Heritage will be presenting Part III of the Eugene H. Gardner Collection of U.S. Coins, to be held on Tuesday, May 12 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. This is the third of four unreserved Heritage Auctions featuring the remarkable Gardner Collection. The two previous auctions of this collection have combined to realize over $33.4 million, and this auction offers an astounding new selection of rarities.
Naturally, high-grade examples from the core Gardner collections of Seated and Barber coinage will be prominent, and many rarities from other series provide unexpected opportunities and a varied auction experience. Once again, early copper and silver type are well-represented in the auction, as are some key later-date coins.
As usual, a few big coins garner most of the headlines, such as the 1838-O Eliasberg Reeded Edge half dollar, PR64 NGC, the equally rare and valuable 1870-S Seated dollar, XF40 PCGS (with a pedigree that reads like a who’s who of numismatics), and the 1873-CC No Arrows Seated quarter that traveled from the hands of the U.S. Assay Commission to an equally storied selection of owners.
Half dimes and dimes include an extremely rare 1839 No Drapery proof half dime in PR65 Cameo PCGS Secure (perhaps the sole finest known) and an equally impressive prooflike 1796 dime, JR-4, in MS66 Prooflike NGC. A conditionally rare 1872-CC Seated dime, Ex: James A. Stack-Battle Born, in MS63 PCGS has been called “a miracle of preservation” and is every bit as impressive as any of the rare Carson City dimes.
Gene Gardner is perhaps most-proud of his quarter and half dollar sets in both circulation strike and proof formats. It is hard to fathom the difficulty of assembling these series in any grade – particularly the Seated issues – with the exceptional preservation and important pedigrees of the coins in this collection.
A Seated dollar in high Mint State – regardless of date – is a prize few collectors can claim. The small-but-challenging contingent of Seated dollars that represents Mr. Gardner’s collection in this auction would highlight any auction. The group ranges from 1851 dollars in both business strike and proof formats to a fully struck Premium Gem 1857 circulation strike dollar plus several rare dollars from the 1860s in Gem condition.
At Gene’s instruction, the current offering has an “equal footing” with the previous auctions, with coins representing all series as determined by taking approximately every third coin across each series. If you are searching for a particular date or type and it has not appeared in either of the first two auctions, chances are you will find it in this one. The result is an auction that is filled with diversity and appeal for everyone. It allows each bidder the opportunity to acquire coins in their chosen specialty without the financial burden of an entire series being presented in a single auction.
While there will be a fourth Gardner auction later in the year as part of our October 2015 New York Signature event, that auction will be devoted to Gene Gardner’s duplicates, upgrades, and specialty pieces that are not otherwise part of his core sets. The May 12 Gardner III auction will be the final auction of his frontline collection, with numerous finest-knowns and Condition Census pieces of equal stature to the previous two Gardner auctions.
This auction will open for bidding soon at www.HA.com/coins.