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HJB Home > About HJB > Our Experts and Staff > Harlan Berk
Harlan Berk, Owner, President
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Ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Coins, Antiquities, U.S. Coins, Paintings

Harlan J. Berk started his career as did many numismatists of his time. In 1949 his grandmother gave him a handful of Indian Head cents and a Swedish medal dated 1818 which were kept in a red tea tin in her dresser. A few years later he found a 1916-D dime in the 35cent allowance his father gave him every week. It was worth $12.50 in the 1954 Whitman Blue Book he consulted. At 22 just out of college he was hired as the coin expert in a lease department of Carson Pirie Scott which was owned by a boyhood friend, Norman Stack. Berk founded his company in late 1964 and now runs it with two of his children, Aaron and Shanna Berk, and is president and part owner of Gemini, LLC., a numismatic auction firm. Harlan has been a member of the Professional Numismatist Guild since 1971 and has held every office including president. He has been given most of the Guilds awards: The Robert Friedberg for literature 1987; Founders Award 1996; Lifetime Achievement Award 2000; and the Significant Contribution Award 2003. He also created the Penny Board project which resulted in the distribution of 250,000 Lincoln Memorial Cent boards free of charge and $50,000 in scholarships. As a result of that endeavor he did a joint quarter board project with the U.S. Mint and PNG . It gave about 1,500,000 boards to young collectors at no charge. A life member of the American Numismatic Association he has taught three summer seminars on ancient coins and has been on the editorial board of the Numismatist for many years. He is chairman of the Roman Coin Project and is it's major donor as well as being a recipient of the ANA Presidential Award 2001/2003 and the Glenn Smedly Award in 2005. Harlan is a member of the American Numismatic Society and a Fellow as well. He is also a major contributor to ACE, Ancient Coins for Education and one of their major donors of coins. ACE has named the highest teacher award after him even though he is not dead yet. In 2006 Berk received the Numismatic Ambassador Award from Krause Publications and the 1996 Presidential Award from the Chicago Coin Club for chairing a symposium "The Science of Numismatics" for the Chicago Coin Club and the American Numismatic Society of New York Berk has written two books on Byzantine coins and the first ever ancient section for the Friedberg Gold Coin Book, 100 articles, the first published in the Numismatic Scrapbook November 1965 “1802 Half –cent Struck on Large Cent”. He won three Numismatic literary awards in 1989,1990,and1992 for his World Coin News “What's Old.” He is on the Advisory board of the World Heritage Museum now the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois and a member of the U of I’s Bronze Circle since 1986.Harlan also serves on the advisory board of the Loyola Museum of Art in Chicago in is a founding Member of that board. In his spare time he is creating a 160 acre sculpture park in Watervleit Michigan with the Zhou Brothers and his wife Pamela. He also has a significant collection of Chicago paintings from 1910 to 1950 which will be published and exhibited by De Paul University in 2009. A professional numismatist since 1964, he is world renowned for his expertise in the field of ancient coins, and has authored more than 100 articles and three books on the subject. The Robert Friedberg Award for best book of the year and four Numismatic Literary Guild awards for excellence appear in his credits.

A member of the Professional Numismatists Guild since 1971 and past president, he also served as educational chairman and member of the board of directors. He is a life member of the American Numismatic Association, has been a contributing editor to its official publication " The Numismatist" since 1993, and a consulting authenticator since 1980. Mr. Berk has also been a participant in the ANA's annual Numismatic Theatre. As a fellow of the American Numismatic Society (N.Y.), he was also co-chairman of the educational symposium "The Science of Numismatics," and holds membership in the International Association of Professional Numismatists. Also, Mr. Berk is listed in Marquis' Who's Who in America

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