IRVINE, Calif. (October 26, 2012) — Set to cross the block in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo is a famously rare New England sixpence, considered the most valuable American coin ever found with a metal detector.
This remarkable coin, struck in 1652, was discovered 339 years later in a Long Island potato field. Using a metal detector, Lillian P. Rade of East Hampton, recovered the extremely rare coin, and the story made national news. The incredible discovery was even covered by “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,” which illustrated the coin and told its remarkable story in a December 11, 1991 feature. Today, rare coin experts believe the coin will sell for a price over $100,000.
“We are thrilled to be involved in the sale of this extremely rare American coin,” said Stack’s Bowers Galleries president, Chris Napolitano. “There’s nothing more exciting than presenting such an impressive coin to the numismatic community that could’ve been lost forever!”
While many other valuable coins have been found in the United States with metal detectors, none is as historic, valuable, or as rare as the 1652 New England sixpence. The New England sixpence was struck in Boston in 1652, and was part of the very first group of coins ever struck in the future United States The simple design with just the letters NE on the obverse and the Roman numeral VI on the reverse made it easy to counterfeit, which prompted a rapid design change after the first group of coins was made. Today, New England shillings, sixpence and threepence are some of the most famous and desirable coins in American history — no other coins can be called the earliest coins made in North America. Just seven sixpence are known, three of which are housed in museums. None have sold at auction since this example was discovered over 20 years ago and sold in 1991 for $35,000.
A highlight of the renowned John “Jack” Royse Collection, the New England sixpence will be offered as part of our eagerly anticipated Early American Coin Session, scheduled for Friday, November 16, 2012, at the Whitman Expo in Baltimore. Over 100 other rare early American coins from the John “Jack” Royse Collection will also be offered, along with the first segment of the legendary Ted Craige Estate, a famous collection of early American coins that has been hidden from sight for over 40 years. Lot viewing begins Tuesday, November 13, 2012 in Baltimore, with earlier viewings by appointment in Irvine, California, and New York City. To request a catalog, call 800.458.4646.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc., was launched in January 2011, combining the extraordinary histories of Stack’s, the oldest rare coin auction and retail company in America, with Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s preeminent auctioneers of rare coins and paper money. The two companies unite to share a combined legacy that spans more than 100 years, and includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable collections to ever cross an auction block — the John J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. collections, the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, and the Norweb Collection — to name just a few. Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin; the legendary 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle that realized an astounding $7.59 million (sold in partnership with Sotheby’s). The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, New Hampshire and Hong Kong. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several