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NumisMedia Monthly Article Archive

Our monthly articles detailing specific areas of numismatics for dealers, collectors, and investors of United States Rare Coins

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NumisMedia Monthly

January 2013

Vasquez Rocks Collection Intrigues Gold Dollar Collectors

       It is not very often that we get the opportunity to write about the sale of a major collection of a particular series. Typically, sales of remarkable collections occur in a fast-paced auction format where bidders compete for every lot. However, the advanced collector of the Vasquez Rocks Collection of high grade Gold Dollars is taking a different approach. He selected Douglas Winter Numismatics for the sale, one of the foremost dealers of U.S. Gold in the country. Mr. Winter's expertise, tremendous background, and of course his ability to market coins that have a wonderful story makes him the logical and wise choice for the sale of this fascinating collection.

       The Vasquez Rocks Collection was 18 years in the making, and it may not be the finest collection of One Dollar Gold ever assembled, but it surely ranks near the top. The collector is so fanatical about not only purchasing the best coin for the money but also the best quality coin for the grade. In this case, the One Dollar Gold series was a particular challenge, albeit quite enjoyable for the collector. It takes a wealth of knowledge to understand all the intricacies of each date in the One Dollar Gold series. We are similarly aware of another major collector who is on path for the highest graded One Dollar Gold series as well. In fact, he purchased two of the highest graded coins from this set.

       Many of the better dates and grades from the Vasquez Rocks Collection of One Dollar Gold are charted below. For comparison we have also listed the current FMV, the number of coins certified by NGC and PCGS combined at a higher grade, and the highest grade certified for the date.

DateGradeCurrent FMV# Coins
1849 C Cl. WreathMS63 CAC$17,1902MS64
1849 OMS64 CAC$7,06012MS66
1850 CMS62$20,6303MS63
1850 DMS63$30,2302MS64
1851 DMS63+ CAC$15,4407MS65
1852 CMS64 CAC$17,8105MS66
1853 OMS66 CAC$38,3501MS67
1854 DMS62$17,5502MS64
1855 DMS61$56,2507MS64
1856 DMS60$32,8309MS63
1856 SMS64 CAC$54,3800MS64
1857 DMS61 CAC$13,75010MS62
1858 SMS62 CAC$14,7603MS65
1860 DMS62 CAC$35,7502MS64
1860 SMS65$46,1500MS65
1861 DMS61$70,63011MS65
1875MS65 CAC$37,1903MS66
1877MS67 CAC$11,5609MS68

       There were a total of 83 coins in this set. As mentioned earlier, this collector took his time looking for quality. Before announcing the sale, the majority of coins were sent to the grading services for the + designation and also to CAC to see which coins would receive the ultimate sticker. This meticulous strategy paid off as 39 of these coins received the CAC sticker. Ten of those coins attained both the + and CAC features and one other received only the + designation.

       Ultimately, it takes time to complete any series. It will also take an appreciation for the history of coins, especially those dating in the 1800's, understanding most importantly that the minting process was not nearly as advanced as it is today. Thus, strike, die characteristics, planchet marks, eye appeal, original mintage, and certainly the number of coins certified by NGC and PCGS are all important to the individual collector. Be sure to remember that the time spent in studying each and every coin can be its own reward in the end.

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