HERITAGE AUCTIONS’ TODD IMHOF SHARES HIGHLIGHTS FROM A STORIED NUMISMATICS CAREER
Todd Imhof differs from every other member of Heritage’s executive team in that he did not grow up collecting coins.
“My first exposure to numismatics was purely business-related (and my first post-college employment), although I immediately fell in love with the history and beauty that coins represent,” he says. “When I started in 1987, the industry was undergoing radical changes as a result of NGC and PCGS certification services. Being new, I found it much easier to adapt to the new market dynamics and changing relationships between dealers and collectors.”
In 1991, Imhof co-founded Pinnacle Rarities, a firm specializing in servicing the most advanced and preeminent collectors in numismatics. At the unusually young age of 25, he was invited to join the Professional Numismatists Guild and has served on its Consumer Protection Committee and its Legislation/Taxation Issues Committee. In 1992, he was invited to join the Board of Directors for the Industry Council for Tangible Assets, later serving as its Chairman.
Imhof joined Heritage in 2006 and became a shareholder in 2009, and today he assists Consignment Directors across multiple categories and oversees services for Heritage’s Legacy Client Group. He handles many of the auction house’s largest and more complex consignments and private transactions and continues to advise many of the world’s most prominent collectors.
Here, Imhof shares some of the incredible coins – and one gold nugget – that stand out as his favorites:
The Brasher Doubloon
“This is perhaps the world’s most famous coin. The few examples of these coins that exist were produced to a high standard of weight and purity that served as an example for the gold coinage of this country. A few years ago, I orchestrated a private sale of the MS63 specimen to prominent collector Alan Weinberg for over $5 million. And then just last year, Heritage sold the finest known MS65 example for the world-record price of more than $9 million.”
Neil Armstrong’s Gold Robbins Medal
“I had the honor of working with Neil Armstrong’s sons on the sale of their father’s memorabilia and artifacts. One of my favorite items from this consignment is the gold medal that was owned by Armstrong and traveled with him on Apollo 11 to the lunar surface. Robbins medals (mostly in silver) were first produced for Apollo 7 and are arguably the most popular collectible item among Space connoisseurs. Only three of these medals were produced for the Apollo 11 mission, and they were given to Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. We sold this item for more than $2 million in 2019.”
Boot of Cortez Gold Nugget
“There is a special feeling you get when holding any heavy gold nugget in your hands, and some of them can be quite ornate as well. I was mesmerized the first time I saw the Boot of Cortez – the largest gold nugget discovered in the Western hemisphere. The story of its exciting and unlikely discovery was fun to catalog, and the $1.3 million-plus price was impressive.”
Walton Family’s 1913 Liberty Nickel
“I am fortunate to have handled the sale of many of the world’s most valuable and prestigious collections. But oftentimes, it’s not so much the major coins that I cherish as much as the memories of the people I worked with. The storied history of this particular coin, and how gracious the Walton family was to work with, makes this item very special to me. It sold for $3,172,500 in an April 2013 Heritage auction.”
1907 $20 Ultra High Relief
“Designed by one of America’s great artists and generally considered the world’s most beautiful coin, any of the dozen or so that are known are highly sought-after trophies. Over the past 20 years or so, Heritage has handled the sale of a few specimens, but this one is particularly memorable to me because I worked on its sale for $1.84 million to Bob Simpson via auction back in 2007 and orchestrated a private sale of this same coin just a few months ago for $4.75 million.”
For more exceptional finds, check out Heritage’s Central States U.S. Coins Signature® Auction taking place May 4-9.
TODD IMHOF is a Partner and Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. He can be reached at Todd@HA.com.