John Jay Pittman collection is considered one of the finest of all time. Pittman, an Eastman Kodak worker from Rochester, NY didn’t come from a wealthy family. Pittman focused on coins that were what he thought to be rare, esoteric and undervalued. He concentrated on areas of Proof Coins and early U.S. coinage, some where he had to take out second mortgages on his home in order to buy.
He didn’t participate in the large auctions, he waited, thought he could buy them later at lesser values and he did. Pittman spent less than $100,000 on his collection of great coins which later in 1997 and 1998 sold for more than $25 million.
Pittman owned the 1838 Proof Ten Dollar Gold Piece which he purchased in 1954 at the Cairo sale of King Farouk of Egypt. His eye for great rarities was amazing as the 1838 Proof Ten Dollar Gold Piece is one of three coins struck and the rarest Proof Ten Dollar Gold Piece in existence. One resides in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and the other two are in private collections. Some coins were purchased for $100 in the 1940’s and brought upwards of $100,000 in auction.
Image of the ULTRA RARE 1838 PROOF Ten-Dollar Gold piece owned by John Jay Pittman. Mintage of 3 coins, only two can be owned privately.