US Coins

Coin & Country (and National Coin Week, April 20 to 26, 2014)

Is National Coin Week still relevant for our hobby?

One sure hopes so, because having a week focused on bringing new people into our hobby only helps maintain and expand it.

The concept of a week to promote coin collecting was the brainchild of Julius Guttag in 1924, and the American Numismatic Association has spearheaded efforts to promote it since. This year’s NCW — the 91st installment, running from April 20 to 26 — carries the theme “Coin & Country: Celebrating Civic Service.” It is fitting, as 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar.

The themes (which change each year) are nearly always broad, and allow clubs and collectors to draw on it for inspiration on ways that they can spread coin collecting to noncollectors. This year, the theme was chosen from an online theme contest sent out to ANA members.

Much of the promotional and educational materials the ANA provides draw on President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service. A document provided by the ANA for clubs and members to draw from in promoting NCW includes prominent JFK quotations on topics as diverse as civil service, national goals, perseverance, responsibility and history.

The purpose of having a National Coin Week is to encourage collectors and coin clubs to prepare exhibits, develop educational resources, give presentations, and organize hobby-related activities at civic centers, libraries and schools to create greater awareness about the joys of collecting and studying coins and other forms of money. 

In recalling Kennedy’s famous call to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” NCW provides a vehicle for collectors to give back to our hobby by promoting it and expanding it to reach new people.

Even if some may argue that in an age of media-saturation the concept of a National Coin Week may not be as relevant as it once was, it is a tradition that deserves to remain part of our hobby. 

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