By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics …….
Journal entries from the founder of Legend Numismatics, Laura Sperber, help you stay current with the real happenings of numismatics. A former ANA Board Member, Laura has handled close to $1 billion worth of rare coins to date and has assembled many of the greatest collections ever. Her views and opinions are as “inside” as you can get. Warning: ALL her Hot Topics articles are pretty blunt!
On Saturday, October 22, I attended a very small show (25 tables) at the Lehigh Valley Historical Society in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was put on by my long time friend and mentor Steve Gehringer (Keystone coins). He is on the board of this institution and donates all his spare time to it. It was my first small show in 30 years. I was moved by the show and facilities.
The show really opened my eyes. I admit to be fully wrapped up in the ego-driven, plastic encased, high-dukes world of coin collecting. I forgot there are people who really can’t spend all that much, who totally love the hobby and will come to a show just to experience seeing something like a 3 Cent Silver. That was so refreshing. However, what really made me happy was I saw several kids attend who are getting into the hobby. I get asked often, “Where will the new generation of collectors come from?”. I saw half a dozen at this show. Each child had the full attention of every deal in the room (it was sort of like a smaller PCGS Invitational). The atmosphere was definitely NOT intimidating like a big show would be.
While the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is still dying a slow painful death (they need to become an online University), I saw great hope in a small show held at a location like the Historical Society. The kids were enthusiastic and their parents appreciated and supported their collecting. The Society had all the resources to educate and expand the kids’ interests. Plus, the people in charge of the Society are true historians who deeply care about education and historical preservation.
I fully encourage any one who is thinking about collecting, or has a young numismatist, to check out their local Historical Societies. The education they can gain will be tremendous. I think these places really need as much support as they can get. These places are the time keepers for the area. The director, employees and volunteers I saw were as dedicated as any I have ever seen. I am going to encourage the ANA to start running programs with places like this.
My congratulations to my friend Steve and the Historical Society for putting on a successful small show. While I may not be expressing myself right, it was just so refreshing to me. Hearing a kid say he goes through change and rolls, simply is something I have not heard in ages. All the kids seemed to take it all in–the show, the facilities, etc. And by the way, the Lehigh Historical society really was impressive! If you’re in the Allentown area, stop on by. It’s worth the trip.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at: lspeber1[ at ]hotmail[ dot ]com
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