The fairly common 1908 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagles are at the center of a significant piece of modern numismatic lore, namely the story of the Wells Fargo Hoard, a massive accumulation of exceedingly high-grade 1908 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagles that came to market in the 1990s. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to offer an attractive example, one of the top coins at NGC, in lot 3258 of our Rarities Night Session of the November 2023 Whitman Expo Auction.
The Wells Fargo Hoard was uncovered in the early 1990s. Originally sealed in bank bags in 1917 as part of an international debt payment, the Hoard consisted of 19,900 individual 1908 No Motto double eagles. These were undisturbed until the 1960s, when the coins were re-bagged and resealed. Among the thousands of coins were some of the finest known examples of the date, including some that sit atop the censuses at major third-party grading services.
Ron Gillio, now Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Numismatics Acquisitions Coordinator, brought these coins to market in the mid-1990s, storing them briefly at a Wells Fargo Bank in Las Vegas, affording the collection its evocative nickname. The coins remain popular in the marketplace for their remarkable appearance, state of preservation, and historic interest.
The example in the November auction is graded MS-68 by NGC, tied for finest-known in that service’s census. NGC has graded 160 others at the MS-68 grade level, 143 of which bear the Wells Fargo provenance. Our cataloger describes the coin: “Vivid medium golden-apricot surfaces are fully lustrous with a softly frosted texture. The strike is bold overall, and the surfaces are exceptionally well preserved.”
Our entire November 2023 auction is available for viewing and bidding at StacksBowers.com. For more information or to consign material to an upcoming sale, please email [email protected] or call (800) 458-4646.