Steve Roach

The Art of Collecting

Steve Roach

Steve Roach, editor-in-chief, joined Coin World as a monthly columnist in 2006. Steve has been deeply involved with numismatics for more than 20 years, starting as a young coin collector in Michigan. Two years spent as a coin grader at ANACS, nearly three years at Heritage Auctions, and a stint as a paintings specialist at Christie's have given Steve a rich understanding of the hobby, its market and the unique personalities and exceptional objects that make collecting meaningful. Since 2009 he’s written Coin World’s weekly market analysis pieces and has handled legal stories including daily coverage of the 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle trial, and as editor he writes weekly editorials.

He’s taught coin grading and authentication for the American Numismatic Association and was its ANA young numismatist of the year in 1997. He currently sits on the board of directors of the International Society of Appraisers and is a frequent speaker around the country on legal issues related to, and the valuation of, rare coins and fine art. Steve received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan with high honors in art history and his juris doctorate from Ohio State University.

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One of the best parts of my job

The best parts of my job as editor-in-chief of Coin World is being able to better connect our readers with the coin collecting hobby. This requires me to get out of the office and travel, usually on weekends.

Like any work travel, sometimes it’s a bit tedious, but more often than not it’s a pleasure. Such was the case when I visited the Central Ohio Numismatic Association and with the coordination of club president Stephen Petty, and with co-instructor Tony Cass, led two grading seminars on a gorgeous Saturday morning.

The best coin events are like reunions with friends. Tony and I met when I was grading part-time at ANACS when it was headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. At ANACS I also met Eric Justice, who attended the seminar along with two of his sons.

This was the second time the course was offered by the club. The class is an abbreviated version of the Introduction to Coin Grading class that I help teach every few years at the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Unlike the ANA Summer Seminar, where students have the better part of a week to absorb grading, a coin club course is substantially shorter at just few hours. Tony and I pass out a box of 20, or so, coins and ask students to look at them, make notes on what makes them interesting, and assign them a market grade.

After a break, we discuss the coins and use the individual coins to describe market grading, which takes into account wear, eye appeal and other intangible factors.

Among the stumpers in the class was a 1935 Connecticut Tercentenary commemorative half dollar with thick, rich original toning that approximates the color of algae. The grade: Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Mint State 67 with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade. It wasn’t a popular coin with the class, with students being thrown both by the weird color and the general unfamiliarity with the commemorative issue. However, since it was recently given a green CAC sticker, I had some confidence that the coin didn’t “turn” in the slab.

At each of these seminars, I’d likely say that I learn just as much (if not more than) the students and it’s great to connect with Coin World’s readers.  

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1 comment
Steve:

As always, thanks for your participation and the sharing of your knowledge.

Best regards

Stephen Petty