The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 6, February 11, 2007, Article 14


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "With respect to the surprising demise of
a "youngish" Mike Ringo, his death brings to mind the sudden and
premature cancer-related death of American colonial dealer Dave
Sonderman in the 1980's. Both Mike and Dave were very similar in
their approach to the historical and esoteric aspects of our hobby."

Dave Wnuck writes: "I saw the tribute to Mike Ringo in the most recent
issue.  His untimely death shook me up.  I put an article with my
remembrances of Mike on our website.  I wanted to educate those who
didn't have the pleasure of knowing Mike to know just what the
numismatic community has lost."

[I've reprinted Dave's tribute below in its entirety. -Editor]

"We lost a good friend and numismatic colleague this week with the
passing of Mike Ringo.

"Most coin collectors and dealers may have never heard of Mike. He
was a quiet, low key collector / dealer from upstate New York who
never sought the limelight or promoted himself.

"He is perhaps best known for forming what was known as the 'Albany
Collection' of Machin's Mills colonial coinage, one of the finest
ever assembled, which was sold as part of the C4 auction in November,
2000. But I will remember him for much more than that.

"To me he was the single most knowledgeable person when it came to
practical colonial numismatics. Period. What I mean by 'practical
colonial numismatics' is the knowledge that he gleaned from decades
of actually looking at colonial coins. But it wasn't simply his
knowledge that made him special, it was his willingness to share
what he knew and help others in this hobby that made him special.

"He was the best at detecting colonial fakes

"There are others still with us who are skilled at detecting really
deceptive counterfeits, but Mike was simply the best there was. I have
a bit of an uneasy feeling right now, now that Mike is gone. One less
expert out there to tell the good from the bad.

"He could attribute most colonials by die variety from MEMORY

"If I hadn't seen him do it, I might not have believed it. Mike
could attribute colonial coins by die variety completely from memory.
That ability showcased his amazing intellect and memory. Consider
that there are 350 die varieties of Connecticut coppers -and that is
just one colonial series. I (and most other colonial colonial coin
specialists) have to rely on books and photos to do what he did in
his head. His memory allowed him to discover several new die varieties
of colonial coins which he wrote about in various colonial coin

"He shared his knowledge freely

"Mike was always available to help a fellow collector or dealer,
anytime, anywhere. I sent Mike many coins for his opinion, and I
asked him many questions through the years. He always gave me the
straight scoop, unvarnished, exactly as he saw it. Sometimes questions
asked of Mike were sensitive, with different parties having vested
interests in a coins authenticity, and significant financial implications
based on the outcome. Mike always navigated these situations with grace,
was impartial, always honest and always maintained the respect of his

"I'll remember Mike as one of the all-time greats in colonial numismatics.
It would not be an overstatement to say that his contributions were as
significant as some who are admittedly more famous and whose names adorn
reference books and catalogs dating back to the mid 19th century. But I
don't think Mike would be too troubled by that as that wasn't what was
important to him.

"What was important to him was doing what he loved and sharing his
enjoyment with others.

"Mike Ringo made a huge, positive impression on me, and I am going
to miss him.

To view the Mike Ringo tribute in its original form, see: 
Mike Ringo Tribute

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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