Welcome to Philadelphia

Philadelphia, one of America’s most historic cities, will be a magnet for numismatists attending the Whitman Coins & Collectibles Expo. As we have been ever since the Expos started, we are the official auctioneer. Our sale, presented in two beautifully designed catalogs, will be a double-header of numismatic treasures. One showcases American coins, tokens, and medals from the colonial era forward. The companion catalog, Ford XXIV, presents long-hidden tokens, medals, notes, and political items.

Tradition. This is the city were the first coins struck under the Mint Act of April 2, 1792, silver half dismes, were slipped into circulation that following summer, and in March of the next year the first copper cents were placed into commerce when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. This is the city that was the focal point of American numismatics in the early 19th century, with the Mint Cabinet curators, Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William E. DuBois, playing host to the circle of people who enjoyed coins and their history. This is the city where Birch, Wright (with a nod to Dupré), Scot, Reich, Kneass, Gobrecht, Longacre, the Barbers father and son, Morgan, Sinnock, Roberts, Gasparro, Jones, Mercanti, and other engravers created the coins and medals that today form the foundation of American numismatics. This is the city where coin dealerships from Mason, Haseltine, the Chapman brothers, and others are still honored and remembered.

Today’s Philadelphia continues the tradition. On Independence Square the Philadelphia Mint welcomes visitors to a tour and display that opened last year. At the shop within the Mint you can buy all sorts of products including Proof and Mint State examples. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, fine restaurants, and other attractions beckon. At the Expo itself our auction will be front row center, but hundreds of dealers will also welcome you in a large bourse offering just about anything numismatic imaginable.

Come to Philadelphia and have a great time!

Auction Highlights

In recent years tokens and medals have come to the fore. This is hardly new, for a century ago there were more numismatists collecting these than then were who were interested in, say, silver dollars or gold coins. Among the treasures you will find are some memorable Hard Times tokens consigned by one of the prominent bidders and buyers in our Dice-Hicks Collection of some years ago. Each token has a fascinating story to tell.

Civil War tokens from the Stephen L. Tanenbaum estate include many pieces which are among the finest known, are great rarities, or are both. Steve, one of America’s leading professionals until his untimely passing in 2011, spent 40 years of his life carefully gathering these.

The Raymond W. Dillard Collection of Elongated Coins, Part V, may well be the finest offering ever in this niche but very interesting specialty—with concentrations from various California state and local expositions in the 1930s and from the 1939 World’s Fair held in New York.

Who would have imagined that Betts medals, as described in the 1894 book by C. Wyllys Betts, would be one of the hottest tickets in the marketplace today? It is true. In the pages to follow we offer a number of these, plus early American store cards and other items.

Federal coins range from half cents to double eagles and include just about all types in between. I consider this to be a collectors’ sale, so to speak, as the vast majority of items are in popular series and will be affordable to most buyers. If you are collecting cents or nickels by date and mintmark, you’ve come to the right place. Ditto for silver coins early and late. Building a type set? Opportunities abound in the copper, nickel, silver, and gold series.

To be sure, the sale is spangled with condition rarities and early issues as well. A Gem 1867 With Rays Proof nickel will attract attention as fewer than 50 are believed to exist. I bought one of these for a record-breaking $610 at my first American Numismatic Association convention back in 1955 when I was a teenager. Observers thought I had a lot of money and little judgment, and I was flooded with offers from people who wanted to sell coins to me. Today, of course, such a coin would be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Early silver coins are always appealing, and among Draped Bust and Capped Bust coins there are many opportunities. I can say the same for Liberty Seated coins. Morgan dollars, far and away the most popular 19th century series, range from entry-level pieces that are very affordable to such rarities as a Gem Mint State 1895-S.

Gold coins include Proofs, condition rarities, and more. I have always thought that there is room in every collection, that is for those who can afford it, for an MCMVII High Relief double eagle by August Saint-Gaudens, probably the most admired of all American coins. You are in luck if one is on your want list.

How to Be a Winning Bidder!

There are several easy ways to bid in our Philadelphia Americana sale. First, the red carpet will be out for you if you come to the “City of Brotherly Love” to attend. Lot viewing is comfortable and convenient. Your bidder card is your ticket to refreshments and a nice sideboard with our compliments while the auction is in progress.

Alternatively, you can participate on the Internet, on the telephone (by advance arrangement), or by sending your bids by mail. Our dynamic SBG Live Online Bidding feature enables you to attend our sale, in a way, from the comfort of your favorite chair in your living room, or from your office. On your screen you will see our auctioneer in action, hear every word of commentary, and watch the progression of bids. See something you like? Just touch “BID” on your screen, and you are the winner—at least for the moment. The experience is exciting!

Today, most of our buyers bid this way! Countless thousands of clients will be following the action on line. In addition, many Internet-only lots will be offered this way exclusively.

Study our lot descriptions carefully and view the pictures. Then come to the sale or bid on line. Contemplate the coins you would like to own and consider some new areas as well. Collecting is a dynamic and ever-changing adventure, and discovering new things to collect is part of the enjoyment.

Thinking of Selling?

Do you want to the highest possible price for your collection or individual rare pieces? Call us! Our consignment team is at your service and will assist you every step of the way. Making that call will set you on the path to cashing a very generous settlement check in just a few short weeks. The consignors of the world’s most valuable collections and the world’s most valuable coins and paper money have already done your homework for you. They chose Stack’s Bowers Galleries. We are here to assist you with the same expert results and look forward to hearing from you soon!

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