Dear Currency Collectors,
I love the notes and the history, probably always will. However, as a 36-year-old who has been collecting avidly for over 10 years I feel I’m starting to lose interest in the hobby itself. I understand the problem that numismatics has with the younger generation. The hobby simply is not evolving. How can anyone expect new collectors in get interested in a hobby that is dominated by middle aged plus white men that have a disposition for keeping their collections, finds and knowledge secretive? I realize this is a broad generalization, but this is what it looks like and feels like going to a major or local show even for myself. Is it just me or do other newer collectors also feel that this hobby isnt extremely “welcoming”? It feels more like figure it out yourself, get burned a few times, learn some lessons then maybe some people will take you seriously.
This forum I’ve found has actually been the one thing that has helped keep me going. The members here are excellent always doing their part to share and engage in discussion. However, I will say for me personally the political conversation that was had here within the last few months was a pretty negative eye-opener. I’m all for expressing and respecting opinions but why does that need to be intertwined with a currency specific forum? Not sure this type of activity appeals to the younger generation that some here hope to attract. But this forum alone is not enough, there has to be more. I am actually holding out hope that the covid-19 situation that has pushed the 2020 IPMS to hold a virtual convention will actually be a major step that forces the collecting community to start embracing and using technology to its advantage. We shall see.
The last thing I’ll add here is the perceived and underlying lack of integrity that has always been in the background. From the CGA debacle to the PCGS debacle, etc. I know this is starting to sound a little like a rant now. I know there are honest and good people in this hobby, don’t get me wrong. Many of them will probably be the one’s reading this. I’m just reflecting on some of these things and the image and instability that they present. My advice is that there must be more positive, honest, young, and engaging ambassadors to represent this hobby and inspire the next generation to want to become active.
With that said, my plans from here are probably to still acquire a few remaining large size notes that I’ve always wanted i.e. chief and bison. However, my main endeavor over the last 10 years of putting together a complete grand rapids national currency set of all banks and issues I believe will cease. I’m currently thinking I’ll keep roughly 20 of my favorite notes and the rest will be offered for sale either here, ebay or at auction.
The notes we collect are artifacts that tell the stories of our history. Because of this many in this hobby tend to focus attention on the past. However, it’s time to look forward. Where does this hobby go from here?
A collector with an optimistic hope that this community finds a new way to move forward. One that embraces positivity and technology to enhance the outreach and education of the hobby in order to draw in those that will preserve it into the future.
Collecting Grand Rapids, Michigan National and Obsolete Banknotes.