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Numismatic Education – ANA Summer Seminar

The ANA Summer Seminar offers opportunity for camaraderie and the best numismatic education from instructors with decades of experience.

Last week I had the pleasure of spending several days in Colorado Springs for the ANA Summer Seminar. My plan was to attend the closing session of the first week and the opening session of the second week. By doing this I was able to meet with over 400 students, staff and instructors. 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, who include several NGC employees, 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.

John Schuch teaching students at Summer Seminar
John Schuch teaching students at Summer Seminar

One of the most wonderful aspects of the Summer Seminar are the young numismatists who attend each year. This year over 50 YN students attended Summer Seminar. Most of these were able to attend because of full scholarships made available by the ANA and other numismatic organizations. Over 40 years ago 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 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. There are also scholarships available for adults of all ages.

The Summer Seminar is an opportunity for numismatic learning and also camaraderie. Many students live 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 the ANA headquarters. Attractions include 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 which is among the finest in the world.

 Summer Seminar Classes

Most classes for Summer Seminar are four days in duration and are intended as full numismatic immersion. The grading classes are the most popular and usually sell out well in advance. Grading classes are offered in three levels — beginner, intermediate and advanced. These classes are quite challenging, but offer one the best ways to learn the art of coin grading in a short amount of time. Many students take the classes every year trying to improve their skills. Several students have told me that the hands – on experience of learning to grade is invaluable. Dealers around the country loan the ANA hundreds of coins each year for the classes. 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.

Counterfeit Coins

The counterfeit detection classes are also extremely popular. This subject has become even more relevant in recent years. 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, give students the best possible education on the subject. The counterfeit detection class is very popular with coin shop employees looking to sharpen their skills.

Summer Seminar has just concluded for this year, but it is never too early to plan for next year. Most of the classes fill up early and everyone is urged to register as soon as the course catalog is posted. This usually happens early in the year. I will be attending next year, and look forward to seeing you there!

2016 Course Offerings:

  • 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
  • Security for Dealers and Collectors
  • Numismatic Publishing
  • Coins of the Roman Republic
  • Coins of Colonial America
  • Introduction to Numismatic Digital Photography
  • Ducats to Dollars
  • Numismatics for the Museum Professional
  • Coins of Mexico
  • Collecting United States Type Coins
  • Intaglio Engraving
  • The Art of Engraving
  • Collecting Morgan Silver Dollars
  • An Introduction to Byzantine Coins
  • Introduction to Medals and Medal Collecting
  • Early American Copper Coinage
  • Liberty Seated Coinage
  • Creating a Winning Numismatic Exhibit
  • The Modern Minting Process
  • Creating the Modern Hobo Nickel
  • World War II Numismatics
  • National Bank Notes

Questions about the rare coin market? Send them to [email protected].

NGC Certified US Coins Currently Available on eBay


Jeff Garrett
Jeff Garrett
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. We urge everyone who visits Washington, D.C., to view this fabulous display. Jeff has been a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG) since 1982 and has recently served as president of the organization. In 2009 and 2011, Jeff ran successfully for a seat on the Board of Governors for the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the leading numismatic club in the world. and he is currently the ANA President.

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