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Pine Tree Auctions

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Thursday, May 05, 2016 / Categories: Answers for the Avid Collector

Question: I have a very nice gold coin that came with a flip from "the second annual Walter Breen Gold coin auction sale, June 25-26, 1975 in NYC." The other side says "Pine Tree Auction Co., Albertson New York."

I was trying to research the auction on the Internet without much luck. PCGS did not have info in their "auction price realized" section, and I see that not much info was recorded prior to 1990.

I found a few Pine Tree Auction catalogs listed on the Internet. Walter Breen seemed to be quite involved with cataloging for the company. Was Pine Tree Walter Breen's company?

Answer: Pine Tree Auction Company was a division of First Coinvestors, a firm mainly selling through investors, but with exceptions. At one time it was a publicly traded company. Walter Breen was the staff expert and sent out letters of authentication, (including for some items that were not genuine), and the like, and was used as a "front man" to increase sales.

With regard to this specific auction lot, the American Numismatic Association Library in Colorado Springs would have the catalog and for a very modest fee could send you a copy of the cover plus the description of the coin you have.