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PNNA Home / Awards / Scholarships / 2007

Scholarship Report - 2007

Classes and Coins in Colorado – ANA Summer Seminar 2007

by Michael Labosier

The annual ANA Summer Seminar provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of numismatics, and in a beautiful and relaxing location. I was grateful to have been awarded the 2007 PNNA scholarship and attended session I of the Seminar in June. My stay at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs was very comfortable, and the ANA staff saw that we were well provided for during the class sessions and group meals at the nearby Colorado College campus.

I had selected Allen Berman’s “Coins of the Middle Ages” course as my first choice, but it was unfortunately cancelled for this session. I was given my second choice, “Collecting Coins of the World.” There were two co-instructors—George Cuhaj (of Krause Publications) and Emmett McDonald. The material for this course covered a wide range of historical periods and events in many parts of the world. As the various topics were presented, coins of the times and places being discussed were passed around. We were introduced to some basic attribution skills, and interesting characteristics of the coins were pointed out. The attendees of this class, and of the Summer Seminar in general, were a diverse group comprised of young and old, experienced and new collectors, and of those having various numismatic interests.

Beyond the class itself, an interesting part of the experience was the opportunity to spend time with and meet many of the big names in numismatics. This was on the eve of the “revolution” that occurred in the ANA Board of Governors election, and many of those running for Board seats were there. Also in attendance were columnists from the large numismatic publications and editors of major reference works. Ed Rochette, for whom the ANA’s Money Museum is named, attended our class as a student the full week. He had interesting stories to tell from his vast experience in the coin collecting world and long involvement in the ANA. I later learned that Ed was one of the founders of the Summer Seminar program, and had organized the first session in 1969. Ken Bressett, editor of the Red Book also stopped by to visit our class one day, and attended many of the group lunches and events.

Another treat was the opportunity to visit the ANA Money Museum and the ANA Library. The Coins, Crowns & Conflict exhibit had recently opened, with great examples of coinage and other artifacts from the English civil war period. That is an era I’m especially interested in, so the timing of my Colorado Springs visit was perfect. I also spent some time wandering through the library’s impressive collection of numismatic books and publications.

Other highlights included the Young Numismatists auction (a lot of spirited competition there!) and the library book sale. Among my purchases at the book sale were some beautifully illustrated auction catalogs that were anywhere from eight to fifteen years old. Amazingly, in one of them I later found a photo of the exact coin I had recently purchased from a dealer.

For extra curricular activities, I signed up for the ANA trip to Pike’s Peak and also spent a couple of extra days in Colorado Springs at the end of the seminar to attend the coin show and do some antiquing and sightseeing.

All in all, the Summer Seminar was a very enjoyable experience that I would recommend to others with a strong interest in coin collecting. From it, I gained a better appreciation of the depth and breadth of our hobby. Thank you again to the PNNA and the scholarship committee for promoting this wonderful program, and for giving me an opportunity to participate.