Featured Collections

Sydney F. Martin, one of the world’s leading experts on early American coins, passed away in January 2021. Many of us — and many of you — were fortunate enough to know him. Syd was best known in the numismatic community as an advanced collector, president of the American Numismatic Society (ANS) from 2012 to 2020, and the author of four standard references on early American numismatics. All four of his books were published by C4 (the Colonial Coin Collectors Club) and he served as the editor of the C4 Newsletter from 2004 to 2015. The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood was published in 2007, followed by The Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood in 2011, French Coinages Specifically for Colonial America in 2015, and Saint Patrick Coinage [for Ireland and New Jersey] in 2018. His Numismatic Commemorations of the 200th Birthday of George Washington in 1932 was published posthumously by the ANS in 2021. The American Numismatic Society awarded Syd their highest honor, the Archer M. Huntington Medal, in 2020; he was also an ANS Fellow and a founding member of the Augustus B. Sage Society. He was honored with election to the Rittenhouse Society in 2017. Syd was a life member of the American Numismatic Association and Numismatic Bibliomania Society (the latter of which he also served as a board member) and held membership for many years in Early American Coppers, the Medal Collectors of America, and the Token and Medal Society.

After a youth as an Air Force brat (he was born at Smoky Hill AFB in Kansas), Syd graduated high school in Warsaw, Indiana and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Syd spent five years at MIT and earned his SB and SM degrees, an engineering background that prepared him for a long and lettered career in the defense and intelligence industries. He founded his own company, Sytex, Inc., in 1988; it grew to employ 3,000 people as The Sytex Group and was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 2005. Syd spent most of his adult life in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and later split time between there and a home in Amelia Island, Florida. He and his wife Sharon raised four children: Daniel, Jessica, James, and Kevin.

Beyond his professional life and the world of numismatics, Syd actively supported local history and art organizations around Bucks County, Pennsylvania, serving as Executive Vice President of the Doylestown Historical Society and Chair of the Michener Museum of Art in Doylestown, as well as on the board of the local Heritage Conservancy. Syd was a leader of the business community as Vice President of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and a leader in the Scouting community too; he was an Eagle Scout and sat on the board of the Washington Crossing Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was also an advanced collector and expert in the field of pocket watches.

Sharon and Syd’s philanthropy was legendary, around Doylestown, in the numismatic community, and beyond, including a major gift to fund the Philadelphia Prostate Cancer Biome Project at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Syd left behind seven grandchildren and innumerable friends, including most of the colonial numismatic community. Though Syd was an esteemed expert and author, he was happy to visit with and learn from anyone who shared a common interest in colonial numismatics. He was as happy at a major auction as he was at a small coin show, enjoying camaraderie and the thrill of the hunt as much as acquiring high dollar rarities. He developed close relationships with many of the field’s leading dealers and collectors, including many of us here at Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Syd’s collection may be a monument to his expertise, curiosity, and dedication, but it is only a small reflection of the warm, generous, talented, man of integrity that his friends and family knew and loved.

The Sydney F. Martin Auction Schedule

DateLocationPrices RealizedAuction Archive Results
August 27, 2022
8:00 am PDT
Griffin Studios at Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Online at www.StacksBowers.com

View the Results of Part I

October 27-28, 2022
Time TBD
Baltimore, Maryland
at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo
Please come back at the
completion of the auction
The Sydney F. Martin, Part II Sale is Being Built.

View the Digital Catalog

View the Auction Results

The Sydney F. Martin Collection, Part I

In Part I of this extensive collection, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold Sydney F. Martin’s prized New Jersey Coppers, St. Patrick Coinage, Higley Coppers, Massachusetts Coppers and Libertas Americana medals as part of a stand-alone sale. Collector enthusiasm was high as these rarities crossed the auction block, and the prices realized for the sale exceeded $3,000,000.

New Jersey Coppers — Lots 8001 to 8162
Saint Patrick Coinage — Lots 8163 to 8191
Higley Coppers — Lots 8192 to 8197
Massachusetts Coppers — Lots 8198 to 8248
Libertas Americana Medals & More — Lots 8249 to 8262

Sold for $192,000

1737 Higley Copper. Rarity-7. VALUE ME AS YOU PLEASE / I AM GOOD COPPER, 3 Hammers. VF-30 (PCGS).

Expert Picks From The Sydney F. Martin Collection

SOLD FOR — $72,000

1786 New Jersey Copper. Maris 21-N, W-4910. Rarity-3. Wide Shield. MS-65+ RB (PCGS).

SOLD FOR — $192,000

1737 Higley Copper. Freidus 3.2-B.a, W-8225. Rarity-7. VALUE ME AS YOU PLEASE / I AM GOOD COPPER, 3 Hammers. VF-30 (PCGS).

SOLD FOR $132,000

“1778-1779” (ca. 1780) Rhode Island Ship Medal. Betts-561, W-1725. Vlugtende. Brass. AU-55 (PCGS).

The Sydney F. Martin Collection In The News

Stack’s Bowers Announces Sale of the Sydney F. Martin Collection — CoinWeek

January 13, 2022 — Stack’s Bowers Galleries has been selected to sell Martin’s many remarkable numismatic collections at public auction over a several-year span, beginning in 2022. Stack’s Bowers Galleries has sold most of the finest collections of pre-Federal coins presented at auction over the last 50 years. Many of Martin’s most prized specimens will be offered at events in conjunction with the Baltimore Whitman Expo, the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money, and the November conventions of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries Announces Inaugural Offering of Coins From the Sydney F. Martin Collection — Coin Update

July 19, 2022 — For three decades, Sydney F. Martin of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and Amelia Island, Florida, was a preeminent figure in American numismatics. He served as president of the American Numismatic Society and was the author of standard references on four early American numismatic specialties. Mr. Martin was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founder of The Sytex Group, which provided services to the defense and intelligence communities before its acquisition by Lockheed Martin in 2005.

Stack’s Bowers Presents the Sydney F. Martin Collection at Auction — Colonial Coins

August 14, 2022 — Stack’s Bowers Galleries is excited to present an upcoming suite of auctions for the Sydney F. Martin collection. Anyone currently on the C4 mailing list will automatically receive the catalogs. However, if you do not regularly receive our catalogs, and would like to request a catalog for a particular specialty or single auction event, please email [email protected]

PCGS Grades Early American Rare Coins from the Magnificent Sydney F. Martin Collection — PCGS

August 17, 2022 — Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) has been chosen by Stack’s Bowers Galleries to grade the Sydney F. Martin Collection, a cabinet of more than 15,000 rare coins spanning four centuries. The collection consists of many rare and seldom-seen treasures owned by the late Sydney F. Martin, a celebrated collector and author who wrote five books on early American coins.

Video Highlights of The Sydney F. Martin Collection

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to present the Sydney F. Martin Collection in stunning 4k video quality. Using our proprietary Coins in Motion video technology, you can view featured highlights from the collection in 3D. This technology displays the coins as if they were being held in your hand and rotated in the light, therefore making lot viewing in a digital world much easier.

Prior to each sale of the Sydney F. Martin Collection, we will update this playlist with the newest videos. Check back frequently to see more highlights.

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