Numismatic education comes in many forms. Collectors today have many
more options to enhance their knowledge of the hobby than I did as a novice.
The greatest teacher, and most unforgiving, is experience. I often
call it the University of Hard Knocks. After making a mistake that
either loses money or that ties up money in an undesirable coin, one
has a tendency to remember the error. But how can we avoid making the
error in the first place?
I distinctly remember early in my collecting career purchasing a
book on counterfeit detection. I was about to purchase a 1950-D
Jefferson 5-cent coin to complete my collection and was able to avoid
purchasing an altered date coin thanks to the knowledge I obtained
from that book. That experience was the foundation for forming my
Today, beginning numismatists not only have multiple numismatic
books available, but also multiple organizations to join. These
individual organizations normally have a newsletter or journal they
publish for the membership. The freshest research is normally
presented in these club publications.
Another wonderful opportunity is the opportunity to attend the
American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar presented each year in
Colorado Springs, Colo. Students learn about the various areas of
numismatics in each class they choose to attend. The entertainment,
knowledge, and friendships acquired at the seminar will last a lifetime.
Many collectors are not able to take the time or dedicate the funds
to attend a seminar in Colorado Springs. What can they do to further
their numismatic education on a budget?
The ANA offers a correspondence course on numismatics that any
member can access and complete at home. It is the ANA School of
Numismatics Diploma Program. Each of its six courses is completed with
an open book exam, but the final exam is a 200-question, closed-book
exam that must be supervised by a proctor. The student has two years
to complete the program. Mentors are available from the ANA to help
students through the program.
ANA membership is required and the cost of the diploma program is
$399 plus $10 shipping. You will receive five course books and a video
to add to your library. After graduation you will receive your diploma
acknowledging you as a Numismatic Scholar. The knowledge will last a
lifetime and will surely save you more money than the cost of the
course, by preventing numismatic blunders.
You can obtain more information on the course by contacting the ANA