The Mint is looking for the future today in Philadelphia.
I hope they find it.
Kidding aside, the Mint invited around 80 individuals from the numismatic hobby/industry to a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank.
“The purpose of the event is to gather leaders and stakeholders of the numismatic community to explore ways to stimulate and revitalize the hobby,” said Tom Jurkowsky, the U.S. Mint’s Chief of the Office of Corporate Communications, when the invitations went out.
I was lucky enough to be included on the list of invitees, but was not lucky enough to have a travel budget that would absorb the cost.
That is why I am sitting here in little old Iola, Wis., writing about the great opportunity being presented to organized numismatics by the Mint.
I would like to thank the Mint for exhibiting such forward thinking.
I regret that I cannot show the event the respect it deserves by my presence.
The fundamentals of collecting are strong, but the old pattern of behavior where a collector bought a Red Book, subscribed to “Numismatic News” and attended a local coin club meeting once a month to show off his circulation finds is greatly diminished.
All three of these things still go on but the numbers participating are not what they once were.
The Mint is also fighting its own battle with tired programs and declining sales.
None of this means that organized numismatics and the Mint are going away.
Next year the Mint will celebrate its 225th anniversary.
It is an old institution opening itself up to new ideas.
What those ideas are will be interesting to see as the future reveals itself to us day by day.
I do not expect one meeting in Philadelphia to create a finished map to the future, but it is a solid first step on the journey.
Good luck to all in attendance.
United States Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson will be given much to consider by the time the day is over.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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