Steve Roach

The Art of Collecting

Steve Roach

Steve Roach, Coin World’s editor-at-large, 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, nearly three years at a major coin wholesaler and a stint as a paintings specialist at an international auction house have given Steve a rich understanding of the hobby, its market and the unique personalities and exceptional objects that make collecting meaningful. He joined Coin World in 2006 as a columnist, and has served as associate editor and editor-in-chief. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan, a juris doctorate from the Ohio State University and is a Certified Member of the International Society of Appraisers.

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Youth and igniting a collecting spark

What does our hobby look like in 10 years?

One thing is certain: the future of our hobby depends on young people being aware of coins and taking an interest in them.

It is the spark that is essential, that curiosity about coins that can then either turn a young person into a young numismatist or, perhaps, just linger in dormancy for decades only to reemerge later in a person’s life.

In chatting with Scott Rottinghaus for this month’s Q&A, Scott shared a story about his daughter Fiachra’s interest in numismatics. While she gave numismatics a try — even winning a few American Numismatic Association Young Numismatist literary awards — the collecting bug didn’t stick.

Scott said: “I can’t tell yet whether she’ll be back to coins later on. My four younger children haven’t become interested beyond the wild enthusiasm that all young kids seem to have at the prospect of participating in what daddy is doing.”

So what does it take to make a young person interested in the hobby?

For both Scott and myself, the American Numismatic Association has been essential to our development from young collectors into adults, and from people curious about coins to numismatists.

To that end, in the May 18 weekly issue of Coin World where I announced that I was transitioning from my role as Editor-in-Chief to an Editor-at-Large role, I also offered free one-year ANA Gold memberships for young numismatists (those under 17) to the first 50 people who got back to me.

The offer still stands!

The responses I received so far are absolutely heartwarming. As Peyton Strzalkowski wrote, “My sister and I like coin collecting because it teaches us about history here in America, countries around the world and because it is special time we get to spend with my dad, David. I also like going to shows and getting to see all the valuable coins that my dad doesn’t have in his collection.” Her father added that publications like Coin World “help keep kids, like my daughters, involved and ensures the future of our great hobby.”

And what a great hobby it is! 

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