A question, a burglary, and a full set of Carson City gold
April 22, 2012
Part of our business is traveling to major coin conventions where there are 200 or more dealers. While at these conventions we scour the floor looking for rare coins to sell. Being from Carson City, I am constantly on the lookout for great Carson City coins to bring back.
At every convention I attend, there is one question I always ask my fellow dealers: “Do you have anything neat in Carson City coins?” Most already know what I am looking for and have a few special coins set aside for me, but there are those that I do not see as often. Recently I asked one of my friends that I see less frequently my standard question, and the response I got back was, “Well, maybe.”
He showed me one coin that he had just graded, and it was a whopper. As we talked, he told me that he was in the throes of buying a complete set of Carson City gold from one of his customers. Some of the coins were being graded so that they could establish a price.
During the next few weeks we kept in touch as he negotiated with his customer. Finally it came time for me to go try to buy the set. I took a plane ride, rented a car, and drove two hours to try and buy the set. As I arrived at his place, I noticed that all was not normal. There were two detectives in the store and a number of other people buzzing around. That morning a burglar had broken in. By the demeanor of everyone, I knew that it was not a major burglary, but no burglary is a good one. Nothing of real importance or value had been taken, but being that we were about to negotiate on a very important set, I was worried that he might just decide to wait for another time.
My fears were unfounded. He was happy to have me there. He set me up in his office and let me get to work. Within an hour I had priced all 57 coins and come up with a fair price. It took just a few minutes to consummate the deal and off I went.
As I drove away, a simple reality set in. I was now in the sole possession of a complete set of Carson City gold coins. Of all the great collections ever assembled very few have ever completed a set of the Carson City gold coins. There are a host of very rare coins in the set and several have an estimated survival rare of less than 100 pieces. The highlight to the set was the exceedingly rare 1870-CC $20 gold coin that we will be selling for $375,000. It is estimated that only 30-50 pieces still exist, therefore severely limiting the number of possible complete sets.
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This month, we will be making available for purchase more than $1 million worth of rare Carson City gold coins. Most of the value of this offering comes from the complete set we recently purchased.
• Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.