I'll bet most of the coin collectors in the world began their hobby as young children - I know I and many others did. But is the BEST time to start in one's teenage years? The June 9, 2009 Coin World Newsletter includes a Sept. 26, 2005 article by Q. David Bowers notes that many of our hobby's brightest lights began their interest as teenagers. With permission, here are some excerpts. -Editor John Kraljevich became a numismatist while in grade school, and now in his 20s is recognized as one of America's leading numismatic scholars.
Similarly, John J. Ford Jr. and Arthur M. Kagin, both recently deceased, were highly important in the rare coin trade in their time, and each began while in his teens.
Dwight Manley, barely a teenager, decided to become a professional numismatist after attending my "All About Coins" class at the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar, as did teenaged Kerry Wetterstrom - both of whom have gone on to make indelible imprints on the hobby.
There seems to be something infectious about coin collecting if the thrill is captured during the formative years of youth. I suggest it is quite likely that starting as a teenager is the rule, not the exception, on the high road to success. Harvey Stack, dean of American professional numismatists now that Art Kagin has passed away (Art started in 1933, and joined the family business in 1940), joined the family business at a very young age.
Henry Chapman and S.H. Chapman, the most prominent rare coin dealers at the turn of the 20th century, began while teenagers.
With all this in mind, perhaps the Professional Numismatists Guild should roll out a "teenage dealer education program." Of course, to paraphrase a Chinese proverb, the best time to have started in numismatics was when you were a teenager, and the second best time is now!
To read the complete article, see: Veteran numismatists trace roots to childhood (www.coinworld.com/articles/2009_06/veteran_numismatists.aspx)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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