World-Class U.S. Gold Rarities from the Aden Collection Offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / October 30, 2023

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to announce the sale of the astounding Dr. William M. Aden Collection as part of their November 2023 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo. The Aden Collection is a world-class cabinet of federal U.S. gold coins from the 1790s to the 20th century. Dr. Aden focused on quality as he searched for the most iconic and elusive issues of virtually every major design type. Live bidding for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Rarities Night session, which includes the Aden Collection, begins on Tuesday, November 14 at 2:00 PM PT (5:00 PM ET).

An incredibly rare 1796 quarter eagle, offered in lot 3122, ranks as one of only six examples confirmed for the BD-1 variety. This variety, the product of a short-lived reverse die, is the first quarter eagle variety struck by the U.S. Mint and is the rarest quarter eagle struck from 1796 to 1834. This variety has been absent from almost all specialized collections of early quarter eagles, even from the collection of “Mr. 1796” himself, John Whitney Walter.

Lot 3127 presents an AU-55 (NGC) 1808 quarter eagle that offers a frosty texture and strong eye appeal for the grade. Only 125 to 150 examples of this one-year type of the Capped Bust Left design are extant in all grades. Previously an example that sold in our October 2015 auction brought $94,000. The AU-55 (NGC) 1864-S half eagle in lot 3176 is from a mintage of just 3,888, of which just 30 to 35 survived. This Aden Collection example is tied for Condition Census #3 and would be a highlight in any fine collection. The CC#2 example, graded AU-58 (PCGS) CAC, realized $264,000 in our Spring 2022 Auction.

Lot 3186 offers an AU-53 (NGC) 1795 BD-1 eagle with 13 leaves, an issue for which high-grade specimens are very scarce, especially when compared to the demand for them. A flashy AU-58+ (NGC) 1804 Crosslet 4 eagle from the Aden Collection is found in lot 3202 and represents a popular and eagerly sought key date, the last in the Capped Bust Right series. The mintage for the 1804 BD-1 dies may be as small as 2,500 pieces, and likely no more than 100 or so survive.

The Proof-62+ (NGC) 1865 eagle in lot 3209 is a rare and underrated issue that will attract serious attention from advanced collectors. Struck on March 8, one month before Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia effectively ended the Civil War., the mintage for this Proof is just 25 coins. Only six different Proof 1865 eagles have been offered since 1950, and two specimens are permanently held in museum collections.

The entire Stack’s Bowers Galleries November 2023 Showcase Auction, including the Dr. William M. Aden Collection, is now available for viewing and pre-sale bidding at For questions about the November auction or to consign your collection to an upcoming sale, contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries at (800) 458-4646 or by email at

About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

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 nearly 90-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, The Sydney F. Martin Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. 

The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, with galleries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris and Vancouver. Stack’s Bowers Galleries hosts an annual Global Showcase in August featuring United States coins and currency, Ancient coins and World coins and currency in its Costa Mesa auction gallery. They are also the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic events, including the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, the Spring and Fall Hong Kong shows, and the Maastricht Paper Money Shows. 

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