Numismatic collectibles, both as a hobby and a business, has been and
remains a predominately male domain, about 90 percent male and 10
But that statistic does not begin to tell this story.
As the last decade of the 20th century dawned, it was evident that
women were increasingly visible both in participation and leadership
within the numismatic community in the United States.
Florence Schook, the second woman to be elected president of the
American Numismatic Association (1985 to 1987), continued on the ANA
Board of Governors. Donna Pope was in her ninth year as director of
the U.S. Mint. Ruthann Bretell had become the first woman to be
executive head of the ANA. And two of the three leading numismatic
publications — Coin World and The Numismatist — had
Women were also becoming important players on the commercial side of
Encouraged by opportunities that appeared to be within grasp, three
young women who had often seen each other at coin shows took time out
of their schedules during the October 1990 Long Beach Expo to discuss
what they perceived as an unmet need, an organization supportive of
women in numismatics.
The three were:
➤ Sondra Beymer, a broadcast journalist who had done graduate work
in psychology before turning her energies to helping husband Jack
build their Santa Rosa rare coin business specializing in early
American large cents and type coins.
➤ Mary Sauvain, a grader/authenticator who left ANACS after six
years to found her own company specializing in U.S. Colonial material.
➤ Teresa Darling, corporate vice president of the Long Beach Expo
(responsible for managing three mega shows yearly) and manager of
Zaidman and Lopresto Rare Coins and Jewelry Inc.
I was attending the show and was invited to sit in on their “meeting
of the minds.”
Their primary concern was that women who attended coin shows,
whether on the business side or from collector ranks, often did not
know each other. A way to address the problem, they believed, would be
to have an organization whose primary function would be to provide
opportunities for members to network as friends as well as
professionals. They also saw a need to provide education and
They named the new organization Women In Numismatics, observing that the acronym
would be a bold and declarative statement. The organizational meeting
was set for Jan. 7, 1991.
WIN will celebrate its 25th anniversary during the upcoming ANA
convention in Anaheim. Congratulations. WIN is a winner!