On 15 October 2022, David Lisot died unexpectedly after a routine procedure at a hospital. He was there because he needed kidney stones removed. The numismatic community of the United States is dismayed, for David Lisot was one of the friendliest and most pleasant people you could meet at a coin show. He was a gentleman, always polite, always interested in the well-being of the person he spoke to, yet very modest when it came to his own interests.
David Lisot was born in 1953 in Saint Louis, Missouri, as the son of the passionate banknote collector Oliver Lisot and his wife Dorothy Sue. His father already ran a mail-order business for various collectibles. And David Lisot, who had been interested in coins since his early youth, soon used his considerable knowledge to finance his studies in philosophy at the University of Colorado in Boulder by trading coins and banknotes. When David didn’t find a suitable job in Boulder after his graduation, he moved to Southern California, where he was employed at Jonathan’s. His boss, Jonathan Hefferlin, was one of the typical victors of the gold boom. He had a large coin shop for precious metals, held lectures on how to invest in gold and ran his own daily show on television. David Lisot learned from him. He was a handsome young man himself who exuded great credibility. So, he attended some classes to learn how to move in front of the camera. He also learned what there was to learn about making films. And at some point, he decided he felt more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. By this time, David Lisot was already living back in Boulder. Jonathan’s had to declare bankruptcy in 1981 due to the drastic drop in the gold price one year earlier. In Boulder, David Lisot started producing his own films about the colourful world of numismatics.
David Lisot was a pioneer, one of the first to tap the potential of new technologies for numismatic education. He conducted numerous interviews with important collectors and coin dealers. At first, interested parties could rent his videotapes for a small fee through a network of coin dealers. Later, David took advantage of the internet and founded his own channel called CoinTelevision.
David Lisot recorded and edited, as he told in an interview, more than 2,000 seminars and lectures to make them available to a wider audience. Therefore, he liked to joke, he might be the person who enjoyed the most numismatic education. In brief, he already did in the late 1980s what most of us only learned now due to Covid restrictions.
And that’s why David Lisot is of incredible importance for the numismatic world. He recorded everything he thought worth recording, and that wasn’t the academic world but the world of collecting and trading. Whenever you met him, his camera wasn’t far away. “Do you have anything you want to tell?”, he asked me at the last ANA in Chicago. I wasn’t the only one he asked that. David Lisot was a born journalist. You could feel how much he was interested in the person he spoke to, how lovingly he dealt with his usually nervous interview partners, taking away their fear of the camera. He was experienced, reliable, a professional in every regard. He was a great colleague and a real pleasure to work with.
We, the CoinsWeekly team, are deeply saddened. David Lisot leaves a big gap in the numismatic community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Debbie and his two children.
For those of you who want to hear David Lisot himself talk about his life, we recommend a wonderful treasure that is available thanks to “Ben Franklin”. In 2021, he insisted during the coin show of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatics that David would not interview him but that he would interview David. So, you can hear David Lisot talk about what he did himself. As always, he did it with the utmost humility.
David, we will miss you!