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Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing Up in a Numismatic Family, Part 99

In September 1985,
Stack’s auctioned 1,954 lots of very interesting coins from a variety of
popular series. It provided a great chance for collectors to “fill in the gaps.”
Whether it was type coins from half cents to double eagles, Proof sets, or
rolls of coins, one could find them in this comprehensive sale. It was a
typical sale for Stack’s at the time, with consignments from a number of fine
collectors, most of whom used our sales to gather funds for new purchases, to
complete a collection or start a new series. This made our “typical” sales very
popular with both bidders and consignors.

And then, we moved
into the 50th Anniversary Sale, a major offering and a great
celebration. It took place over three days in October; there were three
catalogs and each had its own focus. One had only 128 lots, all rare U.S.
silver type coins from the Jimmy Hayes Collection. The second catalog offered
coins from the Bartle Collection and the Carl Zelson Collection, 758 lots of
choice and rare U.S. coins. The third and last catalog presented the Zurich
Collection of Foreign Gold & Silver and English Gold & Silver Coins,
780 lots in total. Each session contained coins that were in great demand,
attracting collectors and dealers from all over. The auction room was filled
from start to finish and the prices realized reflected the importance of the
event.

The first
collection offered was famous as it had been formed by renowned collector and
representative to Congress Jimmy Hayes. He had started collecting as a
youngster when his family brought sacks of coins for him to go through to try
to complete a collection. By the time he was in college his interests had
turned to United States type coins, influenced by my cousin Norman’s book on
the subject that explored some different ways to build such a set. Jimmy took
Norman’s ideas and made them his own, deciding to collect the first year of
issue of each change in design among United States silver coins. It made the
task more difficult and more expensive, but Jimmy Hayes loved the challenge!

For the first year
of each denomination there was a 1792 half disme, a 1794 half dime, a 1796 dime
and quarter, a 1794 half dollar and silver dollar (in this case the Lord St.
Oswald specimen). Then followed examples for the first year of each new design,
mostly in outstanding gem Mint State. This was a very special type set and
Jimmy showed the collection at coin shows and clubs around the country. When Stack’s
offered him a stand-alone catalog in the 50th Anniversary Sale he
agreed. The catalog was very special, and the sale was a great success.

After the Jimmy
Hayes coins were offered, the second part of our 50th Anniversary
Sale began with The Bartle Family Gold Coin Collection, highlighted by
comprehensive collections of gold dollars, quarter eagles, three-dollar gold
coins, early and later half eagles and eagles, and a wide selection of double
eagles, as well as both types of $4 gold Stellas. In addition, we offered the
Carl Zelson Collection of United States Coins that featured many Mint State
pieces and was highlighted by an original run of early Proof sets, 1858-1900,
sold by the year.

On the third and final day of
the sale, we offered collectors of world coins the Zurich Collection, an
extensive cabinet, mainly of pieces from medieval times up through the early 20th
century. There was an extensive group of English coins that included a number
of Coronation sets from the 18th to 20th centuries. There
were many great sets and many great rarities.

Our final sale of the year, in early December, featured 1,737 lots of
collector coins across many areas of numismatics, both United States and
foreign items. Once again, this was a Stack’s sale that had something for
everyone and was a great ending to 1985, a year of great achievement that was
going to be hard to exceed.​

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