Harvey G. Stack, leading rare coin dealer, dies at 93
“I worked practically every moment I wasn’t in school,” he wrote in a story for the company.
The company, founded by his great-grandfather Maurice in the 19th century, dabbled in numismatics, buying and selling collectible coins and currencies in addition to their primary function as a foreign exchange dealer. It later diversified into dealing in antiques and rare stamps.
In 1935, after converting the business into a rare coin dealership, Morton and Joseph Stack held their first public auction. In 1953, Stack moved to a gallery on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan. (It is now on 38th Street and has galleries in other cities.)
In 2011, Stack’s merged with Bowers & Merena to form Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
Mr. Stack served as President of the Professional Numismatists Guild for two years beginning in 1989. In 1993 he received the Founder’s Award, the Guild’s highest honor.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife Harriet (Spellman) Stack; his daughter Susan; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He lived on Long Island.
Stack’s Gallery has been viewed by many coin dealers and collectors as a welcoming global clubhouse. But Mr. Stack was not shy about promoting the company’s financial success.
“There are people who sell bars of gold and silver and rolls and sacks of coins who call themselves coin dealers, and some of them probably do deals worth over $100 million a year,” he told the New York Times in 1984. “However, when you say ‘rare coin dealer’ and talk about companies that sell both direct and at auction, we are the largest coin dealer in the United States.”
He distinguished between coin collectors, whom he eagerly courted, and investors.
“If a collector and investor had to abandon a sinking ship, the collector would take with him the rarest and most aesthetically pleasing pieces, regardless of market value,” he told the Times in 1977. “The investor would try to take away as much of their coins as possible, starting with the most valuable ones.”