US Coins

Be thankful

As I write this column, we are getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast. I am thinking a lot about family and remembering all the positive influences in my collecting career.

My parents began my journey with a gift of a few Whitman coin folders. My father was very supportive of my collecting interests and provided transportation to many a local dealer as well as small local shows. I miss having him around.

Two other large voids impact the hobby.

David Davis

As most of you read in the Nov. 21 issue of Coin World, David Davis died Nov. 2. You could read all the “hard facts” of his involvement in the hobby including being a founding member of the John Reich Collectors Society and one of the co-authors of Early United States Dimes 1796-1837.

Dave was the president of the JRCS from its inception until this year’s American Numismatic Association summer convention. He collected many other items of interest including photos of Ohio covered bridges, bank notes from his home state of Michigan, counterfeit detectors, maps, clocks, cast iron banks, knives, Michigan post cards and other items. His library was one of the most interesting ones I ever had the privilege to visit.

However, I prefer to remember collectors not by the collections that they amass, but by the experiences we shared and by their deeds.

David loved the hobby and was a mainstay at the annual ANA convention, where he hosted the yearly JRCS meeting.

Introductions always began with, “Hello, my name is David Davis from Michigan.” He usually continued with the Bust items he collected and each person attending the meeting was encouraged to do the same.

Dave arranged the meeting room and the speaker for the meetings in his spare time. With his work and family responsibilities, he found the time to do groundbreaking research into the Bust coinages. He was a fountain of knowledge in many fields. Some may refer to him as a Renaissance man.

His involvement and influence in our corner of the hobby will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this first holiday season without David.

Loved the hobby

The other loss in the hobby is from the family of half dollar collectors. Dale Heisler passed away suddenly earlier this month. He always traveled to coin shows with his wife, Edith.

Dale loved the old half dollars, amassing a collection that was nearly complete by die marriage. He also loved the subtle changes in the die states of the coins.

Dale would buy almost any coin that had a small die crack that he did not recognize.

To have met either Dale or Edith was to immediately like them. His booming voice, smiling face and quick wit will be missed at the annual gatherings.

Remembering these two men in this holiday season brings pleasant memories of my time spent with not only them, but also with many other collectors.

It also reminds me of my sadness with the loss of my own father. I know how the families of these two collectors are feeling with the loss of their loved ones.

I can only hope that the knowledge that they are both remembered fondly by those who shared their passions will give them some consolation. We will miss both of you!

I wish all the readers a safe and happy holiday season. May the joy of the season sustain you into the new year, when we can meet at the Florida United Numismatists show in Orlando.

Brad Karoleff is a vice president of the John Reich Collectors Society and editor of the club’s journal. He can be reached via email at

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