The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 19, Number 6, February 7, 2016, Article 10

DAVID J. GINSBURG, 1958-2016

I was quite shocked and saddened to learn this week of the passing of longtime   E-Sylum contributor Dave Ginsburg of New Jersey. Dave was a real numismatic scholar and tireless researcher, and I always looked forward to corresponding with him. A search for his name in the E-Sylum archive generates 10 pages of hits. Our thoughts are with his family. He will be greatly missed. -Editor

Ray Williams writes:

David Bailey, David Ginsburg, Ray Williams Hearing of Dave's passing was just so shocking. So unexpected. He had some back surgery a few months ago and seemed to have been in good health afterwards. I drove up to Bloomfield NJ Friday afternoon with Harry Garrison and Bill Liatys to attend the visitation at O'Boyle Funeral home. We gave our condolences to Betsy (Dave's wife) and the rest of the family, letting them know of the many, many friends Dave had in the hobby.

She had emailed me the afternoon of Dave's passing, letting me know he died of a heart attack that morning. The day before, we were emailing about last Sunday's E-Sylum, where a headline referred to me as a Numismatic Supermodel. Dave sent a link to the E-Sylum to the NJNS members. I emailed him saying that even at my best in my youth, I was average at best, and no supermodel. His last email to me said, "At least you're tall enough to be a supermodel!".

Dave was past president and current secretary of the New Jersey Numismatic Society. I've been VP of the NJNS for a while now, and I was secretary as Dave was president. Dave loved early paper money and fiscal documents. His knowledge of history as it pertained to numismatics was excellent. He always had a smile on his face and freely shared knowledge. I will miss him terribly.

Michael S. Fey writes:

I attended funeral services for him Friday. We, at the New Jersey Numismatic Society, are all in shock at the news of Dave's passing. Dave was a past recipient of our Nettleship Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a member of our Society. He will be remembered for his service as Past President and Secretary, for his many presentations of scholarly numismatic research, and for being a genuinely nice human being. May he rest in peace knowing that his fellow collectors thought so highly of him.

I'm glad some of Dave's numismatic friends we able to attend and represent our shared hobby. Often a collector's family knows little about the hobby or their loved one's role in it. Dave was an outstanding numismatist, and he will be greatly missed. -Editor

David Bailey, David Ginsburg, Ray Williams
David Bailey, David Ginsburg, Ray Williams

Ray provided this photo. He adds:

The Garden State Numismatic Association (GSNA) presented its club of the year award to the New Jersey Numismatic Society. Receiving the award on behalf of the NJNS is Dave Ginsburg, Past President of the society.

David Gladfelter adds these notes:

David had an interest in practically all things numismatic. I last saw him a few months ago when he invited me to speak to NJNS. The occasion was well attended and a good time was had by all. A shock to lose him so suddenly.

Others who knew him well were Dave Bailey, current president of both the Garden State Numismatic Association and the New Jersey Numismatic Society (a member club of GSNA); Ray Williams, former vice president of GSNA and active in many numismatic organizations, including Colonial Coin Collectors Club and Trenton Numismatic Club (past president of both), and Harry Garrison, former chairman of the annual GSNA convention and operator of Colonial Valley Coins in Hamilton Township, a Trenton suburb.

Charles Nettleship was a founding member of NJNS in the 1930s who remained active in it for at least 35 years, The award that was established in his name recognizes hobby contributions of NJNS members.

Roger Burdette writes:

In the passing of David Ginsburg, the hobby has lost a "quiet contributor" to numismatic and American historical knowledge. He had a deep interest in southern gold and how the economy operated in the 19th century. He had recently completed an article, “Full Value for Your Money – Two Major Concerns about Gold Coins in the 1870s,” that was going to be sent to The Numismatist. Dave contributed to several books and had a great store of knowledge. His messages on NGC and PCGS message boards were insightful and filled with astute observations.

Doug Winter writes:

This is really tragic. Dave was a great numismatic scholar and a truly nice guy who I was lucky to get to know. I'm greatly saddened by this news.

Ron Thompson writes:

I have been a longtime member of the New Jersey Numismatic Society, joining in the early 1990s. David Ginsburg joined after me. The NJNS has had a number of distinguished numismatists as members since its founding in 1933. Many are published.

David was mostly a collector and researcher but he did contribute frequently to The E-Sylum and he certainly shared his knowledge in presentations at the NJNS. He gave generously of his time to organizational matters of the NJNS, mostly as Secretary but also as President.

Coin World had an article about him five years ago when he was selected to receive the Charles F. Nettleship Award for service to the society. Only former Nettleship Award recipients select new awardees and then only when the service level to the society is significant. David was a stalwart in the NJNS. He appeared in good health so his passing was unexpected. He will be truly missed. Below is a listing of former Nettleship Award recipients through 2013.

Awardee - Date - Member # - Notes NJNS Nettleship medal obverse
1. Herbert Oechsner 1983 Deceased 1984?
12. Robert Schonwalter 1984 155 (H-6) Member: 1961. Deceased 1998
13. Ernest Keusch 1985 191 (H-5) Deceased 2001
14. James Heath 1986 206
15. Harold Flartey 1987 210 (H-2) Deceased 2002
16. Harry Resigno 1988 207
17. Herbert Silberman 1989 180 (H-4) Deceased 199?
18. Charles Davis 1991 253
19. Spencer Peck 1992 251
110. Arno Safran 1994 247
111. Chris Connell 1995 267 Deceased 2007
112. Steve Middleton 1996 275 Deceased 2009
113. Malcolm Heckman 1997 222
114. Ray Williams 1999 283
115. Ernest Keusch 2000 191 (H-5) Pour Merite. Deceased 2001
116. David Lange 2001 302
117. Ron Thompson 2004 288
118. Michael Fey 2007 293
119. Arnold Miniman 2010-2011 #316
120. David Ginsberg 2011-2012 #341
121. Carl Feldman 2012-2013 #266

Thanks, everyone. There were a number of comments on the Collectors Society message boards as well. -Editor

To read the complete message board, see:
David J. Ginsburg passes (

Here is an excerpt from his online obituary. -Editor

David J. Ginsburg, Age 57, of Glen Ridge, NJ, passed away unexpectedly on February 3, 2016. Beloved husband of Elisabeth and devoted father of Katherine. Loving brother of Sharon Lesgold and Rachel Ginsburg.

Born August 22, 1958 in Kingman, Arizona, son of Benjamin and Esther Ginsburg. Earned a BA from Northwestern University and MBA from the University of Missouri. Served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1980-1985.

Resident of Glen Ridge for the past 26 years. Trustee of the Glen Ridge Library Board, Secretary and Past President of the NJ Numismatic Society and winner of its Nettleship Award for numismatic accomplishment.

To read the complete obituary, see:
David J. Ginsburg (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 31, 2016 : Ray Williams, Numismatic Supermodel (


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