Stack’s Bowers Galleries is Pleased to Present the George Gardner Collection

As part of our official auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo this November, Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be offering the George D. Gardner Collection of Walking Liberty half dollars. Our sale will be held November 6-8 at the Baltimore Convention Center, located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area. The Gardner Collection was formed over many years and includes many high grade examples, the result of ongoing upgrading of the collection by Mr. Gardner.

George D. Gardner was born on February 22, 1936, and was named after the first U.S. president, whose birthday he shares. He passed away in May 2012. He was brought up through tough times just after the Great Depression and inherited a frugal nature. George was well disciplined and motivated, which he attributed to the strict discipline he encountered at Catholic boarding school. At an early age he and his two brothers, Art and Mike, began collecting coins from pocket change. George enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces in the spring of 1954 and went on to achieve the rank of captain. Though he was due for promotion to major, a jeep accident left him with a broken leg and led to his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1974. His recovery offered an opportunity to persist in his coin and stamp collecting activities. He also encouraged his sons’ endeavors in collecting coins.

George spent almost 20 years as an accountant, building his CPA firm up to a team of six employees. In 1990, financial and personal hardship struck George, though his coin collection miraculously survived those difficult years. In 1992, he opened an automotive repair shop and grew it into a prosperous business, which provided the capital needed to advance his Walking Liberty half dollar collection. He found pleasure in searching for higher grade coins to improve the set, but never sold any of the coins he acquired; those he replaced simply formed lower grade sub-sets. He was extremely creative when it came to finding hiding places for his coins, including attics, hidden compartments in desks, air conditioning vents, and hand-dug holes in his backyard. His sons now believe that the entire collection has been discovered. After their father’s passing, they even received a request to donate Mr. Gardner’s Walking Liberty half dollar collection to the Smithsonian as some of the pieces in the collection are of higher grade than those on display there!

Highlights of the George Gardner Collection of Walking Liberty half dollars include lot 2077, a 1916-D graded MS-67 by NGC; lot 2081, a 1917-S, Obverse Mintmark, graded MS-66 by NGC; and lot 2085, a 1919-S graded MS-65 by PCGS. Among dates in the 1920s will be found lot 2090, a 1921 graded by PCGS as MS-65; lot 2091, a 1921-D graded by NGC as MS-66; lot 2095, a 1923-S graded by PCGS as MS-66 with a green CAC sticker; and lot 2097, a 1927-S graded by PCGS as MS-66. There are many other incredible half dollars offered as well. Visit our website at to view the Gardner Collection coins and the rest of our November Baltimore auction. Lot viewing will be available in our New York City offices (by appointment only) beginning October 28, 2013. Please call 800-566-2580 for more information. The entire sale will be available for viewing at the Baltimore Convention Center beginning on November 4.

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