The Eugene H. Gardner Collection of U.S. Coins, Part I, brought total prices realized of $19,627,872 at Heritage Auctions’ June 23 sale in New York City.
All of the 637 lots sold and prices realized include the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won
Realizing $881,250 to top the auction was a 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dime graded Mint State 66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service.
The coin is an example of the JR-1 die marriage as cataloged in Early United States Dimes 1796-1837 by David J. Davis, Russell J. Logan, Allen F. Lovejoy, John W. McCloskey and William L. Subjack.
Heritage President Greg Rohan said Gardner was ecstatic with the results of the auction, which had a pre-sale estimate of $12 million to $14 million.
1796 Draped Bust dime
Gardner’s 1796 Draped Bust dime was once part of the Jimmy Hayes Collection of United States Silver Coins, which Stack's sold Oct. 22, 1985.
While PCGS has certified the coin MS-66, the lot description for the coin when it was part of the Hayes Collection identified its condition as “Gem Brilliant Proof.”
Mark Borckardt, a senior cataloger for Heritage Auctions, said the reason PCGS grades the piece as a Mint State coin and not Proof is that “PCGS does not recognize the Proof format for coins dated prior to 1817.”
However, “I believe that a strong case exists to call this piece a ‘Specimen,’ ” Borckardt said.