Champagne Lanson $20 coins to auction for $1m at Bonhams

Bonhams will sell the now-famous Champagne Lanson Bonnet Collection of $20 Gold Coins as part of its June 3 auction of Coins & Medals in Los Angeles.

Champagne Lanson $20 Gold coins
This 1861 $20 coin from the find is graded MS61 and valued at $4,000-5,000

The remarkable find, which supposedly rained down on a worker during renovations, has an estimated value of $1m. The collection comprises 497 US coins minted between 1852 and 1928.

The story of the discovery began in France in February 2012, when the Lanson-BCC group hired contractors to remodel a former grape drying facility, which lay on its land.

While working on the site, one of the builders disturbed the cache of gold coins, causing them to pour from the ceiling.

It is not known how the coins found their way to the attic in the tiny village of Les Riceys, but the building was formerly owned by a wine producer who traded with the US and England in the 1930s.

Lanson-BCC has stated that the "modest employee" will be entitled to half of the proceeds from the sale, in accordance with French law.

However, the most valuable lot of the sale will be a 1798/1797 $10, which is the only known use of an obverse with stars arranged 9x4 in the entire US gold series. Valued at $140,000-150,000, the coin is graded MS61 NGC.

Paul Fraser Collectibles also has a fantastic selection of gold coins for sale, including this magnificent Renaissance double ducat that is one of only five known to exist.

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