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Battle Creek Toned Dollars at GC

Ian Russell on Fri, Jan 04, 2013 08:53:32 AM
When you think of toned Morgan Dollars, the name Battle Creek comes to mind.  Coins from the Battle Creek collection are some of the most spectacularly toned Morgan dollars in existence.  We are pleased to offer two coins from this famed collection in our auctions.  The two are being sold unreserved, with bidding ending on Sunday, January 13th.  The coins will also be on display at the FUN Show in Orlando (Table 859, GreatCollections)

To read more about the history of the Battle Creek collection, please scroll down.

View the Battle Creek Toned Dollars at GreatCollections

Origins of the Battle Creek Collection (credit to NGC for this history)

The coins of the Battle Creek Collection resided in ten $1,000 bags. Until March 1964, it was possible to redeem silver certificates with US silver dollar coins, and many collectors thus acquired original bags of Morgan dollars. The Battle Creek Collection bags were tagged with both original Philadelphia Mint tags and seals dated 1885 (2 bags), 1886 (2 bags), or 1887 (6 bags). Additional each had a supplementary tag from the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve bearing dates in the 1920's.

The bags had resided in the estate of a collector, and upon his passing his executor invited several coin dealers to make purchase offers on the group. The bags were sewn sealed, and dealers present were required to bid "blind," meaning they could not examine the coins prior to purchase. The bags were slit in their presence to prove that they did, in fact, contain silver dollars.

Dennis Steinmetz of Steinmetz Coin & Currency in Lancaster, PA, successfully purchased the coins. Thereafter, the bags were opened and tubed for submission to NGC at Engle's Coin Shop in Indianapolis, IN. Stienmetz, a full-time rare coin dealer since 1974, realized that he had purchased something special: "The coins were truly spectacular. There was no way to know that this was a toned dollar deal when I bought them."

Interestingly, one bag of 1887 dollars contained a small number of 1904-O dated coins, and Steinmetz believes that these coins were added to a partial bag at the Federal Reserve bank in the 1920's. Steinmetz also kept the original bags and seals as a memento of this unusual group of coins.