Pete Smith submitted this additional
article with his recollections of David Lange. Thanks.
David W. Lange – Recollections
As an active member of Early American Coppers (EAC) during 1983-85, I recall an unusual member, Carol Fiese, who was
interested in the cents of 1794. She attracted a lot of attention from the older male members. I
recall that I shared a starred reverse cent with her that Ted Naftzger had loaned to me for study.
It was not until some time later that I learned she was living with David Lange at the time.
Interesting that I met her before I met him. I know that I corresponded with Dave before we met
but I don't recall our first meeting.
We had a lot in common. Neither of us were working in the industry then. We were doing
research and writing articles for the clubs we enjoyed.
After Dave joined NGC, he frequently staffed their table at major coin shows. These were work
trips and he was stuck behind the table and was not able to attend club meetings or educational
presentations. I would stop to talk with him frequently when he was not talking with an NGC
Dave decided to take a break from writing a column for The Numismatist about 1992. Barbara
Gregory recruited me to write my
Names in Numismatics column to fill that vacant space. It
was not long before Dave returned with a new column.
We talked about book projects. He wrote the Mint History book as a donation to the ANA and
received no payment or royalties. At the time of our discussion I was also negotiating with the
ANA on a potential book deal. Dave had experience with book publishers and bad experiences
convinced him that self-publishing was the way to go. His advice was helpful as I attempted to
find a book publisher.
Dave and I shared some common interests, or perhaps we shared some mutual uncommon
interests. In his book on Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s, he identified Robert M. Ritterband as producing coin boards for Lincoln Printing Company in Los Angeles. I sent Dave a number of plastic tokens that Ritterband produced for members of the American Vecturist Association.
I teased Dave when he got the ANA Lifetime Achievement Award. I thought he was too young
to stop being productive. Then he was named Numismatist of the Year. It was like adding an oak
leaf cluster to a Purple Heart.
When I worked for a coin dealer, one of my jobs was to pop coins out of coin holders.
Occasionally I would come across a holder that was interesting for Dave. I recall giving him a
Whitman folder with a title on the printed cover that did not match the holes inside.
People trusted Dave, both for his opinions and integrity. When the Numismatic Bibliomania
Society needed someone to monitor our club elections and announce the results, we turned to
Dave. He also compiled results for our writers' competitions.
There came a time when I became frustrated with the leadership of the Numismatic Literary
Guild (NLG). This was an opinion shared by others. Dave was recruited to take over the NLG
Writer's Competition. He streamlined the categories and reduced the proliferation of
Extraordinary Merit Awards. He described them as being thrown out to the members like Mardi
Gras Doubloons. We had an extended discussion of the process in general and the Ribbit Award
Responses to queries in The E-Sylum are infrequent. Dave was someone who would respond and he had favorable comments if he liked an article. Our discussions were often outside of mainstream numismatics. In recent years we had discussion of Texas nickels, coin dealer
envelopes, canvas mint bags and Treasure Albums.
Unsmiling Pete, David Lange, and Barbara Gregory
Dennis Tucker took a picture of me with Dave at the ANA banquet in 2021. When he received a
copy of the picture, he responded to Dennis that he would like to photoshop a smile on Mr.
When I saw Dave in 2021, I asked if he would be willing to make a Zoom presentation to the
Northwest Coin Club. On April 14, 2022, he gave us
A Tour of the Coin Album Museum.
When I introduced him, he had to clarify that he no longer worked for Numismatic Guaranty
Corporation but now worked for Numismatic Guaranty Company®.
Word got out through the Rittenhouse Society that Dave was unable to attend the 2022
convention and the annual Rittenhouse breakfast. Illness forced him to withdraw from active
participation. We were saddened by news of his death but not surprised.
I attended Dave's Tour of the Coin Album Museum, and it was a wonderful experience. Dave was an inquisitive, meticulous and generous soul. He sought and found answers to interesting questions, worked diligently to write and publish what he learned, and always shared his thoughts and discoveries with others, Unsurprisingly, the Newman Portal lists over 2,500 hits on his name. His loss leaves a big hole in the hobby.
Here are some videos of Dave recorded by the equally missed David Lisot.
To watch the videos, see:
Building the Ideal 20th Century Type Set
Collecting Cherrypicker Varieties
Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930's and 1940's
Whitman's Blue Coin Folders as Collectibles
THE BOOK BAZARRE
has written A Guide Book of American Silver Eagles
, volume 27 in Whitman Publishing's
This history-packed reference addresses both the investor and the collector of the popular bullion series. Foreword by Q. David Bowers. 384 pages. Order your copy online
, or call 1-800-546-2995.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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