US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for May 13, 2024: Get involved

Becoming involved in numismatic organizations like the National Silver Dollar Round Table can expand the experience and enjoyment of the hobby or business.

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Some of the greatest joys of numismatics have little to do with the coins or currency that is pursued, collected or coveted. Maybe you’ve heard it said before, but plenty out there would agree that the hobby’s greatest value is found in the people who are involved.

There is no better time to realize that than at a coin show, a club meeting, a seminar or an awards presentation — places where people gather. The most recent Central States Numismatic Society convention was a representative sample of all of the above.

While the people provide the greatest benefit, maximum benefits are realized by people who are involved. Amazing things happen when people step up, often in a volunteer capacity, to give of their time and efforts. Events like coin shows don’t just come together without a team of people. As Cindy Wibker noted in her message in the CSNS Show Guide, “It truly is a group effort, and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help and expertise.”

The message, while specific to that show, applies as well to many past and future endeavors. All too often, organizations face challenges when the membership  either dwindles or becomes complacent or inactive.

The message is not unique to numismatics. An organization that has robust membership roles can find itself struggling to find enough of those members willing to take on any role beyond just membership. Just the simple act of attending a meeting may be beyond the activity level of many, let alone taking a leadership role.

But so much benefit can be gained by getting involved. It’s the people in the organization who hold the knowledge that is sought by those who want to grow and develop in the pursuit. Fellow collectors, club members, dealers and others hold knowledge through experience, research and interest that helps perpetuate the love of numismatics. As objects, the coins alone can be helpful only to a limited degree. The people side of the equation, however, holds a lot of keys.

While, no doubt, some people get involved for recognition, you’ll often find those on the receiving end of accolades didn’t even consider that as part of the result for their efforts. It’s simply that effort gets the recognition — it doesn’t come without the effort.

We all like to know we’re appreciated, and that appreciation can come in many different ways. I had a grandmother who said, “For you to say ‘thank you’ is all of the appreciation I need.” Pretty simple when you stop and think about it. It really doesn’t require a lot of effort, but there’s a clear reward waiting.

We can’t all afford to buy million-dollar coins at auction, but that inability is no measure of passion or interest in the hobby and business. Appreciation is not tied to the tangible; it’s the intangible, effort, that propels the passion.

This is not a call to join every organization and overextend yourself to the point where your involvement is ineffective, but rather a call to assess your own objectives and desires.

After all,  what’s important is not what you have but what you do with what you have, and a desire to play an important part in numismatics can start with a well-dedicated level of involvement.

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