Coin World recently gave an informal survey to our email list and more than 2,000 of you replied. The results confirmed some things that we already know (such as our audience being predominantly male) and revealed a few surprises.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is how relevant coin shows are to our readers. Roughly two-thirds of the respondents reported that they attended a coin show in the past year.
Even better? Nearly 30 percent of the respondents attend three or more shows a year.
I generally go to a coin show at least each month, where I see the spirit of collecting and volunteerism in full effect. This was wonderfully evident when I was invited to address the Virginia Numismatic Association’s 56th annual convention and coin show in Fredericksburg, Va., Sept. 26 to 28.
The show was fantastic, with a variety of dealers who were busy buying and selling coins, but not too busy to chat with new collectors. I had the luxury of visiting with many of the dealers, including VNA director John Cunningham of Hibernia Rare Coins, who was assisted by his daughter. He told me that he loves introducing modern coins from around the world to new collectors, and showing more seasoned collectors the great things that world mints are doing to produce attractive, innovative coins.
Col. Steve Ellsworth of Butternut Coins shared his passion for early American large cents while Ernie Swauger explained that his customers love 17th, 18th and 19th century world coins because of their link to history.
Nearly all day on Saturday, VNA education director John Philips led dozens of young people including groups of Boy Scouts and homeschooled children through thoughtful educational programs that are sure to inspire some new collectors.
Local and state run shows are a vital part of our hobby, serving to introduce new people to numismatics, and keeping longtime collectors engaged in the hobby.
Check one out in the coming weekends!