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Real Coin or Bitcoin?

April 15, 2021

1822 gold $5 half eagle coinWhat is the better investment, a real coin or a Bitcoin? Only time will tell, but I am betting on the real deal for now. Nothing can compete with looking at and holding a real treasure; obviously, you cannot do that with a cryptocurrency or any digital asset.

An 1822 Gold $5 Half Eagle coin just set a record price for any US coinage sold at auction; it is considered a ‘trophy’ coin because of its rarity. While the coin was initially intended for widespread circulation, only 17,796 were minted. In 1834 most of the coins were melted down because a decision was made to decrease the gold content in coins (this coin is 92% gold). Today there are only three known examples; two of them are in National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institute. The third (this fine specimen) has remained in private collections since 1899.

The coin has a grading of AU50, suggesting it was most likely never circulated. It has an impeccable provenance dating back to 1899 when Virgil Brand purchased it and remained in his collection until his heirs sold it to Louis Eliasberg, Sr. in 1945, becoming part of one of the only complete US Coinage collections. In 1982, Eliasberg’s complete set (which included every coin produced for circulation since the start of the nation’s coinage in 1793) was sold at auction. Collector D. Brent Pogue purchased it at that sale for $687.5K. In 2016, Pogue tried to sell it at auction, but it failed to meet the reserve of $6.4M. Pogue passed away in 2019, and the coin was presented again at the end of March 2021.

This time the bidding started at $3.6M, and the hammer fell at $7M ($8.4M w/p). Wonder if my Bitcoin will reach $8M in 200 years?