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Jeff Garrett: See You at the ANA Summer Seminar

American Numismatic Association - Summer Seminar 2020
ANA Summer Seminar. From Left to Right: Ken Bressett, Jeff Garrett, and Mary Lynn Garrett. Photo Credit: ANA via Instagram.

There is no better numismatic education for new collectors, prospective dealers and professionals seeking to sharpen their skills


By Jeff Garrett for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……
Last summer, I had the pleasure of spending nearly a week in Colorado Springs as an instructor at the annual American Numismatic Association (ANA) Summer Seminar. While I had been to the seminar several times during my time on the ANA Board of Governors, and many years earlier as a student, it was my first experience teaching one of the four-day classes.

Each of my previous trips provided lots of memories and many great new friends, so I was looking forward to this one. The numismatic camaraderie is amazing and one of the greatest benefits of attending.

Teach Your Students Well

Each year, the ANA must find qualified instructors to teach during the two-week long Summer Seminar sessions. Over the years, many of the instructors have become staples at these events and minor celebrities among the collectors who enjoy their classes immensely.

Occasionally, however, for one reason or another, someone decides they have spent enough summers in Colorado Springs teaching classes. This happened last year, and I volunteered to help teach Advanced Coin Grading. NGC sponsored my expenses for the week as part of its longtime commitment to numismatic education and the ANA.

I was not sure what to expect or exactly how someone teaches advanced coin grading. But thanks to the wonderful welcoming of veteran instructor Don Ketterling and his much junior fellow instructor Maxwell Gregory, I was able to jump right into the process. Maxwell is a brilliant young man from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. At the age of 21, he was attending his seventh or eighth Summer Seminar, this time as an instructor.

Numismatic Education at its Finest

The ANA Summer Seminar is one of the best programs the ANA conducts. It is numismatic education at its finest.

Each year, over half of those in attendance are repeat students. Many of the instructors have been teaching for decades. The ANA is very grateful to the individuals and companies who donate their time and talent to this amazing program. The Summer Seminar could not happen without them.

One of the most wonderful aspects of the Summer Seminar are the Young Numismatist (YN) students who attend each year. Last year, over 50 YN students attended Summer Seminar. Most were able to attend because of full scholarships made available by the ANA and other numismatic organizations.

Over 45 years ago (1974), I won a scholarship to attend the ANA Summer Seminar, and I can attest to the fact that the experience can change lives. Over the years, many professional numismatists have gotten their start at the Summer Seminar. Several are now instructors wishing to give back to something that was so meaningful to them. Young collectors are the future of the hobby, and numismatic education is the best way to ensure continued interest. Scholarships also are available for adults of all ages.

Camaraderie and Immersion in Coin Collecting

The Summer Seminar is an opportunity for numismatic learning and, as mentioned above, camaraderie. Many students stay in the Colorado College dorms and spend time after class getting to know each other. There are also several optional tours to local attractions, evening lectures and other special events.

Attending the Summer Seminar is also a great opportunity to visit ANA headquarters, the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum and the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library. The library is the largest lending numismatic library in the country and is fantastic to visit in person. The museum features the Harry Bass collection of gold coins that is among the finest in the world.

Most Summer Seminar classes last four days and are intended to provide full numismatic immersion. The grading classes are the most popular and usually sell out well in advance. These classes are quite challenging but offer one the best ways to learn the art of coin grading in a short amount of time.

Several students have told me that the hands-on experience of learning to grade is invaluable. The seminars give everyone a chance to examine coins they may never see in their local area. The instructors work closely with every student, making sure they are ready for the next level before moving on.

The counterfeit detection classes are also favorites. This subject has become even more relevant in recent years, and students have the opportunity to examine the large reference collection of the ANA. One of the best ways to learn about counterfeits is to examine genuine and fake coins side by side. This, with expert instruction, gives students the best possible education on the subject. The counterfeit detection class is very helpful for coin shop employees looking to sharpen their skills.

* * *

It is now time to register for the ANA Summer Seminar and to apply for one of the many scholarships available. Most of the classes fill up early, and everyone is urged to register as soon as the course catalogue is posted. This usually happens early in the year. If you want to learn how to be a successful coin collector, there is no better numismatic education than the Summer Seminar.

Below are just a few of the classes available. Check online at money.org/summer-seminar for a full listing.

  • Grading United States Coins, Part 1
  • Grading United States Coins, Part 2
  • Grading United States Coins, Part 3
  • Detection of Counterfeit and Altered Coins
  • Detection of Counterfeit World Paper Money
  • Numismatic Publishing
  • Introduction to Numismatic Digital Photography
  • Coins of Mexico
  • Collecting United States Type Coins
  • Intaglio Engraving
  • Archaic and Classic Greek Coinage
  • The Art of Engraving
  • Collecting Morgan Silver Dollars
  • Introduction to Medals and Medal Collecting
  • Early American Copper Coinage
  • Creating a Winning Numismatic Exhibit
  • The Modern Minting Process
  • Creating the Modern Hobo Nickel
  • World War II Numismatics
  • National Bank Notes

I look forward to seeing you there!

Jeff Garrett bio

Jeff Garrett
Jeff Garretthttps://rarecoingallery.com/
Jeff Garrett, founder of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, is considered one of the nation’s top experts in U.S. coinage — and knowledge lies at the foundation of Jeff’s numismatic career. With more than 35 years of experience, he is one of the top experts in numismatics. The “experts’ expert,” Jeff has personally bought and sold nearly every U.S. coin ever issued. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t call on Jeff Garrett for numismatic advice. This includes many of the nation’s largest coin dealers, publishers, museums, and institutions. In addition to owning and operating Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, Jeff Garrett is a major shareholder in Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries. His combined annual sales in rare coins and precious metals — between Mid-American in Kentucky and Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries in Florida — total more than $25 million. Jeff Garrett has authored many of today’s most popular numismatic books, including Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795–1933: Circulating, Proof, Commemorative, and Pattern Issues; 100 Greatest U.S. Coins; and United States Coinage: A Study By Type. He is also the price editor for The Official Redbook: A Guide Book of United States Coins. Jeff was also one of the original coin graders for the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). He is today considered one of the country’s best coin graders and was the winner of the 2005 PCGS World Series of Grading. Today, he serves as a consultant to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the world’s largest coin grading company. Jeff plays an important role at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Department and serves as a consultant to the museum on funding, exhibits, conservation, and research. Thanks to the efforts of Jeff and many others, rare U.S. coins are once again on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. Jeff has been a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG) since 1982 and has recently served as president of the organization. He has also served as the ANA President and as a member of the ANA Board of Governors.

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