Rare Money Blog

Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 32

By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

Author: Harvey Stack / Thursday, November 29, 2018 / Categories: Harvey G. Stack Remembers

The year 1962 continued to be a good one for Stack's and the hobby. In late spring we offered the Tice Family Collection, a valuable and comprehensive offering of U.S. coins. Then, in the summer, we got word that Mr. Samuel W. Wolfson desired to sell his collection, which he had devoted about a decade to building. His interest in collecting began in the late 1940s, after he came to Stack's to add a few coins to his son's collection. He was attracted by the displays in the store and Norman and I spent some time talking with him, reviewing what comprised an important collection. With his son already a collector, Sam considered this an opportunity for them to share a common interest and develop something for the future. Stack's gained an important new customer, who continued to work with us building his collection. We were somewhat surprised to learn in 1962 that Mr. Wolfson was ready to sell.

Unfortunately Samuel W. Wolfson had developed an incurable disease and expected to have about a year to live. He desired to put his house in order and decided that his collection was so personally important that he wanted it cataloged and sold while he was alive, He wanted to be able to attend the sales himself and his doctors and family felt that it would be beneficial for him to have this to look forward to.

The Samuel W. Wolfson Collection would be offered in two catalogs, the first in the fall of 1962 and the second in the spring of 1963. Following Mr. Wolfson's wishes, we offered his vast collection of United States gold coins, from the gold dollar to the double eagle in fall 1962.

The Wolfson Collection was very close to complete in all series. It contained virtually every date and mint in all gold series. Many of the early dated $5 and $10 pieces originally came from the famous Col. E.H.R. Green Collection, as we had maintained in our stock coins from the "hoard" we purchased from that estate in 1943. In addition we had repurchased rarities from the Green Collection from those who had acquired them in the 1940s and had later put them up for sale. Stack's also had the additional resources needed to help Mr. Wolfson assemble such a fine collection.

The sale of this noteworthy collection attracted many of the great names in the hobby. Those I remember attending the sale were Harold. Bareford, George Walton, Dr. Bolt, R.L. Miles, Jr., the Norwebs, Gaston DiBello, and John J. Pitman to name but a few. In addition, many dealers from all over the country came, representing collectors from all over America. This was an important chance for others to add to their collections and acquire many dates of quarter eagles, half eagles and eagles struck before 1834. We were happy that the results of the sale rewarded Sam Wolfson for the effort he had made to get his collection close to completion.

The auction year ended with Stack's offering of the Salomon Collection, a general cabinet with many items for collectors seeking scarce dates. As we at Stack's often said, collectors with the patience to wait for the right coin to fill an empty hole can usually find the right piece.

The year of 1962 was indeed a very rewarding year. With the second part of the Wolfson Collection and other offerings coming up in 1963, we were looking forward to another good year.