Well Fargo Hoard, how the price were impacted 25 years later.

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Some details of a major purchase of a hoard of 1908 “no motto” Saint-Gaudens $20 gold pieces revealed by Spectrum Numismatics of Irvine, Calif.

Coins from the famous Wells Fargo Gold Hoard! One of the finest U.S. Gold hoards ever discovered. The coins were hidden and stored in sealed bags since 1917 for more than 50 years. These coins survived many significant events in American history including the Gold confiscation which began in 1933 per President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order. In the 1970’s these coins were then sorted, inventoried and resealed until 1996. Though the seller is not known, the buyer is, who signed a confidentiality agreement which would protect the previous owners. This meeting between owner and purchaser took place at an undisclosed Wells Fargo bank in Nevada. The coins were stored in the same facility that thousands of Silver dollars were held during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Though Wells Fargo never owned these coins at any point in history, their name is used for the pedigree because of where the coins were stored and the location of the agreement.

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.

The Wells Fargo® Nevada Gold Collection has received considerable press from the coin industry. To read some of the articles about the $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins of this collection, please click here.

Wells Fargo Nevada Gold Collection.

The Wells Fargo® Nevada Gold hoard is an amazing collection of more than 15,000 1908 No Motto $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins. The hoard was purchased for more than $10 million and was the largest price paid for a collection of coins at the time by a very wide margin.

These uncirculated coins contain much rarity, beauty, condition, and profit potential. In outstanding condition, over 95% are graded Mint State 65 or better. When Greg Roberts, President of Spectrum Numismatics was asked to rate the magnitude of this collection on a scale of 1-10, he responded “off the scale.”

For all the phenomenal facts that are known about this collection, more are not. Use the following links to learn more about the double eagles carrying the Wells Fargo® Nevada Gold pedigree and their surrounding mystery:

The Origin

A collector with foresight and the necessary means acquired this collection of $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins in 1917 and promptly hid them for safekeeping. There they remained undisturbed for more than 50 years. Hidden away from the public, these stunning coins survived several significant events that meant the end of many other Saint-Gaudens coins—including gold confiscation via executive order in 1933.

In the early 1970s, the coins were taken out, sorted, inventoried, and resealed. They did not see the light of day again until their inspection and sale in 1996 to Spectrum Numismatics.

Although the buyer is known, the seller is not: Roberts signed a strict confidentiality agreement guarding the privacy of the previous owners. No agreement was needed to guard many other facts about this enigmatic collection; Roberts was only provided the most basic information.

The Sale

When Roberts first met with the unnamed owner, he was shown only a couple hundred coins. When negotiations heated up over the next couple months, Roberts learned that significantly more coins existed, although at the time he believed the number to be between 6,000 and 7,000.

Not until they met again was the true number known: over 15,000 $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins. The meeting took place at a Wells Fargo® bank in an undisclosed city in Nevada. The coins were held in a large walk-in vault, which formerly served as a Federal Reserve Bank where silver dollars were stored in the 1960s and 1970s.

The double eagles were rolled in paper tubes, placed in canvas bags, and stored in screw-top boxes in this vault. The coins were still surrounded by gold dust when first inspected.

The Pedigree

While Wells Fargo® does not claim to be the owner of these coins at any point in their history, their name is used for the pedigree through a special marketing agreement. The name was selected because of where the coins were stored and the deal was negotiated and struck. This pedigree is carried only by these beautiful coins.

Few names conjure up more images of either gold or the Old West. For no less than one and a half Centuries, Wells Fargo® has been a name that implies trust, confidence, and value. It is a name that is steeped in Americana.

An amazing collection of 1908 $20

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