2022 was another record year for Stack’s Bowers Galleries, as the firm set numerous individual price records and new overall records for several product categories and sale venues. United States coins, world and ancient coins, world paper money, and the firm’s proprietary Precious Metals Auctions all witnessed significant year-over-year sales increases.
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries January 2022 NYINC, May Hong Kong, and Summer Global Showcase auctions set all-time records for their respective venues, while the firm’s Spring and Winter Showcase Auctions matched all-time highs. Overall, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold over $250 million USD in numismatic items at auction across over 90,000 lots, making 2022 the single strongest season of auction offerings in their almost 90-year history.
When items from the Mark and Lottie Salton Collection, sold in conjunction with Künker Auctions, are included, this total exceeds an astounding $260 million (all prices noted include the buyer’s premium).
The year started with tremendous momentum in January with the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction for the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC). Featuring over 6,000 lots of ancient coins and world coins, tokens, medals, and currency, this sale realized over $20 million, more than doubling the amount realized in the 2021 event. A total of 27 lots achieved six-figure prices. The crown jewel of the sale was the famed 80 Ducats of Sigismund III, which brought $900,000 and was the most expensive lot auctioned by any auctioneer at the 2022 NYINC.
Nearly $37 million in United States coins and paper money was sold in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Spring 2022 Showcase Auction, surpassing pre-sale estimates by nearly 60% and setting hundreds of records in the process. Forty-five individual lots reached six-figure prices, with five lots surpassing $500,000. The sale was highlighted by the incredible Hendricks Set from the Fairmont Collection, which sold for over $13.6 million, more than double the pre-sale estimate. More than 350 lots, over 70% of the collection, set new auction records for the grade or overall issue.
The incredible Zito Collection, also presented in the Spring 2022 sale, sold for nearly $4.3 million. It was highlighted by an incredible pair of “pattern” 1907 Indian $10 eagles – including a 1907 Wire Rim that sold for $840,000 and a 1907 Rolled Rim that earned $1.1 million, both prices nearly double the prior auction record. An incredible Specimen-65 (PCGS) 1795 Draped Bust, Centered Bust dollar earned the title of the most valuable example of the variety at $780,000. Numismatic Americana in the Spring Showcase Auction was highlighted by a Daniel Morgan at Cowpens gold medal that sold for $960,000 and set a new world record for the most valuable American historical medal ever sold.
The firm’s May 2022 Hong Kong Auction realized over $43 million across nearly 10,000 lots, setting a record for the single highest-grossing world and ancient numismatic auction held by any firm. Seventy-seven lots achieved six or seven-figure prices including three lots that realized over $1 million. The highest priced item in the sale, a majestic Year 3 (1911) Pattern “Long Whisker” Dollar graded Specimen-63+ by PCGS, sold for $3,000,000, becoming the most valuable Dragon Dollar ever sold.
Over $60 million in numismatic items were sold in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries 2022 Summer Global Showcase Auction, including 57 lots that achieved six or seven-figures prices. Now the highest-grossing auction in the firm’s history, this total represents a 20% increase over the prices realized in the firm’s summer 2021 event. The sale was highlighted by the finest known Proof 1825/4/1 Capped Head Left half eagle which sold for $4.08 million, nearly doubling the pre-sale high estimate and earning a place as the most valuable pre-1834 Proof United States gold coin ever sold at auction. This Superb Proof half eagle was offered as part of the Mocatta Collection, which achieved over $7 million in overall prices realized.
Part I of the Sydney F. Martin Collection was presented in a meticulously researched, stand-alone catalog featuring over 260 coins and medals as part of the Summer 2022 sale. This selection achieved over $3.1 million in overall prices realized including five lots that brought six-figure prices. The session was headlined by a rare 1737 Higley copper that sold for $192,000 and a stunning 1783 Libertas Americana medal in silver that brought $174,000.
Also presented in the Summer 2022 Global Showcase Auction was a historic selection of 35th Anniversary American Eagle Gold and Silver coins presented on behalf of the United States Mint. Offered across 700 lots, these Anniversary coins realized over $4.6 million after more than 11 hours of live bidding during which several new records were set. The top price of the session was realized by the very first struck 2021 American Eagle gold coin of the new Eagle Portrait (Type 2) reverse design. Graded MS-70 by NGC, it realized $100,000, becoming the most valuable 1 ounce American Eagle gold coin ever sold at auction.
Bidders in the Summer auction were also delighted at the offering of the Collection of Paul A. Volcker, Jr., who served as the 12th Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987. In a career spanning nearly six decades, including public service under five U.S. presidents, Volcker worked for private and public firms as an esteemed economist and helped shape the nation’s economic policies. This selection from the Volcker Collection was highlighted by an impressive 96 mm Benjamin F. Fairless Memorial medal in gold which realized $19,200.
The October 2022 Hong Kong Auction presented nearly 10,000 lots across 16 bidding sessions, making it the largest fall Hong Kong sale in the company’s history. The sale realized over $25 million including 36 lots that achieved six figures. The top price of the sale was claimed by the gold 2015 100,000 Yuan (10 Kilos), Lunar Series, Year of the Goat which sold for $605,000.
Concluding the year’s Showcase Auction schedule was the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Winter 2022 Auction of United States coins and currency, which realized over $23 million. Part II of the Sydney F. Martin Collection brought nearly $4.2 million and featured Martin’s French colonial material, Rosa Americana coinage, 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers, and Washingtoniana. These selections included some of Martin’s most focused collecting specialties and his areas of unparalleled research. Among the most remarkable prices was $504,000 realized by the unique 1670-A Double de l’Amerique, widely thought to be the first coin to feature the word “America” and offering a provenance that stretches back to 1870.
The Winter sale also featured the Harvey B. Jacobson, Jr. Collection, a complete set of Capped Bust $10 gold eagles, 1795 through 1804, including all known die varieties struck for circulation. This 32-piece set was the third-known complete collection of this series and it realized over $2.9 million. Notable results include a MS-62 (PCGS) 1796 BD-1 with provenance to the Byron Reed Collection that realized $300,000, and an AU-58+ (PCGS) CAC 1795 BD-1, 13 Leaves that sold for $288,000.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries was also proud to present its Cryptocurrency Anniversary Session as part of the Winter sale, celebrating one year since its first offering in this category. Presented was an unprecedented 101 coins spanning the Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and Dogecoin cryptocurrencies and featuring many popular series. This session earned more than $440,000, pushing the total prices realized for the category over the past year above $2 million. Crypto highlights included a “gold rim” 2013 Casascius 1 Bitcoin that sold for a 200% premium at $66,000, a brass 2012 Casascius 1 Bitcoin that brought an 80% premium at $38,400, and a silver 2013 Casascius 0.1 Bitcoin that realized more than a 300% premium at $9,600.
In December, Stack’s Bowers Galleries had the honor of auctioning the coin collection of the late T. Boone Pickens, influential businessman and financier. Pickens was a passionate collector in many areas and his art collection was sold by Christie’s in 2020 for over $20 million, a portion of which was donated to charity. The Pickens Coin Collection was presented in the firms December Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction, which went on to realize nearly $1.3 million overall including specialized selections of U.S. coins, currency, tokens, and medals.
Top 10 Auction Prices Realized in 2022:
- $4,080,000–1825/4/1 Capped Head Left Half Eagle. JD-1, BD-1. Rarity-8 as a Proof. Proof-67 Cameo (PCGS). CAC.
- $3,000,000–CHINA. Silver “Long Whisker Dragon” Dollar Pattern, Year 3 (1911). Tientsin Mint. Hsuan-t’ung (Xuantong [Puyi]). PCGS SPECIMEN-63+.
- $1,200,000–CHINA. Kiangnan. 3 Mace 6 Candareens (50 Cents), CD (1899). Nanking Mint. Kuang-hsu (Guangxu). PCGS MS-62+ Prooflike.
- $1,170,000–CHINA. Silver Dollar Pattern, ND (1914). Tientsin Mint. PCGS SPECIMEN-67.
- $1,140,000–1907 Indian Eagle. Rounded Rim, Periods. Judd-1903, Pollock-1997. Rarity-5. MS-67 (PCGS). CAC.
- $990,000–1885 Liberty Head Double Eagle. JD-1. Rarity-6. Proof-67 Deep Cameo (PCGS). CAC.
- $960,000–1781 (1839) Daniel Morgan at Cowpens medal. Gold, 56.2 mm. Dies by Jean-Jacques Barre, after Dupre. Betts-593, Julian MI-7, Loubat 8. SP-63 (PCGS).
- $900,000–1792 Disme. Judd-10, Pollock-11. Rarity-6+. Copper. Reeded Edge. MS-62 BN (PCGS). CAC.
- $900,000–POLAND. 80 Ducats, 1621-SA//II-VE. Bromberg Mint. Sigismund III. PCGS AU-50.
- $840,000–CHINA. Dollar, ND (1916). Tientsin Mint. Hung-hsien (Hongxian [Yuan Shih-kai]). PCGS MS-67.