Welcome to 2020. How was 2019 for you and your collection? Were you able to remove any stubborn longstanding wants from your want-list? Did you capitalize on opportunities in slower parts of the market? Were you lucky enough to get the year’s Enhanced Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle at issue price? How many U.S. Mint products did you buy? Did you sell any of your coins, medals, tokens, or paper money? Maybe you started a new collection, or picked up one that had lain dormant for a while?
From a hobby-community perspective: How many coin conventions did you attend? Did you go to the Florida United Numismatists show, or a PAN show, or either of the American Numismatic Association’s shows, or the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo? If so, did you attend any of the educational programs? Did you join any new clubs, like the Token and Medal Society, the Barber Coin Collectors Society, or the Society of Paper Money Collectors?
In what ways did you share your knowledge and love of the hobby in 2019? Consider a numismatic New Year’s resolution for 2020: Submit at least one article to your local coin club’s newsletter, or Coin World, Numismatic News, The Numismatist, or another periodical. Give your old Red Book to a new collector and encourage him (or her) to read it from cover to cover. Drop a few circulated Buffalo nickels into a vending machine—imagine how much the person who finds them will be talking about coins with their friends! Be like Bill Fivaz and spend a few Eisenhower dollars when you go out to eat.
For me, 2019 was a very good numismatic year. I added many coins to my U.S./Philippine collection, and a few medals and coins to various other collections. I started a new collection (of the American Innovation dollars that debuted in 2018). I participated in interesting conversations in the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and met and spoke with hundreds of collectors and dealers from around the country (and the world). And Whitman Publishing brought many new hobby books into the world. It was an honor to sign some new authors into the Whitman family, and to continue working with the best and brightest in today’s hobby.
I celebrated my 15th year as Whitman’s publisher in December 2019. Happy to say I’m still living a collector’s dream! I work as a member of the Red Book’s editorial and management team . . . I count among my co-workers Kenneth Bressett, Q. David Bowers, Jeff Garrett, Bill Fivaz, and many other hobby luminaries . . . I get a deeper and deeper numismatic education every day. How much more fortunate can a collector get? Working at Whitman Publishing, I feel a sense of history and a connection to other coin collectors. I think of the thousands—millions—of people who have been introduced to the hobby by Whitman coin folders, and sustained and nurtured by Whitman books in their learning journeys.
Looking forward to 2020 and beyond: Numismatic publishing, as always, is a bellwether for the broader hobby. Whitman’s publishing schedule for 2020 through 2025 illustrates the robust environment that collectors are enjoying—numismatics continues to be a living and breathing science (and art), with research ongoing in many areas. Maybe you collect classic U.S. coin series. Or your interests might lie farther abroad, in world coins—or further in the past, in the American colonial era, or in ancient coins. Or you might swim in the deep waters of exonumia and paper currency. Your favorite Whitman authors (and some new ones) will continue to explore these areas of the hobby, and others, in the year ahead, and beyond.
I hope that 2020 is good for you, and that our paths cross at an upcoming show or hobby event. Let me know how your numismatic year is going.