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Press Release - August 4, 1998
LARGEST PRIVATE RARE COIN TRANSACTION EVER:August 04, 1998 coin LARGEST PRIVATE RARE COIN TRANSACTION EVER:
DALLAS-BASED HERITAGE BUYS TROMPETER ESTATE FROM IRS
DALLAS, TEXAS: Heritage Rare Coin Galleries has contracted to purchase California industrialist Ed Trompeter's numismatic estate, a legendary collection comprising some of America's most important gold coins. While collections have fetched higher totals at public auction, today's $15,177,500 cash price will likely represent the first eight-figure private transaction in numismatic history.
The collection contains less than 250 coins, all United States gold. Many collectors deem its highlight, a unique set of six gem condition 1872 "Amazonian" patterns, to be the world's single most valuable numismatic item. The late Mr. Trompeter purchased the Amazonian set at auction during the weak market of late-1990 for only $1.87 million. It's undoubtedly worth far more today.
Other highlights include three 1907 double eagle $20 gold pieces championed by President Theodore Roosevelt:
- A superb "Ultra High Relief"
- The finest known roman numerals high relief (graded MS69 by both major grading services)
- And perhaps the collection's most valuable individual coin: The unique and nearly perfect Arabic numerals satin finish proof (NGC PF68)
Additionally, there are near-complete sets of $5 half eagle, $10 eagle, and $20 double eagle proofs from 1858 through 1915, mostly superb condition, five more gold patterns including the famous "quintuple stella" double eagle, various mint state gold type coins and dated $5 and $10 Indians, plus other rarities.
Heritage has arranged long-term financing through its bankers, and therefore will be under no pressure to sell the coins quickly. The firm expects to take delivery on the coins in late August, and to begin offering some of the coins for sale by late September, some privately and others through its national public auctions held in conjunction with major coin conventions. For tax and business reasons, many of the coins will not be offered for sale until next year.
Heritage, the world's largest rare coin dealer, is privately held, owned equally by Steve Ivy and science fiction novelist James Halperin (The Truth Machine and The First Immortal). Ivy and VP Greg Rohan negotiated the transaction on Heritage's behalf, assisted by numismatists Michael Storeim and Richard Melamed. California dealer, Silvano DiGenova acted as consultant and is a minority partner.
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