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Unforgettable Ed Rochette has died

News arrived yesterday of the death of Edward C. Rochette on Jan. 18 at the age of 90.

I will miss him, as to know him was to realize he was a force of nature.

He was a former president of the American Numismatic Association, 1991-1993.

He was a longtime executive director (then called executive vice president) of the ANA during many years of heady membership growth.

When he left that post, he almost immediately ran for the board of governors and was elected in 1987.

I remember him especially as a former editor of Numismatic News. He served in this capacity from 1960 to 1966.

He preceded me at Krause Publications by 12 years, but from time to time I would receive mail at Numismatic News addressed to him.

Some old friends in Iola, Wis., remembered him warmly.

He had shocked the community by painting his house a New England red. It is gorgeous. It is still that color.

But in Iola in the early 1960s, it had just not been done before, and it was called “barn red.” Tut tut tut. And to what had been the house of a judge no less.

But Ed was always his own man.

When he left Numismatic News and Iola, he moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., which had then just become the new permanent home of the ANA.

He took over the editorship of The Numismatist.

Ed was a professional through and through.

But he had an impish sense of humor.

He employed it in hand-drawn cartoons in the 1950s that caught the eye of Chet Krause, the Numismatic News founder.

The cartoons had ended many years before I knew Ed.

I remember him for his many stories. He was a tale-teller.

When Coin World was founded eight years after Numismatic News in 1960, the rivalry that was born brought opportunities for practical jokes.

One of Ed’s anecdotes that I particularly remember is something that occurred at a coin show.

There is piping at the back of booths to which are affixed identification signs. This allows the public to know whose table they have arrived at.

Ed went over to the booth of his rival numismatic editor and engaged him in conversation.

All the while, the Coin World sign was taken down behind them and the Numismatic News sign was put in its place.

A photo was then proposed, which was quickly agreed.

In the photo, it appeared as if the editor of Coin World was proudly posing at the Numismatic News booth.

How could such a thing happen between intense rivals?

Ed thought it was hilarious.

He imagined the Coin World editor was called on the carpet about the photo and asked why he was tending the Numismatic News booth. That was Ed.

Nowadays, we are a little more laid back.

Swapped signs would hardly register with a 21st century hobby audience.

But Ed shared many other stories with me of events over many years. Humor in all situations prevailed.

I will miss him. I know others will, too.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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Buzz – Numismatic News

First-time Buyer Mortgage Interest Rates Recover from Base Rate Rise

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Sunken treasure or just a good story?

An historic shipwreck with some silver coins amid the debris allows us to begin the week with dreams of sunken treasure.

An online report posted by the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, says that the wreck of the Pulaski possibly has been found.

It sank 40 miles off the coast of North Carolina June 14,1838.

This date just happens to be during the year the Charlotte, N.C., and Dahlonega, Ga., minting facilities were being set up by the United States.

Their purpose was to strike gold coins.

Unfortunately, unlike the 1857 wreck of the Central Amerca, which sank laden with California gold, the Pulaski so far has yielded only silver coins dated no later than 1836.

Sea water is not kind to silver, but with modern conservation methods, numismatists might be treated to a future sale headlined by recovered Pulaski treasure.

We’ll see.

Firstly, the ship has not yet been confirmed as the Pulaski.

Secondly coins in the story are described only as early U.S. coins and Spanish coinage.

The latter was in common usage in the United States until 1857.

In fact, the U.S. dollar is based on the Spanish 8 reales coin.

There are two recovery groups involved.

One is Blue Water Ventures International.

The other is Endurance Exploration.

The ship was an ocean-going sidewheel steamer with a steam boiler.

It was en route from Savannah, Ga., to Baltimore, Md.

What was then the latest technology unfortunately is what sank the ship.

The boiler blew up.

Going down with the vessel were approximately 128 victims.

Wickipedia says only 59 persons survived.

According to the Daily Mail, some of the passengers were the cream of society of the time.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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Buzz – Numismatic News

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