Skip to main content

Chet fondly recalled

Chet Krause’s positive attitude and dedication to numismatics is his lasting legacy to a coin collecting hobby he cared deeply for.

Chet Krause,

Chet Krause, founder of Krause Publications and Numismatic News, passed away June 25.

Jeff Garrett, president of the American Numismatic Association, said he appreciates his time serving with Chet Krause on the ANA board.

“I liked Chet’s wit and wisdom,” he said. “I worked with him during some trying times in the ANA. He was one of the guys who could cut to the chase, get to the nitty-gritty, a no-nonsense type of person.”

Chet Krause changed the industry when he formed Krause Publications, he said.

“He was a great businessman,” Garrett said. “I think that’s the way he wanted to have been remembered: as a great businessman. Numismatic News has a great legacy. This was someone who created something that is still around. I still read Numismatic News today.

“I think his biggest impact was the Standard Catalog of World Coins series. Those books transformed the market at a time where information on world coins was difficult to find. It was a giant effort.”

Chet Krause’s own collecting brought him to sales and shows often, Garrett said.

“I admired seeing his paper money collection when it went to auction in 2008,” he said. “He collected a lot of Wisconsin National Bank Notes. It was inspirational to see him assemble such a collection while also working in the business.

“I always enjoyed seeing him at coin shows. He traveled often. I would see him on the bourse floor and he’d stop over to say hello and chat for a bit.”

Gary Adkins, vice president of the ANA, said Chet Krause always had a positive viewpoint.

“He was always positive and that made you feel positive,” he said. “He’d always have you smiling. He also had good ideas about business. Always a mentor to a lot of people.”

Chet Krause’s success in business paid off for the hobby overall, Adkins said.

“He built a great publishing business for numismatics and many other hobbies as well,” Adkins said. “Chet, by developing Numismatic News, introduced a great number of people to the hobby. He’ll be missed as an ambassador to this hobby and other hobbies.

“He lived a long, successful life and had a major impact on his hobbies and the community. If we could all be that fortunate, that’s a legacy anyone could be proud of,” Adkins said.

The first issue of Numismatic News.

The first issue of Numismatic News.

Harvey Stack, founder of Stack’s Bowers, successor firm to New York’s venerable Stack’s, said he has fond memories of Chet Krause going back to before Numismatic News.

“It was 1951 when Chet came into the store and asked, ‘Do you think I should start a coin newspaper?’” Stack said.

Chet Krause founded Numismatic News a year later.

“This is old blood remembering old blood,” Stack said. “It was an old, old friendship.

“He was a great influence in the hobby, thinking of the hobbyist and not himself. I will miss my wonderful Midwesterner, who taught and listened to all and will surely be missed dearly by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

Steve Ivy, founder and CEO of Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas, said Chet Krause’s character and attitude spoke volumes.

“Chet was a class act in all respects,” he said. “He had an enduring impact on numismatics for over six decades. I think it’s safe to say that numismatics, as we know it today, wouldn’t exist without him.

“He was always kind to everyone around him and always happy. Chet was the true embodiment of Midwestern values. I feel very lucky to have known him.”

Ken Bressett, editor of A Guide Book of United States Coins, said he admires Chet Krause’s focus on advancing numismatics.

Two giants of numismatics from Wisconsin were Chet Krause of Iola, left, and R.S. Yeoman of Racine, right. Yeoman put the Whitman folder on the map and then created the Red Book, a highly respected reference published annual.

Two giants of numismatics from Wisconsin were Chet Krause of Iola, left, and R.S. Yeoman of Racine, right. Yeoman put the Whitman folder on the map and then created the Red Book, a highly respected reference published annual.

“I think his work impacted the whole hobby,” he said. “I knew him before he started the magazine. He was way ahead of his time in his thinking and in his attempts to stimulate the hobby. Numismatic News is his greatest contribution. Way above anything else. His Standard Catalog series was also very useful, but I think Numismatic News was his pride and joy.”

Bressett said his greatest memory of Chet Krause is his sense of humor.

“He always had a good joke or story to tell,” he said. “He was also very intelligent and always had good advice to give. Everyone respected him. He was such a good friend, both personally and to everyone he met.

“We’re now thinking about what we can do to keep his memory alive,” Bressett said.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
>> Subscribe today or get your >> Digital Subscription