Bowers and Merena Joins Forces with Ponterio & Associates


Expands into World Coins and Paper Money

IRVINE, Calif. – Bowers and Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and currency auction house, announced today that it had acquired Ponterio & Associates, a 26-year-old firm specializing in ancient and world coins and paper money.  The firm’s principals, Rick Ponterio and his sons Kent and Kyle, will be joining the management of Bowers and Merena.

Rick Ponterio, who is 61, is the founder of the firm and one of the top experts in the field of foreign coins.  He has been a professional coin dealer since 1973.  Rick served on the Board of Directors of the Professional Numismatists Guild for six years and as Secretary for two years. 

He also served on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Professional Numismatists for eight years.  Kent Ponterio, age 33, is an acclaimed numismatic scholar and writer, having co-authored a book and written numerous articles in the field.

He has won twice the "Pradeau Award" from the Sociedad Numismatica de Mexico, the highest award given by that society for the best numismatic article published on Mexican numismatics for the year, and has lectured at the American Numismatist Society COAC conference in New York City. 

Both Rick and Kent are authentication consultants to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), providing grading services for foreign coins.  Kyle, who is 28, has worked with the firm full-time for the past four years. 

Greg Roberts, President and CEO of Bowers and Merena’s parent company, commented, "Rick, Kent and Kyle bring unparalleled expertise in the international coin and paper money segment of the business, having conducted more than 146 auctions since the firm’s inception. 

Bowers and Merena had already begun to enter that market, with the Chirico Collection in February 2008 in Baltimore that realized over $2 million, and the more recent $1.1 million auction of East Bay and Kann Chinese and Russian Currency. 

With the acquisition of Ponterio, we believe we have positioned Bowers and Merena as the pre-eminent auction house servicing both the U.S. and international coin and currency markets. We are particularly pleased that we have joined forces with two generations of the Ponterio family, and will look to Kent and Kyle to lead the division well into the future." 

Rick Ponterio stated, "I am delighted to be joining the Bowers and Merena team. One of my first initiatives will be to add key world sections to the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention auctions, where Bowers and Merena acts as the official auctioneer.  

Under the Bowers and Merena umbrella, Kent, Kyle and I will continue to devote ourselves to serving the ancient and world coin market, including conducting our two-day auction at the prestigious annual New York International Numismatic Convention, where many millions of dollars worth of ancient and foreign coins are traded among buyers and sellers from all over the world." 

About Bowers and Merena Auctions

Bowers and Merena Auctions was founded in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s pre-eminent numismatic auctioneer, with more than half a billion dollars in rare coin and currency sales. It has been awarded the prestigious role of Official Auctioneer for the 2009 American Numismatic Association Conventions in Portland and Los Angeles, in addition to its continued service as Official Auctioneer of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Conventions, which is held three times per year.

Bowers and Merena has handled some of the most valuable United States coin collections ever sold, including the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection, the Garrett Collection for The Johns Hopkins University, and the Norweb Collection.

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