How do you get a person interested in our hobby? It’s a question that needs to be constantly asked and addressed to stay relevant.
In a chat with a friend at the recent American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Atlanta this past week, he said that the question of how to engage new people, especially young people in the hobby will only get harder, not easier.
He said: “If kids today have a million distractions that keep them away from coin collecting, imagine the world in five, ten, or 20 years. They’ll have a billion other things to do,” before adding, “They might all be plugged into their flying cars and everyone will have a robot maid.”
That last bit of futurism aside, the question of how to attract young people to the hobby is a somewhat layered question depending on the perspective you view it from.
From the hobbyist perspective, our hobby offers innumerable joys, with its blend of history, commerce, art, legacy and potential for wealth accumulation over time.
But there’s also the dealer perspective (including the U.S. Mint and mints around the world). From this angle, there’s a need to build the hobby to protect the coin industry since the number of coin buyers in the future needs to be large enough to buy both new issues from mints and older collector coins from dealers.
Dealers are hoping that organizations like the American Numismatic Association can develop programs to keep coin collecting in the minds of young people.
Of course, the ANA hopes that it can keep people involved to keep its membership and be able to support its programs at its current levels (and hopefully grow to provide even more outreach and member benefits).
Publications want to maintain and increase a stable base of readers to enjoy content and support advertisers.
Then there are collectors, who hope that there’s a market for their collections once they’ve reached the end of their collecting journey.