US Coins

Stack's Bowers Americana Sale

Stack’s Bowers Galleries will present its Americana Sale and Rarities Night Auction in New York City, Feb. 5 to 6.

The firm’s annual Americana Sales are well-known for their choice early coins. Last year’s sale was headlined by the finest known 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar that brought a record-setting $10,016,875. In the introduction to this year’s sale, the firm’s president, Brian Kendrella, and chairman emeritus Q. David Bowers wrote: “Facetiously, but perhaps not, we hope we will be around someday to sell the first $100 million coin! Who knows?”

While this year’s Americana Sale doesn’t have a seven-figure rarity, here are a few of the noteworthy offerings.

A 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, 15 Stars half dollar, graded Mint State 63 by Professional Coin Grading Service, is considered among the finest known of a mintage of just 400 to 600 pieces of the 15 Star reverse type.

It has a rich ownership history that goes back to the 19th century Benjamin H. Collins Collection and was later in the collection of Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. When offered in Bowers and Merena’s 2007 sale of part of that collection, it was called “possibly a presentation piece.”

One of the most colorful coins in the sale is a 1927-D Standing Liberty quarter dollar graded PCGS MS-67 with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. It is a semi-key date in the series, but what makes the coin so extraordinary is that it exhibits magnificent, bold colors in a range of jewel tones.

Among the tokens, medals and exonumia set to be offered is a 1905 cast bronze inaugural medal for Theodore Roosevelt. Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, these medals were struck in gold and silver, and cast in bronze. The artist insisted that they be produced by Tiffany & Co. rather than the U.S. Mint, and the Saint-Gaudens work has since become one of the most sought after medals in the entire presidential inaugural medal series.

Saint-Gaudens turned to his pupil, Adolph A. Weinman, to assist with the medal’s execution and the eagle on the reverse inspired both Saint-Gaudens’ Indian Head $10 eagle of 1907 to 1933 and Weinman’s Walking Liberty half dollar of 1916 to 1947.

These medals are rare. A different example — also cast in bronze — brought $21,150 at a 2012 Stack’s Bowers auction. The Americana Sale’s catalog notes that the medal “is one of the most famous and most desired 20th century issues, reflecting the disdain the president had for the ‘official’ medal created for him by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber.”

The auction is scheduled to be held at the firm’s offices, 110 W. 57th St., second floor, New York, NY 10019.

For more information on this and future auctions, contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries on the West Coast toll free at 800-458-4646, or on the East Coast at 800-566-2580. Email the firm at or visit the company’s website at ¦

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