US Coins

Gardner III Auction nearly realizes a whopping $14 million

Heritage’s third auction of Pennsylvania collector Gene Gardner’s collection of U.S. coins brought $13,787,486 in New York City on May 12. The firm’s president, Greg Rohan, said after the auction that the total exceeded Heritage’s pre-sale estimate of $10 million to $12 million.

The third Gardner auction represented the final sale devoted to his core collection, which was especially strong in early American copper coins, Draped Bust and Capped Bust silver coins, and Seated Liberty coins.

The first auction, on June 23, 2014, brought $19.6 million, and the second sale of Gardner’s coins brought $13,753,523 in New York City on Oct. 27. The most recent sale brings the total for the Gardner collection to more than $47 million.

Many of the coins in Gardner’s collection showcased spectacular toning, including a run of Capped Bust and Seated Liberty Proof coins, some of which were purchased from Heritage’s November 2013 auction of Eric P. Newman’s collections.

Gardner had a preference for beautifully toned coins, such as an 1805 Draped Bust quarter dollar graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. The catalog described the rich color as “splendid cobalt-blue and mint-green rim patina encircles interiors tinged in heather and rose,” and the piece, which was formerly in the collection of the Museum of Connecticut History, sold for $70,500.

To help put that price into perspective, an 1805 quarter dollar of a different (and scarcer) variety graded MS-64+ by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. with a green CAC sticker sold for $49,937.50 at Heritage’s Nov. 15, 2013, Newman auction. Newman’s example had a more typically seen gray and gold patina.

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