World Coins

ANS hosts eighth graders from New York City school for seminar

Passing along the numismatic hobby to younger generations is crucial to almost every collector, and the American Numismatic Society is trying to do its part.

The ANS on May 15 hosted 11 eighth-grade students from Village Community School in New York City for a seminar on interesting U.S. and Roman coins, "and explained in an age-appropriate way such topics as currency fiduciarity, the future of the penny, and the concept of monetary inflation, both in the ancient and the contemporary worlds,” according to the ANS June e-newsletter.

ANS assistant curator of American coins and currency Matthew Wittmann and adjunct curator of Roman coins Gilles Bransbourg conducted the seminar, which took place at the ANS’s New York City location.

"Matthew and myself introduced Roman and old U.S. coins to our young audience, opening perspectives about how ancient coinages operated, the traditional importance of commodity value, then their value as collectible objects today,” Bransbourg said in an email to Coin World. "We discussed the cultural, political and economic background that supported the Roman monetary system and the parallels and differences between ancient Rome and modern America through their respective coinages."

Bransbourg said the same Village Community School Latin teacher, Harry Hancock, had brought three students for a similar ANS seminar last year. 

This year’s group was a good one. 

"They seemed very focused, listening and asking smart questions,” Bransbourg said. "Clearly, they could see ancient objects they had never had the opportunity to examine before."

The adjunct curator said the ANS welcomes school groups as part of its educational mission.

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