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Vodka, Soda, 1 Ice Cube & Lime

Jack Veffer


Who eats, works, dreams, talks, sleeps, walks, collects, authenticates, catalogues, instructs ---in a word--- lives numismatics? Ingrid Smith-Hölker In fact the only thing she does not do is drink numismatics. I can attest to the fact that she drinks vodka (neat).

Someone said, "Personally she is a delightfully attractive, warm, animated person, and nice to be with." I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Those who do not know the name Ingrid Smith have not lived in the numismatic world, be that Canada, the United States, Europe or Cuba. Those who have met her can pride themselves on being acquainted with one of the few bright female stars in the numismatic firmament.

Ingrid was born near the City of Frankfurt, Main, Germany, in 1938. She received her education there, including a stint at the Berlitz School of Languages. She speaks German, French, English and Latin. During her early childhood her, father, who was ardently interested in archaeology, took her on field trips. These trips would sometimes result in the lucky find of an old Roman coin. Young Ingrid was fascinated that she could hold something in her hand that was possibly 2000 years old. When her father let her have a Roman coin of her own, she treasured it and her collecting instinct was stimulated. She started collecting anything remotely numismatic and had correspondence on a worldwide basis with others on the subject.

The year was 1956 and at the age of eighteen she emigrated to Canada. Numismatics had to be put on the back burner for a while, but soon enough she put a few dollars a week aside to spend on the purchase of Canadian coins. The rest is history. Her inquisitive mind led her into paper money, ancient coins, world coins. She collected and sold. Started anew in another field and so on, in the meantime she began to acquire more and more diversified knowledge. Her resumé tells of her affiliation with the American Numismatic Association Certification Service, the Deutsche Bundesbank in Germany, Banco Nacional de Cuba, Charlton International Company in Toronto, the Kagins in Des Moines, and many others. Among her endorsers as a numismatic professional we count the Bank of Canada, Virgil Hancock (Past President of the A.N.A), James E. Charlton, Russel Rulau (formerly with Krause Publications), and numerous others. Having worked with Ingrid personally, I can thrown in my own endorsement as well. It is small wonder that her marriage to Dick "Syncona" Smith has been at times stormy. Dick, a professional musician, born in Jamaica, was forever away from home and when he found some spare time, Ingrid would be occupied somewhere else in the wide world. Mind you, en passant she managed to give birth to two children. Her daughter, Christina, and son, Brian.

It is presently 2001 and Ingrid has now since retired. Recently, she sold the Torex® Coin Show, which she owned and operated for many years, to her son Brian. She coaches and assists Brian with the well-established show three times per year. Admittedly, her great husband Dick gives her a hand as well, but what a woman, bundled in that barely five-foot package, and remember: "Vodka, Soda, 1 Ice Cube & Lime."






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