Schmidt, Shanna

Independent coin dealer, initiator of the “History in Your Hands Foundation”

Shanna Schmidt (*1971) graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in 1993. Her major subject was Communications, with a minor in Classical Piano. Afterwards, she worked for the Chicago advertising firm Leo Burnett both in the USA and abroad, in Copenhagen and Frankfurt. After almost ten years of working overseas, Shanna Schmidt returned to Chicago to work in the company her father had founded, Harlan J. Berk Ltd. Apart from these activities, she graduated with a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago in 2013. Her Master’s thesis was on the Cultural Property Debate as it relates specifically to ancient coins. In 2016 Shanna Schmidt has become an independent coin dealer.

Shanna Schmidt is specialized in ancient numismatics, with a particular focus placed on Greek coinage and, more specifically, on the area of Seleucid coinage.
Thanks to her initiative, the private library of Harlan J. Berk Ltd. has become accessible to the general public as a satellite library of the University of Chicago Regenstein Library since May 2016.

She is also the initiator and one of the founders of the “History in Your Hands Foundation”, a charitable organization that aims at giving schoolkids and students the chance to hold original coins in their hands. All revenues generated from entrance fees and participation fees of the Chicago Coin Expo go to the mentioned Foundation.

Shanna Schmidt is a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild since 2008 and board member of the IAPN since 2015.

You can reach Shanna Schmidt via email. By the way, she is fluent in German!

More information on Shanna Schmidt is available on Linkedin.

You can download her Master’s thesis on the Cultural Property Debate as it relates to coins from

More than once, CoinsWeekly reported on the “History in Your Hands Foundation”: on its foundation and the first practical implementation of its goals.

Please find the Foundation’s official website here.

And this is the website of Shanna Schmidt Numismatics.

Here you can find the Harlan J. Berk website.

In this video you can see Shanna live. Together with other Harlan J. Berk Ltd. salespeople, she introduces coins from the 195th Buy or Bid Sale.