The ANA, first global numismatic association in the world
- February 16, 2020
The American Numismatic Association (ANA) was in Berlin at the 2020 World Money Fair. It currently counts 25,000 members worldwide.
It is indeed a new orientation of the association which wishes to open up to numismatics from the rest of the world and thus become the first global association of collectors in numismatics.
The project is ambitious but the ANA has the financial and human resources to achieve it.
“At the end of 2019, some members of the ANA board had been invited by the Brazilian numismatic association, which was holding a numismatic fair in Sao Paolo. There were 500 visitors and the ANA registered 50 new members during the fair. This is an example of the interest of foreign collectors in the ANA and the fact that we are filling a void,” said Muriel Eymery, a newly elected board member of the association.
It is true that collectors in many countries are under-represented and can only rely on local associations or informal groups on social networks that have limited representativeness in relation to the national mints authorities. Numismatic lobbying, where it exists, is mainly carried out by professionals in defence of their own interests which do not necessarily coincide with those of the collectors.
Colonel Steven K. ELLSWORTH, President of the ANA (ret.)
and Muriel EYMERY, Governor of the ANA
The ANA therefore wishes to open itself to collectors from all over the world.
Muriel EYMERY adds “Membership in our association for a foreign collector is 28 US dollars for one year and entitles you to a subscription to the ANA’s numismatic journal – “The Numismatist”. Mainly oriented towards American numismatics, the journal’s content should be oriented 20-30% of its total content, within the next two years, towards the coins of the rest of the world.
Membership entitles the member to 5 free gradings (evaluations) by NGC and to reviews of books and materials from partner dealers”.
“The association organizes two coin shows a year, one in Atlanta and the other in Pittsburgh,” Muriel Eymery continued. Admission is free for ANA members.
Currently, the ANA has 1,000 members outside the United States, but this number is expected to increase in the coming years.
But most important is the strong involvement of the ANA in the acquisition of knowledge and skills by its members. To this end, the ANA organizes annual week-long summer seminars in Colorado Springs on grading, counterfeit detection and on many other topics.
ANA members can also participate in a one- to three-day workshop in different locations across the country. They can attend a Money Talks presentation at one of the ANA’s national exhibits and take the Coin Science Diploma Program.
In short, ANA leaders understand that a generation of new collectors does not appear spontaneously. It is built over time.
We can only regret one thing: the total absence of such initiatives in Europe…
A bit of history about the ANA
Dr. George F. Heath of Monroe, Michigan, had learned much about world history by studying his coin collection. The discretion of his passion was an obstacle to obtaining certain specimens and made it difficult to meet his fellow numismatists.
So, in 1888, he printed, published and distributed a four-page leaflet, “NUMISMATIST”, in which he listed his needs for coins, announced the duplicates for sale and discussed numismatic subjects of substance.
The fledgling publication soon found many friends among other isolated collectors. As Heath’s list of subscribers grew longer, the need for a national numismatist organization became apparent.
The February 1891 issue of “The Numismatist” contained a question: “What would be the point of having an American numismatic association?
On October 7 and 8, 1891, five men – Heath, William G. Jerrems, David Harlowe, J.A. Heckelman and John Brydon – holding 26 proxies, met in Chicago with 61 founding members. The result was the founding of the ANA, which has since become the largest non-profit numismatic organization in the world.
Heath then introduced the idea of a numismatic convention, where members could establish personal contacts with other numismatists. The first convention was held in 1891, then every year until 1895, and again in 1901 and 1904. After the 1907 convention in Columbus, Ohio, it was decided to hold annual conventions for the following years.
On June 16, 1908, Dr. Heath died suddenly. Farran Zerbe, then president, took over the editing and publication of “The Numismatist”, and soon purchased the publication from Heath’s heirs. In 1911, W.C.C. Wilson of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, purchased “The Numismatist” from Zerbe and presented it to the ANA. Since then, the magazine has been owned and published monthly by the ANA.
On May 9, 1912, the ANA gained national significance through a federal charter signed by President William H. Taft.
In 1962, an amendment to make the charter permanent and allow for the creation of a larger board was introduced and passed by Congress and signed by John F. Kennedy on April 10. The amendment was introduced by Congressman Wilbur Mills and Senator John L. McClellan, both of Arkansas.
On April 29, 1961, a fund for the construction of the ANA National Headquarters was established. A site in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was chosen to house the headquarters and a groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 6, 1966.
On December 20, the $250,000 construction fund target was reached and the new headquarters was officially opened on June 10, 1967.
List of ANA Board members in 2019-2020
Sources : ANA and NUMISMAG.