Stack’s Bowers Galleries

1231 East Dyer Road, Suite 100, California

About Auction House

Stack's Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company's 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name ju...Read More
st a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.Read Less

Auction Previews & News

11 Results
  • Auction Result
    Russian coin sells for astounding $2.64 million

    One Russian Ruble is currently worth .013 U.S. Dollar with one major exception. This one's worth $2.64 million. COSTA MESA, CA.-Stack's Bowers and Ponterio, which is currently conducting another of their popular Hong Kong auctions, has sold the 'Joseph/Richter' specimen of the incredibly rare 1825 pattern ruble of Constantine for an astounding $2.64 million. This was the highest realization in the magnificent Pinnacle Collection, which featured many record breakers and market makers on its way to realizing a total of nearly $19.2 million. This monumental, once-in-a-generation crown is among just eight known, and one of only three with a plain edge. The last appearance of an 1825 pattern ruble of Constantine was in 2004, when this very specimen sold for $525,000, the highest amount for a non-U.S. coin at the time. Though it no longer holds this record, this storied ruble now stands as the highest valued non-U.S. coin auctioned by an American auction house and illustrates Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio’s continued leadership in the numismatic market across the globe. The 1825 Constantine Ruble Issued for the would-be emperor, Constantine Pavlovich, the pattern ruble stands as the only coin produced for a reign that never really happened. Constantine was the middle son of emperor Paul I, and was seemingly destined for a life as the "spare" to his elder brother's status as "heir." Following Paul's assassination, Alexander (the elder brother), Constantine, and Nicholas (the younger brother), were all understandably weary of the crown's burden. When Alexander died rather unexpectedly—and, more importantly, without a legitimate heir—the duty fell to Constantine. Mint officials, mindful that coins reinforce the divine right of a ruler to the masses, immediately began producing a prototype so that official coinage could continue without interruption. Constantine, however, had other plans; he decided, after just a few weeks, that he wanted no part of his tsarist duty, abdicating the throne in favor of Nicholas. In a flash, a would-be reign was brought to an end before it officially started. But what about the prototypes created by the mint officials? During this period of uncertainty, some eight examples were produced—five with…

  • Auction Industry
    1822 coin worth $5 million+ to be auctioned

    There are only three known specimens of the 1822 half eagle. COSTA MESA, CA.-Stack’s Bowers Galleries will present at public auction the finest known 1822 half eagle, the D. Brent Pogue Collection coin. It is a legendary American treasure, the only example in private hands of what is acknowledged as the key to a collection of American gold coins. This exceptional coin will be featured in the firm’s March 23-26, 2021 auction in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are only three known specimens of the 1822 half eagle. Certified as AU-50 by PCGS, the Pogue coin is the finest of the three. As for opportunities to purchase an example of this date, they are just as rare. There have been only two occasions in American numismatic history in which an 1822 half eagle has sold at auction! They were: In 1906 at the H.P. Smith Collection Sale. In 1982 at our sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg Gold Coin Collection Sale. A notable offering took place sometime before 1941, the year that B. Max Mehl showcased an 1822 half eagle in his William Forrester Dunham Sale with this headline: “The rarest and Most Valuable Coin in the Entire United States series! (Probably the Rarest Coin in the World). The 1822 $5.00 Gold!” It never crossed the auction block! No bidders had a chance! It was so important to Mehl and so valuable that he sold it privately before the sale to Charles O. Williams, a Cincinnati insurance executive. That coin later passed to Josiah K. Lilly of pharmaceutical fame, and was donated with the Lilly Collection of gold coins to the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. The other example, also in the Smithsonian, was from the Mint Cabinet Collection, where it had been since the 1830s. In his 1979 study, United States Gold Coins, An Analysis of Auction Records, Volume IV, Half Eagles 1795-1929, David Akers made this definitive statement: “The legendary 1822 half eagle is the most famous and desirable United States gold coin. It traded hands at fantastic prices when other great rarities that are now worth six…

  • Auction Preview
    Ancient Coins featuring the Glacier Rams Solidi Collection – Session B

    Lydia was a well-known center for trade and commerce and was also considered one of the first kingdoms in the world to issue coins, called staters, as currency. They were first introduced to the Lydian empire during the rule of King Alyattes between 619 and 560 BCE. The Lydian stater was primarily composed of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver. They were later altered to be pure gold. The upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction highlights a Lydian stater made between 561 and 546 BCE. The coin features a lion with raging teeth, roaring at a bowed bull. Among the Roman Empire coinage showcased is an aureus of Maximian. During Maximian’s rule, many emperors opted for dual leadership to solve disputes and share the workload. In the dual system coinage, the leader with dominance and control used the symbol of Jupiter. The emperor performing the courageous tasks was assigned the symbol of Hercules. The available  286 – 310 CE aureus features the laureate Maximian in draped and cuirassed bust on the front. On the reverse is a seated Hercules with a club, quiver, and bow. The auction also offers ancient Egyptian, Persian, and Italian coins. Interested collectors can explore the full listings and register to bid online on Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

  • Auction Preview
    World Paper Money – Session A

    Prince Edward of Wales visited Canada after the end of World War I in 1919. During this tour, the Prince gained popularity among the Canadians due to his informal dressing style and mannerisms. To commemorate his visit, the Merchants Bank of Canada published several Prince of Wales five-dollar notes. Circulated beginning in November of 1919, the Prince of Wales Canadian dollars are among the most popular bills printed by the Merchants Bank of Canada. The upcoming auction, presented by Stack’s Bowers Galleries, will offer one of these rare five-dollar notes with the serial number 000001. The note bears a Prince of Wales portrait on the front and the bank’s seal on the reverse. Another highlight is an August 1st, 1916 Zanzibar ten-rupee note featuring eight fruit pickers on the right and a dhow or boat on the left. Zanzibar was a famous trading center for spices and did not have official currency until 1908. The subsequent years saw the creation of the one rupee and five hundred rupee notes. However, in 1936, the printing of Zanzibari notes was stopped. Few surviving examples come to market today. The World Paper Money - Session A sale also offers Leeward Islands shillings, Republica de Panama balboas, and Indian rupees. Interested collectors can explore the full listings and register to bid online on the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website.

  • Auction Industry
    U.S. Rare Coin Market Quite Active Despite Pandemic, Reports Professional Numismatists Guild

    Auction houses set records with over $167 million in winning bids during the first six months of 2020 With a winning bid of $2,160,000, this 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle was the most valuable U.S. rare coin sold at auction during the first half of 2020. (Image courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, July 6, 2020 / -- The market for high-quality, rare United States coins remained active during the first six months of 2020 despite pandemic-related closures of many retail locations and cancelation of dozens of coin shows and numismatic conventions around the country, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild ( The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top rare coin and paper money experts. “Even with economic uncertainty and the lack of face-to-face transactions and in-person floor bidding, major auction firms reported selling more than $167 million of U.S. rare coins in online public auctions during the first half of the year. Dozens of record prices were established for coins selling for five, six, and even seven figures,” said PNG President Richard Weaver. One of the many examples of superb quality rare coins commanding record prices was the $101,251 winning bid for the finest known 1905 Barber design silver quarter-dollar graded PCGS MS68 CAC offered by GreatCollections Coin Auctions. It sold for four times its price guide value. Over a half dozen coins brought $1 million or more. The two most valuable U.S. coins sold at auction so far in 2020 were a record $2,160,000 for a 1927-D Saint-Gaudens gold $20 (Double Eagle) graded PCGS Mint State 65+ CAC sold by Heritage Auctions, and $1,920,000 for an 1854-S gold $5 (Half Eagle) graded PCGS About Uncirculated 58 CAC sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries. In addition to the reported auction results, PNG conservatively estimates that least another $150 million of U.S. coins were sold by these auction firms in private transactions in the first half of the year. “Sales of precious metal bullion coins, such as gold and silver American Eagles, also have been active and premiums over…

  • Auction Result
    Rare mint oddity quarter sells for $102,000

    Few American rarities have been so carefully documented and studied for provenance as the 1823/2 Capped Bust quarters. SANTA ANA, CA.-Stack’s Bowers Galleries, the numismatic auction powerhouse, sold an extremely rare 1823/2 Capped Bust quarter worth $100,000 at its June 2020 Santa Ana auction. Few American rarities have been so carefully documented and studied for provenance as the 1823/2 Capped Bust quarters. In fact, it is posited that the four rarest U.S. silver coins are the 1802 half dime, the quarters of 1823 (all of which are 1823/2) and 1827, and the 1804 dollar, helping to contextualize the truly elusive nature of this issue. The reason for the 1823/2 date is because the mint used an 1822 die and simply superimposed a 3 over the 2 in the fourth position. If you look closely, you can still see the 2 beneath the 3. While the Smithsonian and the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha both own well-worn specimens, this particular example is believed to be the fourth finest example of all 1823/2 Capped Bust quarters of the surviving 30 or so examples. More than half of the known survivors are in grades below Very Fine, most quite worn, a few damaged, even one famously repaired to remove graffiti. “To think that one of the U.S. mints would just layer a number on top of another is incredulous by today’s standards,” stated Stack’s Bowers President Brian Kendrella. “But that’s what gives this quarter its character and sets it apart from other years. It’ also part of why it’s so valuable and sought after.” Last sold in May 1935, the 1823/2 Capped Bust quarter has been in in private hands ever since.

  • Auction Industry
    Coins from thousands of years ago being auctioned

    Marc Antony & Divus Julius Caesar. AR Denarius (3.62 gms), Military mint traveling with Antony in Cisalpine Gaul, 43 B.C. NGC EF, Strike: 4/5 Surface: 5/5. Die Shift. Est: $1,000-$1,500. SANTA ANA, CA.- The fascinating world of ancient coins offers both exceptional, handmade artistry as well as intriguing, poignant touchstones to larger-than-life characters of the past. Now, beginner coin collectors and seasoned numismatic pros alike have the chance to own ancient history via Stack’s Bowers May 2020 World Collectors Choice Online Auction on May 13 at 10 a.m. PT. On account of the seemingly endless array of coins issued throughout antiquity, the field can seem rather daunting to the beginner. Additionally, there may be the notion that such coins are inherently cost prohibitive and many times more expensive that their more modern counterparts. However, many of these rarities can be had for as little as $200, which makes them the perfect choice for those just starting out in numismatics. In Stack’s Bowers upcoming Collectors Choice Online auction, one will encounter numerous ancient delights, primarily emanating from the Greek (circa 6th to 2nd centuries B.C.) and Roman (3rd century B.C. to 4th century A.D.) cultures. The former tends to focus much more on artistic and creative flair, as each city within the Greek world tended to issue their own currency. As such, the coinage from each of these cities served a purpose of civic pride, with indigenous and/or important plants, animals, and deities taking a prominent role on the front or back of the coin. One such rather popular example would be the coinage from the ancient Italian city of Tarentum—the modern city of Taranto having been constructed upon its ruins. Tarentum’s founding dates to the late 8th century B.C., when a colony was established there by a Greek man, Phalanthos, who had come from the famous city of Sparta. As it was common for citizens to add a bit of mythos to their tales, the foundation story eventually merged Phalanthos with the mythological character Taras, said to have been the son of Poseidon, god of the seas, and a water nymph. Since Taras…

  • Auction Preview
    Rarities Night, Featuring the ESM Collection of Half Cents

    In the 1850s, Americans started exploring the West Coast for trade purposes. However, the American merchants were challenged by a lower value associated with Seated Liberty Dollars due to the decreasing silver content in those coins. To overcome this problem, commercial dollars with a higher silver content were minted from July of 1873 until 1878. Even after the circulation stopped in 1878, the 1885 Trade Dollar appeared in the numismatics market until the early 20th century. Many of these coins are said to be minted clandestinely for personal gains by Archibald Loudon Snowden, then the superintendent of the Philadelphia Mint. Today, only five examples of the 1885 trade dollars exist. Stack's Bowers Galleries presents a Proof-64 1885 Trade Dollar in their upcoming auction.  Also featured is a Cameo 1884 Trade Dollar. The 1884 Trade Dollars are among the top ten available coins minted in 1884 and hold the 78th rank in the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins compilation. The auction will also feature a sandblast, matte-finish 1913 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle $20 coin. Also showcased are several 1915 $50 round and octagonal coins, struck to commemorate the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Collectors can also explore examples of Lincoln cents, Classic Head half-cents, and Morgan dollars in this event. Register to bid online on Stack's Bowers Galleries.

  • Auction Preview
    U.S. Currency Session 8

    American gold certificates were banned in 1934 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt imposed Executive Order 6102, signed on April 5, 1933. This forbade the hoarding of gold certificates and gold coins in the continental United States. A limited series of 1934 gold certificates were issued for intra-governmental transfers, the $10,000 bill being the largest valued paper currency circulated in the U.S. Today, there are approximately 215 surviving Federal Reserve $10,000 notes from the 1934 series. The upcoming U.S. Currency Auction, offered by , offers one of these notes. The available piece was never circulated, thus retaining its original crisp and overall quality. Also offered from the 1934 series is a $5,000 MS-63 uncirculated note.  Another highlight is an 1882 $5 brown back bill from the Bank of Columbia in South Carolina. The serial numbers printed on the back of these notes indicate the date when the bank opened. The back of the featured lot bears the signature of James Woodrow, the uncle of President Woodrow Wilson. The auction also showcases Confederate and Continental currency from several U.S. states, including uncut notes and a third quarterly edition of the Hodges' 1858 New Bank Note Safe-Guard. Interested collectors can view the complete listings and register to bid online on Stack's Bowers Galleries.

  • Auction Preview
    The D. Brent Pogue Collection Part VII: Masterpieces of United States Coinage

    The Liberty head half eagle coin was the first US coin produced in San Francisco. With the California Gold Rush in full swing, the United States Government looked for ways to use the natural resource to spread wealth into the local and national economies. Much of the gold entered monetary circulation as a result. An 1854 Liberty head half eagle coin is available in the upcoming currency auction, presented by Stack’s Bowers Galleries. In addition to its connection to the Gold Rush, this coin also has one of the lowest production numbers of any U.S. coin in regular circulation. An 1875 Liberty head $20 double eagle coin will also be featured in the auction. Like the previously-mentioned lot, the 1875 Liberty head was primarily minted in San Francisco. However, JM Bullion notes that many more of these coins entered circulation, with approximately 1.6 million produced in total. A 1796 Liberty Cap half-cent is also highlighted. The half-cent was the smallest denomination coin ever produced in the United States, first entering circulation with the Liberty Cap half-cent in 1793. The 1796 version of the coin depicts Liberty gazing to the right. The object behind Liberty is a Phrygian or liberty cap. Though primarily associated with the Roman Republic and French revolutions, the liberty cap was also a popular symbol of freedom in 18th-century America. Register to bid for this event on the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website. The gallery also holds multiple simultaneous sessions, which interested bidders can track on the website's auction calendar.

  • Auction Preview
    The D. Brent Pogue Collection Part VI

    The D. Brent Pogue Collection Part VI event, presented by Stack’s Bowers Galleries, brings to auction 230 pieces of historical paper currency from the United States. One of the highlighted lots is a $100 "Watermelon Note" from 1890. Collectors gave this note its nickname due to the fruit-like shape and shading of the two zeros on its back. Also pictured on the bill is naval officer David Farragut, who supported Union forces throughout the Civil War. Also available is an 1863 “Spread Eagle” $100 note. On the bill, an eagle stands on a rock with outstretched wings. The gallery notes that the bill's irregular size often caused improperly-cut margins. An 1869 $50 note comes to auction as one of approximately 60 surviving examples. On its front, a woman holds an olive branch in one hand. A portrait of Henry Clay decorates the right side of the note. Clay was a statesman who advocated for the abolition of slavery in his native Kentucky.  Rounding out the featured lots is a $1,000 gold certificate from 1907. A portrait of Alexander Hamilton is displayed in the center of the bill, with a seal printed in gold to Hamilton's right. This lot is the only known example of the certificate to receive the grade “Gem Uncirculated.” Register to bid for this event on the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website. The gallery also holds multiple simultaneous sessions, which interested bidders can track on the website's auction calendar.