Illinois Numismatic Association (ILNA)

Promoting Numismatics in Illinois Since 1959

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Content presented in the Education Section is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Illinois Numismatic Association. It is presented for educational purposes.

Hello ILNA members, hope everyone is well and adjusting to the changes brought on by Covid19. Here's an update on my numismatic educational activities: I've been adjusting my teaching schedule to provide online numismatic lessons to area schools, using numismatics to enhance students understanding of history, economics, geography, and culture. Have you heard about the class I'm teaching called "Exploring Numismatics"? The College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. has just scheduled me to teach a 2 hour class on Thursday evenings. Classes start September 24 and continue for 4 weeks. The intro to the class gives a broad overview of the numismatic community. The numismatic community is different for everyone!

For me, the numismatic community starts with the ANA, and other international collector/education entities, and I see the various mints, museums, libraries, and educational collections on an equal level with each other. Next down from there are the auction houses, grading services, publications, and related businesses. Further down, I see State and local clubs with their own publications, events, shows, educational programs. Next come the coin shops, coin dealers, and local auctions, then finally we have collectors and investors, at the base of everything. Each area of numismatics has its own changing demographic and issues with sustainability and technology. There's no way to look at the whole picture and know what's going on because it changes all the time. Since I am relatively new to numismatics, I'm creating a snapshot in my mind, and trying to map out everything and find my place, as well as everyone else's place, including new people that I am constantly meeting.

Kids looking over numismatic information

Kids at John's education table, looking over coins to begin their collection with.

It would be interesting to create a paid survey and asked 1000 random people about different aspects of numismatics, and then group their answers into different categories. Almost all the respondents would probably be ignorant, indifferent, without knowledge, or vaguely familiar with numismatics. Most people off the street can not correctly pronounce Numismatist!

Believe it or not, I like dealing with numismatic ignorance, and people that are curious about numismatics. Why? Because I think numismatics offers a unique glimpse into history. Numismatics is accessible and tangible, you can hold history in your hands, connect with the people who created and used the numismatic items in their daily lives. Most people have never held an ancient coin, or anything else that is 2000 years old. Most people have never seen or touched a coin from a shipwreck, from the colonial era, or civil war times. By holding numismatic history in your hands, history becomes accessible and experiential. Numismatics offers many ways for the average person to learn and enjoy history.

Finally, if you do not have the time or ability to attend my class in September, I hope you can join me at 7pm on Sunday evenings. Some friends and I recently started an online coin club and we use the Zoom conferencing application. If you're interested in joining, email and I will email you the link to attend.

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Chicago Coin Company
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To become a sponsor of the ILNA web site or Annual Show, contact Jim Paicz