By Rick Bretz for Coinweek….
In a previous article, I took a critical stance on “Private” or “Personal” collections and their worthiness to be given pedigree status.
One of my reasons for this is because grading services give this type of material an artificial bump in the marketplace when there is no basis for the pedigree or the premium. To this collector, it looks like sellers are simply trying to create an inflated value for their product and overusing this marketing tactic only serves to diminish the product the grading services offer as well as the coins that truly deserve special recognition.
It’s not a hard and fast rule as no collections–neither private nor personal–that provide pedigree hunters like me a sufficient and satisfactory backstory to justify seeking them out and putting them in my personal collection.
The Skidaway collector in my previous article was focused and goal-oriented. His collection was well-assembled and amazingly thorough. He knew what he wanted and expertly went about achieving it. He “earned” the right to the pedigree and those who purchased his coins can rest easy knowing that they have a piece of something that meant something to its previous owner.
Another collection like that is the Gilded Age Collection.
The Gilded Age Collection
The “Gilded Age Collection” was assembled by New York attorney and longtime collector of coins and U.S. financial instruments Robert Galiette. If you haven’t checked it out already, I advise you to watch Coinweek editor Charles Morgan’s in-depth video interview with Galiette shot at the American Numismatic Association’s 2014 World’s Fair of Money. At a Stack’s Bowers sale at the show, Galiette saw his 20+ year pursuit on Mint State $20 Liberty gold coins come to an end. He had put together an impressive set – a set that included more Mint State $20 Liberty gold coins than had ever been put together.
$20 Liberty gold is a brutally tough series. For many collectors, even common date coins are pricey due to the cost of gold. What set Galiette’s $20 Liberty gold coins apart from others you will likely see, is that Galiette was focused on quality strikes and eye appeal. And some of the coins in his set were quite difficult to come by- if only because this series in Mint State was not put aside in quantity.
Most of Galiette’s coins are now well-hidden. I gather that many reside in private collections and may not be brought to market for some time.
The example I have is Galiette’s 1914 in MS-62. It’s strong for the grade and I’m happy to have it.