Posted by Jeff Garrett on 8/15/2013
This week the American Numismatic Association (ANA) will be conducting the World’s Fair of Money. My last article discussed this convention and the excitement the annual convention promises for everyone who attends. The convention is also a time when the ANA Board of Governors hold several open and closed sessions. This is a transition year, and the newly elected board members will be sworn into office during the Friday night awards banquet. I am proud to have been chosen as the incoming Vice President of the ANA. I actually ran unopposed, but the other candidates for board seats were not so lucky. Fourteen individuals ran for seven seats. It’s difficult to predict these elections, but I was somewhat surprised that all of the incumbents won re-election handily. I guess the membership, who voted, feels the ANA is on the right track.
Anyone who reads the numismatic press, however, knows there are struggles at the ANA. There have been a number of issues with executive directors, museum losses and declining membership. An unusual amount of the Board’s time is consumed dealing with the above issues and others. I am happy to report, however, that quite a bit of progress has been made recently. The newly named Executive Director, Kim Kick, has over thirty years of experience working for the ANA. She knows the organization thoroughly, and should provide a steady hand moving forward. Kim will be working with the ANA staff to resolve outstanding issues. The museum collection has been given considerable attention since the thefts of several years ago. High value coins have been segregated and a complete security assessment has been conducted to determine the best ways to protect the collection.
One of the highest priorities of the ANA is to improve our web presence. Nearly everyone agrees that for the ANA to grow, the best possible website will be needed. This will require considerable resources, including money, intellectual talent and membership participation. I strongly believe the ANA needs to offer unique content that will drive membership and be a catalyst for growth in the future. The ANA has one of the greatest numismatic libraries in the country and decades of experience in numismatic education. Hopefully, ways can be found to offer this wealth of resources to members and those who wish to become members.
I have been a member of the ANA for nearly forty years. I take great pride in my membership and truly believe it is one of the best bargains in numismatics. In today’s world many might wonder if the ANA matters anymore. There is plenty of competition for the time of anyone interested in rare coins and being a member of a one hundred year old organization might sound too old school for many. I strongly urge anyone collecting rare coins to discover what the ANA has to offer. Membership starts at only $28 per year for an online subscription to The Numismatist (one of the finest coin publications in the country). The ANA also offers an incredible opportunity to experience the fellowship that collecting rare coins has to offer. This week’s convention in Chicago will be a great example of that. Nearly 10,000 collectors and dealers will be attending the week’s activities.
I have stated many times in this column the importance of education. The ANA offers an incredible slate of educational opportunities for collectors. Every ANA convention is packed with classes, speakers, exhibits, hundreds of bourse tables and just about every numismatic educator and writer in the country. If you collect something, there will probably be a specialist at the show to give you more information about your interest. The amazing number of coins at each show is also a great opportunity for collectors. As everyone knows, coins of the same grade are not always identical. Reading about a coin is one thing, but actually seeing and sometimes holding them is much better. The ANA offers a wonderful hands-on experience for collectors.
I truly believe the ANA is moving in the right direction for growth and improvement in the next few years. The ANA does still matter and I hope you will take the opportunity to be a part of it.
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