Hannelore Scheiner – Portrait of a Passionate Coin Collector

01. September 2016

Hannelore Scheiner was born on June 27th, 1936 in Stargard, Pomerania. At the young age of eight she was forced to leave her native region when, in 1945, her family fled to Ingolstadt to evade approaching Russian army troops. Regrettably, their refuge there was destroyed as well after only a few days when the family, which had just arrived in Ingolstadt, was hit in the great bombing raids of January 15th, as a result of which six family members were killed.

Following these tragic childhood experiences, Hannelore Scheiner decided to leave school early at the age of 14 to earn money to support herself, first in a paper factory and subsequently with a mechanical engineering company.

In 1953 the 17-year-old went to Oxford in England, in order to learn English and work as an aupair girl. She spent the years until 1957 with a family whose five children were in her charge. It was during this time that her wish to become a children’s nurse developed. Unable to find a suitable training facility, Hannelore
Scheiner went to Munich in 1960 in order to undertake nursing studies there.

In Munich, John Scheiner and his future wife met for the first time. Beginning in March 1961, John worked with an American spy unit and was stationed in Bogenhausen. The two fell in love with one another, but were forced to separate in 1963, when John was ordered back to his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana (USA). Hannelore Scheiner ended her training and followed John in 1964. Shortly thereafter, they were married in America.

In her early childhood Hannelore had discovered her enthusiasm for coins; she had three uncles who were all passionate coin collectors. Above all, she developed a fascination with ancient Roman coins in bronze and silver. John, too, collected coins, and therefore the young newlyweds decided to earn a part of their income by dealing in coins. Between 1964 and 1971 they organized monthly coin fairs in Fort Wayne. It was during this period that the foundation of the Hannelore Scheiner Collection was laid.

Her expertise and the appealing manner of both spouses won them access to various exclusive private collections and to the inventories of some of the most renowned coin dealers of their time, such as

  • Martin Nading, Municipal Director in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Nading collection is the source of many Roman bronze coins of the Republic, and the Aes Grave series.
  • The companies Charles Wolfe in Ohio, Carl Subak in Chicago, Hans Schulman in New York, Stack´s in New York, Carroll Dellerey in New Orleans, and others, which also provided diverse additions to the present Hannelore Scheiner Collection.

In 1971 the pair decided to return to Germany and found a coin dealership in Ingolstadt. As an American citizen John could not open a trading company in Germany, and for that reason in 1971 the Hannelore Scheiner Coin Dealership was born. It continued as such until 2002, at which time the dealership was continued under John’s name.

Hannelore had always carried out, above all, the task of coin selection in the common business, preferring of course the Roman coins for which she had developed the greatest passion. In Germany too, her collection was constantly and systematically expanded, improving steadily in quality. After the move to Ingolstadt many coins from the foremost German coin dealerships and auction houses were added to it. The avid collector always paid special attention to quality and rarity.

The Scheiners are known far beyond the borders of Bavaria as lovable coin enthusiasts. John’s simple but dependable business principles have won him the respect of many dealer colleagues. There is scarcely a German colleague today who does not know and honor the “Most Senior German Coin Dealer”, as he refers to himself with a wink.

On February 1rst, 2015 his beloved wife Hannelore died, a painful loss for John. Unfortunately I had only one opportunity to meet with John and Hannelore together. I remember well that summer afternoon in Freising, where a meeting originally planned purely as a business get-together quickly turned into a hearty and pleasurable gathering. As one who was still a very young coin dealer at the time, I remember well this meeting, at which I learned a great deal. The business relationship between John and myself was characterized thereafter by great trust and friendliness.

I am very happy to have now the opportunity to return the Hannelore Scheiner Collection to circulation among collectors once again. I thank John for his trust in our firm and hope that the new owners will take as much pleasure in these coins as did his beloved Hannelore.

Osnabrück, July 2016

Ulrich Künker