For over 75 years, the family that owned the Tahoe Tavern Casino held onto the Morgan dollars, most of which were minted in nearby Carson City.
A group of almost 300 Morgan dollars certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) is being offered in an upcoming Heritage Auctions sale. Online bidding is already underway for The Tahoe Tavern Casino Collection U.S. Coins Showcase Auction, which will be held on August 14, 2023.
Nearly all of the 286 coins are in Uncirculated condition, and their NGC certification labels note the pedigree of the popular casino located at Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada state line. Just a few miles away is the Carson City Mint, which famously struck Morgan dollars and other coins in the late 19th century.
Among the top highlights is an 1879-CC Morgan dollar graded NGC MS-62 and pedigreed to the Tahoe Tavern Casino Collection (lot 92018). This early issue of the Morgan dollar was minted in the second year that the U.S. Mint produced these iconic silver coins. This is one of the earliest examples in the casino’s extensive collection and is one of the leading lots, with bidding reaching $6,000 more than a week before the end of the auction.
According to the auction house, 76 years ago, the casino owners sent their sons to pick up more silver dollars from the bank for their slot machines. Upon arriving back at the casino, they realized the bags were filled with primarily Uncirculated Morgan dollars from the Carson City Mint. Among the coins were numerous 1879-CC Morgan dollars, which are some of the most desirable of the series, since only around 756,000 were minted in Carson City. In addition, the Heritage sale includes more than 100 1891-CC Morgan dollars of the popular Spitting Eagle variety.
Ownership of the Tahoe Tavern Casino changed hands multiple times in the decades following its grand opening in 1902. Brothers John and A.J. Flagg took over the establishment in 1946, and in the summer of 1947, they sent their sons on the fateful bank run. When the brothers realized what their sons had brought back, they split the Morgan dollars, and the coins have stayed within the family ever since — making this Heritage Auctions sale the first time these coins are being offered to coin collectors.
Press release courtesy of the Numismatic Guaranty Company