Collectors will soon be able to research more than 1.5 million
sales records from Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ unified auction archives,
with additional historical auction information from predecessor firms
to be contributed as soon as it is digitally processed.
The research capabilities to be available on Stack’s Bowers
Galleries new website are among benefits of the unification, announced
July 17, of three Spectrum Group International numismatics firms —
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Spectrum Numismatics and Teletrade — under
the single Stack’s Bowers Galleries brand.
That’s according to Brian Kendrella, the newly named president of
the unified Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Kendrella was elevated to the
president’s post of the unified companies from the position of chief
operating officer for the previously individually branded Stack’s
Unification of the three Spectrum Group International affiliates
under a single title has been in the works for several months,
Kendrella said. He said the process was accelerated with the May
acquisition from Stack’s LLC of the 49 percent noncontrolling interest
in Stack’s Bowers Numismatics, doing business as Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
The acquisition made Stack’s Bowers Numismatics, dba Stack’s
Bowers Galleries, wholly owned by Spectrum Group International.
Kendrella said several major customers of the three individual
firms provided positive feedback about the idea of unifying the
entities under the established Stack’s Bowers Galleries name.
Kendrella said in a July 22 interview with Coin World that while
the Spectrum Numismatics and Teletrade brands will fade into
numismatic history, the services the individual entities provided will
continue under the new Stack’s Bowers Galleries banner and be further expanded.
Spectrum Numismatics was launched in 1991.
Teletrade was inaugurated in 1986 by Bernard Rome as a vehicle for
bidding on certified coins using a telephone touchpad.
The unification is a little bittersweet, Kendrella said, since he
began his numismatic career in the early 2000s with Teletrade.
Kendrella said collectors were exposed to three different
selections of services under three separate brands. Some customers
used the services of all three brands, he said.
Kendrella said unifying the services under one umbrella allows
those who didn’t use all three firms to have more choices and access
to inventory, as well as more venues at which to buy and sell coins.
“The new Stack’s Bowers Galleries will expand on the services
previously offered by the three individual companies and offer an
unmatched level of numismatic expertise, quality of service, and
breadth of buying and selling opportunities,” Kendrella said. “Our
increased services will include our renowned live Showcase Auction
presentations, weekly iAuctions, and Collectors Choice Auctions three
times per year, as well as expanded retail and wholesale services
through our online coin shop, SBGdirect, our flagship New York City
store, and through direct customer relationships.”
Kendrella said Stack’s Bowers Galleries will soon launch a new
consignor program, InstantCash, where up to 60 percent of the value of
a qualified consignor’s consignment to a weekly iAuction will be paid
the day following the completed sale.
The remaining 40 percent balance of the sale proceeds will be able
to be paid to the qualified consignor within as few as seven
additional days, Kendrella said.
Currently, archival auction records from the Stack’s Bowers
Galleries predecessor firms Stack’s, and Bowers and Merena, while
available, are fragmented in different locations and different formats
online and are incomplete, Kendrella said.
Under a single, consolidated research umbrella, collectors will
eventually have access to historical auction information from all
predecessor entities, Kendrella said.
The thrust will be to “backfill” archives from historic auctions
of all of the predecessor companies, including Teletrade, Kendrella said.
“We have spent the past several months developing an entirely new
and state-of-the-art technology platform that we are excited to launch
soon,” Kendrella said. “Our new website will offer a number of new
advanced features specifically designed to allow our customers to
quickly and easily find their items of interest and provides them with
as much information as possible to help them make informed bidding and
“It will also combine the past sales records of our predecessor
firms and put over 1.5 million auction prices realized at their fingertips.”
Kendrella said Stack’s Bowers Galleries plans to expand its
numismatic exposure in the marketplace, with continual introduction of
new services and innovations and improvements on current offerings.
“The expanded Stack’s Bowers Galleries organization will offer a
full auction program, including live Showcase Auctions and Rarities
Night Auctions, weekly iAuctions and the return of our Collectors
Choice Auctions three times a year,” Kendrella said. “Our new website
will include SBGdirect, our online coin shop that features over 1,500
US and world coins and banknotes, coins from the ancient world, tokens
and medals. Premium-quality, hand-selected material will be available
at a fixed price for your consideration, with new and special
offerings added daily.”
Greg Roberts, president and chief executive officer of Spectrum
Group International, said: “Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Teletrade and
Spectrum Numismatics have independently been leaders in their
respective specialized areas of numismatics for as many as 80 years.
Combining the unique and specialized services of these three leading
organizations will enable the new Stack’s Bowers Galleries to remain
at the forefront of numismatics and continue its tradition of excellence.“
In late 2010, the parent company of Bowers and Merena Auctions,
Spectrum Group International Inc., announced the merger of Bowers and
Merena with Stack’s, effective in early 2011. The merged firm was
initially called Stack’s-Bowers Numismatics; the name was later
changed to Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Upon the merger, 51 percent of
Stack’s-Bowers Numismatics was held by Bowers and Merena Auctions,
while Stack’s retained ownership of 49 percent of the company. At the
time of the merger between Stack’s and Bowers and Merena, the majority
owner of Stack’s was Anderson Press Inc., a privately-held niche
publisher in Atlanta. Anderson Press also owns Whitman Publishing,
H.E. Harris & Co. and Dalmatian Press.
Spectrum officials announced May 13, 2013, that the firm, through
two of its subsidiaries, had purchased the 49 percent noncontrolling
interest in the Stack’s Bowers firm.
Stack’s was established in New York City in the early 1930s by
brothers Joseph B. Stack and Morton Stack. The operation was
family-owned until 2008 when Lawrence R. Stack, grandson of Morton
Stack, sold his ownership interest in the company.
Bowers and Merena was founded in 1983 by Ray Merena and Q. David
Bowers, and was sold to Collector’s Universe in 2000. Bowers and
Merena was purchased in 2004 by Spectrum Numismatics International, a
division of Spectrum Group International Inc.
Q. David Bowers affiliation with Bowers and Merena had ended in
Bowers currently serves as chairman emeritus at Stack’s Bowers
Galleries, and Larry Stack and his father, Harvey Stack, serve as
senior numismatic consultants. ■