Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Richard Margolis Collection Part I Sets New Records

$2.78 Million for 252 Lots in Specialized Medal Sale

by Stacks Bowers Galleries | Published on April 3, 2024

Costa Mesa, CA – Stack’s Bowers Galleries continued its dominance in the Numismatic Americana market with their March 25, 2024 record-breaking sale of the Richard Margolis Collection Part I. Formed over 60 years by an important American professional numismatist and researcher, the Margolis Collection was led by the only intact 1779 (1789) John Stewart at Stony Point medal available to collectors. As the only example of the rarest Comitia Americana medal in private hands, the MS-62 (PCGS) bronze example saw frenzied competition selling for $900,000, a new world record for any bronze medal ever sold at auction. (All prices include the buyer’s premium.)

The Stewart at Stony Point is now the most valuable original Comitia Americana medal ever sold, the most valuable Paris Mint medal ever sold, and the most valuable 18th century medal of any kind ever sold. The Stewart medal was awarded by the Continental Congress to Maj. John Stewart for actions at Stony Point on the Hudson River; two other Comitia Americana medals were awarded for the action as well, on each to Gen. Anthony Wayne and French engineer Lt. Col. Francois DeFleury.

The top prices realized in the sale also included a particularly choice silver 1776 (1783) Libertas Americana medal graded MS-62 (PCGS) at $180,000, a rare PCGS AU-58 (ca. 1789) John Paul Jones medal in silver at $90,000, and a very high grade PCGS MS-63 ca. 1787 Nathanael Green at Eutaw Springs medal in bronze at $84,000. Three important pieces each realized $72,000: A superb MS-63 BN (PCGS) bronze DeFleury at Stony Point medal, a beautiful silver ca. 1777 George III Lion and Wolf medal graded AU-55 (PCGS), and an extremely rare bronze (ca. 1790) Benjamin Franklin / Lord of Lightning medal graded MS-64 BN by PCGS.

“Historic American medals, and numismatic Americana of all kinds, continue to be very strong in the auction marketplace,” noted cataloger John Kraljevich. “When a well-formed long-time collection like that formed by Richard Margolis comes to market, every collector competes to take something home. And the prices achieved reflect that.”

While the first portion of the sale featured Margolis’ Betts medals and other historic American medals, the second portion included Margolis’ world-class collection of portrait medallions of American historical figures produced by Nini, Wedgwood, and others. The selection of Nini terracottas included a number plated in Margolis’ 2015 reference Benjamin Franklin in Terra-Cotta: Portrait Medallions by Jean-Baptiste Nini at the Chateau of Chaumont. A large 1778 portrait terracotta of Franklin, Margolis-19, led this group at a final price of $31,200.

“Numismatic Americana is a growing field, with a diverse client base approaching these items as both art objects and historical collectibles,” stated Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Vice President of Numismatics Vicken Yegparian. “Mr. Margolis was a leader in the field for decades, and we see an emerging younger generation ready to forge new paths and define new ways to collect the kinds of rarities Margolis helped to popularize.”

Complete prices realized for The Richard Margolis Collection Part I can be found at For information regarding Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions or to learn more about consigning to an upcoming sale contact the firm at 800-458-4646 or

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Source: Stacks Bowers Galleries

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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 Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just 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.

Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack's Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.

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