For auction are sonically sealed rolls of 20 2008-D First Day of Issue James Monroe $1 coins, graded Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) by PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), arguably the most respected coin grading company. Each roll has 2 different hologram labels, and its own unique serial number (registered at [URL removed per eBay rules]). The serial numbers in this lot start at #0059.
The First Day of Issue label means that these coins were sent to PCGS for grading on the same day that they were released to the public, virtually guaranteeing that they have never been touched. This is different from a First Issue label, which allows several weeks or so to elapse before the coin is graded. This would allow a dealer ample time to go through all the coins to "cherry pick" the best looking coins before sending them in. First Day of Issue, however, requires dealers to get the coins to PCGS within hours after obtaining them.
What makes these coins unique is that they were seized by the Secret Service from The Tulving Company on Saturday March 8, 2014, less than a week after The Tulving Company shut down owing customers $17M of gold and silver bullion. These coins were seized by the United States Secret Service, and were in their possession in a vault in Wilmington, Delaware until around May, 2016 when they were shipped to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, TX. They were quickly auctioned in Gallery Auction #9008, a Sealed Bid auction, which closed on June 10, 2016 at 5:00PM. The auction was to benefit creditors of The Tulving Company, Inc. (the victims). I was fortunate enough to get some winning bids placed before the end of the auction.
The owner of The Tulving Company was convicted of wire fraud, and is serving a 2 1/2 year prison sentence. The saga may not be over, however, as there are a father and son being sued by the bankruptcy professionals for $2,100,000, accused of manipulating contracts to defraud the IRS.
The coins are encapsulated in the "CrystalVue" hard plastic tubes by PCGS, who says that the tubes guarantee the authenticity and BU grade of the entire roll. The rolls were sonically sealed with a tamper-evident PCGS hologram and an official PCGS label with a brief description of the coin. PCGS refers to the rolls as the "most secure and aesthetic method of packaging coin rolls in the history of the hobby." PCGS also says that the rolls provide safe, long-term storage.
PCGS guarantees that all 20 of the coins are Brilliant Uncirculated. They state that the term "brilliant" means a "coin with full luster". "uncirculated" means a coin that has never been in circulation, and has no wear. That said, BU coins can be further narrowed down on a scale from MS-60 to MS-70. PCGS has not narrowed down these coins with a numeric identifier. Given that these coins are First Day of Issue (they were sent to PCGS the day that the Mint released them to the public), however, it is unlikely that they were "cherry picked" for the best examples.
These are authenticated with two separate holograms. The first is from PCGS, which placed the hologram on the roll when they first encapsulated the coins. That hologram guarantees that the coins are authentic and grade Brilliant Uncirculated. There is also a second hologram, with "Serial #XXXX - SEIZED - [URL removed per eBay rules]" printed over a "genuine" hologram, which guarantees that these coins were seized from The Tulving Company.
In my opinion, the coins offered here are an incredible deal: you get 20 PCGS-graded coins for just $48, which works out to just $2.40 each. On eBay, the least expensive PCGS individually graded coins ("slabbed") usually start at around $7 each. Those do not come with a hologram sticker, and have no special history behind them, not having been seized by the Secret Service. The PCGS wholesale ("bulk") rate to grade 100 or more coin is $12.00 each, so it would cost $240 to have 20 coins graded by PCGS. So $48 for a roll of 20 PCGS-graded coins seems to me like a bargain. And even if people were to completely stop collecting coins, you can always bring the roll to a bank and get the $20 face value! But I doubt anyone would do that.
Will these increase in value? I have no idea. I personally think it is best to buy them because *you* like the idea of having coins with a special history behind them, or giving them as a unique gift, rather than as an investment. These are special, they are coins once seized by the U.S. Government, and once in possession of a company involved in a $17M fraud. When Hannes Tulving, Jr. started selling these coins, he stated "How Revolutionary? I Think This Can Be As Revolutionary As...Independently Grading Coins Were In 1986!!" Note that the number of coins graded as First Day of Issue is fixed in time, so no more can ever be graded as First Day of Issue (unlike other coins, where many can suddenly appear on the market).
Included with the roll of coins will be a link to a PDF file of the Secret Service Search and Seizure Warrant that was signed by US Secret Service Special Agent Todd Corum. It lists these coins as item #12, "51,459 "Dollar" coins in plastic sleeves". Note that included in the 51,349 dollar coins were somewhere around 15,000 error coins (which are going to victims), and what appear to have been 8,000 ungraded dollar coins, and thousands of individually graded coins not in rolls. Of those coins, just 595 rolls and 668 individually PCGS-graded coin have been identified and labelled with the Tulving "SEIZED" hologram.
The provenance of these coins is as follows: First, they were released by the U.S. Mint on May 17, 2007, and purchased and shipped to PCGS on the same day. The coins were graded by PCGS, and sent to the purchaser (presumably The Tulving Company, which was selling them no later than July, 2008). They presumably sat in the Tulving Company warehouse until 2014, when it was raided, and the coins were then in the possession of the Secret Service. They were stored in a vault in Wilmington, Delaware by the Secret Service until around May, 2016, when they were shipped to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, TX and auctioned. They were purchased by me in June, 2016, and then will be sold to you.
As a special bonus, if you use "Buy It Now" and win 2 rolls, you'll get a 1 ounce copper bar for free. And if you use "Buy It Now" and win 3 or more rolls, you'll get the 1 ounce copper bar plus one 1/10 ounce silver coin for each roll won.