we moved into the early years of the 1960s, opportunities to expand the J.K.
Lilly Collection of World Gold Coins became more difficult due to the mandatory
licensing requirements. The rules set forth by the Office of Gold and Silver
Operations (OGSO) seemed to be restrictive and non-revealing. Mr. Leland Howard
was in charge of this office keeping counterfeits out of the United States.
However, he was not chosen for his numismatic knowledge, as he did not know
series, rarities or where to look coins up for identification. No one knew the
formula used by the OGSO to approve or deny licenses and often the decisions
made by the department seemed arbitrary.
of course, hampered our ability to supply more coins that was need by J.K.
Lilly as well as other collectors. Mr. Lilly, whose company dealt with
government agencies extensively, said to us: ”once they understand what
they are doing they will ease imports." He indicated that he could
wait while this was resolved. We were lucky to have such an understanding
collector, who had waited for other collectibles. Meanwhile we continued buying
from the public, from collectors, from dealers and from any auction that took
all was not resolved for Stack’s as a company. During this time Stack's was offered
a major foreign gold coin collection from the Netherlands that had over 900
coins in it. The client wanted to sell the coins at auction in the United
States. Needless to say, we were ecstatic. Included in this collection
were a number of coins needed to fill some of the gaps in the J. K. Lilly
Collection. So we received a certified listing of the coins in the
collection, and immediately filed for a license.
thought that a collection of this size and scope would be instantly recognized
as being numismatic material. However, the OGSO required that all the coins be
looked at separately, resulting in time-consuming paperwork and a lag time
while the paperwork was evaluated. As noted earlier, even after three years of
restricting imports, no criteria were revealed and all coins had to be examined
stress how these regulations interfered with the coin-collecting hobby to
preclude any such a government program from being reinstated or started anew.
The non-numismatic way that the OGSO was set up and organized, and the fact
that it was run by administrators who were not really knowledgeable, were
detrimental to both buyers and sellers
-- collectors, dealers, and auctioneers. After working to alleviate these
restrictions 50 years ago, I would hate to see such a program reappear.