The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 21, May 24, 2020, Article 11


Harvey Stack submitted this letter in response to Dan Hamelberg's great summary of the Stack's Fixed Price List series. Thanks! -Editor

Stack's Fixed Price Lists

The information provided about the Stack's Price List Mystery is one that I have not been able to solve since at least 1953. We moved from 46th Street that year, to 57th St.

All things were either boxed or sent on a liftback truck from one location to another. Though there were but three of the Stack Family available at the time of the move, our staff helped us greatly in bundling, securing and sending the items from one address to another. Though before 1951 Ben decided to try to open a new shop in Vegas and left, and in 1952 Norman was drafted into the army. So Morton my father, and Joseph my uncle each stayed at one of the locations, and I being the "young and strong" Stack rode the liftback trucks, carrying show cases, large coin cabinets, stock drawers and coins, and furniture the move.

One of the things that got lost was our "extra supply", which we had of our various Price Lists. Where they went (I hope not in trash), could not be found. Even in the 1980's I made a search of our storage rooms in the basement of 123 West 57th Street, but never found either our library copies or the "extras' we tried to retain.

To us, each Price list was a salesman we mailed to our growing mailing lists, and was what we had available in stock, and sold either over the counter or by mail. In the 1930's when we started mailing these price lists with or in addition to our Public Auction Sale Catalogs, were important additions to our sales promotions. Not everyone could come to New York to visit our showroom, so we offered different series, United States, Foreign and Ancient Coins to our clients in the rest of the country.

The price lists were great augmenters to our retail sales. It also provided us in the shop with a single value to sell from our inventory.

Now that you provided us with a list in The E-Sylum, and then learned that NNP is publishing all they have, the collectors will have a source of what might have been ' available during the early years as our hobby grew, what the market would pay for some of these items, give us a uniform pricing schedule for over the counter sales.

One look back at the prices that coins sold for in the 1930's to the 1960's is a good indication about value at the times and the demand for certain issues.

Stack's was also a great depository of late issue coins, getting quantities from the Denver and San Francisco mints each year, and offering many as single items to help fill the "albums" of the young and old collectors. Not every mint could be found around New York or in the average hometown, so to have a supply to offer, made us a very popular place to deal with.

To compare availability of various dates and mints was cherished by most we served. We even had sections in some of our later price lists which included ancient and foreign coins.

So combining our large, warm retail offices, together with our numerous public Auction Sales and also our varied Fixed Price Lists, all contributed to our growth.

Few in the country ever competed with us in the earlier days, since the Guide book and Standard Catalogs were not issued in any quantity in the 1940's, Coin World and the Numismatic News did not start circulating 'til the early 1950's and grew slowly, so the "free mailings" from Stack's became a great source of reference.

My full time days at Stack's started in 1947 and continues to the present days, as I went through various numismatic happenings (some in the present Stack's Bowers Blogs each week, and also repeated in CoinWeek, The E-Sylum and Numismatist), that can provide those who want to know what "GROWING UP IN A NUMISMATIC FAMILY' entailed during the majority of last century and all of our present one.

I hope the above fills in some of the information that you provided, and thank you again for your time and effort in providing it to the E-Sylum readers.

Dave Hirt writes:

"I enjoyed reading Dan Hamelberg's comments on the Stack's FPL's. I congratulate him on having one from 1929. I had never heard of any that far back. I have a collection of 64 different ones, although I have not bought any the last ten years. Interesting, the lists that Dan is missing are also missing from my set. Perhaps none were issued with those numbers.

When I was buying them, they were inexpensive. I believe that I got some in Fred Lake's sales, others at dealers' bargain boxes at coin shows. One list that there was demand for was list #27, 1942. That list was written by a young John Ford before he left for the Army in World War II. I have seen that list bring around $50 at auction.

I got a bit of nostalgia looking at some of the lists from the 1940's. Choice and rare coins were priced so cheap, that compared to today it seemed as if they were giving them away!"

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster