jkenttt's Blog

30 Jan 2020

Becoming an Accessible Numismatic Community (BANC)

| jkenttt

OK, I know it’s risky to create a new acronym in the numismatic community, but I think we need to talk about making numismatics more accessible. I jumped back into numismatics 3 years ago with the goal of becoming a numismatic educator in my local community. I joined the ANA, Central States, ILNA, and several local coin clubs to get the ball rolling. Because of those affiliations I was able to attend a lot of coin shows, seminars, presentations, auctions, exhibits, you name it I have done it all!

After becoming familiar with several different educational programs and initiatives, I’ve tried a few on my own. I’ve done numismatic presentations at senior centers, park districts, public schools, and community education programs.

This Fall, I’m teaching a Thursday night class on coin collecting at a local community college and a Saturday morning class at a high school. I’ve also applied to present numismatics at a couple local libraries. These type of opportunities take some time and preparation and they’re not for everyone, so for the rest of this article, I am going to give you a few ideas that anyone could implement in their local community.

#1 Neighborhood block party! I was invited to attend a block party down the street from my office in Chicago, so I decided to bring some of world coins, along with some snacks and games. I set up a card table and put out a large Tupperware with 10 pounds of world coins and when kids/parents came by to take a look I showed them a few coins. Each coin has a story to tell, from a different time, place, and culture. I showed the kids/parents how to take a picture of a coin with my smartphone using the Coinoscope app. Then I helped them upload the app to their own phone. Pretty soon, I had a bunch of kids/parents sorting through my coin hoard and talking about different countries they had visited or where their ancestors came from. After a few tries, most kids could identify the country or ruler on the front of the coin, so I let them keep the coins they could correctly identify. One of the boys was able to get a few coins from Ireland, noticing they all had harps or animals on them! Another boy came back later in the day and was upset that he had lost his coins in the bounce house. Of course I let him find some new coins, and off he went back to the bounce house!

#2 Local library presentation! If your coin club is a member of ANA, you can request an educational kit be mailed to your ANA club rep. Inside the educational kit you will find enough materials to do a presentation at a local library. You’ll need to decide what age group your comfortable presenting to, most libraries have programming for young kids, middle/high schools, adults, and seniors. Next step is to call the library and set up an appointment with the program director. You can also go to the libraries website and apply online to do a presentation. Some libraries will help you promote the program on their website, with a flyer, or mailer. If you need help putting a library program together, ANA, Central States, and ILNA are ready to help.

#3 Local history museum presentation! If you live near a local museum or historical society find out what they have in their collection and what kind of programs they offer in the community. I recently became a member of a local museum and offered to do a numismatic presentation geared towards elementary age kids, talking about how money has evolved in different cultures. Ancient coins are very interesting to kids, and not expensive to obtain! I was able to get a variety of coins from ancient Rome, India, and China from a local coin dealer who like what I was doing and wanted to help. If your local museum focuses on local history, you could suggest a presentation about coins of the civil war, WW1, or WW2. Conflict changes money, and period coins/currency help people understand how everyday life is affected when money changes.

#4 Little free libraries! Many towns have different versions of little free libraries, just check www.littlefreelibrary.org to find them. I carry a box of books in the trunk of my car to give away. You can also insert flyers for your Coin Club or coin show that’s coming up! This morning I put a Whitman penny album and a 2015 red book in the free library, along with a flyer for the October 27 Elgin coin show and an ILNA membership application. If there’s not a Little Free Library in your town, you can build one and put it up yourself.

Remember, we are here to help you get numismatics into the community! We can all make numismatics more accessible if we reach out to our community and share the fun that our hobby provides. After every presentation, I invite attendees to a local coin show or monthly coin club meeting. As numismatics evolves and coins/currency change, inviting others to our hobby becomes more important! Telling our story, doing a presentation, or putting on a local program, enables us to BANC!



Level 6

Those are some great ideas! Keep up your good work ; ) Thanks for a fun blog!


Level 5

Love the idea! Keep it up! Cheers, NumisMaster

I. R. Bama

Level 5

You are doing an awesome service to the hobby. Hopefully the seeds you planted with the younguns will come to fruition and I'm sure you had a lot of fun too!


Level 6

Some good ideas. There isn't a little free library in my entire county and it's a big one. Thanks..


Level 7

The ANA has representatives in allot of states. I would.check that also.


Level 6

Great ideas.


Level 5

Free library idea is awesome. I will find some coin related books to share. Ive seen plenty of the leave a book take a book spots. Will carry some books with me to leave. Great ideas. Thanks

It's Mokie

Level 6

I love all your ideas but the free library one is especially attractive. I am also beginning to speak to groups. I have a gathering of homeschool kids I am speaking to in March and at our February Pennsylvania Association of Numismatics meeting, I am going to propose we create a formal speakers bureau and publicize at shows, on our website, on facebook, etc., our availibility to speak to groups about our great hobby. Looks like you and I need to talk. (:


Level 7

I congratulate your enthusiam. Now I have been collecting coins ,tokens,medal for twenty seven years. I help the yn's as much as I can.. After three years I was still a novice. To educate Kid"s middle age of whoever you must of read fifty books. That's were we learn. Buy the book before the coin. Knowledge is power. There's one other thing we say . We learn something new every day..I'm not telling to you stop but when you taken in the amount of categories we need to teach it's enormas. Simple coin rolling counterfeits how do you know admirably fifty or sixty more. I would call Sam. Been our educational guide. It can't hurt. Lots of luck.

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