Editors Message (CPG Market Review Spring 2023)

The numismatic marketplace is growing in unimagined and exciting ways with many opportunities for young people to get involved -- something not really possible in past decades.

by Patrick Ian Perez | Published on April 11, 2023

I RECALL NOT ALL THAT LONG ago when articles were being written in coin industry publications about the perceived lack of participation in the hobby by “young people.” These worries were primarily based on observations at coin shows. There were concerns about the long-term demand for rare coins, and if new collectors would continue to spend significant sums on rare U.S. coins. While these articles usually did not define the specific age ranges that were being referring to, my observation was much the opposite. Fast forward to today, and we can look back at the two and a half years spanning March 2020 to late 2022 in which there was a massive expansion of the collector base and a major bull market for rare coins that was strongly driven by younger buyers. Platforms such and YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have tons of rare coin content—and even more for other collectible areas—which builds momentum for collecting and draws new participants in. For those young adults who wish to go deeper into numismatics, there are now tremendous opportunities. The original is American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar, but there are now two more educational opportunities: Witter Coin University and the Stack’s Bowers Professional Numismatist Program. Witter Coin is a leading dealer based in San Francisco which set up a program a few years ago in which potential students apply for a fully paid week-long session. The instructors are leading figures in the field from multiple different firms that voluntarily give their time for the week. The Stack’s Bowers program was just announced in February and is also a week-long session that is taught by the many numismatic professionals who are employed in-house. As one of the oldest and largest rare coin firms in the country, Stack’s Bowers has a large talent pool of instructors to draw from. All of these events are about much more than learning; it is a chance to develop camaraderie with future colleagues and gain a mentor who can guide one in the industry.

My own experience was quite different. When I started full time in numismatics in 2008, the only primary learning opportunity was the aforementioned Summer Seminar, which I attended in 2009. While I had some solid mentors from whom I learned the basics, including how to price coins using the Greysheet and understanding coin grading, the only place to meet and have fellowship with other new and/or younger dealers were at coin shows. My numismatic education was a combination of self-taught from books and practical experience working in the industry. It was at times difficult to have a conversation with an older, experienced dealer unless you were selling them something or buying from them. An enthusiastic and driven newcomer was possibly seen as a business threat. It is really positive and encouraging that industry participants are now devoting resources to develop talent for the future. I have heard numerous experienced dealers comment recently how impressed they are with some of these younger dealers and collectors. They are passionate and are determined to make their way in the industry. Whichever stage of collecting you may find yourself: just starting, right in the thick of it, or contemplating selling at the end of the journey, know there is a youth movement that ensures this great hobby will continue to grow and advance in the years to come.


Patrick Ian Perez,


Cover images courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com

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Author: Patrick Ian Perez

Patrick Ian Perez image Patrick Ian Perez began as a full time numismatist in June of 2008. For six years he owned and operated a retail brick and mortar coin shop in southern California. He joined the Coin Dealer Newsletter in August of 2014 and was promoted to Editor in June 2015. In addition to United States coins, his numismatic interests include world paper money, world coins with an emphasis on Mexico and Germany, and numismatic literature. Patrick has been also published in the Journal of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).

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