It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Diane A. Piret, Industry Affairs Director for the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, after a nearly five-year battle against colon cancer.
Diane Piret was not only a colleague and leader in the rare-coin and precious-metals industry, she also formed decades-long friendships with many. Her ability to zero in on the core of an issue or problem and her unerring ability to develop workable, fair solutions were among her formidable talents. For many years, coin dealers knew they could go to Diane with a problem or question and be assured that she would either find the solution or answer or put them in touch with someone who could. Diane was both respected and loved on the bourse floor. Since 1989, she truly was “the face of ICTA.”
Born in Staten Island on May 29, 1947, Diane spent the early part of her life in New York City and graduated from Hunter College with a business degree. She learned the rare-coin and precious-metals business working at Manfra, Tordella & Brookes (formerly MTB Bank) from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. She managed MTB’s retail store at 1 World Trade Center for several years, including during the historic metals markets of 1979 and 1980. Once initiated into this industry, she never looked back. Diane often proudly stated that she had been a coin dealer for 50 years. She was passionate about her profession and about ICTA, an organization she served for over 25 years.
Diane was hired in the fall of 1989 to be ICTA’s Membership Director, whose sole responsibility was recruiting members. When she retired in 2015, she was the acknowledged industry expert on cash reporting, broker reporting, the USA PATRIOT Act, and so much more. She especially enjoyed teaching cash reporting, and she created an annual seminar by outside experts to keep coin dealers current on these regulations. She was proud of the fact that she and her ICTA colleagues never backed down from a challenge or threat to the industry, and enjoyed telling the story of initiating a meeting with U.S. Treasury officials when the PATRIOT Act was still in draft form after 9/11. She met with and formed relationships with officials there that resulted in much more reasonable cash-reporting laws for the industry.
In the mid-1980s Diane and her then-husband were recruited by Jim Blanchard to manage a precious-metals business in southeast Louisiana. Just as Diane had found a professional home in the rare-coin and precious-metals industry, she found a personal home in New Orleans. She often noted that she truly was a Southern belle who, through a strange cosmic mix-up, had been born north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Diane embraced all things New Orleans: the people, the food, the horticulture, the lifestyle, and especially—Mardi Gras. For several years, she rode horseback for her Krewe of Napoleon and hosted friends and family for the annual festivities, providing many with indelible, magical memories of Mardi Gras in the Big Easy.
A long-time member of Christ Church Cathedral, Diane loved her church and was responsible for building its annual rummage sale into a major fundraiser. It was so successful that her church was able to provide donations to smaller, needier churches in the New Orleans area. Diane loved her neighbors in her community of Belle Terre in Plaquemines Parish, and she invented the “stay-cation” in the tropical oasis she created in her back yard and gardens.
Diane received numerous awards throughout her career, including, most recently, the Professional Numismatists Guild’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Numismatic Association’s 2014 Elvira Clain-Stefanelli Memorial Award for Achievement in Numismatics, and the National Silver Dollar Round Table’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Diane’s immediate survivors include brother Keith Gould, sister-in-law Lisa Mazur, sister Ellen Kennedy, two nieces, and a host of friends and neighbors. Diane also leaves her beloved Siamese cats, Sport and Angel, the last in a long line of cherished pets.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Christ Church Cathedral, 2919 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. The calling hour begins at 1:00 p.m. CENTRAL TIME followed by the service at 2:00 p.m. CENTRAL TIME. Afterwards, a reception will be in the church’s fellowship hall.
Flowers may be sent 9 a.m.-12 noon CENTRAL TIME, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, to Christ Church Cathedral, 2919 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Here are two local florists: Perfect Presentations; call (504) 522-7442 and Villere’s Florist; call (504) 833-3716. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Written condolences to the family should be mailed to P.O. Box 316, Belle Chasse, LA 70037.
The following hotel is approximately three blocks away from Christ Church Cathedral: