Do you have something special planned for the week of April 17?
It’s not too late to either join with others in your coin club or create your own special activities to celebrate National Coin Week April 17 through 23.
The American Numismatic Association — the nation’s largest coin collector organization — sponsors the annual hobby tribute and has selected "Blue, Gray & Greenbacks" as the theme for this year’s event.
The theme focuses on the beginning of the American Civil War and the 150th anniversary of the April 12 Battle of Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C.
This year ANA is using social media to spread the word. Among the many activities it is sponsoring is a scavenger hunt. Posting of clues began March 14 at its website, www.money.org, as well as at the ANA’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/AmericanNumismatic. The clues challenge participants to collect Civil War-related numismatic items. Those who collect all six items can register online for prize drawings that include coins from the Civil War era.
Although the Civil War period offers a wealth of collecting opportunities, collectors do not have to have a specialty collection or interest in that field to share their enthusiasm and hobby interests.
The idea behind National Coin Week is to encourage collectors to prepare exhibits, develop educational resources, give presentations and organize hobby-related activities at civic centers, libraries and schools to create greater awareness about the joys of collecting and studying coins and other forms of money.
It’s always best to share what you know best and what you feel comfortable talking about, whether with grandchildren, a neighbor, or a larger audience, be it in your hometown or halfway around the world.
Thanks to the Internet and technology, collectors today are not bound by the confines of local geography. Collectors of all ages are embracing the ability to post images of their collections in a virtual realm and are able to share their knowledge and experiences literally around the world.
Julius Guttag suggested to the ANA in 1924 the idea of a national week of celebration focusing on the hobby of coin collecting. Were he with us today, it would be great fun to hear his reactions to the various ways and means available to inform and engage the non-collecting public. n