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Gold Hoard in Sale
By Numismatic News
November 15, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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A hoard of 216 $1 gold pieces dated 1856 with the Upright 5 will be auctioned off in two lots Jan., 27, 2014, by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers.

The star of the hoard is an MS-66 example certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. It is the finest known example, the Goldbergs noted.

This key piece will be offered as one lot. The other 215 coins will be sold in the other. This group will contain two MS-65 coins and 10 in MS-64.

The anonymous owner who amassed the hoard has been working on it since 1996 and he has an opinion as to relative scarcity.

He estimates that this hoard contains, “at least 75 percent of the surviving population,” according to the Goldbergs. Based on his experiences, he believes, “The surviving Upright 5 gold dollars are actually 20-25 times scarcer than the Slanted 5 variety.

Further, he believes that “the coins in the hoard should be worth 5-10 times current Greysheet prices. The Upright 5 1856 gold dollar is akin to the Closed 3 1873 dollar in that the surviving ratio of Upright 5s to Slanting 5s may mirror that of surviving Closed 3 and Open 3 1873 gold dollars.

“Before ‘Mr. 1873,’ Harry X Boosel discovered and reported on the Closed 3 1873, there was virtually no price spread; today, those price spreads have adjusted reflecting the respective scarcity of the two varieties.

“So there should be a similar (multiple) price spread between the 1856 Upright 5 gold dollar and the Slanting 5 variety as there is between Closed 3 and Open 3 1873 gold dollars.”

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The Goldbergs noted that in 2001 researcher Doug Winter placed the 1856 Upright 5 gold dollar at the top of his “Ten Undervalued U.S. Gold Coins Under $2,500.”

The late David Akers assigned a mintage figure of 33,660 in United States Gold Coins. However that figure is not universally accepted. John Dannreuther believes that, “There were only two dies used with the Upright 5 logotype, making these elusive coins very desirable for collectors to acquire.”

In an article in the April 2005 issue of The Numismatist, Craig Krueger concluded “[The Upright 5] is an extremely undervalued variety because its true scarcity has yet to be fully understood or appreciated by the numismatic community, as demonstrated by today’s market values.”

According to the Goldbergs, the Upright 5 still seems to be unappreciated in circulated grades (PCGS currently tabulates the same values for Upright 5 versus Slanted 5 for grades from VF-30 through AU-55), but the value of the Upright 5 starts differentiating from the Slanted 5 for Mint State specimens. It is more than double for MS-65, and there is no value listed for the Upright 5 in MS-66.

The catalog is available online at, or can be obtained by calling (310) 551-2646.

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