Imagine a world without a world paper money catalogue, with no specialist paper money dealers, no shows featuring foreign paper money, and certainly no internet to instantly link collectors and dealers across the globe. That barren scene was the world of 50 years ago. But scattered across Europe, North America and Asia were men and women who were fascinated by the paper money that had become the main medium of exchange in the 20th century, replacing the coins that has been the staple of exchange for more than two millennia. Some of these early collectors were in contact with each other; others were not. However, efforts by them and others like them over the past half a century have seen the hobby of collecting world paper money grow from being a minor offshoot of coin collecting into the substantial branch of numismatics it is today.
The International Bank Note Society takes this opportunity to recognize these pioneers of the hobby. The IBNS Board determined to establish a Hall of Fame to honor these men and women. The process, it was hoped, would foster an appreciation of the historical development of the pastime we all follow with varying levels of passion.
The first selection of inductees to the Hall of Fame was made in 2010. The inaugural inductees into the IBNS Hall of Fame, in alphabetical order, are: Yasha Beresiner, Joseph Boling, Michael Crabb, Ruth Hill, Dr. Arnold Keller, King On Mao, Colin Narbeth, Dr. Albert Pick and Neil Shafer. They helped lay the foundations on which the hobby is built. As world paper money collecting is a relatively new pastime, especially when compared with coin or stamp collecting, many of the hobby’s earliest champions and benefactors are still with us. Sadly, some are not.
Several of those being honored this year were instrumental in the formation of IBNS, without which the hobby would be far poorer today. Others contributed through the spread of knowledge of banknotes to fellow collectors through books and catalogues. Some have helped build the institutional structure that underpins the hobby and enables collectors to meet and trade. All have given greatly of their time and effort and have earned the lasting gratitude of fellow collectors.
The IBNS Board has selected three individuals to join the Hall of Fame for 2011: author and broadcaster Gene Hessler, leading dealer and researcher Mel Steinberg and dealer and publisher Pam West. Together they represent major influences on our hobby in recent decades.
Following is a very brief outline of the work of the induces to the IBNS Hall of Fame. The year mentioned relates to when they were inaugurated into the IBNS Hall of Fame