PCGS Rare Gold Half Eagles Hoard
A hoard of
Indian Head $5 gold pieces found in an unclaimed
bank safe deposit box in Florida has been
certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
Nearly half of the 262 coins graded mint state,
including dozens of rare date 1911-S and 1916-S
"This is an incredible discovery. They came
completely out of the woodwork," said Lexington,
Kentucky and Sarasota, Florida dealer, Jeff
Garrett, who jointly purchased the coins with
dealer Marc Earle of Saint Petersburg, Florida
from a government sale of unclaimed items. They
then sold all of them to Bill Gale of New York
Mint in Edina, Minnesota.
"This is one of the more unusual hoards I’ve
seen in my career," stated PCGS Founder, David
Hall. "There was a group of 1910-D $5 Indians
that appeared in the 1970s, but that was over 30
years ago. This is the only large group of mint
state San Francisco Mint $5 Indians I’ve ever
heard of. By far, the S-mint issue are the
rarest $5 Indians to find in mint state."
The bank safe deposit box containing the rare
collection of San Francisco Mint coins and the
other gold pieces reportedly had been unclaimed
by someone from Venezuela for years and
considered abandoned property. PCGS has placed a
special "Golden Gate Collection" description on
the encapsulation insert label for the coins it
certified from this group.
PCGS Senior Grader and Vice President/Director
of Business Development, Miles Standish,
recalled his initial reaction when he began to
examine the individual coins:
"My first thought was, ‘This is a fresh and
original coin.’ And then I thought, ‘Wow!
There’s a whole hoard of them for me to look
at!’ These are really nice looking San Francisco
There are 139 circulated Indian Half Eagles
dated 1908 to 1916 from the Philadelphia, Denver
and San Francisco Mints in the hoard.
There are a total of 111 uncirculated 1911-S
examples: 14 graded PCGS MS-61; 78 graded PCGS
MS-62; and 19 graded PCGS MS-63.
A dozen 1916-S coins were found: six graded PCGS
MS-62 and six graded PCGS MS-63.
"Not since the dispersal of the Virgil Brand
collection a quarter-century ago have we had
such a large group of rare date gold coins
become available at one time. I’ve never before
seen a hoard of $5 Indians like this. And even
with this many suddenly entering the market,
there are far more buyers for them than the
available quantity," said Garrett.