The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 15, April 9, 2023, Article 35


Here's some more good news for the future of the hobby from the Boston Globe. -Editor

  Tufts Coin Club Collective

Students compare coins at a meeting of the Tufts Coin Club Collective at Tufts University in Medford on Feb. 15, 2023.

Coin books filled with pennies from all the states were spread across the table. Next to them, the Red Book — a.k.a. the coin bible, or the definitive, annually updated price guide for US coins — sat open, ready to be read. By 8:05 p.m., devoted and novice coin collectors alike enthusiastically came in ready to learn about the world of numismatics. Soon, members would arrive at the February meeting, ready to sort through $25 worth of pennies, looking for something new to add to their collection.

There is something weirdly soothing about it, and there's also a chance of finding something exciting, said Tufts sophomore Sam Lippman about the coin sorting. It's also fun when we find a random currency like Canadian or British.

Tufts Coin Club Collective became an official university student club in January, but it had been in the works since fall 2021, when Matthew Johnson enrolled. An avid collector since age 8, the computer science major and Sudbury native was eager to share his love of numismatics with fellow students. During freshman orientation, Johnson met fellow student Douglas Lilly, a fellow lifelong coin collector who grew up in the neighboring town of Weston. The pair discovered a shared appreciation of gardening, yard sales, and, above all, coin collecting, and from there it seemed like a match made in coin heaven.

A typical Tufts Coin Club Collective meeting consists of members sorting through coins and giving presentations on the history and practice of numismatics, and guest speakers, like avid collectors and coin shop owners. The club also hopes to take trips to coin shows in the Boston area, such as the Devens MA Coin Show, which are a vital way for collectors to purchase affordable coins and learn more about the history of coins.

Despite Americans paying for purchases with cash only about 20 percent of the time, with those under the age of 45 the least likely to fork over bills and coins, club members like Tufts sophomore Spencer Miller still believe in the appeal of hard currency.

I like the idea of not going fully electronic payments and keeping cash and coins as part of our financial lives, Miller said. While he usually buys his coins online, he still looks for quarters that were minted pre-1965 in his change when he makes a cash purchase. I'll never lose that, he added.

The so-called cashless generation, Gen Z has shown a noteworthy interest in this hobby. According to a survey by the UK-based coin makers Royal Mint, Gen Z collectors are the most likely demographic to start collecting coins, with 43 percent owning a collection and many seeing it as an investment that might bring them a profit later on. The American Numismatic Association, a nonprofit educational organization headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has 1,207 active members between the ages of 5 and 18.

Johnson, who serves as the Tufts Coin Club Collective's president, believes there are few clubs like his on college campuses. Tufts sophomore Rowan Chetner, the club's outreach director, says her goal is to diversify the coin community and spread word around Tufts of the creation of the club.

As you can see, there are a lot of men here. I want to make sure that non-men also feel welcome to join the club, Chetner said at the Feb. 15 meeting.

Tufts Coin Club Collective2 Chetner was not a coin collector prior to joining the club more than a year ago. She met Johnson their freshmen year and decided to try it out. Upon attending her first meeting, Chetner found the experience to be both relaxing and fulfilling.

Doing something that is good for your mental wellbeing is very important, she said, adding that the club can be a really fun and safe environment.

Social media also plays a big role for others to learn about the hobby. Christian Hartch, a 22-year-old economics major at Princeton University, has a YouTube channel (@TreasureTownCoins) with over 124,000 subscribers and 17,643,000 views across his videos at the time of reporting. Hartch started the channel at age 17, and now does weekly livestream auctions, educational videos, and unboxing hauls.

Hartch draws in hundreds of thousands of viewers, ages 13-65, in any given week. His main goal is to grow the coin collecting hobby by providing education in an entertaining fashion.

To read the complete article, see:
Cash use is way down, so why have members of Gen Z embraced coin collecting? (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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