known U.S. coin hoard reported
November 17, 1998
The largest known hoard of U.S. collector coins, a record 1.746 million items, is reported by Littleton Coin Co., Littleton, New Hampshire. The coins were stored for decades in canvas bags and 55 gallon metal drums, and hidden behind the walls of an anonymous Midwest collector's house, prior to being purchased recently by Littleton.
Described as "The Midwest MegaHoard," the 7.6 ton purchase includes 950,000 circulated Indian Head cents, 308,000 Liberty Head/V nickels and 488,000 Indian Head/Buffalo nickels.
"I'm told the collector spent 25 years accumulating the hoard and the floor boards of his house were sagging under the weight of all those coins," said David M. Sundman, Littleton President.
It took several months to ship the first 1.358 million coins to Littleton's northern New Hampshire headquarters. They were contained in 390 canvas bags and boxes with a combined total weight of 15,290 pounds.
"By far, this is the largest single purchase Littleton has made in its 53 year history. It certainly surpasses the hoard of 300,000 Buffalo nickels we bought earlier this year, and that was an amazing record number at the time," said Sundman.
Acquired for a multi-million dollar price, Sundman estimates it now will take a full year to sort the MegaHoard by denomination, date, mint mark and grade.
"Our numismatic staff also will carefully look for varieties and errors, such as overdates and any three-legged Buffaloes," he explained.
Assorted items from the Midwest MegaHoard will be displayed in an exhibit at Littleton's bourse table during the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Orlando, January 7 - 10, 1999.
"We're always in the market to buy collections and accumulations, and I personally thought the big Buffalo hoard we bought earlier this year would be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Happily, I was wrong! This exciting opportunity to acquire nearly 1.75 million coins at one time makes me wonder in amazement at what hoards still might be uncovered in the future," Sundman said.
According to the 1997 book, American Coin Treasures and Hoards, by well-known numismatic author and researcher Q. David Bowers, the previously known record-sized private coin hoards were
Littleton is a family-owned business started in 1945 by Sundman's father, Maynard. The dealership has grown the past half century to become one of the largest coin companies in the world with 250 full-time staff handling more than 100,000 customers' orders each month.
For additional information about the Midwest MegaHoard, contact Littleton Coin Co., One Littleton Coin Place, Littleton, NH 03561. Phone 800-645-3122.