Some details of a major purchase of a hoard of 1908 “no motto” Saint-Gaudens $20 gold pieces have been revealed by Spectrum Numismatics of Irvine, Calif.
The coins have been pedigreed through a licensing arrangement with Wells Fargo, Roberts said, and several thousand of the coins were graded MS 66 by the grading services. Retail prices being asked in 1997 for MS-66 examples ranged from $2,760 to $3,150 each depending on the firm offering the coins for sale; today (2022) reaching $3,500 like this exemple on sell on Ebay.
The firm purchased over 15,000 of the coins, which had been stored in a Nevada vault of a Wells Fargo bank. Neither the previous owner nor the purchase price was revealed. Spectrum president Greg Roberts said the coins had been assembled in 1917 and, except for some sorting, counting and resealing in the early 1970s, had remained untouched.
After having the coins graded and authenticated by the Professional Coin Grading Service and the Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the coins were sold to five other firms, which are currently retailing them.
from the front-page article in the October 28th, 1997 edition of Numismatic News