The American Numismatic Association has selected Lawrence Gentile Sr. to receive its Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service at the World?s Fair of Money Aug. 19 in Denver. It is the highest award the ANA can give.
Gentile, 69, of New Rochelle, N.Y., was selected in part for his efforts in involving young people in the numismatic hobby.
Also recognized by the ANA was Mark Salzberg, who will receive the Numismatist of the Year award.
Gentile was 10 years old when his father presented him and his brother with a box of old U.S. and world coins. A stint in the Navy at age 17 furthered his numismatic interests. Years later, at the 1976 ANA anniversary convention in New York City, Gentile, a member of the host club, was asked to assist with the Young Numismatist programs.
Since then, Gentile has worked extensively mentoring young collectors. He coordinated Young Numismatist programs for the ANA, the New England Numismatic Association, Great Eastern Numismatic Association, Middle Atlantic Numismatic Association, the Long Island Expo, Westchester Coin and Stamp Show, and New York International Numismatic Convention.
A life member of the ANA, Gentile also belongs to many New York-area coin clubs, including the Westchester County Coin Club, White Plains Coin Club, Long Island Coin Club, Flushing Coin Club and Croton River Numismatic Society.
Over the course of his 50 years in the hobby, Gentile has received more than 250 exhibit awards and 150 recognitions for his work with children, including the ANA?s Outstanding Adult Advisor Award in 1980 and 1988, Outstanding Club Representative in 1983 and 1994, Presidential Awards in 1994 and 1998, Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 1997 and Medal of Merit in 1998. Gentile also was named a Numismatic News Numismatic Ambassador in 1982.
In 2002 at the New York ANA convention, he received the National Coin Week Award for a youth program at West Milford Township Library in New Jersey.
Salzberg, 44, is chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and Numismatic Conservation Services in Sarasota, Fla. Born in Flemington, N.J., he has been collecting coins since he was 7 years old, when he received a 1903 Indian Head cent. He began working in a coin shop when he was 11 with John Albanese, who was 14 at the time.
While selling coins in his teens, Salzberg was making more money than his teachers. He attended college for only nine days before deciding to become a full-time dealer and eventually starting NGC in 1988 with Albanese.
Salzberg received an ANA Presidential Award in 1998. Under his direction, NGC and NCS have contributed more than $1.5 million to ANA programs.