Beth Deisher announced her retirement effective April 30 as editor
of Coin World, following distinguished service in that post
since March 1, 1985. Now she will take time to travel and catch up
with personal things, while Steve Roach supervises the publication.
Here’s wishing Steve a generation of success and enjoyment.
Reminiscing about knowing Beth, since 1985 we have been in
constant touch on several levels. I was president of the American
Numismatic Association that first year, having been in the post since
1983. Beth had lots of questions, and I did my best to answer all.
There were no secrets within the ANA Board of Governors, and
except for executive sessions she was invited to sit in on meetings,
which she did. Often, like her predecessor, Margo Russell, Beth was
the only person in the audience.
It was a wonderful for Beth in 2010 to receive the ANA’s highest
honor, the Farran Zerbe Award.
Last summer, she was master of ceremonies at the Hall of Fame
dedication in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Hall of Fame is a wonderful
but somewhat peculiar institution, inasmuch as in recent years very
few people have been enshrined. I have been working with chair Cliff
Mishler to increase the number of living honorees from only about a
dozen to, say, two or three dozen. As a nominator next year, I will
propose Beth Deisher, likely a shoo-in.
Another interface with Beth has been in professional numismatics.
During her tenure, I and my staff at Bowers and Merena Galleries have
worked hand in glove with news releases, inside stories on the
Eliasberg, Childs, Bass and other great auctions (in 1996 I was
auctioneer at the podium when the very first coin broke the $1 million
mark — a sensational news event), fact checking, the SS Central
America treasure publicity, contributing to the Coin World
Almanac, and more. It was lots of fun and memorable. When I was
honored by a Gala held at the Waldorf-Astoria by the American
Numismatic Society in 2006, Beth traveled to New York to share her
comments about me to the audience.
I could recount many things about Beth and events over the years,
but this is one of my favorites:
Early in her editorship, I went to the Florida United Numismatists
convention in Florida. When I came back home I wrote about my
experiences, starting with something like this:
“Upon entering the dealer bourse I was confronted by predators.” I
went on to describe buying and selling, and so on, then ended the
column: “The predators I mentioned were a special wildlife exhibit of
Florida animals set up as an attraction at the entrance.”
I thought this was funny, but Beth felt it was non-numismatic.
Today, I suppose I could get away with it if I said that some of
these predators can be seen on modern commemorative coins.
Q. David Bowers is chairman emeritus of Stack’s Bowers Galleries
and numismatic director of Whitman Publishing LLC. He can be reached
at his private email, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or at Q. David Bowers, LLC, Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.