Winner of a Young Numismatist scholarship to attend a week-long Summer Seminar at the American Numismatic Association has been announced by the Professional Numismatists Guild.
Raymond Hawkins, a 16-year-old collector from Eutawville, S.C., will receive tuition and expense money for the Summer Seminar, which will be held June 22-28 or June 29-July 5 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hawkins, began collecting coins six years ago and recently founded a local coin club and a coin dealership.
He is a high school sophomore and honors student at Holly Hill Academy near his hometown. Outside his numismatic interests he plays the pipe organ and is considering becoming a music major at college.
Hawkins recently used an 1808 French 10-centimes coin as the centerpiece for a history class presentation about Napoleon, and wants to “learn even more about the skills involved in coin collecting.”
In his scholarship-winning essay, Hawkins stated: “I have been collecting coins since I was 10 years old. But even after all of those years have passed – here I am: 16 and no longer a casual coin collector, but a dedicated numismatist!”
His brother-in-law, Anthony Cristofani, introduced him to coin collecting with the popular 50 State Quarters® Program commemoratives. He now enthusiastically searches through rolls of coins obtained from the bank, and recently found a 1909 Philadelphia Mint Lincoln cent.
“It wasn’t an S-VDB, but quite an ‘oldie’ nonetheless. I have gotten on such good terms with the bank that they will even save half dollars for me whenever customers bring them in. The first time I looked through their customer-rolled halves, I scraped up over $90 worth in silver coins. (Unfortunately, that is not enough to cover the tuition for Summer Seminar!),” he wrote in his essay.
Hawkins and a friend founded a coin club this past November and then began buying and selling coins, and have set up an informal dealership to help people determine the value of their old coins.
His parents, Randy and Wendy Hawkins, are excited about Raymond’s accomplishments and the PNG scholarship.
“I was stunned but not really surprised that he won,” said Wendy Hawkins. “He’s creative, self-motivated and seems to excel at most everything he tries to do. His father and I are both thrilled that he won the scholarship. We thought, ‘Oh, my gosh! That’s our kid!”
Raymond is looking forward to meeting collectors and experts from across the country and wants to take an ANA Summer Seminar class on either grading United States coins or collecting U.S. coins by type.
“Grading is fundamental, and I want to know what to look for to determine a coin’s condition,” he explained.
This is the ninth consecutive year of PNG’s YN scholarships for the popular, annual summer ANA educational programs.
“Numismatic education helps keep this great hobby healthy and energized. We are so grateful PNG recognizes the importance of education and supports the Summer Seminar,” said Susan Mc Millan, Education Project Manager for the ANA.
The money to pay for the annual PNG YN Scholarship is administered from PNG’s Gerald Bauman Memorial Fund.
To find out more about PNG visit, www.PNGdealers.com.