The American Numismatic Association, the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to the advancement of numismatics, is having trouble getting youngsters involved. The ANA wants to show kids the fun in numismatics. There are occasional success stories, but basically, children in numismatics are a non-event.
One thing about children is they’re smart. Kids know what’s fun and what’s not. No matter how much you try to convince them or the different angles you might try, you aren’t going to talk children into having fun.
For example: The baseball card hobby doesn’t have to tell kids about the fun of collecting baseball cards. Kids know what they like, and they know they like baseball cards. When children like something you can see it; they jump in with both hands and feet and go at it. Kids know they like baseball cards. It isn’t necessary to convince them that they do.
Find something kids are enthusiastic about collecting
It’s up to the ANA to find something children are already enthusiastic about that’s in numismatics. There’s one thing currently in numismatics that a child will jump up-and-down for: his own MasterCard. If you were to ask any 12 year old, “Would you like your own MasterCard?”, the answer would probably bring a giant smile, sparkling eyes and an enthusiastic “YES!”
Try an experiment: Take dozens of baseball cards in one hand and a MasterCard in the other and ask a youngster, “Which hand do you want?” The MasterCard will shut-out the baseball cards almost every time.
The ANA should develop a bank credit card program for young adults. An ANA Young Numismatist bank card would probably become a status symbol. Think about the word-of-mouth advertising an ANA Young Numismatist credit card would generate. Imagine trying to get a kid not to show-off his MasterCard; it would be next to impossible! Literally, every kid on the block would want one. If the ANA created the proper program, it would be flooded with applications from children wanting to become young numismatists.
Teaching children about numismatics
If the ANA really wants to teach young numismatists something, let it teach the youth of today what they need to know. Grab the youths’ interest and enthusiasm with a MasterCard, then tie it in with handling money and numismatics.
Credit touches virtually everyone’s life today. Few are teaching the youth of today how to handle it. An ANA MasterCard can give children hands-on experience with consumer credit. Many valuable lessons can be learned while young.
The ANA Young Numismatist MasterCard will generate much goodwill and support for the ANA when those youngsters become adults. And those new adults, who are society’s next leaders, will teach their children what they learned, how they got started and all about the ANA’s educational programs.
If the ANA wants to draw children to numismatics, then give the kids what they want. Kids of today want MasterCards.
Find out more about collecting credit cards here.
Copyright 1990 by Greg Tunks