FR | EN | 

Discover all the news and articles from TNUMIS Magazine exclusively

The Great Montana Collection

The Great Montana Collection is the name given to the private treasure of an American businessman. Zollie Kelman, a seasoned numismatist, chose his coins wisely and kept them at home in his garden bomb shelter. This choice could have cost him his treasure, as he was not safe from a band of thieves determined to steal the loot.

The Great Montana Collection: A Private Treasure

Zollie Kelman’s passion for collecting coins began at a young age, following a significant episode in his childhood. During the Great Depression, his family was struggling to pay the bills. When the city threatened to cut off their water, Kelman’s brother paid the $1.81 bill with Indian Head cents from his private collection. This experience left an indelible mark on Kelman.

Once he became a wealthy businessman, Kelman never forgot where he came from and decided to pursue his passion. He owned several banks in Great Falls, Montana. During the 1950s and 1960s, he made a deal with one of the armoured car companies that transported the money. It regularly moved bags of 1,000 silver dollars from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Montana. It was agreed that the company would drop the bags off at his home during the usual route.

When the bags arrived, he carefully laid out the coins on his kitchen table where the whole family helped with the inventory: the coins were sorted by brilliance, condition, quality and dates. He selected the most beautiful ones and exchanged them for the more common species before giving the bags back. This is how he amassed his Great Montana Collection, estimated to be worth several thousand dollars of Morgan silver.

Attacking Kelman’s Treasure

The seasoned numismatist logically chose to use the concrete fallout shelter on his property to hide and protect his treasure trove of American coins. It will be unbreakable.

It is not known how the secret of his treasure was leaked in the region, but one day it reached the ears of brigands. One evening, Kelman heard a knock on his door. When he opened it, he came face to face with three masked men who entered with haste. The family was held hostage while the thieves turned the house upside down to find the loot. However, one member of the family managed to hide and called the police. Within minutes, the house was surrounded by law enforcement. The thieves were arrested and the treasure was saved. Had the robbery attempt succeeded, there would surely never have been a Great Montana Collection.

The Great Montana Collection, after being authenticated, graded and encapsulated by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), has now been dispersed.

Find regular sales of Morgan dollars from the Great Montana Collection on our store.

Sources :
Govmint
Littleton coin company

Last published articles

The Latin Union: a part of European numismatic history

In the fascinating world of numismatics, the Latin Union reveals itself as a multi-faceted monetary epic. This alliance of nations, created at the end of the 19th century, left its…

World Money Fair 2024

World Money Fair Berlin ThomasNumismatics.com

Explorez le Monde de la Numismatique au World Money Fair de Berlin Chaque année, le World Money Fair de Berlin attire des passionnés de numismatique du monde entier pour célébrer…

Antique Coins: A Fascinating Journey through Numismatic History

1007px-Pannini,_Giovanni_Paolo_-_Gallery_of_Views_of_Ancient_Rome_-_1758

Antique coins represent a fascinating chapter in numismatic history. They are the oldest coins in the world, bearing witness to great civilizations. In this article, we delve into the captivating…

Discover all articles