Hoards of coins – or discoveries of large caches of coins accumulated under unusual conditions – have fascinated people for generations. Rare coin hoards infrequently come to market; and when they do, they almost always sell out quickly, commanding high market premiums.
One example that comes to mind is the GSA Hoard of U.S. Silver Dollars. To wit, on December 31, 1970, legislation was signed authorizing their sale through the General Services Administration. Over 2.8 million coins were sold to the public, for about $20 each. The coins now sell for anywhere from $200 to several thousands of dollars each!
Moreover, in the mid-1980s, coins from the S.S. Central America were pulled from the ocean floor; with nearly 6,000 1857-S $20 Liberty gold coins found in over 8,000 feet of water. Those coins now sell for over $10,000 in choice condition.
Finally, my personal favorite is the Wells Fargo Hoard of 1908 Saint Gaudens. In the early 1990s, nearly 10,000 high-quality, 1908 No Motto Saint-Gaudens $20 gold pieces came onto the market. Called the Wells Fargo Hoard, the coins had been untouched since 1917, as they had been originally designated for use as World War I debt payment. The coins were housed in a Nevada Wells Fargo bank, which is why they are referred to as the Wells Fargo hoard.
Now let’s fast forward to the present, as Miles Franklin is privileged to be involved in what may be the best numismatic opportunity in nearly two decades. Recently, we purchased a significant portion of what is now called the Bank of Canada Hoard, a rare collection of some of the first gold coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
This collection of $10 Gold Canadian coins, at .4838 troy ounces each, were minted in 1912 to 1914, and have not been seen since the outbreak of the First World War. 245,000 of these coins have been stored at the Bank of Canada for over 75 years as part of the Government of Canada’s Exchange Fund Account. 30,000 of the highest quality of these gold coins are being offered for sale, while the other 215,000 will soon be melted down and refined into pure gold bars by the Mint.
The great majority of the coins will be lost to numismatics forever, and the actual net mintage of these coins will decrease when the Canadian government melts the bulk of them. This will be the largest destruction of gold coins since the United States melted coins confiscated by Roosevelt in 1933. Millions of United States gold coins were melted at the time, with the resulting bars now supposedly stored at Fort Knox.
When the RCM opened its doors for business in January 1908 – as the Canadian branch of Britain’s Royal Mint – its Ottawa facility was mandated to convert Canada’s growing gold resources into dollar-denominated gold circulation coins. From 1912 to 1914, the Mint produced $5 and $10 coins of 90% pure Canadian gold; struck from native Canadian gold ore, and proudly displaying national symbols.
However, with World War I breaking out in 1914 – thus, yielding an obligation to fund its war effort – the Canadian government decided to retain all of its gold coins, and add them to their accumulated gold reserves.
While a small number of those coins remain in the hands of individual collectors, the bulk of these coins were kept out of circulation. Only 140,000 1914 Canadian gold coins were struck, most of which are being melted now; and less than 15,000 probably survived to today. Moreover, Canadian gold coins are much rarer than United States coins of the same date – as the U.S. struck more than five times as many $10 gold Indian gold coins in 1914 alone.
If you want to own a piece of history through this Bank of Canada Hoard, Miles Franklin is offering special pricing. All coins from this hoard are graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), and all coins grade at least MS63.