US Coins

Exonumia dealer Rich Hartzog dead at 70

Undated photo shows exonumia dealer Rich Hartzog with multiple cloth bags containing United States minor coinage.

From Coin World photo files.

Chicago area exonumia dealer Rich Hartzog, who sold tokens and medals through his World Exonumia firm for more than four decades, died at age 70 Nov. 10 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

According to Mr. Hartzog's biography in Pete Smith's American Numismatic Biographies, Mr. Hartzog was a Chicago native, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville in 1971. Mr. Hartzog was employed as a management engineer at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Illinois, from 1971 to 1974 and was also a part-time coin dealer.

Mr. Hartzog followed his professional numismatic pursuits fulltime beginning in 1974, specializing in tokens and medals since 1977. Under the company name World Exonumia, Mr. Hartzog conducted 11 auctions from 1977 to 2006. While a professional numismatist, Mr. Hartzog was a hobbyist at heart, collecting 19th century exonumia from Illinois. Mr. Hartzog served on the board of governors for the Central States Numismatic Society, Civil War Token Society, Token and Medal Society, and the Illinois Numismatic Association, among others.

Mr. Hartzog is the author of the 1982 and 1986 editions of Rich Hartzog's Price Guide for Medals of the United States Mint:The First Century, 1792-1892. Under the name World Exonumia Press, Mr. Hartzog published American and Canadian Countermarked Coins and other books on countermarks written by Gregory Brunk; Trade Tokens of Illinois in two editions, written by Ore Vacketta; and Oregon Trade Tokens by Jim Hemphill. 

Mr. Hartzog became member No. 883 when he joined the Chicago Coin Club on May 8, 1974. He served on the club’s board of directors, was vice president, and served as president from 1979 to 1982. Mr. Hartzog presented edicucational exhibits at each meeting he attended and received the club’s top Cabeen Exhibit Award in 1979 and 1980.

Mr. Hartzog was American Numismatic Association Life Member 1046.

Mr. Hartzog is survived by his daughter, Jennifer, and a brother, Jeff. A celebration of Rich Hartzog’s life is being scheduled for sometime in January, according to Jeff Hartzog, who is handling his brother’s estate.

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