Harvey G. Stack – 1928-2022

Costa Mesa, California – It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend and founder Harvey G. Stack on January 3rd, 2022. His long-standing leadership and his friendliness and mentoring towards employees, collectors, dealers, numismatic organizations and colleagues will not be forgotten.

Harvey was born on June 3, 1928 in Manhattan to Morton M. Stack and Muriel Stack. He grew up in the Bronx and Jamaica, New York, and attended NYU. His life revolved around his family and numismatics as generations of the Stack family built on the rare coin business founded in 1933 by Harvey’s father Morton and uncle Joseph on 690 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. When Stack’s presented its first public auction in 1935, it quickly grew into larger premises and a growing reputation. Although Harvey worked at the company’s coin store in Manhattan as a teenager after school and during vacations, it wasn’t until 1947 that he began working full-time for Stack’s Rare Coins, a career that would last more than 70 years. One of the second generation of family members to join the company, Harvey worked with his father, uncles and cousins ​​Norman and Benjamin, supported by a staff of experts that included many of the best-known professional numismatists of the 20th century.

In 1953, Stack moved to a gallery at 123 West 57th Street, a location that has been the company’s home for over 60 years and has become a popular destination known as the “clubhouse” for collectors from around the world. As a family member, Harvey’s responsibilities were extensive, supporting customers in the store, traveling to collect collections and attending conventions and coin exhibitions, cataloging auction lots, conducting auctions, and doing all the other chores. He became an expert in many areas of numismatics and was able to translate his warm and jovial personality into long-term relationships with the collectors and dealers with whom he worked throughout his career.

The decades after World War II were great growth for Stack’s day. In addition to opening a new and improved location, they were used to display many important collections at auction, including Anderson-Dupont, Davis-Graves, Charles A. Cass (“Empire”), RL Miles, Massachusetts Historical Society, Samuel Wolfson and George Walton, as well as conducting public auctions in conjunction with major numismatic exhibitions, including the American Numismatic Association and the Metropolitan New York Conventions. In the 1970s, Harvey’s son Larry and daughter Susan joined the company, creating a third generation.

Harvey and the Stack family were instrumental in building some of the largest collections of their time, including the gold coin cabinet put together by Josiah K. Lilly, chairman of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. After Lilly’s death in 1966, his collection of over 6,000 coins became part of the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection, a process sponsored by Harvey and other members of the Stack family. Over the decades, Harvey and the Stack family also developed a relationship with Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. who amassed the only complete collection of United States coins ever formed. In 1976, as the nation celebrated its bicentenary, Harvey and the company helped display Eliasberg’s incomparable collection at the United States Mint in Philadelphia.

Harvey Stack’s role in numismatics was not purely business. He campaigned for clearer import regulations for coins from overseas and testified before a subcommittee of Congress leading up to the Hobby Protection Act of 1973. He worked with the American Numismatic Association and other professionals to develop a standardized grading system for coins. In 1996 he appeared before the US House of Representatives Banking Committee to propose the 50 State Quarters Program, which brought countless new collectors to the hobby. Harvey Stack served on the board of the Professional Numismatists Guild for nearly a decade and was president for two years from 1989. In 1993 he received PNG’s Founder’s Award, their highest honor, for his commitment to this hobby. Over the years, Harvey has been a huge supporter of the American Numismatic Association, the American Numismatic Society, and the Smithsonian Institution. He was a long-time member of the International Association of Professional Numismatists and numerous other numismatic societies.

As the 20th century turned into the 21st, Harvey Stack and Stack’s continued to thrive when Larry and Harvey put the incredible John J. Ford, Jr. Collection and many other famous cabinets up for auction. Additionally, they worked with Sotheby’s on the record-breaking 1933 auction of the first Saint Gaudens double-headed eagle to cross the auction block. In 2011, Stack merged with Bowers and Merena to create Stack’s Bowers Galleries, one of the leading numismatic auction firms in the country and a company that continues the Stack family’s legacy of showcasing key numismatic cabinets and attaining record prices. Harvey stayed involved in the new business to the end, told the company history, looked after employees and cultivated his relationships within the hobby. Most recently, he and Larry worked with the estate of longtime friends and clients Mark and Lottie Salton to bring their outstanding collection of world and ancient coins to market. It is unfortunate that Harvey will not be in attendance to see the fruits of his labor as this remarkable cabinet crosses the auction block in 2022 and 2023.

Harvey had already passed away from his parents, his uncle Joseph, his cousins ​​Norman and Ben. He leaves behind his wife Harriet, children Larry (Loretta) and Susan (Larry), grandchildren Rebecca (Jimmy) and Matthew (Tanya) and five great-grandchildren: Bryce, Avery, Dylan, Brielle and James.

The services will be private. Instead of flowers, donations can be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Numismatic Society, or a charity of your choice. The family can be reached at .

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