Leon Hendrickson, 80-year-old founder and president of SilverTowne of Winchester, Ind., is the American Numismatic Association?s 2008 Numismatist of the Year.
Hendrickson will be given the award at the ANA membership reception Aug. 1 during the Baltimore convention.
Hendrickson founded the coin dealership and mint in 1949. He began selling coins out of a cigar box stashed under the counter of his restaurant. The business grew from there.
SilverTowne currently employs 100 people in a coin shop, jewelry and collectibles departments and a custom mint.
?It?s just beyond my imagination how much business is out there,? Hendrickson said. ?But the hobby?s fellowship has meant so much more to me than the money.?
Hendrickson is a former president of the Professional Numismatists Guild, Central States Numismatic Society and Indiana State Numismatic Association and is a member of more than 30 clubs.
Hendrickson won the ANA Medal of Merit in 1990 and Presidential Award in 2003. He received lifetime achievement awards from the National Silver Dollar Roundtable, the Blue Ridge Numismatic Association and the PNG.
?Whenever the hobby community has presented a challenge to him with a request for his participation, Hendrickson has simply done what was asked and what was right,? said Clifford Mishler, ANA governor. ?He always has time for the individual collector seeking information, or a marketplace for buying or selling coins. It doesn?t matter if the object is a proof set or an 1804 dollar.?
The ANA Numismatist of the Year Award is given annually for career achievement.