Private patterns have been floating around for many years, with private individuals attempting to secure contracts for either coin manufacture or for a privately produced alloy. In US coin history, the Feuchtwanger cents and three-cent pieces may be the best known private patterns.
The current Inco & Gould Pattern Showcase auction from Heritage Auctions, with bidding open now, features coinage privately manufactured by the International Nickel Company (Inco) and Gould, Incorporated in response to the rising prices of silver in the mid-1960s as well as the desire for usable dollar coins in the late 1970s. Inco and Gould proposed, at their own expense, various compositions as a solution to the problems presented by the inevitable change of coinage composition.
The designs of the coins — technically tokens — that Inco and Gould produced were unimportant in themselves, and there was no thought of replacing the currently used circulation strike designs. Instead, what drove these patterns was compatibility with vending machines; a coin that could not be used in a vending machine would cause more problems than it could solve. Naturally, Inco focused on materials with high nickel content, while Gould wanted to move away from nickel and focus on titanium and powdered metal technology.
A few of the highlights of this auction are:
- INCO 10 cent. MS67 NGC. 1964 RDM-1 portrait. RB-2000
- INCO 25 cent blank. Brilliant Uncirculated NGC. 1964-65. RB-5330
- (1977-78) Gould titanium $1. MS68 NGC. RB-1055
- (1977-78) Gould anodized titanium $1. MS65 NGC. RB-1060
- (1977-78) Gould copper $1. MS64 Red and Brown NGC. RB-1355
- (1977-78) Gould aluminum $1. MS62 NGC. RB-1500
- (1977-78) Gould titanium $1. MS69 NGC. RB-1600
- 1976 Gould Bicentennial token. MS64 NGC
- 1980 Gould Powdered Metal Conference Token. MS67 NGC
This auction is open for bidding now at Coins.HA.com.