Hornets Nest – NGC Best Classic Set Winner

The Hornets Nest

The question was “Can a complete set of Charlotte Gold Coins even exist?”  With the surviving population of most issues being less than 300 pieces, this is a tough question to answer.  Where would one find these pieces available for sale, and how long would the search take?  Well, through the Hornets Nest Collection we can definitively answer these questions.  YES, it is possible! And it takes about 33 years of challenging and focused work.  An 1856-C $2.5 Charlotte Gold Coin purchased in 1987 was the beginning of the now historic journey. The original coin may no longer be in the Registry Set, but it is still in the possession of the collector as a reminder of where it all started – a Christmas present. The current collection of 53 coins makes up what is now called the Hornets Nest Collection: Nine Gold Dollars, Twenty $2.5 Gold Pieces, and Twenty-Four $5 Gold Pieces.  It has taken committed diligence to track down these elusive ‘C’ mint-marked coins and, in many cases, to trade up to better condition coins as they became available (like the original 1856 Quarter Eagle).  A keen eye for quality repeatedly begged the question: Does this coin belong in “The Nest”?  The pedigrees of some of the coins in this collection read as a veritable Who’s Who of numismatic lore: Eliasberg; Elrod; Pittman; and Harry W. Bass Jr.; making this Charlotte Gold set most definitely unmatched.  All but three of the coins in The Nest are in uncirculated quality, including SEVEN coins in the highest condition known (Top-Pop in numismatic lingo) making this set the juggernaut that it is.

With a collection that has almost too many highlights, it is difficult to choose just a few to showcase. But we will do our best… Enjoy!

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Let’s start with the ultra famous 1849-C $1 Open Wreath. The 1849-C $1 Gold Piece has 2 varieties; the variety shown above is known as the “open wreath” and has a population of 4 coins in existence (there are rumors of a 5th, but no confirmations have been made). The amount of Coins known not only makes it the rarest of The Charlotte Gold Coins but the rarest U.S Gold Dollar PERIOD!

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The Hornets Nest is filled with gorgeous coins, not unlike the 1851-C $1 Gold Coin shown above. The 1851-C Gold Dollar most commonly exists in low grade conditions is considered a rarity in grades above 50 on the 70 Point scale. The specimen in The Nest is an astounding 66 out of 70, which is almost unheard of for a Charlotte piece.

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Another Unmatched Coin is the 1846 $2.5 Dollar Gold Piece. Knowing that only 6 or 7 exist in uncirculated condition this MS64 will make you stop dead in your tracks. 1846 is a special year for $2.5 being known for good luster, but no one would have thought you could find a perfect combination of dripping luster, color and eye appeal like this coin demonstrates.

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Now on to the $5 Dollar Gold Pieces! This 1839-C $5 is a one-year type, meaning that it is the only Coronet Head design Charlotte Gold Coin with the ‘C’ mintmark on the obverse (front). A piece that already jumps out as special becomes unreal in the highest-known grade of MS63 and truly is a perfect example of what Charlotte Gold looks like untouched and unaltered.

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Rounding out our top 5 is the 1842-C Small Date $5 Gold Piece, the rarest of Charlotte Half Eagles with only about 60 Known. To describe the difficulty finding these coin in uncirculated quality you would have to use words like impossible, out of the question, and unfeasible. There are 3 uncirculated examples of the 1842-C Small Date, (1) MS61 & (1)MS62 but the Mint State 63 grade this coin has been awarded is simply the best of all 3 in existence.

Just sharing a few examples of the Hornets nest is simply not enough, Go to: https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=194499

to see every coin in the set.