Looking for a good book on Saints

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by mpcusa, Jun 10, 2023.

  1. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Just wanted to reach out and see if
    anybody here on CT new of a good
    book and the $20 Saint, particularly
    the 1908 NM Wells Fargo / Nevada
    Gold coin I am ready to make my
    first purchase and would like to get
    more info not only on the history but
    the different generation of holders as
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  3. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    The info you seek is on the Internet. There is really no story. Nine thousand + oins were found from an original group. Bought by a dealer, strored in a Wells Fargo Bank for a time and sent off for grading. The name is a hype. The original condition of the coins is what matters. After you get yours, rent a safty deposit box at Frontier Bank for a month and send it to PCGS for a "Frontier Bank Hoard" label.:D
  4. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    There's no significant information about the different generations of TPG holders, but the most in-depth reference about the coin is probably Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles by Roger Burdette.
  5. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Thanks for the info :)
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  6. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Supporter! Supporter

    It was 19,900 Saints (it MAY have been larger or had other coins, but that is speculation)...however....only about half of the coins apparently got graded/submitted. It's possible the easily-ID'd circulated and damaged coins were taken out as it wouldn't pay to submit bullion coins even for a modest premium with gold only at ~$400/oz.

    Of course...if half the hoard were pristine, why would the other half be heavily damaged/scuffed/etc.....unless they deliberately mixed in circulated coins (unlikely) with pristine, never circulateds.

    Ron Gillio has never told key details from what I have been told and read. :(
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2023
  7. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Supporter! Supporter

    There's tons of good information on Saints.

    I think the best book and most recent to get is Roger Burdette's recent magnus opus (see below). The Whitman Red Book by Bowers is very good and has good stories plus information on Liberty Head DEs...but it's from 2004 so the pricing and population data is dated. The 2nd Edition of David Akers 1907-33 Gold Coin book is worth reading, but again, dated.

    The best information is in the auction catalogs like the ones below which have detailed information on the 1908 Wells Fargo Hoard because of a high-graded and/or high-priced coin which got sold. I have that info somewhere and if you want it posted here let me know (I think it might be already posted on CT via the Saint-Gaudens or 1908 Wells Fargo NM Threads that are already here).

    2023 Books 1200.jpg
    mpcusa likes this.
  8. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Absolutely, that would be much appreciated :)
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  9. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Supporter! Supporter

    1908 No Motto Double Eagle, MS69 ....$96,000 Jan 2020

    A Wells Fargo Hoard Legend / Among the Finest Saint-Gaudens Twenties Known

    1908 $20 No Motto, Wells Fargo Nevada, MS69 PCGS. Short Rays Obverse. In 1996, Ron Gillio and an associate met with a group of individuals concerning a massive, newly revealed hoard of Saint-Gaudens double eagles. At an undisclosed location, the owners of the hoard opened decades-sealed canvas bags, revealing some 19,900 1908 No Motto Saints. Gillio later said in an interview with Q. David Bowers, "Of all the different hoards I have bought in Europe, Asia, America, and elsewhere, this group of 1908s is the most interesting and highest quality group I have ever purchased."

    The story of the Wells Fargo Hoard is well-known among numismatists. Although many details of its history are masked by a necessity for confidentiality, the provenance of the coins is documented. The coins were originally part of an international payment of some sort in 1917, when they left government vaults and went into private hands. They remained in deep storage, unmoved until the 1960s. By that time, the original Mint bags had deteriorated, and the owners rebagged them in new, larger canvas bags of 500 coins each. The bags were sealed, dated, and put back into storage, where they remained, untouched, for another three decades.

    Gillio said of the coins' owners during their 1996 meeting, "They had a special book in which we had to register before they opened the first bag. The book contained the seal number and the date of the seal. We had to sign this book for every bag they opened. The person opening the bags was the person who sealed them originally." After documenting and purchasing the entire hoard, Gillio and his associate wrapped the coins in paper rolls, resealed them in the canvas bags, and then moved and stored them for a time at a Wells Fargo bank in Nevada. In late 1997, the coins were brought to market and certified, carrying the Wells Fargo pedigree in lieu of a family name or individual collector being tied to them.

    The quality of the coins was amazingly superb. The vast majority graded MS65 or finer, with thousands qualifying for MS66 and MS67 designations, and a couple of hundred pieces reaching the lofty MS68 level. The most famous coins from the Wells Fargo Hoard are the 10 pieces graded MS69 -- a level of preservation not previously achieved by any Saint-Gaudens double eagle.

    The 1908 No Motto double eagle was not scarce prior to the discovery of the Wells Fargo coins. David Akers, in 1982, considered the 1908 No Motto to be one of the most plentiful Saint-Gaudens twenties, trailing only the 1924 and 1927 at that time in availability. He wrote, "The 1908 No Motto actually had more auction appearances in my survey than any other Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle."
    Thousands of Uncirculated pieces were known, including some high-end examples. One of those high-grade coins appeared in the Atwater Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1303:

    "1908 Type as last, but without motto. Uncirculated, frosty mint surface. Not struck in proof, although Mr. Atwater has this listed as a proof. (Mr. Atwater's private catalog was prepared by a prominent dealer of long experience and standing.)"

    The coin realized $70, a strong price for what was in effect a common-date coin even back then. The Atwater specimen, as well as many of the other Mint State 1908 No Motto Saints that appeared at auction during the 1940s and as far back as the John Story Jenks Collection in 1921, may have been purchased directly from the Mint Cashier or the Annual Assay Commission pyx coins, as was the practice at the time for high-profile collectors and dealers. For all of those coins to have been "one-upped" by the pieces in the Wells Fargo Hoard, the quality of the Wells Fargo coins must have been truly spectacular. Gillio recalled of the Wells Fargo coins, "I have never seen a hoard of $20's of this quality, all one date, before this group or after."

    Six of the 10 Wells Fargo No Mottos in MS69 have never been offered at public auction. The other four have made isolated appearances. The Philip H. Morse specimen (Heritage, 11/2005), holds the auction record for the date of $94,875. The Jackson Hole/Fenn Family Collection coin appeared in our July 2006 Dallas Signature and again in our January 2017 FUN Signature sales. A third specimen appeared in Goldberg's Pre-Long Beach auction of February 2011, and the fourth piece to change hands at public auction was the Bently Shores Collection coin, in Stack's Bowers' August 2013 ANA sale.

    The Fox coin is fresh to the market. This piece carries with it tremendous weight for Registry Set collectors. Of the top five current PCGS Registry Sets, only the Fox and Simpson collections contain a 1908 No Motto in MS69. These coins are highly coveted. The Fox specimen showcases original prairie-gold coloration, transitioning through shades of greenish-gold, peach, and rose as one's eye travels across each side. Luster is naturally satiny, and as the grade suggests, virtually flawless. Boldly rendered motifs are yet another hallmark of the eye appeal.

    The Fox Wells Fargo No Motto Saint has the capacity to set a new auction record for this issue. The Rollo Fox Collection contains many magnificent Saint-Gaudens double eagles, including celebrated rarities. It is fitting that for the 1908 No Motto -- long one of the most plentiful dates in the series -- the coin represented is one of "the 10," one of the Wells Fargo elites -- one of the finest Saint-Gaudens double eagles known.

    David Akers (2008) Comments:

    The 1908 No Motto is one of the most common issues in the entire Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle series. Although thousands of Mint State coins already existed prior to that time, the "Wells Fargo Hoard" that dealer Ron Gillio purchased in the 1990s made the 1908 No Motto even more obtainable. The hoard contained 19,900 examples that had been kept in sealed bags since 1917. These bags had been temporarily stored in the vault of a Wells Fargo Bank, to which the hoard owes its name. The 1908 No Motto Double Eagles from the "Wells Fargo Hoard" are of nearly uniform high quality, most grading out in the MS65 to MS67 range when they were submitted to the major certification services. Even more significantly, the hoard contained 10 MS69s.
  10. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Supporter! Supporter

    Here's another auction sale commentary:

    A Pre-Wells Fargo Example / 1908 $20 No Motto MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. Long Rays Obverse.

    The original No Motto, Arabic Numerals, Low Relief subtype continued into a second and final year, with Philadelphia and Denver both striking examples, while San Francisco would produce only the later With Motto version. Congress, despite President Theodore Roosevelt's contention that any reference to the deity on coinage was tantamount to sacrilege, mandated that IN GOD WE TRUST be placed on the gold pieces, and the motto was accordingly added just above the sun device at the lower reverse. The Philadelphia Mint struck an enormous quantity of more than 4.2 million No Motto coins, a production total that would be surpassed only with the 1924 and 1928 issues.

    The 1908 No Motto twenties as an issue are, of course, best-known for their relation to the fabulous Wells Fargo Hoard, a collection of more than 19,000 specimens of the issue that dealer Ron Gillio bought in the 1990s. As quoted in Bowers' double eagle Guide Book, Gillio writes concerning the hoard:

    "Of all the different hoards I have bought in Europe, Asia, America, and elsewhere, this group of 1908s is the most interesting and highest quality group I have ever purchased. Here is the basic story, although some details must remain confidential:

    "In the 1990s I bought 19,900 pieces of 1908 No Motto twenties. The coins were stored in one place in bags of 500 coins, each with a seal. The seals on the bags of all 19,900 coins were all dated in the 1960s. When I first met with the owners there were several people involved, and I was on hand with a colleague. They had a special book that in which we had to register before they opened the first bag. The book contained the seal number and the date of the seal. We had to sign this book for every bag they opened. The person opening the bags was the person who sealed them originally.

    "At first glance I could tell the coins were fantastic and of high quality -- as the bags were never tossed around or recounted over the years, in contrast to most bank hoards. ...

    Gillio goes on to explain that except for rebagging from the original bags, which had deteriorated, the coins had remained "unmoved and untouched since 1917!" For the coins that were sent to PCGS, approximately half of the total, David Hall takes up the story on PCGS' Coin Facts website:

    "The hoard contained thousands of superb Gems graded MS66 by PCGS, nearly 1000 coins graded MS67 by PCGS, 101 coins graded MS68 by PCGS, and 10 virtually perfect gems graded MS69 by PCGS, the only Saints ever graded MS69 by PCGS (as of 2009)."

    Today, a single MCMVII High Relief joins the 10 Wells Fargo 1908 No Mottos at the incredible MS69 level (10/11). The massive hoard made high-grade examples of the No Motto issues far more available for a price than they had been in the past, and made the coins among the most plentiful and well-produced Saint-Gaudens issues in the certified populations.

    Dr. Steven Duckor purchased the present specimen, a coin that predates discovery of the hoard, in 1982. This Superb Gem is one of the few finest pre-Wells Fargo coins (there are two non-Wells Fargo examples finer, one in MS67+, one in MS68). This sharply struck, lustrous example shows lush mint-green and orange-gold competing for territory on each side, with lilac accents and sparkling luster. The obverse has more orange-gold toward the center yielding to jade-green near the rims, while the two hues intermingle on the reverse. The surfaces show a typical fine-grained, matte-like texture. Even a loupe reveals remarkably few signs of contact, of even the smallest sort.

    Ex: David Akers. / From The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection.
  11. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Supporter! Supporter

    From Roger Burdette's Saint DE book (I HIGHLY recommend for the details year-by-year for anybody looking to get the most bang-for-their-buck$$):

    “Most of the coins were graded by PCGS and NGC receiving the highest grades of any hoard of $20s. Here is an approximate breakdown of the grades: MS-69 (10 coins), MS-68 (200+), MS-67 (1,700+), and MS-66 (6,000+), with the balance being MS-65 or below. I have never seen a hoard of $20s of this quality, all one date, before this group or after. I have since examined large caches of $20s in various places but none match the quality of the 1908s.”

    The coins were purchased in mid-1996 and promotion and sale of the hoard started about a year later. The first coins sold to the public were the MS65 1908 no motto Saint-Gaudens, which were being offered at $1,160 each. In 1997 the average price of gold was $331.02 and a common date uncirculated $20 gold piece sold for $375.00.

    By 1999 the market price of gold had dropped to an annual average of $278.98 and common double eagles traded for $310. The Gillio/Wells Fargo sale ended in late 1999 when the highest graded coins, MS67, MS68 and MS69 were sold to collectors and investors.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2023
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