By Steve Carr
To me – and possibly to you – education in our hobby is very important. A number of coins have been “altered” to change their date or their grade, Chinese counterfeits are in the market place, and there are some people who would just love to separate you for your money. The end result is a dissatisfied collector.
But you don’t have to be that collector. Learning about a series or how to grade are not difficult. You just need the right “mentor” to put it all together. One of the neatest opportunities to do this is at the American Numismatic Association summer seminar. The seminar consists of a number of week-long classes, held over two weeks, on a wide number of collecting topics. Interested in learning how the experts grade? Want to learn how to detect counterfeits? Interested in a specific series, like early American large cents or Roman coins? There are courses covering those topics and many more.
Not only will you learn a lot about the subject you choose, you will meet many interesting people who share your hobby. Some are nationally known experts, while others are just collectors like you. It is easy to make friends. It seems like there is always something going on at summer seminar– evening classes, presentations on a variety of topics, a special auction to support scholarships for young collectors (YNs), and just meeting with others to talk about coins in casual situations. Some of these friendships involve meeting a person once a year, just like time stopped in between. Other friendships can be more immediate – you will see that person at other events throughout the year.
Incidentally, the coins you get to see at seminar see are just fantastic. How about seeing an 1804 dollar or the Harry Bass collection of gold coins. There is also the ANA library, where just about any reference book about coins and paper money can be found.
Meals are cafeteria style, a great way to meet others. There are also the popular nightly meetings at the “Lunar Lounge,” where people watch the sun set over Pikes Peak. Then the serious “visiting” begins.
There is also a large coin show between sessions. See what is available, what you like, and maybe add a piece to your collection.
To top it all off, the seminar is held on the Colorado College campus, in Colorado Springs, CO. You can look at Pikes Peak every morning, on your way to class. You can also visit the Garden of the Gods or the Air Force Academy. You can even take a tour of the Denver Mint.
Scholarships are available, if you want or need help. A list of these scholarships is available at the ANA website at www.money.org/ANA-Summer-Seminar-Scholarships. Contact the appropriate organization for details.
To find out more about the course, go to their website at money.org. Then click on the Events tab, then the Summer Seminar tab. Scroll down and click on anything that interests you. The classes are listed in the 2016 Course Catalog. Who knows, you might find something that interests you. Be aware – some classes fill quickly.
I hope to see you at Summer Seminar!