ACTF Director Beth Deisher honoured with 2017 PNG Lifetime Achievement Award

Late last month, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) presented its 2017 PNG Lifetime Achievement Award to prominent and influential hobby leader Beth Deisher, who’s the director of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF).

Deisher, who was named director of the ACTF earlier this year, was given the PNG’s top honour during the organization’s annual banquet in Denver, Colo. on July 31.

According to the ACTF, which was established by the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), its mission is to “mobilize law-enforcement resources to protect the integrity of U.S. and world coinage by educating officials on the economic impact and growing threat of counterfeit circulating, collectible, and bullion coins.”

Deisher was also an award-winning editor for Coin World for nearly three decades prior to her retirement in 2012. Over the years, she has also conducted workshops and classes focused on counterfeit coins produced in China.


The Robert Friedberg Award for an outstanding book or other literature was jointly presented to authors Pete Smith, Joel J. Orosz and Leonard Augsburger for their reference book 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage, which was published by Ivy Press.


The Sol Kaplan Award was presented to four people this year: Bill Walker, a senior numismatist at Heritage Auctions in Texas, and jointly to three Missouri law enforcement officials, including Sheriff Cory Hutcheson, Chief Deputy Branden E. Caid and Captain Barry Morgan, all of the Mississippi County Missouri Sheriff’s Department.

Earlier this year, while in Florida, Walker recovered and subsequently returned to their grateful owner five rare coins that had been stolen a year earlier, apparently while in transit in the United States Postal Service mail. The coins had a combined value of about $30,000 USD.

In a separate case, Sheriff Hutcheson, Chief Deputy Caid and Captain Morgan successfully tracked down a collector in Florida whose rare coins were stolen four decades earlier when he was a youngster in Charleston, Missouri in 1972.

During a January 2017 search of the Southeast Missouri home of a drug case suspect, the officers discovered and recovered about two-thirds of the coins stolen 45 years earlier. Through perseverance and solid detective work the officers were able to return the coins—some still housed in their familiar blue Whitman folders—to the now adult and quite surprised collector.

The Kaplan Award recognizes efforts and contributions in combatting crimes against the numismatic community, and is jointly presented by the PNG and the Lewis M. Reagan Foundation. It is named after the former PNG president and Ohio dealer who was personally responsible for the apprehension of several people suspected of committing numismatic-related crimes.


John Maben, of JFM Trading in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., received the Significant Contribution Award. It is given to those who have made exceptional, beneficial efforts over the years on behalf of PNG and the profession, and added to the hobby.

Christine Karstedt, executive vice president of Stack’s Bowers, received the Art Kagin Ambassador Award. This award is named after the former PNG president and nationally-known Iowa dealer who provided distinguished service as an advocate of numismatic goodwill.

PNG Legal Counsel Armen Vartian, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., was also recognized during the banquet for 25 years as a PNG affiliate member.

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