A BLAST FROM THE PAST
— Danny Freeman
On May 23rd, 1907, the coin collection of Mr. George Anders was sold in New York City by Thomas L. Elder & Co. Mr. Anders was an astute collector and had an affection for gold coins made by the Bechtlers, private minters from North Carolina. Several of the pieces brought “new” record prices.
A 30 grain $1 coin sold for the unheard of price $10.25. A $5 134 grain, “A. Bechtler” piece brought $38.00 after spirited bidding by the overflow crowd. One of the quarter eagles sold for an astounding $170.00.
Other specimens of U.S. coins brought huge premiums as well, such as a proof example of a 1836 silver dollar with the name “Gobrecht” inscribed on it sold for $100.00. Several early 1850’s proof silver dollars also were hammered “sold” at $62.50 each.
Probably the most worn example sold during the event was a 1799 cent that sold for $27.00.
Just to put these prices in perspective, I took average “Red Book” prices at the EF grade, and have listed them below:
- Bechtler $1 30 grain $3800.00
- Bechtler $5 134 grain $7500.00
- Bechtler $2.50 $11,500.00
- Gobrecht $1 $70,000.00
- Proof 1850’s $1 $30,000.00
- 1799 Large Cent $65,000.00
- The New York Times, May 24, 1907
- Notes from Dr. Clair Birdsall, 1987