In his latest "Remember When" blog, Harvey Stack gives his view of New York as the “Coin Capital of the World”. Here are some excerpts.
When considering the growth of numismatics in America, it can be found that coin collecting as a hobby, started to grow in size in the northeast states, from Maine to Virginia, after the Civil War. Some great collections were developed by the famous Adams family, the Garrett family, and other great collectors. Though they each had a profound interest in colonial and early American coins, their proximity to the Mint in Philadelphia gave them a great source for developing their collections.
There seemed to be a concentration of dealers in the New York area. After all, the city was known for its jewelry trade and it was easy for dealers to move into coins (which were also precious metal) than some other field.
Around the country, some dealers were already in the field. Wayte Raymond, F.C.C. Boyd, McAllistar, John Zug, Tom Elder, Barney Bluestone, Henry Chapman, and David Proskey to mention a few, together with the great promoter and super-advertiser of the time, B. Max Mehl of Fort Worth, Texas.
Many of the dealers of the period lived and worked in New York and it was easy to see how these dealerships grew. New York offered a group of numismatic organizations including the most important, the American Numismatic Society. Also to be found were the New York Numismatic Club, the Bronx and Brooklyn numismatic clubs, and the Chase Money Museum, plus a number of other museums that included coins as part of their displays. All this attracted collectors to the city and it became a “hub” for numismatics.
Many of the auctioneers who sold collections for clients chose New York as the place to sell. It was located in an area where many collectors lived and was easily reached from Boston, Hartford, the five New York boroughs, affluent Westchester County, Connecticut, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, and all the other main collecting cities. During the Stack family’s tenure in the city they held over 800 public auctions there and attracted thousands of collectors.
Even now out of town dealerships want to establish themselves in New York, the natural center of numismatics. In recent years the well-known firm of Heritage Numismatics opened a shop just a few blocks away from the Stack’s “clubhouse.” They are not the first Texans to test their business in New York. In the 1930s B. Max Mehl came to New York to partner with Wayte Raymond, but found that the “Big City” was not for him and returned to Fort Worth, where he conducted mail bid auctions and, sadly, never returned to New York.
And now you know why New York is the “Coin Capital of the World”!
To read the complete article, see:
Remember When: How New York Became The “Coin Capital Of The World”
Wayne Homren, Editor
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