ANS Announces 2020 Gala Honoree

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The American Numismatic Society (ANS) announced that on Thursday, January 16, 2020, it will honor its former Trustee Richard M. Beleson with the Trustees’ Award at the Annual Gala Dinner at the Harvard Club in New York City.

Richard Beleson, of San Francisco, California, holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. Beleson, one of the first analysts to cover biotechnology stocks, worked for twenty-five years at the Capital Group Companies.

Dedicated Supporter and Generous Donor

He has been a steadfast supporter of the ANS for many years, ever since joining the Society in 1995, and served on the Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2016. He is also a generous donor to the Society’s Campaign to Endow the Chair of the Executive Director.

Although born in New York City, Mr. Beleson spent much of his youth abroad, as his family travelled to sites in England, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt. He attended a British primary school, and it was there that his interest in ancient history and archaeology was first stimulated. That, in turn, quickly led to a lifelong fascination with ancient coins. He can easily date the beginning of his collection: he bought his first ancient coin in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul in 1964, when he was ten years old. Just a year later, he also developed an interest in shipwreck coins, after reading about Kip Wagner and the Real Eight Company in the January 1965 issue of National Geographic.

Discovering the Capitana

Eventually, as an adult, Mr. Beleson would become part of a treasure salvage group in Florida, and on July 31, 2015 – exactly 300 years to the day after the hurricane that sunk the 1715 Plate Fleet – he was on board Brent Brisben’s salvage vessel the Capitana when it found 350 gold coins, including 9 gold royals, off Vero Beach. It was one of the greatest sunken treasure finds ever recorded.

“I can think of few people who are as committed to our field as Rick,” says ANS Executive Director, Dr. Ute Wartenberg. “I greatly admire his dedication to supporting scholars and projects, but also his local coin club. He is a collector who gives back to the community all the time. I am so very happy that the ANS will honor him at our Gala.”

In acknowledgment of his exemplary commitment to numismatics and his great generosity to the ANS, the Board of Trustees of the American Numismatic Society is delighted to bestow upon Mr. Beleson the Society’s singular honor for 2020.

Notable List of Recipients

Past recipients of the Trustees’ Award include such notable numismatists and donors as Ms. Shelby White and Mr. Leon Levy, Mr. Jamie Stewart, Mr. Kenneth L. Edlow, Mr. George Kolbe, Mr. Q. David Bowers, Mr. Chester L. Krause, Mr. Donald G. Partrick, Mr. Harvey Stack, Mr. Victor England, Jr., Mr. Ira Goldberg, Mr. Larry Goldberg, Mr. Harlan J. Berk, Mr. Roger S. Siboni, Mrs. Marian Scheuer Sofaer and the Honorable Abraham D. Sofaer, Mrs. Elizabeth Forbes Hazard Scott and Mr. Stanley DeForest Scott, and Mr. and Mrs. John W. Adams, Anthony J. Terranova, the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society and the Newman Numismatic Portal, the Rosen Family, and Mike Gasvoda.

Every year the American Numismatic Society raises critical revenue through Gala ticket sales, program advertisements, sponsorships, contributions, and the proceeds from a live auction. These funds are used to further the Society’s mission of supporting research and education in numismatics.


For information on purchasing tickets or program advertisements, contact Emma Pratte.

For more general information, visit the ANS website.

Here you can find some impressions of last year’s Gala dinner.