The Stephen Winthrop Collection of U.S. Coins will be offered at auction Feb. 5 to 6, 2015, by Stack’s Bowers Galleries at its Americana Showcase and Rarities Night Auction.
In 2013 Winthrop was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Scerosis, commonly called ALS, an incurable degenerative disease that attacks an individual’s motor neuron cells, and results in a painless yet progressive weakening of muscles throughout the body.
An average patient’s life expectancy is four years. A few months ago, Winthrop decided to liquidate his entire coin collection and donate 100 percent of the proceeds to finding a cure for ALS. More specifically, the funds will go to the Stephen Winthrop ALS Fund at Harvard University.
Winthrop, a descendant of one of New England’s most famous families, grew up in New York City and started collecting coins when he was 8 years old. His first focus was to assemble a type collection of United States gold coins from the mid-19th century, then a complete set of silver and gold classic United States commemorative coins by type. In his 20s and 30s, he expanded his collection to include gold and silver United States type coinage from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries dating back to the early Mint issues, according to the auction firm.
Winthrop hand selected each coin for his collection based on quality and eye appeal, according to Stack's Bowers. Most of these coins were encapsulated by Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp.during those companies’ formative years and are being offered in their original holders. The exceptional quality combined with the presentation in their early holders will command attention from collectors, dealers, and museum curators alike, according to the auction firm.
Winthrop’s favorite series was silver and gold commemoratives. He was a particular buyer, choosing only examples with extraordinary eye appeal, according to the auction firm.
Winthrop graduated from Harvard University in 1980. He spent a few years after graduate school working for a global strategy consulting firm, and then in 1992 he formed his own consulting firm helping small nonprofit organizations. He has served on several boards of directors, and has played important parts in numerous nonprofit organizations.
Consignments of donated numismatic items will be included in the sale with all proceeds going to the Harvard’s ALS fund. In addition, consignments of United States coins, tokens and medals to be showcased alongside The Winthrop Collection, will also be accepted, according to the auction fir.
For more information, contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries by telephone, 800-458-4646 (West Coast), 800-566-2580 (East Coast), or by emailing the firm.
More from CoinWorld.com: