The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 18, April 30, 2023, Article 9

DAVID NOBLE (1955-2023)

Another numismatic obituary popped up this week for someone once associated with Steve Ivy Rare Coins, predecessor to Heritage Auctions. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VIII, Number 45, April 25, 2023). -Editor

David Noble David "Dave" Dudley Noble of Rockwall, Texas passed away in his home on the morning of April 15, 2023, at the age of 67 years old. If you talked to Dave longer than 5 minutes, likely he would have referred to you as "Bud" and told you his entire life story. I'm sure we won't be able to bring the tale nearly as much color or with nearly as much humor as Dave, a natural born storyteller, would have, but herein lies our attempt (as Dave would say: "Believe it! Achieve it!").

Well Bud, Dave was born on November 25, 1955, in Iowa City, Iowa to Dr. Dudley and Norinne (Fenner) Noble. As Dave would say, he was just a "dumb guy" from Iowa who grew up swimming, fishing, and hunting (deer, pheasant, butterflies, mushrooms, you name it) and fondly looked back on the times he had with his parents, younger brother Jeff, and youngest sister Julie.

He also grew up relic digging, which spurred a lifelong interest in history and admiration for veterans / the armed forces; this "dumb guy" from Iowa became an encyclopedia of knowledge and could recite you every single detail of all the battles and collectibles in US history, whether you wanted to hear about it or not.

Dave Noble article on fibers or 'spider ;egs' in U.S. currency paper  ivynumismaticmon1981stev_0169 And can you believe it Bud, Dave graduated from West High School in 1974 and went on to become a swimmer for the Hawkeyes, becoming the third generation in his family to be an athlete at the University of Iowa, following after his father (football) and grandfather (track) before him. After graduating college and hanging up his speedo, he utilized his almanac brain to start his career off in the trading of rare coins and paper money, becoming an expert and even writing/helping to write 5 books on the subject matter.

In 1980, he moved down to Dallas to work at Steve Ivy Rare Coins, where he ended up meeting his wife Leslie, whom he stayed married to for 37 years until his passing.

Craving stability for his dream of building a family, he decided to change his path and pursued a career in real estate. I tell you what Bud, he was good at it. He brought the same detail-oriented nature over to the industry, and throughout his 28-year-long career, he developed 49 office and industrial buildings in excess of 8.5 million square feet and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award at Trammell Crow Company, where he spent the vast majority of his career.

Jim Halperin and Steve Ivy of Heritage helped gather some additional information. Thank you! -Editor

Allen Mincho writes:

"Dave is listed as a contributor to Iowa National Bank Notes, by James Ehrhardt and Steven Sweeney, published in 2006."

Dustin Johnston writes:

"In addition to the Iowa Nationals book, he contributed for a number of years to the National Bank Note Census. He was also an avid collector of early U.S. Coinage. He loved the hobby and comradery and never hesitated to help and energize others in their collecting efforts."

The Newman Numismatic Portal has a number of references to his name, with a specialty in paper money. He published a column in the Ivy Numismatic Monthly called "Notes on Notes". His June, 1981 column discusses the anti-counterfeiting measure of adding fibers or 'spider legs' to U.S. Currency currency paper in 1864. He was also Web Master and host of the Fly-In Club Talk Forum for the Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Collector's Society in the mid-2000s.

In January 2014 Heritage sold The Noble Family Collection formed by Dave Noble and his brother. Here's an excerpt from the catalog. -Editor

The Noble Family Collection began in 1966 with two brothers' love for Civil War history and numismatics. Together they built an important collection of Civil War uniform buttons – fittingly enough for a conflict that pitted brother against brother many times, one focused on the Union and the other the Confederacy – and later began collecting larger artifacts such as belt buckles, swords, and firearms. Dave Noble, one of the brothers, is a noted author of articles on buttons and U.S. currency.

The boys' father, who had noted their interest in history and taken them to battlefield sites such as Gettysburg, bought one of the great rarities of Civil War-related numismatics, an original 1861 Confederate cent. It cost $15,000 in April 1974, a steep price for the time, but the passage of nearly 40 years has proven the wisdom of the father seizing the moment. The Noble Family Collection's original 1861 Confederate cent, PR63 PCGS Secure, is one of the jewels of Platinum Night.

From the description of the 1861 Original Confederate Cent:

"This original Confederate cent has been off the market since 1974. It was bought by the consignor's father, Dr. Dudley Noble, in April 1974 for $14,995. Mr. Noble died at the all-too-early age of 48. His sons saw the significance of the coin and how it would fit into their collections of Civil War memorabilia that included guns, swords, ambrotypes, tintypes, buckles, buttons, and Confederate currency. Included with the lot are copies of a letter from Q. David Bowers acknowledging Dr. Noble's purchase of the coin, invoice, PNG Dealer's Certificate of Title, Guarantee of Genuineness and Registration, and even a photocopy of the original envelope it was shipped in."

To read the Heritage catalog on the Newman Portal, see:

To read the complete obituary, see:
David Noble 1955 - 2023 (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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