Numismatic Journalist and Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force Director
Beth Deisher (*1946) is a numismatic journalist. She was editor of Coin World for 27 years (1985-2012) and was the founding editor of three other numismatic magazines published by Amos Hobby Publishing. She is also the author or senior editor of 10 books in the numismatic field.
Prior to the launch of her career in journalism, Deisher was selected to participate in the International Farm Youth Exchange program as a cultural ambassador in 1968. She spent six months in Iran living with families and working in 13 villages in seven provinces.
She graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1968 earning a degree in English, with a double major in British and American literature, as well as a minor in physics. Deisher began her career as a feature writer with the Ledger-Star in Norfolk (Virginia). During her tenure at the Virginia Education Association (VEA), she also produced educational films and radio broadcasts. She returned to daily newspapers in 1977 as news editor of the Sidney (Ohio) Daily News before joining Coin World in 1981. She succeeded Margo Russell as editor in 1985.
During her tenure as Coin World’s editor, she often served as a hobby spokesperson for the general media, with interviews in publications, news channels, and radio stations such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News, BBC Radio London and many more.
Deisher has provided testimony as an expert witness at five U.S. Congressional hearings. In the late 1980s, she testified before both the Senate Banking Committee and House Banking Coinage Subcommittee advocating a change in designs for U.S. circulating coinage. On July 12, 1995, she was the lead witness to testify at a House subcommittee hearing where she cited abuses in the U.S. commemorative coin program. Legislation resulting from that hearing led to reforms in the U.S. commemorative coin program and also to the 10-year 50-State Quarters program.
In 2001, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft appointed Deisher to the 11-member Ohio State Quarter Committee, which coordinated an out-reach program that resulted in the public submitting some 7,200 design ideas for Ohio’s quarter.
Beth Deisher has provided leadership in professional organizations such as Ohio Professional Writers, which she served as president from 2006 to 2008. Three times during her 47-year membership in the National Federation of Press Women she has been recognized on the national level as a Communicator of Achievement in Ohio, the most recent being in 2009. She is a 47-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was one of the first two women invited to join the Tidewater Virginia Chapter in 1971.
In January of 2017, Beth Deisher was asked by coin industry leaders to take over the position of Director of Anti-Counterfeiting and to lead the formation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF). As of November 15, 2018, the ACTF transitioned from ICTA to the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.
In 2013, Deisher was inducted into the Numismatic Hall of Fame. She is a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society and a member of its Board of Trustees. In 2010, she received the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for distinguished service in numismatics. She was awarded the Numismatic Literary Guild’s Clemy Award in 1995 and received the Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for journalistic excellence in 2006. In 2017, she received the Professional Numismatists Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Many of her Coin World articles are available online. All issues of Coin World, from March 1960 through the end of 2017, are available for researchers in a digital archive through the Newman Portal.
A presentation of Beth Deisher’s book “Cash In Your Coins” was published on CoinsWeekly.
Beth Deisher tells you more about the problem of counterfeit coins in this podcast.