Unveiling the great coin collection of 'Dusty' Lee Gibson



2015-06-26 12:17:49

Unveiling the great coin collection of 'Dusty' Lee Gibson

We look at the Oregonian numismatist's wide-ranging assembly of coins and currency

This week, we feature the fantastic numismatic collection of the late, great Dustinn 'Dusty' Lee Gibson - described as a "gentleman among collectors". Gibson began collecting when he was still a teenager; his grandmother presented him with a group of US coins when he was in high school, and he never looked back.

For the next 50 years, Gibson collected and studied a variety of coins and currency; however, his real passion was for paper money, particularly that originating from his home state of Oregon. He began his formidable collection of Oregon National Bank Notes in the 1960s, spurred on by competition with fellow enthusiasts Jim Gates and Richard Dreger.

By the time of his death, Gibson had assembled one of the most complete collections of small size Oregon National Bank Notes in the world. Alongside his passion for Oregonian currency, Gibson exhibited a keen eye and a broad taste for all sorts of coins, from early cents to high relief pieces.

1907 $20 coin 'What a relief' - The 1907 $20 coin from the Gibson collection

A fine example is a 1907 high relief $20 coin, designed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Commissioned by President Teddy Roosevelt to re-design American coins in 1905, Saint-Gaudens crafted this wonderful Renaissance and Ancient Greek inspired coin.

Gibson's $20 coin is very similar to one of the most expensive US coins in existence - the double thick, extremely high relief version, worth an estimate $8.5m and featured in our article on US coins last week.

Also included in Gibson's collection is an ancient 1793 Chain cent, allegedly struck to celebrate George Washington's birthday. Featuring the 'flowing hair' design - similar to the 'flowing hair' dollar we wrote about last week - it is one of the earliest American coins.

He also wisely bought multiple 1916 Standing Liberty quarters when their price was relatively low, recognising their investment potential. The Gibson collection was amassed over many years of attending numismatic shows, such as ANA, Long Beach and Memphis.

Gibson lived in Siletz River Valley, Oregon, throughout his life and worked at a paper mill for 36 years. Sadly, he died in 2009 but is fondly remembered by American numismatic enthusiasts who recognised not only his passion but his skill in collecting the best and rarest coins available

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