by Ursula Kampmann
February 28, 2013 – On February 1, 2013 Hubert Lanz received the World Money Fair Award for his numismatic merits. Rarely a single person has done more for coin collecting in Germany and Europe.
There are not many people who have influenced the numismatic market as much as Hubert Lanz did. He was born in 1943 the son of Dr Hermann Lanz, a passionate coin collector who founded the famous auction house Lanz in the Austrian city of Graz. Hubert Lanz, however, chose numismatics only after a university degree in engineering. In 1978 he took over the Munich-based auction house Gitta Kastner which was to become an integral part of Munich’s numismatic scene under the name of Numismatik Lanz.
Hubert Lanz has held many important auctions. Just remember the really fabulous Leo Benz collection of Roman coins – they even had to split it up into three parts. Additionally the first part of the BCD Collection, the coins of Corinth, was sold here, followed by the coins of Euboia one year later. Equally unforgotten remains the Cavaliere L. collection of coins of Salzburg. And these are only some of the nearly 150 auction catalogues until today. The last one presented, in December, the Friedinger-Pranter collection.
The knowledge of Hubert Lanz on the field of numismatics is undisputed anyway. But the title of ‘publicly appointed and sworn expert’ adds some official touch to this knowledge.
But, alas, it would be inadequate to speak about Hubert Lanz only as a coin dealer. Over and over again he would publicly take up the cudgels for all coin collectors in his various positions. Ministries stand in awe of him and certain decisions were questioned again or even reconsidered at his massive instigation. Hubert Lanz is an active member of the International Association of Professional Numismatists. Additionally, for many years he was president of the prestigious Association of the German coin dealers (Verband der deutschen Münzenhändler). In this position he was decisive in founding the FENAP, the Federation of European Numismatic Trade Associations. Today he is FENAP’s president and in this function he always stands up for the interests of collectors and dealers.
Hubert Lanz is not a convenient fellow. I remember very well the situation when I took part for the very first time in the general meeting of the Swiss Numismatic Association. A couple of months before its board had recommended in a legislative process by consultation to adopt the Unidroit convention in Switzerland. Hubert Lanz came only to this meeting for fighting that idea. He stood up and pointed to the board members’ duty to act exclusively in the interest of the association members, and hence primarily of collectors.
Hubert Lanz has claimed this duty over and over again. He is acting restlessly in the legal and political fields in order to inform people who are becoming more and more hostile towards collectors giving correct information and propagating the free goods traffic in the European Union. He appears in TV shows and delivers interviews to journalists even when they are prejudiced, in order to stand up for the point of view of collectors and dealers. The numismatic world needs more people like him who put their working power so unconditionally into the community’s service.
Another aspect, though, is much less known: Dr Hubert Lanz has been also a pioneer in the field of modern technology and selling coins. He is one of the initiators of Sixbid, which has become today one of the biggest platforms for coin auctions. He himself is very much involved in e-commerce. Ebay ranks him as Top Rated Seller who has sold currently over 300,000 items.
Thanks to all these activities Hubert Lanz offers to many young numismatists the opportunity to make their first experience in his office. Thus he has become the ‘doyen’ of many young numismatists who have founded their own firms after training in his company.
There are not many people who might have merited the World Money Fair Award more than Hubert Lanz. Because there are not many who have done more for the numismatic community.