The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series discusses the opening of a new era in the coin business following the silver boom and bust of the early 1980s.
The year of 1984 showed continued growth of interest in numismatics. Serious collectors returned to the hobby, just when some major collections were being marketed, providing a wonderful opportunity for buyers. The availability of coins that had resided in many old timer collections stimulated a rise in coin values that continued to recover from the damage done by the run up and crash of the silver market a few years earlier. While the first few years of the 1980s had been a little slow, the market by the end of 1983 showed that there did not seem to be a long term effect on coin collecting, especially for more traditional hobbyists.
As mentioned earlier, there was also movement in the industry to reduce the detrimental effects of counterfeit and doctored coins. Many of those who tried to deal in these items were detected and revealed, increasing confidence in professional dealers of good standing. The ANA and the PNG both took steps to assist with this. The PNG grew in numbers and maintained strict enforcement of the hobby. In 1984 I was a member of the Board of PNG and we worked tirelessly to regain and retain the appreciation of collectors for the reliability of numismatic professionals. The ANA started to examine all advertising in the Numismatist and stopped accepting misleading, false and improper ads. Trade publications such as Coin World, Numismatic News and others followed, and confidence quickly returned to the marketplace.
During this year, Stack's was awarded a number of old-timer collections to offer at public auction, either by owners or estates, and we produced 12 public auction catalogs in 1984. Some of the name collections featured in these sales were Amon Carter, John L. Roper, John Halsell, Fredrick Knobloch, Floyd T. Starr, T. Bergin, Geo. Kosko, Yale University, Bartle Family, and Richard Picker, a phenomenal group for just one year. It was an exciting year for the hobby and for the Stack's organization. Along with myself, Norman, and Larry, we had a remarkable staff that helped us achieve the record breaking year we enjoyed.
Our over-the-counter business, as well as mail orders were strong, and we were able help new collectors develop and expand their collections. We worked hard to maintain our leadership in the hobby. Our senior staff, including myself, traveled all over the country, to attend numerous trade shows and visit coin clubs. The American Numismatic Association grew in membership as did the number of clubs affiliated with the national organization. Newspapers and magazines around the country started coin collecting pages and carried articles and advertisements.
Stack's was well known throughout the numismatic community, and we were often called upon to make appraisals. We worked directly with banks and trust companies and even served as advisors to some that were overseas. Notable among these were overseas banks that had in their vaults large holdings of United States $20 gold double eagles (as described in an earlier chapter). There was a lot of activity and all of us worked many hours to maintain our place in the hobby.
On top of all this, 1984 was a landmark year for auction sales, led off by our January offering of the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Collection of Gold Coins, which will be the feature of my next article.?
To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 92
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
HARVEY STACK'S NUMISMATIC FAMILY, PART 91
Wayne Homren, Editor
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