, that is a MASSIVE tornado! Had to be an F5

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!
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    ShamikaShamika Posts: 18,760 ✭✭✭✭

    @BLUEJAYWAY said:

    If the coins that were consumed in a fire were slabbed, how much damage, if any, would be to the coins from the melted plastic? I would assume they would be somewhat blackened by the burnt plastic. Anyone here have that experience?

    As mentioned earlier, ksteelheader lost much of his collection in a house fire. He shared some images of his slabs and as I recall they and the coins inside were in various states of distress.

    Buyer and seller of vintage coin boards!

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