Posts Tagged ‘fateful day’

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MS70 $25 Gold Coin Up on Ebay 2 Known Only

Absolutely incredible coin!

MS70 WTC $25 gold coin

This is without a doubt the most desirable coin of all American Eagles that were recovered from the Iron Mountain Vault beneath the World Trade Center. On November 11, 2001 two months after the disaster, this $25 American Gold Eagle was among those found within the vault. They were taken away by Brinks to a storage facility and subsequently graded by PCGS. To imagine that there were some that were able to obtain the coveted PCGS grade of MS70 after the events of that fateful day is simply amazing.

There are only 2 of these 2001 $25s in MS70 known to be in existence, and the other one are closely held by the originator and is not for sale. This will be your only chance to own one, and what an acquisition it would be. A collector's dream.


Link to Ebay auction

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WTC Coin Population

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The coins that were recovered out of the COMEX vaults in the sub-basement of World Trade Center were certified by PCGS and a chain of custody was followed from the time the coins left the vaults at World Trade Center until they arrived at PCGS for authentication. PCGS has never publicly released or have any population reports generated for these historical coins and it is our understanding that they have absolutely no interest in ever doing so anytime in the near future. Collectors are left to wonder, why would a reputable coin grading service such as PCGS take all of the extra measures to ensure that the coins never leave the sight of security officials so that they could properly authenticate the coins if they never had any intentions of keeping accurate records of how many coins were actually recovered?

We believe that PCGS, the number one coin grading service, owes it to the American Numismatist as well as the victims of September 11, 2001 the courtesy of a population report so that we can at least have some kind of reference as to what the prices for some of these historical pieces should be according to their rarity. These coins are so unique and mean so much to so many collectors worldwide that not only is it time for some kind of accountability, it is time to properly give these coins the respectful place and recognition that they deserve and have now earned in numismatic history. These PCGS certified coins will forever serve as reminders of the events of September 11, 2001 so that we may never forget our Brothers and Sisters that were lost on that fateful day.

Whether collectors refer to them as “Historic Coins” or “Blood Coins” it is now of no consequence as they have now earned their rightful place in world history. The coins are what they are, important pieces of world history no matter who profited from their sale or whether or not PCGS thought it were right! It is true that quite a few dealers and or collectors made or are making money through the sale of these coins but how else can they be passed down from generation to generation? As gifts? Come on people, let’s be real.

If an individual collector and PCGS authorized dealer Mitchell Spivac known as www.wondercoin.com on eBay can account for 100 New York State Quarters that raised over $40,000 dollars for the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) Widows’ and Children’s Fund. How come PCGS and or the “Originators” of these the World trade Center Recovered coins cannot account for every coin certified given the fact that an official statement given by PCGS on November 14, 2002 says;

“This was one of the toughest and touchiest decisions we ever made. In the months following Sept 11, we were approached on numerous occasions to do coin-related projects. We rejected all the projects except one PCGS project from one source. After considerable thought, we decided to do the one PCGS project because we knew the people handling the deal very well, they assured us that everything would be handled in the best possible way, and they assured us a hefty donation would be made to the victims. It is our understanding that there are 4 direct retailers of these coins, that the two largest have committed to donating between 6% and 12% of the gross sales price to the fireman/victims funds, and that the largest retailer has raised close to $400,000 for the funds. It was certainly not our intention to participate in anything that is disrespectful to our country or the victims of our National tragedy. I hope this is explains what we did and why we did it. Like I said, it was a touchy decision.”

If more than $400,000 thousand dollars for the Fireman’s/Victims September 11 fund was raised through the sale of these coins? Why not keep records of how many coins were actually certified? If for nothing else, they should do it out of respect for the victims of September 11, 2001.

The collector base for these historical pieces has grown considerably since their early release back in 2001-2002 and we further believe that it leaves the individual collector of this hobby at a great disadvantage not knowing the true population of each individual coin. We sure hope that PCGS wakes up soon and releases accurate population numbers for each WTC coin authenticated. We believe that it is the right thing to do considering that their reputation and integrity is currently on the line. Why hide the population numbers for the World Trade Center Recovered coins? It is also our opinion that PCGS should be honored that they were given the chance to be the only authorized grading service to authenticate and sonically seal these historic coins no matter what anyone else thinks.   

With that in mind the population numbers that are found on this website are to the best of our research. If anyone visiting this website has any pertinent information on the subject, please let us know so that we can update our information.

The total population number we do know comes from the

Ground Zero Sets that are numbered series

The different Sets are put together like this. 

Coin Set Coins in Set Type
1 of 34
Total 34
1 Gem BU Mexico Gold Pesos
1 of 150
Total 300
2 Gem BU 2001 $25,$50 Gold
1 of 190
Total 1,140
6 Gem BU 2001 $1,$5,$10,$25, $50,$100 Silver, Gold,Platinum
1 of 269
Total 1,345
5 Gem BU 2001 $5,$10,$25,$50 Gold coins
1 of 426
Total 852
2 Gem BU 2001 $1 silver and 1 gold bar Swiss
1 of 531
Total 2,655
5 Gem BU 2001 $5,$10,$25,$50 Gold coins
1 of 900
Total 900
1 1998 $50 Gold
1 of 1000
Total 2000
2 MS69 2001 $1 Silver, 1999 $5 Gold
1 of 1100    
1 of 1440
Total 2,880
2 2001 $1 silver, 2001 $5 Gold

 

With this information we know that at least 13,206 coins in the number series from Ground Zero was recovered. If I am missing any number series please let me know. I do not have any information on the 1 of 1100 series yet but it will come and I will update.

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A Numismatic Catastrophe

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By Ron Guth

Published in Rare Coin Market Report November 2007 www.pcgs.com

This is a true story from 9/11-- one with a numismatic angle. What you are about to read pales in comparison to the loss of human life on that fateful day, but this is a story that needs to be told.

Imagine this nightmare scenario: your bank, where your coins are stored in a safe deposit box, calls to tell you that the bank building collapsed and all that's left is a pile of burning rubble. Plus, it will be month before you can recover anything from your box, assuming the box can be found. That's exactly what happened to collector Paul Renda. You see, Paul's coins were inside a box...inside a vault... inside a New York branch of JP Morgan Chase...inside a skyscraper....which was one of the twin towers known as the World Trade Center On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew planes into each of the towers, causing them to burn and collapse, taking with them nearly 3000 lives and destroying billion of dollars worth of property-- including Paul's coins.

Rescue operations began immediately but were hampered by smoldering fires, poor aor quality and fears of additional collapses due to the unstable structure of the immense pile of rubble. When it became apparent that there were no more survivors, the effort became a recovery and cleanup operation. Demolition crew picked apart the twisted steel and crushed concrete, searching for human remains, recovering lost property and moving away big and small pieces of the towers that once dominated the Manhattan skyline.

Deep beneath the rubble and remains lay a vast assortment of treasures ranging from $230 million in precious metals to entire bank vaults and safe deposit boxes like the one rented by Paul Renda. Eventually, these treasures were recovered and restored to their rightful owners, when such identification was possible. Moths after the collapse, Paul Renda was summoned to a special location to reclaim his treasure. According to the final appraisal report, "The Renda collection of coins is comprised primarily of coins pulled from circulation and a small group of choice un-circulated silver dollars." The inventory list included a variety of coins including Lincoln cents, Shield Nickels, Walking Liberty half dollars, nine silver dollars (six of which were Morgan dollars), and others. In all Paul's box contained 243 coins. Everyone, especially Paul, was anxious to see if his coins had survived and, if they had, what kind of condition they were in. Mr Renda provided PCGS with a videotape of the day he went to recover the contents of his safe deposit box. Watching the video is powerful, as one sees a scene that must have been repeated hundreds, if not thousands of times, by other people claiming the contents of their boxes. The video begins with Paul entering a storage room in which stacks of safe deposit boxes have been placed around the perimeter. The boxes look terrible; they appear burnt, crushed, and many of the doors have already been drilled out or popped open. The fronts have been spray-painted in graffiti-like fashion as a mean of identifying the bank or location in which they were found. Paul is seen scanning each of the stacks, searching for his box (#Z-433), which he finally finds at the lower left corner of one of the burnt-out stacks. The door to Paul's box appears to be in remarkably good shape, better than many of the others, and he attempts to insert his key, to no avail. A technician uses a hammer to punch out the locks and pry open the door. The technician pulls Paul's box out of its drawer and carries it to a makeshift cubicle where the box and its contents can be examined. Paul is given a pair of latex gloves to protect his hands from the soot. The box is charred on the outside but appears to be in good shape, so Paul is hopeful that the contents might have survived. Paul gently opens the lid and peers inside. Paul's hope turns to dismay as the box reveals nothing but the blackened remains of album pages, documents and coins. The temperatures required to melt coins inside a steel box must have been immense. The paper pages of the albums remained intact and appeared to have been turned into charcoal more so than having being burnt. Paul can be seen lifting blackened,individual coins out of the box and laying them onto a sheet of black plastic. As he lift out the individual album pages, coins can be seen dropping from the holes. The pages themselves are very fragile and prone to crumbling. Soon Paul has before him a pitiful pile of burnt album pages and blackened coins. The back of Paul's box contains important documents. Surprisingly most of the documents remain relatively intact as single fragile pages. Paul is able to separate them and, if they don't crumble apart, he can actually read some of them.

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Three of Paul's coins are illustrated with this video. Each coin shows severe discoloration and blistering of the surfaces. The melting point of silver is 1,763 degrees Fahrenheit, giving some idea of the inferno these coins endured.

The contents of Paul's box were a disaster. The heat, fire, and corrosive action of the World Trade Center's destruction reduced the value of Paul's collection to that of the bullion value of the silver coins. Likewise, his documents were effectively unsalvageable.

It may come as a surprise to most people, but banks usually have no liability of any kind for the contents of the safe deposit boxes in their care. However, because of the extraordinary circumstances of September 11, JP Morgan Chase offered to compensate Paul for his loss. They hired an outside appraiser to examine the contents of the box and to determine a replacement value for the coins. Surprisingly, the final settlement amount offered by JP Morgan Chase was higher than the hypothetical loss developed by the appraiser. However, Paul decided not to accept the settlement, opting instead to retain all 243 of his coins as memories of this historic event. He plans to donate some of the coins to museums but the bulk of the coins will remain with his family.

Paul Renda's association with the World Trade Center goes beyond this story. Paul was working in the offices of Dean Witter Discover in Two World Trade Center when it was bombed in 1993. He experienced the terror of huddling in a room filling with smoke, not knowing whether to stay put or attempt to make it down to the street. He chose the latter. Paul's cousin Thomas "Tommy" Farino died on 9/11 while responding to the attack. Tommy was a New York Fire Department Captain ( the youngest named Captain of Engine Co. 26) and was promoted posthumously to Battalion Chief.

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