Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with London dealer Richard Lobel. Here's the second part, where Richard talks about moving from Boston to London.
Greg Bennick: That's fantastic. Well, were certainly kindred spirits. I was asked to leave
university as well and then worked out an agreement with the university and stayed. So, that's
good to know that we're in good company today. Now, how did you move from Boston to
England? How did that come about, and when was that?
Richard Lobel: Well, I graduated university finally. Instead of taking four years, it took six
years because of dropping out and all the rest. And I got -- I have a degree in international
business and macroeconomics. And I was supposed to go to Harvard Business school for my
MBA. And I thought about it and I said, no. I don't really want to study. I love coins. And I
thought, and this was the big mistake. I thought I spoke the language in England. It is totally
different. It's a bit risqué
In America, a woman's fanny is her bum, her backside. In this country, it's the other side of her
anatomy. And I was with a group of guys, and I said, oh, she was really cute and I pinched her
on her fanny. And they looked at me like, what have I done? I moved here October 2nd, 1968. It
was the end of the 60s. It was still a swinging place. I had $5,000 but I owed the bank and my
aunt $8,000. So, basically, I was broke when I moved here. But I didn't care. I loved it. The
moment -- I'd been to England once before in 1964, I loved it. There's something about it. It's
the age, and it's -- you can walk down the same street every day for a year, and every day you'll
see something different. And it's....
Greg Bennick: I just said it's so wonderful.
Richard Lobel: It's a beautiful life over here. In America, the people you work with, the people
who live next door to you are your friends. Well, they're not really. Are they? They're people
you know. Over here, it took me seven years before someone called me a friend. But I knew that
they really were your friend. If you were in a fight, you didn't have to look around, that person
would be there with you. And I can appreciate the honesty of this country, and they don't call
you your friend because you work with them or you live next to them. If you are a friend, they
really are your friend. I've had some friends here for more than 50 years and I'm still friendly
Greg Bennick: Oh, that's wonderful. All of that is especially in the way that we too easily use
platitudes and words like friend in the United States. I think that's really a telling point about the
culture there. Now when you move there, did you intend to open a coin store or did you…
Richard Lobel: No. Absolutely not. No. It was a time of sex, drugs, rock and roll. I was very
wild as a youth. I have to admit this. I've calmed down somewhat. Yeah. No, I won't go into it,
but I was very wild. And I came over on a ship because I was in no hurry. I came over in third
class. You shared four people in a cabin and your toilet was down the hall. But it didn't matter
because it was -- you're in no hurry. And I got off the ship in Southampton. In those days, they
had a boat train. They actually met the ship, and then went up to London. And everything was
new. And the first place I stayed was a place absolutely perfectly named. It was called Wits End
House, because you're at the Wits End. And it was a pound a night with breakfast. I never made
it up for breakfast.
Greg Bennick: Of course.
Richard Lobel: And then in the middle of that, I found out that they had a heater in the room,
which you had to put a Shilling in there in the middle of the night. Otherwise, you'd be cold. It
was great. And I still tell the story about the navies, the guys working in the street digging the
holes would wear ties because it was, you know. And I was running around London in pink and
white gingham shorts. I didn't care. I loved it. I mean, I was free. I was 3,000 miles away from
my family. I could do whatever I wanted and by God, I did.
Greg Bennick: I love this. And I love that you've already reframed the early history of Coincraft
for me. And that in my mind, I was thinking, maybe he started Coincraft in Boston, but what I
realized is you started your interest in coins in 1955.
Richard Lobel: Dealing in coins. I was dealing in coins.
About the Interviewer
Greg Bennick (www.gregbennick.com) is a keynote speaker and long time coin collector with a focus on major mint error coins. Have ideas for other interviewees? Contact him anytime on the web or via instagram @minterrors.
To watch the complete video, see:
Richard Lobel of Coincraft Interviewed for the NNP by Greg Bennick
To read the complete transcript, see:
Richard Lobel of Coincraft Interviewed for the NNP by Greg Bennick (Transcript)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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