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Appeared in COINage Magizine, April 2018
Scott Travers is one of the best promoters of numismatics and has written scores of books and articles and given dozens of lectures educating thousands of collectors on all aspects of numismatics. So when he called me 12 days before deadline and said, “Dr. Kagin [even after 35 years he still calls me this] I need to fill some pages for Coinage Magazine for a special feature edition on gold coins. You’ve owned or auctioned some of the greatest pieces ever, so why don’t you write about your ten favorite?” Anyone who knows Scott would understand why I couldn’t say no. Over my 60 years of collecting, cataloging and dealing in numismatics, I have been blessed with handling so many cool pieces that it’s hard to narrow my favorites down to just ten coins, so I set a few criteria for each coin. First, they had to be gold, they had to be historically important and thereby tell a fascinating story, they either had to be aesthetically beautiful works of art or otherwise rally cool, and I had to have owned them at least once. With two slight fudges, here is my list.
One of four known 1737 Higley or Granby Coppers brought a record $252,000 (all prices include a 20% buyer’s premium) in Kagin’s Auctions March 8-9th at the annual American Numismatic Association National Money Show sale in Irving, Texas. Described as the Three Crowned Hammers, Crosby 19; Breen-239; Freidus 1.2-B.a; Whitman-8205 variety and graded PCGS VF-35, it was last sold by Stack’s at the John J. Ford, Jr. part II sale in May, 2004, where it realized $212,500. It is considered the finest known specimen of the variety and sports a distinguished pedigree which includes Charles Ira Bushnell, S&H Chapman June 1882 sale; Henry Chapman sale of February 1923; Hillyer Ryder; and F.C.C. Boyd before being acquired by numismatist John J. Ford, Jr.