Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes’ story on a 12-year-old young numismatist who is making his mark on our hobby brings up a point that is worth repeating: it takes a supportive team of adults to cultivate a young person’s interest in numismatics.
Garrett Ziss may only be 12, but his ambition to learn about the hobby and develop as a numismatist provides examples that all hobbyists can learn from.
Like the majority of young collectors I’ve observed, Garrett’s parents aren’t coin collectors, but they support their son by taking him to coin clubs and shows, and providing a firm foundation for him to base his hobby upon. They note that those in the hobby who work with Ziss are generous, welcoming and treat him like a young adult rather than a kid.
That is one of the great things about our hobby: YNs who are responsible, enthusiastic and receptive to learning are treated as peers. This in turn raises the ambition of young people to make their mark on numismatics. For example, Ziss is working on refining research on emission sequences for Capped Bust half dollars, expanding on research presented at a Coinage of the Americas Conference.
What were you doing when you were 12?
Many young people will always be drawn to coins and their connection to history. As Paul told me, a parent doesn’t have to collect coins, but support of a young person’s curiosity about coins is essential.
In Paul’s case, his parents nurtured his interest in coin collecting even though they weren’t collectors themselves. Paul’s dad was a zone supervisor for newspaper circulation, and as he collected money, Paul would go through the coins. “I would get to go through the money and pick out interesting things to add to my collection. I purchased my first car by cannibalizing my Whitman folder,” Paul shared.
Cultivating a young person’s interest in the hobby is essential, and established collectors and parents play an essential role in this.
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