Young Collector Series: It's A Generational Thing

This year alone, the United States Mint has had a number of first-evers and set record-breaking mintages. Their production schedule was one that 20 years from now, collectors will still be talking about. All of this lends itself to the appeal of the numismatic hobby to younger generations.

But if we set newly released products aside, appealing to young collectors is super important for the future of this hobby. In doing this, it is also super important for those of us engrossed in the day-to-day of the business to explain all the ways in which becoming involved in it is special. The first thing that comes to mind? This hobby has been built and tended to by the many generations before us. The passing on of knowledge and collections is quite frankly, a pillar of the business.

As a 3rd generation numismatist himself, our own Andy Abel is living proof of the generational part of the hobby. His wealth of knowledge over the years has been cultivated in major part to his grandfather (the late Leon Hendrickson) and father (Tony Abel). It only gets stronger every day due to his brothers (Brock and Tyler Abel) and their involvement. Considering his small-town roots though, being involved in such a high profile coin business is unusual.

“There are a lot of small towns everywhere,” Andy stated, “and how many of them have a coin business? I do not think that if I lived anywhere else that I would have been exposed to coins and the hobby like I was."

Of course, coins and numismatics are a large part of the generational pass down. Knowledge and physical collections themselves are a big part of the business. Especially when someone decides to sell. But even more important than physical coins sometimes is the relationships and experiences that get passed along.

“My grandfather loved coins and he loved this business, but he loved people and the relationships he had more,” Andy said. “That’s the greatest thing he passed on to us. My grandfather went to a coin show twice a week and those experiences are what he enjoyed the most. That part of the business is just as important as the coins themselves.”

As the world continues to change and the evolution of technology continues, generational gaps are getting further and further apart which can sometimes make it harder on a business such as numismatics. But one thing that bridges that gap is the fact that interests change as well when we grow older, making the appeal of the coin business something that remains constant no matter which way the market tends to sway. As we grow older, something that appealed to us when we were younger does not always appeal to us in a separate part of our lives. Somehow, the coin business has made it possible for it to appeal at some point in all of our lives whether you start young or grow to learn about it.

However, starting young in this business gives you a slight advantage over those who merely bump into the hobby later on in life.

“You can learn anything at any age,” Andy stated. “But if you’ve lived it since birth as I have, I believe you have an advantage over everyone else because of all the information and wisdom I have accumulated through my grandfather and father.”

With most hobbies in life, the younger you start, the better. The coin hobby is no different.

Older generations: grab hold of the youngsters in your family and in your community and show them the wonderful world of numismatics! Share stories and experiences along with information about coins to ensure they know the full extent of what they will encounter as they grow with the hobby.

Young collectors: soak up everything you can from those who have searched and found the best in coins and people. Numismatics is a community and once you’re in, you’re in! Get involved and become part of something that has been around since the late 1890s! The hobby is constantly changing which makes it one of the most exciting to be a part of.