Starting Price: 60 USD
Price realized: 130 USD
Lot of two USA (Philadelphia mint), $1, NGC "Binion collection": Morgan, 1898 and Peace, 1922. The story of the Binion collection is the stereotypical Las Vegas rise-and-fall tale, one consisting of sex, drugs, money, and murder. Ted Binion was the youngest son of Benny Binion, a famous gambler and racketeer who operated out of Dallas, Texas, before moving to Las Vegas in 1946. In 1951, Benny purchased two clubs, the El Dorado and the Apache, and reopened them as Binion's Horseshoe Casino. In 1964, Benny Binion received full control of the casino but, as a convicted criminal, was unable to hold a gambling license. He turned over the casino to his sons, Jack and Ted. Ted Binion, ever-gregarious, enjoyed being the face of the casino and consorting with the high-rollers. However, he also got involved in drugs and began a relationship with a stripper, Sandy Murphy. In March of 1998, the Nevada Gaming Commission revoked Ted's gaming license and the casino cut ties with him. However, Ted had a vault in the casino filled with his silver collection. Forced to remove the collection, he made a deal with his associate, Rick Tabish, to bury the silver in an underground vault in the Nevada desert. Only Ted Binion knew the code to access the vault, which contained silver bullion, casino chips, bank notes, and over 100,000 coins, many of which were Morgan dollars. On September 17, 1998, Binion had his lawyer remove Murphy from his will and suggested he might die that night. The next day, Binion was found dead in his home of a suspicious drug overdose. Two days later, Tabish was arrested while digging up Binion's vault. Investigators later found out that Tabish and Murphy were in a relationship and that Tabish had received the vault code from her. Both Murphy and Tabish were tried in 1999 and convicted of murder and burglary. Due to legal technicalities, a new trial was granted to them in 2004 where they were acquitted of murder but guilty of burglary and grand larceny. Murphy was released for time served; Tabish left prison in 2010. Binion's treasure, managed by his sister, was eventually sold to a promotional company with many coins ending up in NGC slabs. Both coins in this lot are AU with bagmarks but still lustrous. NGC# 137387-058, 145399-076. Pedigreed to the Ted Binion collection.