Stack’s Bowers Galleries, USA-Costa Mesa

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US 1792 Copper Cent Top Lot in Stack’s Bowers Spring Expo Auction

Spirited bidding in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles 2023 Spring Expo resulted in dozens of new price records and a total realization of over $28.5 million. The top performer in the sale was a 1792 cent in copper with a silver plug pedigreed to the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation. Graded MS-61 BN by PCGS and approved by CAC, this historic and controversial coin brought $576,000. Close behind was an 1854 Kellogg & Co. $20 graded MS-65 (PCGS) CAC that brought more than 60% above the prior all-time record when it sold for $552,000.

Lot 3063: 1792 Cent. Silver Center. Judd-1, Pollock-1. Rarity-6+. Copper with Silver Plug. Reeded Edge. MS-61 BN (PCGS). CAC. Result: $576,000.

Leading off the sale was Part III of the Sydney F. Martin Collection which realized a total of nearly $3 million, highlighted by a circa 1784 Ephraim Brasher (EB) Regulated Brazil 1754-B 6400 Reis that was bid to $168,000. Four other items from this session also realized six-figure prices, including a 1787 New York Excelsior copper ($144,000), a 1783 John Chalmers Ring shilling ($144,000), a 1785 Immune Columbia / Nova Constellatio copper ($114,000) and an undated (1659) Maryland Lord Baltimore denarium ($108,000). The sale of this celebrated cabinet will continue with the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2023 Global Showcase Auction, as well as special presentations in the firm’s Collectors Choice Online Auctions.

Additional colonial and early America coins offered in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries sale included an undated (1652) NE Shilling graded AU-50 by PCGS that brought $156,000, a superb prooflike “1789” (ca. 1792) Washington Born Virginia copper, pedigreed to the Garrett and Partrick collections, that realized $57,600, and a PCGS AU-50 1776 Continental dollar (Newman 1-c Pewter “CURENCY) that sold for $44,400, a record for the grade.

Lot 3017: 1803 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. BB-255, B-6. Rarity-2. Large 3. MS-61 (PCGS). Result: $52,800.

The Rarities Night session of the Official Spring Expo Auction brought impressive results as well as record prices. An 1879 Indian Head cent certified PCGS MS-67 RD broke the all-time record price for the date when it crossed the block for $22,800. Featured in the Rarities Night session and in the main catalog was the James Allaire Millholland Collection, a remarkable selection of Proof and business strike 18th and 19th century U.S. coins, assembled in the late 19th century and fresh to the market. The highest priced item from this cabinet was an 1803 Draped Bust silver dollar which realized $52,800, over 40% more than the previous record for this date in MS-61. Much of the collection displayed striking toning and incredible quality, with record prices achieved by a Proof-66 (PCGS) 1860 Seated Liberty dollar that brought $28,800, a Proof-67 (PCGS) 1891 Morgan dollar that sold for $22,800, and a Proof-65 Cameo (PCGS) 1873 trade dollar that was bid to $26,400. Among federal gold coinage, an 1861 three-dollar gold piece in PCGS MS-64 nearly doubled the price record in that grade when it sold for $36,000. An 1886 Proof-67 Deep Cameo (PCGS) double eagle soared to $468,000, more than 50% above the previous record, while a Proof-66+ Deep Cameo (PCGS) CAC eagle of the same date realized $264,000. Two gold commemoratives from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition also set new price records as a MS-67+ (PCGS) gold dollar realized $21,600 and a MS-67+ (PCGS) CAC quarter eagle sold for $26,400.

Presented in its own catalog was Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ fourth stand-alone offering of coins from the Fairmont Collection. The CAG Set of $5, $10 and $20 gold coins once again attracted strong bidding, realizing nearly $3.4 million. An 1866-S No Motto double eagle, graded AU-58 (PCGS) CAC brought the highest price at $114,000, followed by five Carson City double eagles that each sold for more than $50,000.

Lot 8006: 2012 Casascius 1 Bitcoin. Loaded. Firstbits 1CSFguKQ. Series 2. Brass. MS-66 (PCGS). Result: $60,000.

In a special session of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction, nearly $680,000 in Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency coins was sold, setting a record as the single most valuable live auction of crypto coinage, and resulting in average premiums approaching 200% of face-value. Among the highlights was a 2012 Casascius 1 Bitcoin. Firstbits 1CSFguKQ in Brass that realized $60,000 (a premium nearly double its face value) and a silver 2013 0.1 BTC that realized $13,200 (nearly 5x premium) and set a new firm record for the type.

Lot 20602: Fr. 2407. 1928 $500 Gold Certificate. PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ. Result: $216,000.

The United States currency offerings in the Spring 2023 Expo Auction were led by the Mid-Continent Collection that comprised Gem Colonial, Continental, and Small Size type notes. Among Gold Certificates in the collection, a 1928 $500 (Fr. 2407) graded PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ realized $216,000 while a 1928 $100 (Fr. 2405) graded PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ brought $192,000, both well above their pre-sale high estimates. Additional notable prices in the U.S. paper money offerings included an 1861 $5 Demand Note (Fr. 2) graded Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ by PMG that sold for $408,000 and a 1934 $5000 Federal Reserve Note from Dallas (Fr. 2221-K) that was bid to $174,000.


Complete prices realized from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Spring 2023 Expo Auction are available at the catalog library.

For further information, visit the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website.