By Tyler Rossi for CoinWeek …..
First off, Happy New Year to all my fellow collectors and numismatists! As 2023 is starting, let’s look at a few of the numismatic organizations around the U.S. that an informed numismatist should consider joining. What activities and events do they run? What services do they provide members? And how much are their dues?
In this overview, we will be operating at the national level, and staying away from local or regional organizations like the Central States Numismatic Society, the Blue Ridge Numismatic Society, or the Boston Numismatic Society. That being said, all of the active state and local clubs form a vibrant numismatic society stretching across the country and I highly encourage you to join, support, and volunteer with as many local numismatic groups as possible.
So, what are some of the larger organizations which you should consider joining?
First is the American Numismatic Association (ANA). Perhaps one of the best-known and largest numismatic organizations in the world with over 27,000 members, it provides a number of services to the community. Most notably, the ANA holds the annual World’s Fair of Money, as well as the National Money Show. For a yearly (Gold) membership fee of $30, numismatists can enjoy access to the ANA’s Virtual Money Museum Exhibits, a number of educational programs, free entry into ANA coin shows, and a digital subscription to The Numismatist. The list of the ANA’s educational programs includes live webinars as well as in-person lectures and multi-day courses taught by industry experts. Membership also comes with a number of discounts for ANA seminars, NGC, NCS, and PMG. For Platinum Membership, which costs $46 annually, members will receive a printed hard copy version of The Numismatist. Finally, in a continuing effort to encourage youth to become part of the numismatic community, the ANA offers two Youth Membership packages for $16 and $36 that mirror the adult Gold and Platinum Membership levels.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://www.money.org/.
Next, located in New York City but increasingly adding remote educational activities, is the American Numismatic Society (ANS). Founded 165 years ago in 1858, the ANS is specifically “dedicated to the study and appreciation of numismatics” (ANS website, 2023). Historically blessed with the membership of some of the greatest numismatic collectors in American history, the ANS has been the recipient of numerous donations. As a result, the organization has a permanent collection of over “800,000 coins, monetary objects, medals, and other related items dating back to 2000 BCE” as well as one of the finest numismatic libraries in the world (ANS website, 2023). Using these resources, as well as its’ accomplished membership, the ANS prints a number of acclaimed numismatic publications including the ANS Magazine, the American Journal of Numismatics, and the Journal of Early American Numismatics. Membership, which costs between $115 and $215 annually, comes with subscriptions to all three of these publications. There is also a discounted student membership available for between $66 and $120. Additionally, members receive a 30% discount on all other ANS publications. Members also have access to both the ANS’s library and collection located in New York City. With the pandemic, the ANS began running a number of weekly Long Table lectures, seminars, and workshops exclusively for members. Around the same time, the ANS also began hosting their weeklong ANS Lyceum courses, which members have access to at a discounted enrollment fee.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://numismatics.org/.
As the ANA focuses mainly on the collecting community and modern US coinage and the ANS is more an academic and educational organization, the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), as its’ name suggests, focuses nearly exclusively on pre-Federal American colonial coinage. For $31 per year or $11 for those under 18 years old, numismatists can join one of the best numismatic societies focused on Early American Numismatics. Founded in 1993, C4 aims to encourage colonial numismatics, build collecting relations, and promote the academic study of colonial coinage. As such, members receive four newsletters per year and have access to a “well-stocked” lending library (C4 website, 2023). C4 also holds an annual convention around the Baltimore Whitman EXPO. These conventions are comprised of a number of educational research presentations, study groups, and social gatherings for organization members.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://colonialcoins.org/.
Similar to C4, the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC) is a relatively specialized organization. Focused on the “study and attribution of the American silver Liberty Seated coinage of the 19th century”, this club is formed by over 600 dedicated members interested in all aspects of American Seated Liberty Coinage. Membership, which costs $30 per year, comes with a number of benefits. Firstly, members receive three print issues of the award-winning Gobrecht Journal. You will also receive the monthly E-Gobrecht. As a digital publication, the E-Gobrecht provides members with up-to-date news, event information, and numismatic columns written by other members. Membership also provides collectors access to one of the best, and largest, communities of Seated Liberty collectors in the world. As a result, the organization is able to run high-quality educational programs at a number (more than 20 per year) of regional and national coin shows across the US. Lastly, members receive a free CAC membership.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: http://www.lsccweb.org/.
Next, we come to a slightly different, but no less important organization: the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG). The ACCG is a non-profit organization with a long list of objectives, and it seeks to not only educate the public on ancient coin collecting but also lobby the government in opposition to import restrictions on ancient coins and to “bolster [the] legitimacy of the ancient coin market” (ACCG website, 2023). The organization clearly states that it is staffed entirely by volunteers and that 100% of all membership fees and donations go directly to achieving its organizational goals. As a result, there are not as many tangible membership benefits as in the other organizations on this list. That being said, it does provide extensive information surrounding current import restrictions as well as all of the organization’s advocacy work. Ultimately, the ACCG does seek to accomplish a number of extremely important goals for the community of ancient coin collectors in America.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://accguild.org/.
An even more specialized organization, the Medal Collectors of America, was founded in 1998 as a numismatic organization “dedicated to the study and collection of artistic and historical medals” (MCA website, 2023). Dues, like with most of the other organizations on this list, are related directly to what level of access you want in relation to publications. For $80, members will receive quarterly hardcopy editions of the MCA Advisory, while for $40 you will receive only electronic editions. Youth on the other hand can join for as little as $10. These dues are used to support research into and the promotion of medal collecting. In service of these goals, the organization hosts two main annual meetings that are open to the public. During these meetings, experts discuss the ins and outs of medal collecting. Members also have the opportunity to purchase annual club medals.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://www.medalcollectors.org/.
Many collectors repeat the mantra of “collect the book first”, and no numismatic organization embodies that more than the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG). While membership is open only to numismatic authors publishers and editors, and not to general collectors, the organization stands as the pre-eminent literary organization for American numismatists. NLG members have access to a monthly newsletter, the first newsletter was released in 1968. Additionally, the NLG runs a Writer’s Competition and hosts an annual gala.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://www.nlgonline.org/.
Lastly, collectors of Judaic coinage should look to the American Israel Numismatic Association (AINA). As with most other national numismatic organizations, the AINA provides members either a digital or a print quarterly magazine. Called The Shekel, this journal has been published since 1968. The AINA also hosts a digital annual member meeting to enable the participation of all members. Additionally, they award a prize, also called The Shekel, for “the best publication on the subject of Ancient Judaean, Holy Land, Israel, or Jewish Numismatics” (AINA website, 2023). Any interested numismatist can join the AINA for $18, or $40 if you want the printed version of The Shekel, while youth members (aged 10 to 19) can join for only $10 per year. All new members will receive a challenge coin that celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the US.
More information can be found at the organization’s website: https://www.theshekel.org/index.php.
While this is definitely not an exhaustive list, I urge all active collectors and numismatists to look into these organizations!
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About the Author
Tyler Rossi is currently a graduate student at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management and studies Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution. Before graduating from American University in Washington D.C., he worked for Save the Children creating and running international development projects. Recently, Tyler returned to the US from living abroad in the Republic of North Macedonia, where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years. Tyler is an avid numismatist and for over a decade has cultivated a deep interest in pre-modern and ancient coinage from around the world. He is a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA).