Do coin collectors need role models to become permanently committed to the hobby?
Sometimes I think yes.
Other times I think no.
It is the yes answer that wins my mind today.
I am sorry to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leave the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Cited as reason in a Mint statement: Abdul-Jabbar has increasing personal obligations.
I believe it.
He is a celebrity.
I remember him playing for the Milwaukee Bucks when I was a teenager.
What impact would it have had on kids my age to know that in addition to being a star athlete, he was also a coin collector?
Most teenagers put coins aside as the demands and distractions of life hit them with full force.
What teenager wants to make time for coins when other necessary responsibilities seem to take priority?
Perhaps more teenagers would have made a little time for coins had they known that someone of Abdul-Jabbar’s caliber was able to do it.
We can never know for sure.
The brief biographical information in the Mint’s statement implies that he also might have set coins aside (or never took them up) when he was dominating the sports pages of my local newspaper.
It says, “Abdul-Jabbar is a renowned former professional basketball player who is an avid coin collector. He became interested in numismatics through his love of history and his study of Alexander Hamilton.”
I hope the Mint can find someone else who matches Abdul-Jabbar’s public stature.
It would be good publicity for numismatics to see another worldly successful person who thinks coins are important.
Yesterday, I wrote of the anonymous owner of the Black Cat Collection and two Confederate coins in it.
The owner was described by Laura Sperber as "a highly successful entrepreneur.”
Perhaps he would like to take a CCAC position and be a public role model for all the collectors and potential collectors out there.
I think it is worth a thought.
Anyone generous enough to loan two fantastic coins to the American Numismatic Association might also be generous enough to publicly join the CCAC.
We collectors need role models.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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