Diane Piret dedicated her adult life to numismatics for four decades.
More than half of that time was spent serving the needs of the Industry Council
for Tangible Assets, its members and constituents, most recently
as industry affairs director.
The Professional Numismatists Guild recognized her
in 2013 for those 40 years of service to the hobby with its
Significant Contribution Award. The following year, PNG recognized her
with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Numismatic Association recognized Piret with its 2014 Elvira
Clain-Stefanelli Memorial Award for Achievement in Numismatics, and
the National Silver Dollar Roundtable awarded her
its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
One was likely to run into Diane Piret at any a major numismatic
convention or show across the country. She made her presence known.
Her effervescent personality was infectious.
Piret fought for the rights of collectors and dealers on numerous
issues affecting the hobby and industry, predominant among them
derailing or overturning sales tax legislation. Piret worked
tirelessly in this regard.
For the past five years, Piret was also valiantly battling colon
cancer as she continued her duties with ICTA.
Piret lost her battle against cancer on April 15. Piret was 67.
Funeral services were scheduled for 2 p.m. Central Time April 21 at
Cathedral, 2919 Saint Charles Ave., in New Orleans. Calling hours
were to begin at 1 p.m. and continue until the time of service. Piret
is being cremated, with her remains to be interred in the church's columnbarium.
"Diane was not only a colleague and leader in the rare-coin and
precious-metals industry, she also formed decades-long friendships
with many," according to a statement released by ICTA. "Her
ability to zero in on the core of an issue or problem and her unerring
ability to develop workable, fair solutions were among her formidable
talents. For many years, coin dealers knew they could go to Diane with
a problem or question and be assured that she would either find the
solution or answer or put them in touch with someone who could. Diane
was both respected and loved on the bourse floor. Since 1989, she
truly was 'the face of ICTA.' "
Born in Staten Island on May 29, 1947, Piret spent the early part of
her life in New York City and graduated from Hunter College with a
business degree. Piret learned the rare-coin and precious-metals
business working at Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, formerly MTB
Bank, from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. She managed MTB’s
retail store at 1 World Trade Center for several years, including
during the historic metals markets of 1979 and 1980. She was
passionate about her profession and about ICTA, an organization she
served for over 25 years.
Piret was hired in the fall of 1989 to be ICTA’s membership
director, with the sole responsibility of recruiting members. When she
retired in 2015, she was the acknowledged industry expert on cash
reporting, broker reporting, the USA PATRIOT Act, and more.
Piret especially enjoyed teaching cash reporting, and she created an
annual seminar taught by outside experts to keep coin dealers current
on these regulations. Piret was proud of the fact that she and her
ICTA colleagues never backed down from a challenge or threat to the
industry, and enjoyed telling the story of initiating a meeting with
U.S. Treasury officials when the PATRIOT Act was still in draft form
after 9/11. Piret met with and formed relationships with officials
during that situation that resulted in much more reasonable
cash-reporting laws for the industry.
In the mid-1980s Diane and her then-husband were recruited by Jim
Blanchard to manage a precious-metals business in southeast Louisiana.
Just as Piret had found a professional home in the rare-coin and
precious-metals industry, she found a personal home in New Orleans.
Piret often noted that she truly was a Southern belle who, through a
strange cosmic mix-up, had been born north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Piret embraced all things New Orleans: the people, the food, the
horticulture, the lifestyle, and especially Mardi Gras. For several
years, Piret rode horseback for her Krewe of Napoleon and hosted
friends and family for the annual festivities, providing many with
indelible, magical memories of Mardi Gras in the Big Easy.
A long-time member of Christ Church Cathedral, Piret loved her
church and was responsible for building its annual rummage sale into a
major fundraiser. It was so successful that her church was able to
provide donations to smaller, needier churches in the New Orleans
area. Piret loved her neighbors in her community of Belle Terre in
Plaquemines Parish, and she invented the “stay-cation” in the tropical
oasis she created in her back yard and gardens.
Piret’s immediate survivors include brother, Keith Gould,
sister-in-law, Lisa Mazur; sister, Ellen Kennedy, two nieces, and a
host of friends and neighbors. Diane also leaves her beloved Siamese
cats, Sport and Angel, the last in a long line of cherished pets.
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