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By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

​1989 was a year of great growth in the numismatic hobby. Many collectors entered the field, stimulated by the Mint's advertising program that promoted Mint sets, Proof sets and special commemoratives with the line "An investment in the future." This attracted young collectors to the field and appealed to their relatives who bought them these new issues to put away for the "future." Additionally, special reports from Wall Street by Salomon Brothers showed that coins were increasing in value more rapidly than art, precious metals and other collectibles, and this too was a stimulus.​

By Harvey G. Stack

​Looking forward to 1988, we did not anticipate the changes that were before us, as several happenings took place a few months before the New Year, and other events occurred after the year started. The numismatic market had its ups and downs starting in late October right into the new year 1988, yet the drop in value related more to the modern issues which depended on the values of precious metals. Interest also decreased in the newer U.S. Mint products, as well as items from many newer series.

By Harvey G. Stack, Founder

​The year 1987 witnessed a mass expansion of the use of third-party grading services in the numismatic hobby, both by dealers and collectors. The issue of standardizing grading was not new as it had been an ongoing situation that could be traced back for decades, even centuries. Over the course of time there had been various attempts to define and perfect the art of grading, as have been discussed in earlier parts of this story.

By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

In 1986 the United States Mint decided to expand the scale of their "rare coin business," selling lots of new products at a profit, to both beginning and advanced collectors. This included special issue commemorative coins and bullion issues that were sold above current bullion market prices. This was in addition to the millions of coin sets that the Mint had been issuing since after World War II, prices of which had been driven up by the increase in the cost of silver. The Mint had a prestige place in the system and could sell their products using the advertising slogan: "An Investment for the Future." ​

By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

The year of 1986 brought two changes that would be very influential to the hobby’s future: advances in professionally-run grading services and the increased scale of the United States Mint’s involvement in numismatics. ​​

By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

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.​

By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

The fact that 1985 was 50th anniversary year of presenting public auctions attracted consignments, and we started in January with the vast collection from the Estate of Joseph Bellini. Joseph was a wonderful collector and a friend to all who loved numismatics as he did. He had built a comprehensive collection of 20th century coins from small cents to silver dollars, mostly in choice and gem Mint State. He had a selection of minor Proof sets (as sold by the Mint) from 1878 to 1900. He also built a complete set of gold dollars, along with a large group of other gold coins from quarter eagles to $20 gold. It was a great way to start our anniversary year.

By Harvey Stack, Co-Founder

After rejoining the firm at the end of his military service in 1955, Norman, a dedicated and knowledgeable collector, decided to build a high quality type set that Stack’s could use to show a good way to start collecting. A type set offered a chance to learn about and own various denominations and designs, and explore how coin motifs at the U.S. Mint evolved over the years. This method of collecting included major and minor changes to a motif, or even adjustments in weight or composition that altered a coin’s design in some way.​

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