This week I continue with my President’s Message from the November/December 1989 copy of the PNG Report about the need for education in numismatics. In this concluding section of my message, I focused on how educating collectors and investors helps the hobby now and in the future — still a relevant message today.
The ANA is charged with the responsibility of educating and providing information for the numismatist. They need to embark on a program of “how to.” We cannot assume everyone knows the basics. We must encourage and set forth programs to teach things as:
“How to grade.”
“How to understand statistics.”
“How to build a collection.”
“How to specialize.”
“How to find and join a coin club.”
“How to encourage young numismatists.”
“How to research a series.”
“How to determine values.”
“How to buy and sell coins.”
“How to enjoy your hobby.”
And as many other basic and “How to” seminars as we can conceive. If we provide the tools and information, we will grow.
It is refreshing to note that many of the trade publications recent started to publish just such articles. We need more — we need them coordinated — we need them factual.
Bob Leuver echoed my feeling in the summer 1989 issue of the ANA Communique where he said, “An educated collector is our best hobbyist.” This has been said by Stack’s somewhat more commercially for the past five decades — “An educated collector is our best client.” Both are true.
In conclusion, it is remarkable that the purposes and creed of the ANA as set forth by our founding fathers, in their charter of some 75 years ago, it as important today as it was when conceived.
We must encourage and help develop the collector’s romance with numismatics. We must help the collector become self-sufficient and be able to make his choice of coins dependent on what he sees and feels. To accept and respect his own convictions, judgments, and knowledge of numismatics, he must learn to grade for himself, set a pattern for collecting according to his own needs, and develop a special love for the hobby. From all this he will grow with his collection and be a better numismatist for it.
The backbone of numismatics has always been the collector. We must keep the collector and his interests strong and well nourished by providing the education, information, forums, and opportunity for learning that gave great strength to the hobby in the past and will be the cornerstone for its future.