Monday Morning Brief: Becoming a numismatic superhero

Every superhero has an origin story, as does every coin collector. That spark can create lifelong collectors of all stripes and levels. It’s time for hobbyists to become numismatic superheroes and spark more collectors, through exhibits, mentorship and public education.

Full video transcript:

Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Jeff Starck of Coin World.

It’s hard not to think about popular culture, and superheroes in particular, because of the saturation of the theme in Hollywood.

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In recent years, there’s even been an abundance of non-circulating legal tender coins celebrating all sorts of superheroes.

Every superhero has an origin story, and so too does every coin collector.

Many of the most iconic and enduring superheroes of all time are best defined by the story that made them who they are.

Whether it’s a rags-to-riches tale, or a bad guy gone good, according to psychologist Robin Rosenberg, origin stories can inspire us and help us discover our strengths so that we may use them for good.

Wearing a cape or tights is optional, of course.

When it comes to coin collectors, an origin story is not nearly as fraught with psychology. But it can describe a date with destiny, as it were.

Esteemed collector and researcher Eric Newman credits his collecting path to an 1859 Indian Head cent that he received from his grandfather when Newman was 7 years old.

The author of nearly two dozen books and countless articles — and now namesake to a digital research portal — got his start because of a family member.

It’s a story familiar to coin collectors everywhere.

In fact, I’d venture to estimate that more than two-thirds of all collectors were guided toward the hobby by a family member or mentor, and I’d bet that the number is higher among the leading professionals in the hobby today.

Numismatics is the original big tent — whether you’re a wooden money aficionado or are buying ancient coins with six-figure price tags, the hobby has something for everyone on both ends and all the way in between.

But the hobby needs more origin stories, and it will take some real-life numismatic superheroes to make that happen.

Whether it’s working on a display at a public library, handing out coins to Girl Scouts troops, or speaking to civic organizations like the Rotary Club, these public actions can help reveal an avenue of exploration that people may never have known otherwise.

Let’s all be a superhero to create the next generation of hobbyists and help create positive origin stories for more collectors.

Please connect with us at Coin World and let us know how you’re creating a new generation. And be sure to follow us on Twitter, find us at Facebook, online at, and of course in print in your mailbox.

For Coin World, I’m Jeff Starck. Happy collecting!

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