The latest issue of Winning Ways made it to my mailbox.
The official journal of Women in Numismatics published the first place essay from the Heritage Young Numismatist essay contest.
It was written by a 15-year-old from Massachussetts named Olivia Beauvais.
I congratulate her on her essay called “Why young people are not interested in coins.”
“If my Dad had not intoduced me to coins, I probably would not have found my passion for them,” she wrote.
This is a great testimonial for not only her father but for all active Young Numismatist program volunteers who either formally or informally attempt to share their love of numismatics with the next generation.
Anybody who is actively trying to help foster in young people an interest in numismatics should take pride in what they do.
Anybody who is not actively mentoring someone at home or in a club setting should consider doing so in 2013.
The study of coins can offer so much even if the person being exposed to them for the first time eventually decides not to pursue collecting.
Trying to define why people collect is less important than creating a welcoming environment for newcomers of all ages.
Collectors have long believed that coin programs such as the state program 10-year series helps create a spark in the minds of would-be collectors.
Whether this is true or not, the important question to answer is where do these people go once they have experienced that spark?
Where can they go to fan the flames of the passion of which Olivia writes?
That’s always been a good question.
Organized numismatics has never been able to answer it comprehensively.
That doesn’t mean organized numismatics has failed. It simply means there is so much more for all of us to do.
Gold might exist for hoarding, but numismatic knowledge is something that can and should be shared.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”