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Press Release - June 4, 2014

The Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part I, Debuts At Heritage Auctions, June 23, 2014

The first of four auctions of financier and numismatic legend Eugene H. Gardner, presented by Heritage Auctions in New York

NEW YORK — The extraordinary rare coin collection of Lancaster, PA collector Eugene H. Gardner will be presented in the first of four unreserved auctions , taking place June 23, 2014 at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (2 E. 79th Street, at 5th Avenue).

"This collection is, without a doubt, one of the finest groupings ever assembled," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "It's the result of decades of study and determination to constantly improve the collection."

The Eugene H. Gardner Collection is the culmination of a keen intellect and a passion for numismatics that began in 1954 when as a college student he initiated his first collection, which was sold in 1965. As he founded the investment advisory firm that is now Gardner Russo & Gardner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his attention turned to silver coinage and the noble aim at complete sets.

The evolution from collector to numismatist attracted the attention of the entire trade. His acquisitions were deeply rooted in aesthetics, connoisseurship, and history. The names of Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., John Jay Pittman, and Eric P. Newman are just three of the names that appear in the provenances of coins in Mr. Gardner's Collection.

"Gene Gardner is more than a coin collector," said Mark Borckardt, Senior Numismatist at Heritage. "He's a numismatist with an appreciation for the historic side of the hobby, but he's also a connoisseur who appreciates the beauty of the finest available specimens, which his collection clearly illustrates."

The offerings in the first auction in late June are almost all federally issued coins, largely from the 18th and 19th centuries, with a choice selection issues from early 20th century type coins. All coins are silver, copper, or nickel; no gold is included in this auction.

More than 600 lots will be offered in New York on June 23, including an 1827/3/2 Capped Bust quarter PR 64 PCGS, a classic rarity and one of just nine known, and an 1823/2 Capped Bust quarter PR64 PCGS, Ex: Newcomer-Hawn, another classic rarity and a coin that is unique in Proof format.

An example of a truly fabled numismatic rarity, an 1876-CC Twenty Cent Piece, MS64 PCGS, Ex: Eliasberg Collection, has already drawn a good bit of collector buzz, while an 1871-CC Seated Quarter, MS65 PCGS, Ex: James A. Stack-Battle Born Collections, the sole finest example and the first mint state example that Heritage has offered in 15 years, will give collectors a chance to acquire a true landmark coin and one of just three Mint State survivors.

Further highlights of the first auction include:

1796 JR-1 Dime, MS67 PCGS: The sole finest certified of the variety, former Jimmy Hayes-John Whitney Walter coin.

1859 Transitional Half Dime, Judd-232, PR65 PCGS, Ex: Eliasberg: The finest of only five at known PCGS.

1797 Half Dollar original MS63 PCGS: From the James Swan U.S. Type Collection, a coin elusive in all grades and a mint state example of key design type.

1802 Half Dime AU50 PCGS: A signal rarity in American numismatics with possibly only two known finer.

1839 No Drapery Seated Half Dollar, PR64 PCGS: An extremely rare coin and one of only five Proofs known and the second finest of those.

1850 Quarter, PR68 NGC, Ex: Pittman-Kaufman: The single finest certified of only three proofs confirmed.

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