American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this
article on the late Harvey Stack and the creation of Stack's Bowers Galleries. Thank you!
Harvey Gerald Stack (1928-2022)
Harvey Stack was the last of his generation with the family firm of Stack's. The numismatic and
auction version of Stack's dates back to 1933. Joseph (1891-1974) and his younger brother
Morton (1901-1967) reformed their father's brokerage house to service the rare coin market. The
next generation included Joseph's children, Shirley (1904-1991), Benjamin (1925-1984) and
Norman (1928-1992), and Morton's son Harvey. After the death of Norman in 1992, only
Harvey and his son, Lawrence, remained with the Stack's company.
I interviewed Harvey for his biography at the 100th anniversary ANA convention on August 14,
1991. He gave me the basic information: he was born on June 3, 1928, in Manhattan and
attended New York University. He married Harriett Spillman and had two children, Lawrence
and Susan, who also worked for the firm.
The death notice from Stack's Bowers stated that
it wasn't until 1947 that he went to work full
time for Stack's Rare Coins. That would make him nineteen at the time.
Harvey was an activist in promoting numismatics. On February 28, 1973, he joined five others to
testify before the Commerce and Finance Committee in support of the Hobby Protection Act. In
1995 he testified before the House Committee of Banking and Coinage to support the statehood
Harvey was appointed to the U. S. Assay Commission for the bicentennial year 1976. He joined
the PNG in 1978, served on the board after 1979, as vice president 1985 to 1989 and as president
1989 to 1991. In 2000 the PNG presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Harvey Stack joined the ANA as Junior Member J-14827, effective November 1, 1947, again at
age nineteen. The ANA gave him a Medal of Merit in 1991, and in 1997 he was named
Numismatist of the Year.
In 2021 he was included in the top 10 of Coin World list of The Most Influential People in
Numismatics 1960-2020. In his listing he stated that as a licensed auctioneer he conducted more
than 800 public sales.
One of Harvey's contributions to his company and the hobby was to promote the history of
Stack's. He provided a series of articles to the company blog
Harvey Stack Remembers
Growing up in a Numismatic Family. This was reprinted in
He would have been eligible for the ANA 75-Year Member Award in 2022. He died on January
Here's a photo from the Baltimore show March 28, 2014 with Dave Bowers, Harvey Stack,myself and Larry Stack.
Stack's Bowers Galleries
To an uninformed collector, Stack's Bowers Galleries may sound like a partnership of two
respected long-time dealers. Today it is the subsidiary of a large corporate entity. The firm
claims a legacy back to 1933 and yet listed Harvey G. Stack as their founder. This misses a few
steps along the way.
Stack's merged with American Numismatic Rarities on November 15, 2006. The merged
company, still called Stack's, listed Q. David Bowers and Harvey Stack as Co-chairmen.
Lawrence Stack was also an equity partner. Anderson Press acquired a controlling interest in
2008. Harvey Stack and Lawrence Stack retired in 2009 leaving Bowers as Chairman of the
The Escala Group changed its name to Spectrum Group International on May 19, 2009. They
had acquired Bowers and Merena Auctions from Collectors Universe. In 2011 Stack's was
merged with Bowers and Merena to become Stack's Bowers Galleries. Harvey and Lawrence
came out of retirement to work with the new firm. At that time the company was owned 51% by
Bowers and Merena Auctions and 49% by Stack's. In 2013, Spectrum bought the remaining 49%
to become sole owner of the company.
The Stack's Bowers website includes this opening statement,
Stack's Bowers Galleries has been
conducting live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U. S., World and ancient Coins and
Currency since 1933. They list Q. David Bowers, Harvey G. Stack and Lawrence R. Stack as
The first sale conducted by Stack's was dated October 15, 1935. Their first Internet sale came
some time later. The founders relate to a firm with the same name that came out of the 2006
merger. They were only with Stack's Bowers since 2011.
Apparently, in acquiring the company, Spectrum acquired the assets, a respected company with a
long history and a set of founders who had been competitors through much of that history.
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
DAVE BOWERS ON THE ANR-STACK'S MERGER
HARVEY AND LAWRENCE STACK REJOIN STACKS-BOWERS
HARVEY STACK'S NUMISMATIC FAMILY, PART 1
Wayne Homren, Editor
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