Lavere Redfield: The Potato Farmer That Hoarded Silver Dollars
While most of us have heard stories of different coin collectors that have amassed very specific coin collections that they have kept for show, there are those that we seldom hear about. These coin hoarders are less concerned with collecting coins for the sake of creating a collection, instead, they are motivated by their inherent distrust of banks.
Who Is Lavere Redfield?
Lavere Redfield was one such hoarder, and in his lifetime, he managed to amass over 400,000 silver dollars. As a young man born at the turn of the 20th century, Lavere Redfield was a simple potato farmer. When the Great Depression hit, he decided to take a chance and move to California.
Once he arrived in California, he began to buy junk bonds and foreclosed property as a form of investment. Once the depression ended, he turned his investments into a small fortune that allowed him to purchase his own rather large home on farmable acreage in Reno, Nevada.
Why He Collected Silver Dollars
Having seen what had happened to so many at the hands of the banks; Redfield cashed in his remaining assets and used the money to buy several bags of both Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars.
When he got home he hid the bags in the coal cellar by sending them down the coal chute. He spent his life living as a modest potato farmer and continued to add to his silver dollar collection. Word of the coins stashed in the cellar began to spread, and over the years he was robbed more than once.
To reduce the amount of speculation Redfield began to travel further from his home to buy silver dollars, all of which he added to his collection hidden away in his cellar. He was known to have traveled all the way to Pennsylvania to make his purchases.
How Many Silver Dollars Did He Hoard?
By the time Lavere Redfield died in 1976, there were more than 40 bags of coins tucked away in his cellar. Each of these bags contained approximately 1,000 silver dollars. In all, Redfield had amassed a hoard of silver dollars that topped 400,000.
His collection was far too big to be placed on display in such a manner as to allow prospective buyers a chance to see all of the coins and big enough that it could not be stored in a single bank vault. It was sold as a single collection for $7.3 million, which was thought to be far less than it was really worth.
From this point, the new owner of this massive collection sold the collection off piecemeal. All of the coins were in uncirculated condition and today you would be hard pressed to find a single silver dollar from the famous Lavere Redfield Silver Dollar Hoard.