US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Nov. 2, 2020: Keeping the hobby going

Organizations like the American Numismatic Association and coin dealers are doing what they can to serve the coin collecting community during the pandemic.

Image courtesy of American Numismatic Association.

We are now entering the ninth month of the pandemic in the United States, with no end in sight. Nonetheless, hobby activities continue, albeit it in changed ways.

The last really big conventions were held in early March, just as the coronavirus started to spread across the United States Some smaller local and state shows have been held in recent months, most with policies requiring that participants wear masks and exercise physical distancing. Convention organizers have already started canceling 2021 events, including the New York International Numismatic Convention — annually the largest show in the United States for ancient and world coins. January’s Florida United Numismatists convention remains on the schedule though with pandemic restrictions in place, including temperature checks. Most in the dealer and collector community are aching to attend; convention attendance is always fun and the big shows with their huge bourse floor and exhibit areas make for an enjoyable time.

Dealers continue to cope with the changes in the marketplace. John Brush at David Lawrence Rare Coins writes in a blog that the firm — which does not have a storefront — has used the time not spent on the road at conventions to improve customer service and communication, to update its inventory control and processing, and to actually increase the volume of business it conducts by working with the client lists it has built over the years.

Hobby organizations continue to meet the challenges. Kim Kiick, executive director of the American Numismatic Association, wrote in an Oct. 26 email message to the membership, “We recognize that these last months have been extraordinarily stressful for many, which is why we’ve introduced a myriad of new programs to help our collecting community remain connected and engaged virtually during this period of ‘social distancing,’ ” with virtual exhibits, the ANA eLearning Academy, and increased production of videos, blogs and podcasts. Other organizations have offered virtual meetings and educational forums as well.

Kudos to everyone in the hobby fighting to make things as normal as possible in these trying times.
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