The finest known of only two 1861 Philadelphia Mint Paquet Reverse Double Eagles – this graded Mint State (MS)-67 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (NGC) – has been sold and will be publicly displayed for the first time in a decade at the January 2017 Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention in Fort Lauderdale.
Insured for $8 million USD (about $10.6 million Cdn.), this historic gold coin will be displayed alongside the Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles, which includes many of the finest-known coins of their kind. It once was part of the fabled Palace Collection of King Farouk of Egypt.
Adam Crum, vice-president of Monaco Rare Coins in Newport Beach, Calif., said the Horseneck Collection is also insured for $8 million USD.
The 1861-P Paquet Reverse was privately sold by Brian Hendelson, president of Classic Coin Co., of Bridgewater, N.J., for an undisclosed price to Larry Lee, president of Coin and Bullion Reserves, of Panama City, Fla.
Previous owners include Baltimore banker Waldo Newcomer; former U.S. Treasury Secretary William Woodin; Egyptian King Farouk; and Ambassador Mrs. R. Henry Norweb.
“The Paquet Reverse $20 denomination gold coin is named after Anthony C. Paquet, a mid-19th century engraver at the United States Mint, and only a few of them are known from the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints dated 1860 and 1861. The reverse side of Paquet design has slightly taller, slender letters than the similar reverse design by Mint engraver James B. Longacre on other Double Eagles of that era,” explained Crum, author of the 2002 reference book An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Type I Double Eagles.
“The 46-coin Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles struck from 1850 to 1866 includes a dozen coins recovered from famous shipwrecks: the 1857 sinking of the fabled ‘ship of gold,’ the SS Central America; the 1865 wreck of the SS Republic; and the 1865 sinking of the SS Brother Jonathan,” added Crum. “The set’s 1854-O is graded NGC AU-58, tied for finest known, and was recovered from the SS Republic in 2003.”
Other highlights of the set include an 1850 graded MS-63+ by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS); an 1856-O graded About Uncirculated (AU)-58 by NGC; an 1857-S recovered from the SS Central America that’s graded MS-66 by PCGS; an 1861-S Paquet Reverse graded AU-58 by NGC; and an 1866-S No Motto graded MS-61 by NGC.
Crum said this will only be the second display of the Horseneck Collection; the first display was at the 2016 ANA World’s Fair of Money in Anaheim, Calif., where it was one of the featured exhibits.
“I anticipate it will attract many new admirers in Florida when it’s displayed during the first three days of the 2017 FUN show, Jan. 5-7,” he added.
“This remarkable set of Type I Double Eagles are owned by an anonymous East Coast numismatist who began collecting coins as a child in the 1950s. He worked for over decade with Monaco’s Sr. Numismatic Advisor, Neil Sharkey, and they took great care in choosing coins which are not only high quality, but have exceptional eye appeal and pedigree,” said Crum.
NGC Chair Mark Salzberg said the 1861 Philadelphia Paquet $20 Liberty “has to be the greatest $20 Gold Liberty” in a MS grade, adding its pedigree makes it one of the most interesting regular issue gold coins to exist.
“The Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles shows what commitment to quality can produce with a little patience and resources. The coins are all outstanding and the collector deserves a lot of credit for seeing it through to its completion,” added Salzberg.
The set will be featured at NGC’s table No. 200 at the upcoming FUN Convention.