By Richard D. Fee
I read with sadness the various letters on the subject of the future of the hobby and wonder why no one looked at what can be done to help.
So, with my eyes failing, meaning my collecting days are ending, let me offer a few items:
1. Either individually or with your club members, participate in the American Numismatic Association’s annual Coin Week. I have personally exhibited in both libraries and bank lobbies, providing the opportunity to not only discuss coins but offer opportunity to others to join local clubs. Spend a bit of time preparing your exhibit and know what you wish to discuss if asked a general question.
2. Work with local schools, lower grades. Perhaps with all the fear about what happens the public schools may not approve, but I find private church schools allow, even welcome, presentations about coins. Hint, hint: Tie your presentation to history.
3. Local club shows. Our club, the Brandon Coin Club, hosts four shows annually. The club prepares small packages of coins to give to youth who come to the shows. Some dealers offer “deals” to youth who want to purchase some coins.
4. Club meetings. Do you have any routine auctions at meetings? Does some member(s) set aside and mark a coin or lot for youth bidding? Our club puts the youth-related lots first in each auction so that if they must leave before the meeting ends, their lots are presented first. Oh, and those who offer youth lots usually note a youth price, lover than market prices and if no youth is interested, a bit higher minimum for any adult bidder.
5. Private work. At our church I prepare and give away low-value coins, usually our coinage, that likely youth and perhaps even their parents have never seen. Indian Head cents in the 1900s, Liberty Head and common-date Buffalo nickels, a few Mercury dimes. And, believe it or not, Kennedy half dollars and Ike dollars.
I don’t think any one costs more than much over a dollar.
So, for all the hand wringers, what are YOU doing to preserve and grow the hobby? I’ve told you what I do.
This “Viewpoint” was written by Richard D. Fee, a hobbyist from Sun City Center, Fla.
Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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