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Ricard Inducted into CCC Hall of Fame

1974 portrait of Charles J. Ricard. (Image courtesy Linnea Ricard Brown.)

The Chicago Coin Club announced that the final person to be inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2019 is Napoleon medal specialist and hobby leader Charles J. (Charlie) Ricard (March 19, 1930 – Aug. 14, 2017). 

After moving to Northbrook late in 1962 to accept the position of auditor of Chicago’s Lakeshore National Bank, Rochester (New York), native Charles J. (Charlie) Ricard joined the Chicago Coin Club Jan. 9, 1963 as member No. 766 and remained a member for over half a century. Mr. Ricard served as Financial Chairman for the 1966 ANA Convention in Chicago, personally handling over $100,000 in bourse fees, etc. That year, the Club awarded him its Medal of Merit. From 1987-88 he was President, and in 1989, he received a Literary Award and a Second Place Cabeen Exhibit Award for his exhibits at meetings (including an original Castorland medal in silver). He was recognized as Honorary General Chairman at the 2011 ANA World’s Fair of Money hosted by the Chicago Coin Club.

Mr. Ricard served in the U.S. Army Finance Corps  from 1951-1953, then used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Rochester. He could not afford to go full time, and attended night school for six years. At the time of his move to the Chicago area, he was still lacking some credits. However, he was able to arrange his schedule to take night courses at Northwestern and DePaul and have the University of Rochester accept them, completing his Bachelor of Science degree in 1964 from the University’s Simon School of Business with majors in History and Classics. A lifelong bank auditor, he worked for the Marine Midland Bank in Rochester before moving to Illinois, where he joined the First National Bank of Chicago as Assistant Vice President in their Trust Audit Unit in 1969. He retired from a successor bank in 1995 and became a Chartered Bank Auditor and a Certified Internal Auditor.

In 1947, he began attending meetings of the Rochester Numismatic Association and joined the following year. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he presented many programs and exhibits, and was club President  from 1959-1961. Though he had wide interests in U.S. coins, he was most known for his collection of Napoleonic medals. He published a number of articles, primarily on medals, one garnering a Third Place Heath Literary Award, and placed award-winning exhibits of medals at conventions, receiving a First Place at the 1962 Detroit ANA. He served on the 1965 Assay Commission, and in 1966, lectured at the Roosevelt University, Chicago, course in numismatics.

A willing worker, Mr. Ricard served as President of five numismatic organizations and Vice President of a sixth. As Chairman of the ANA’s 1891 Club from 1990-1991, he attracted over 800 member-donors. He was elected a Numismatic News Ambassador in 1987. The ANA awarded him its Medal of Merit in 1991, the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 1993, a Presidential Award in 1994, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996, and the Farran Zerbe Award in 2003 – the last also honoring his great grandfather, J.C. Lighthouse (ANA Governor 1904-07), and his uncle, Charles N. Ricard (President of the Cleveland Coin Club and a founder of the Token and Medal Society). The Rochester Numismatic Association named its speaker’s medal for him.

Numismatic literature dealer George Kolbe, who knew him well, recalled him as “a gentleman of the old school. His love of numismatics and its literature was infectious and enduring.” 

Twelve Hall of Fame inductees were selected to commemorate the Chicago Coin Club’s centennial year, 2019. However, additions may be made from time to time. His Hall of Fame citation has been published on the club’s Hall of Fame web page, www.chicagocoinclub.org/projects/hof.

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