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Wilkison Collection - The Number One Finest Set of All Time

Retired Statistics
Rank

1
GPA with Top Bonuses

65.653
GPA Weighted

65.598
Complete

56.45%
Set Rating

32.259

About This Set: From the Experts at PCGS
John E. Wilkison, Sr. was a Springfield, Tennessee medical doctor who collected coins most of his life. He completed numerous sets of United States issues, but his collection of gold patterns was his greatest numismatic achievement. His gold pattern collection was the largest assemblage of this numismatic caviar in the history of American collecting. Of the 51 gold patterns produced, Dr. Wilkison owned 35 different ones and 47 total pieces. Even the National Numismatic Collection housed in the Smithsonian has only 20 different gold patterns. Only a king came close to the Wilkison gold pattern collection – King Farouk of Egypt assembled 32 different gold patterns with 35 total pieces. These were sold in the 1954 Palace sale after Farouk was deposed. Dr. Wilkison obtained several of the Farouk issues, including the most famous of all gold patterns – J-1776, the Indian Head double eagle designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the behest of President Teddy Roosevelt. In fact, in numismatic circles, this unique gold pattern is often called “Teddy’s coin.”

Gold patterns are so rare that most collectors never own a single example. Wilkison obtained nearly 70 percent of the gold patterns. There are numerous unique coins in the National Numismatic Collection that, of course, Wilkison (or any collector) never had the chance to own. The unique half unions (the two $50 gold patterns of slightly differing designs), the unique 1906 Barber double eagle, and others residing in the Smithsonian are forever off the market. The only two examples of the double thickness Ultra High Relief double eagles are in the NNC, representing another gold pattern issue that Dr. Wilkison never had the chance to obtain.

The story of Wilkison’s purchase of Teddy’s coin (J-1776, the unique Saint-Gaudens Indian Head double eagle) is very interesting. Numismatic lore (even at the time – 1954) was that King Farouk cleaned all of his coins. So, when the Palace sale was held in 1954, the Indian Head double eagle was described as Extremely Fine. Dr. Wilkison decided that he did not want the coin if it had been harshly cleaned. Of course, Farouk did not clean any gold coins (it was unnecessary), so Abe Kosoff bought the coin in the Palace sale (for under $4000) for another famous collector – super large cent collector Ted Naftsger. When Wilkison found out that the coin was still pristine, he acquired it from Kosoff about two years later for $10,000!

The Wilkison gold pattern collection was sold in 1973 to Mike Brownlee and Julian Leidman in a transaction brokered by Tennessee Coin Exchange. Paramount International purchased the entire collection from Brownlee and Leidman later in 1973. Several of the gold patterns were traded to A-Mark for Redfield silver dollars, which were sold for several years by Paramount in specially designed Redfield holders.

It is unlikely, considering the cost of gold patterns in today’s market, that anyone will best Dr. Wilkison for the honor of the most complete gold pattern collection. The entire collection was valued as less than one million dollars in 1973, while today, several gold patterns contained in the collection have each sold for more than a million dollars!

Wilkison Collection

Image Item PCGS # Date Denom Grade PCGS # Pop PCGS # Pop Higher Pop Pop Higher Comments
1804 $10 J-33 11081 1804 $5
1836 G$1 J-67 11260 1836 G$1 PR65 3 2 39
Estimated grade. RADIATED LIBERTY CAP WITH LIBERTY ON BAND. Dr. Wilkison owned three of these, possibly one or two of them might be J-68. Dr. Wilkison owned three of these. His collection contained 35 different gold patterns and 47 total pieces.
1836 G$1 J-68 1836 G$1
1849 G$1 J-115 11502 1849 G$1 MS62 3 0 30
PCGS grade. LONGACRE SQUARE-PERFORATED ENGRAVED GOLD DOLLAR. Engraved design with square hole in middle, obverse with U. STATES OF AMERICA around laurel wreath and reverse with 1 DOLLAR 1849 around circle (around square hole) with 13 stars near the edge, PE, authorized as 25.8 grains, actual coins range from 20.38 to a reported 24 grains, R-7, nearly R-8. Dr. Wilkison owned two of this pattern. Pedigreed 11/7/15.
1849 $20 J-117 71908 1849 $20
1852 G$1/2 J-135 11575 1852 50C PR65 1 3 13
Estimated grade. HOLEY “HALF DIME REVERSE” GOLD HALF DOLLAR OBVERSE/BLANK DENTICLED REVERSE. Obverse is a perforated regular Liberty Seated half dime reverse. The reverse is blank with denticles. Gold, RE, R-7, 13 grains.
1852 G$1 J-136 11577 1852 $1 PR64 3
Estimated grade. HOLEY “DIME REVERSE” GOLD DOLLAR OBVERSE/BLANK DENTICLED REVERSE. Obverse is a perforated regular Liberty Seated dime reverse. The reverse is blank with denticles. Gold, RE, R-7, 25.8 grains.
1852 G$1 J-137 11579 1852 $1 PR64 1
Estimated grade. USA & DATE HOLEY GOLD DOLLAR OBVERSE/LAUREL SPRIGS WREATH REVERSE. Obverse with USA above and 1852 below. There are two known of this, the rarest pattern ring dollar. The Wilkison example was struck over an 1846 quarter eagle, while the other one known was struck over an 1859 quarter eagle., which obviously is a restrike, as the 1852 date would indicate. The reverse is a circle of laurel sprigs. Pedigree of the Wilkison example: unknown; F.C.C. Boyd; J.H. Judd; A. Kosoff; Dr. John Wilkison; Tennessee Coin Exchange; Julian Leidman & Mike Brownlee; Paramount Coin Co.; A-Mark; unknown.
1852 G$1 J-141 11593 1852 $1 PR64 2 4 25
Estimated grade. USA & DATE HOLEY GOLD DOLLAR OBVERSE/DOLLAR WITH WREATH BELOW REVERSE. Obverse with USA above and 1852 below. The reverse has DOLLAR above and a wreath below. Gold, PE, high R-7. Dr. Wilkison owned two of this pattern.
1852 G$1 J-145 11602 1852 $1 PR66 1 1 53
Estimated grade. DATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WAVY LINE HOLEY GOLD DOLLAR OBVERSE/DATE WITH WREATH BELOW REVERSE. Both thick and thin appear to weigh similarly – 25.4 to 26 grains. The obverse has a wavy line that alternatively touches the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the perforation with date below. The reverse as above with DOLLAR above and a wreath below. Gold, PE, R-7, thick planchet. Dr. Wilkison owned four J-145 coins, mostly thin planchets. See J-145 Thin, as described below.
1858 G$1 J-224 11922 1858 $1
1860 $5 J-271 12076 1860 $5 PR63
Estimated grade. PAQUET 3-STAR LIBERTY HEAD RIGHT OBVERSE/PAQUET NO SCROLL SLENDER EAGLE REVERSE. Possibly Paquet design with Liberty head facing right with an ornamented cap with 3 large stars with a ribbon along the bottom of the neck with LIBERTY. The reverse is a small, delicate eagle with upraised wings, its mouth holding a scroll inscribed E PLUIBUS UNUM, gold, RE, R-8, three known – Byron Reed with Wilkison owning the other two examples.
1860 $20 J-272a 60414 1860 $20
1861 $10 J-284 60430 1861 $10
1861 $10 J-286 60432 1861 $10
1863 $10 J-349 1863 $10
1863 $10 J-351 1863 $10
1865 $3 J-440 60625 1865 $3
1865 $5 J-445 60632 1865 $5
1865 $10 J-449 60636 1865 $10
1865 $20 J-452 60639 1865 $20 PR65
PCGS grade. TRANSITIONAL REGULAR DIES OBVERSE/REGULAR MOTTO DIES REVERSE. The other known example of this gold pattern rarity is in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian.
1868 $10 J-661 60879 1868 $10 PR64DC 3 2 32
PCGS grade. LONGACRE “LARGE HEAD THREE-CENT STYLE” NO STAR LIBERTY HEAD OBVERSE/PAQUET RAISED WINGS EAGLE REVERSE. Dr. Wilkison owned two examples of this pattern.
1872 G$1 J-1224 61496 1872 $1 PR66CA 1
Estimated grade. BARBER AMAZONIAN LIBERTY HEAD LEFT. Unique.
1872 $2-1/2 J-1230 61502 1872 $2.50 PR66DC 1
Estimated grade. BARBER AMAZONIAN LIBERTY HEAD LEFT. Unique.
1872 $3 J-1235 61507 1872 $3 PR66DC 1
Estimated grade. BARBER AMAZONIAN LIBERTY HEAD LEFT. Unique.
1872 $5 J-1240 61512 1872 $5 PR66CA 1
Estimated grade. BARBER AMAZONIAN LIBERTY HEAD LEFT. Unique.
1872 $10 J-1245 61517 1872 $10 PR66CA 1
Estimated grade. BARBER AMAZONIAN LIBERTY HEAD LEFT. Unique.
1872 $20 J-1250 61522 1872 $20 PR66CA
Estimated grade. BARBER AMAZONIAN LIBERTY HEAD LEFT. Unique.
1873 $5 J-1337 61625 1873 $5 PR64
Estimated grade. BARBER TIED HAIR LIBERTY HEAD RIGHT OBVERSE/AMAZONIAN EAGLE NO SCROLL TRADE DOLLAR REVERSE. Besides the Wilkison example, the other known example of this gold pattern is untraced, although it appeared in the Farouk sale in 1954.
1874 $10 J-1373 61677 1874 $10 PR64
PCGS grade. BICKFORD INTERNATIONAL. Dr. Wilkison owned two examples of this pattern
1875 $5 J-1438 61745 1875 $5 PR64
Estimated grade. SAILOR HEAD OBVERSE/SPREAD WING “20 CENT STYLE” EAGLE REVERSE. Dr. Wilkison owned two examples of this pattern.
1875 $10 J-1443 61751 1875 $10 PR64
Estimated grade. SAILOR HEAD OBVERSE/SPREAD WING “20 CENT STYLE” EAGLE REVERSE.
1876 $20 J-1488 61810 1876 $20
1876 $20 J-1490 61812 1876 $20 PR65
Estimated grade. TRANSITIONAL REGULAR 1877 DIES OBVERSE/TRANSITIONAL REGULAR TWENTY DOLLARS DIES REVERSE.
1877 $50 J-1546 61890 1877 $50
1877 $50 J-1548 61892 1877 $50
1878 $2-1/2 J-1566 61928 1878 $2.50 PR66
Estimated grade. MORGAN LARGE HEAD SWOOPED HAIR IN BUN OBVERSE/SPREAD WINGS NO MOTTO EAGLE REVERSE.
1878 $5 J-1570 61933 1878 $5
1878 $5 J-1572 61935 1878 $5
1878 $5 J-1575 61939 1878 $5 PR65
Estimated grade. BARBER ORNAMENTED CAP LIBERTY HEAD LEFT/UNEVEN UPRAISED WINGS EAGLE REVERSE.
1878 $5 J-1577 61941 1878 $5 PR66
Estimated grade. MORGAN CRUSHED CAP LIBERTY HEAD OBVERSE/TALL MORGAN DOLLAR-STYLE EAGLE REVERSE.
1878 $10 J-1579 61943 1878 $10 PR66
Estimated grade. BARBER ORNAMENTED CAP LIBERTY HEAD LEFT/UNEVEN UPRAISED WINGS EAGLE REVERSE.
1878 $10 J-1581 61945 1878 $10 PR66
Estimated grade. MORGAN CRUSHED CAP LIBERTY HEAD OBVERSE/TALL MORGAN DOLLAR-STYLE EAGLE REVERSE.
1879 $4 J-1635 8057 1879 $4 PR66 27 3 2724
Estimated grade. BARBER FLOWING HAIR STELLA.
1879 $4 J-1638 8058 1879 $4 PR66 2 1 26
Estimated grade. MORGAN COILED HAIR STELLA.
1879 $20 J-1643 62022 1879 $20 PR63 2 22
PCGS grade. BARBER “3.5 C” METRIC DOUBLE EAGLE.
1880 $4 J-1657 8059 1880 $4 PR64 7 10 717
Estimated grade. BARBER FLOWING HAIR STELLA.
1880 $4 J-1660 8060 1880 $4 PR66 1 0 10
Estimated grade. MORGAN COILED HAIR STELLA.
1906 $20 J-1773 62230 1906 $20
1907 $10 J-1774/1901 81950 1907 $10 PR66
Estimated grade. SAINT-GAUDENS INDIAN HEAD WIRE EDGE.
1907 $10 J-1774a/1902 62236 1907 $10
1907 $10 J-1775/1903 81952 1907 $10 PR66
Estimated grade. SAINT-GAUDENS INDIAN HEAD ROLLED EDGE.
MCMVII (1907) $20 Indian Head J-1776/1905 62238 1907 $20 PR68
Estimated grade. SAINT-GAUDENS INDIAN HEAD DOUBLE EAGLE. Gold, Lettered Edge, unique, often called “Teddy’s coin” among Pattern enthusiats.
MCMVII (1907) $20 Ultra High Relief J-1778/1907 81954 1907 $20 PR68
Estimated grade. SAINT-GAUDENS ULTRA HIGH RELIEF DOUBLE EAGLE. Gold, LE, R-6, 22 struck, with several varieties.
MCMVII (1907) $20 Ultra High Relief J-1778b/1908 62242 1907 $20
MCMVII (1907) $20 Ultra High Relief J-1778/1909 81956 1907 $20
MCMVII (1907) $20 High Relief J-1778c/1914 81957 1907 $20
MCMVII (1907) $20 High Relief, Small Diameter J-1779/1917 62243 1907 $20
1908 $2-1/2 J-1922 11094 1908 $2.50
1908 $5 J-1923 11095 1908 $5
1915 G$1 J-1965 11098 1915 $1
1915 G$1 J-1966 11099 1915 $1