Newman’s Unique 1792 Washington President Gold Eagle Certified by NGC
An extremely rare, one-of-a-kind gold coin made its first public, pre-auction showing since 1890, when Heritage Auctions put it on display June 14 at the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo in California. The coin, a 1792 Washington President Gold Eagle that researchers believe was at one time given to George Washington and carried by the founding father himself as a pocket piece, was the late Eric P. Newman’s most prized possession. It has been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and graded XF 45 (“Complete details with minor wear on some of the high points”).
Also, the coin will be sold without reserve (indicating that no price is reserved) by Heritage Auctions on August 16, 2018, at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. Even more, all of the net proceeds go to charity. It is only the third time in its history that this piece is available at a public auction.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. In addition to its headquarters in Dallas, Heritage has offices in New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, and Palm Beach, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong.
Research strongly suggests that the 1792 Washington President Gold Eagle was specifically struck for, presented to, and carried by George Washington. Furthermore, a 1792 letter to Washington, 2010, provides further evidence that the coin was struck for Washington in Newburyport, Massachusetts, by American intellectual and polymath, Jacob Perkins, rather than in England as previously believed.
After Washington himself, only eight elite numismatists have had the privilege of holding this gold coin. The famed “Colonel” E. H. R. Green purchased it privately in 1933 for over $2,500, a significant amount for that time period. After that, Eric P. Newman acquired the coin in July 1942, and since then it had remained in his collection.
The obverse of Newman’s unique gold pattern features a bust of Washington surrounded by the 1792 date and “WASHINGTON PRESIDENT.” The reverse features a heraldic eagle based on the Great Seal of the United States, bearing an edge lettered “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
One of the Greatest Numismatists of All Time
Eric P. Newman died in 2017 at the age of 106. The most gifted and admired numismatic scholar, author, and researcher of his era. And above all, a creator what experts consider one of the nation’s most significant coin collections. Since 2013, more than 19,000 lots from Newman’s collection have sold for over $72.9 million at auctions conducted by Heritage, with all net proceeds benefiting various charities.
For Mr. Newman, who at one time owned all five known 1913 Liberty nickels (today valued at over $3 million each), one coin always eclipsed all others. One might wonder how someone with such a monumentally vast collection, and such a long history of numismatic scholarship, could point to a single piece and call it his favorite coin? For Newman, it was clear; no other numismatic artifact of early America connects present-day collectors and historians to our country’s most famous statesman more closely than the 1792 Washington President Gold Eagle. As Mr. Newman explained in 1975, “This coin is unique in that it was owned by George Washington. It is unique as the earliest gold pattern prepared for the United States coinage. What other American coins can command the historical and numismatic respect of that magnitude?”
“To my father, George Washington and Ben Franklin were personal heroes. He considered Washington’s refusal that our country’s first coinage depict his own image on it to be an emblematic example of Washington’s profound humility and willingness to put country before self.”
Andy Newman, son of Eric P. Newman
Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES)
“NGC was the logical choice to grade this important rarity due to the tremendous success of the past NGC-certified selections,” said Stuart and Maureen Levine, advisors to the nonprofit Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES). “We look forward to the history-making sale in August.”
Likewise, proceeds of the sale of all items go exclusively for supplementing the Society’s scholarly numismatic research efforts and for the benefit of other not-for-profit institutions selected by Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for public purposes.
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)
Certainly, NGC is the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens, and medals. Founded in 1987, NGC provides accurate, consistent, and impartial assessments of authenticity and grade. To ensure impartiality, NGC does not buy or sell coins. Due to that reason, its full-time graders cannot buy or sell coins commercially. Adding, as a result, confidence, and value for collectors and dealers around the world. Learn more at NGCcoin.com.