National Coin Week Set for April 18-24

Every year in April, the numismatic hobby brings forth a week-long event that not only celebrates the hobby in general but also is geared towards bringing about more public awareness. That week? Sponsored and created by the American Numismatic Association (ANA), this year’s National Coin Week will commence the week of April 18th-24th. If you are unaware of such an event, let us take you back.

National Coin Week - The Beginning

The American Numismatic Association was founded in 1891 and from there grew into a worldwide organization that continues to thrive today. In fact, in 2017, it celebrated its 125th anniversary and has become one of the largest nonprofit organizations ever created. Its sole purpose? To allow dealers, collectors, and friends an opportunity to meet up annually to discuss and educate one another with their findings within the hobby. That still rings true today as there are now two annual conventions featuring exhibitions, auctions, meetings, and educational programs offered at the events.

However, in 1923, it was suggested by then-ANA Governor Julius Guttag to the President of the ANA, Mortiz Wormser, that there be a week-long event to “attract the general public to our hobby and consequently increase our membership, and aid in our science.” That December in 1923, the event was announced in The Numismatist and officially put on the books for the week of February 9th-16th, 1924. After its success, discussion followed to make it an annual event and in 1925, they changed it to “Old Coin Week” as it continued on until 1927.

From 1928-1938, the ANA did not promote the event and it existed in name only until 1939 when a member from Chicago suggested it be brought back under “National Coin Week.” It was confirmed and announced that prizes would be given to coin clubs and collectors who were the most actively involved in and accomplished the most during that week. In 1942, it would be officially moved to the third full week of April where it remains today.

By 1974, the annual event would receive a Presidential Proclamation designating the week beginning April 21, 1974, the title of National Coin Week. The proclamation would read as followers:

“Since the beginning of history, coins have helped to tell the story of civilization. They frequently reflect the economic development of their country of origin as well as the scientific advancement and artistic values of the people who produce and use them. Today, more than ten million Americans collect coins for both pleasure and for profit.

In honor of our Bicentennial year, we are changing the designs on the backs of three United States coins. The new designs were selected through competition among the Nation’s sculptors and will appear on the backs of the dollar, half dollar, and quarter. The double date 1776-1976 will appear on the front of the three coins.

When in circulation, these Bicentennial coins will reach every citizen and serve as reminders of our rich national heritage and continuing dedication to freedom and self-government. NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, in recognition of this worthwhile hobby and of the significance of coins in marking the Bicentennial, do hereby designate the week beginning April 21, 1947, as National Coin Week.

Observance of National Coin Week will give us all an opportunity to reflect upon the designs, mottos, and symbols that appear on our coins. The word “Liberty” has been inscribed on our coins since 1972 as provided by the act directing our fledgling Nation to produce its own coins. Then, as now, the inscription serves as a constant reminder of our most precious national possession, won for us all in the American Revolution.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-eight.”

-Richard Nixon (signed)

National Coin Week 2021

This year’s celebration centers around three milestone anniversaries within the coin hobby. Themed “Money, BIG & BOLD,” the 98th annual event focuses on one hundred years ago when the United States Mint reintroduced the Morgan dollar after a 16-year absence and then began producing a brand new silver dollar coin, the Peace dollar, that same year. It also focuses on yet another dollar coin that began production 50 years ago, the Eisenhower dollar.

To read more about the activities, webinars, resources, and daily trivia, visit the ANA’s website.