Last week, the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) announced the appointment of Dr. Ursula Kampmann of Lörrach, Germany, to their Board of Governors. It is an announcement that has more significance to the numismatic community than captured in a press release.
Dr. Kampmann is an accomplished numismatist with a significant international following. I “met” her through CoinsWeekly (coinsweekly.com), an English language website that reports numismatic news from all over the world. She contacted me about a post I made, and it led me to become a regular reader.
CoinsWeekly looks at the entire world of numismatics, not from a single country. There have been articles that cover special issues, the appeal of coins minted outside of the United States, and even criticizes U.S.-based numismatic news for their myopic view of collecting.
The appeal of having Dr. Kampmann working with the NLG is to inject her experience outside of the United States into the hobby. The hobby needs new ideas and to break out of its old ways to grow; having a view outside of the United States border will have a significant impact.
Dr. Kampmann is not so much of an outsider as one might think. Readers of CoinsWeekly will recognize that the stories understand the U.S.-based hobby but have constructive criticism based on what is happening in the rest of the world.
She can help influence the authors and writers of numismatic content to understand the hobby more broadly than the myopic U.S. view. There is a big world outside of the U.S. borders producing coins that have great appeal to many. Those of us who write about numismatics must learn to think beyond collections of discs that all look the same.
Dr. Kampmann’s appointment appears to be the first move by new Executive Director Charles Morgan, editor of CoinWeek. Morgan, who is also known for wanting the hobby to break away from the mindset of the blue and brown albums, appears to be off to a good start. There is a lot we can learn from our European counterparts. I hope the U.S.-based writers will take this opportunity to grow.
Dr. Kampmann needs to understand that American Numismatics is just plain myopic. If anyone is looking for vision and new ideas, don’t waste time looking at American Numismatics. Let me give some examples.
There was an uproar when the U.S Mint produced colorized coins which other countries such Canada have done for years. Among Canada ‘s latest offerings is honoring the Mounties with a coin that is shaped and colored like a Mountie’s hat. Can you imagine the uproar there would be if the US Mint decided to honor Abraham Lincoln by minting a coin shaped like his hat? If some people don’t like colorized or odd shaped coins, they don’t have to buy them.
I have said my piece about the myopic minds that control the ANA. This year is an ANA election year and you have said that the slate of candidates is loaded with people who have as many new ideas as Czar Nicholas II of Russia.
Finally, in this country we bicker over who should be on the $20 note, Andrew Jackson or Harriet Tubman. It never occurs to anyone but me to put both on. The heavens will not come down if we do that.
Dr. Kampmann, I hope you are reading.
With no apologies
Dear Colleague and fellow readers,
thank you for this warm welcome! I hope I can answer the hopes that you are investing in me.
My first visit to an US coin show dates more than 25 years back, and I always was overwhelmed by the friendliness of a lot of fellow dealers and their open minds. I know there are others, too, who are afraid of any change. But I think that most of them simply fear what they do not know. I will make it my task to tell about the European coin market and the numismatic scene, about its successes as well as its failures.
Did you know that the first coin journals were published centuries ago? Did you know that there have been coin dealers for more than half a millenium in Germany?
There is a lot of tradition weighing down European numismatics. And I am as curious about your numismatic world, as you might be about mine. Let’s exchange our points of view and let’s make numismatics a place where everybody, no matter from where he or she comes, meets on an equal footing.
PS. And please call me Ursula, not Dr. Kampmann – otherwise I will always look behind me, whom you did address. An academic degree should not be necessary in a numismatic world, because you can judge the knowledge of a person by the things he or she says and writes.
Ursula: For me, it is respecting your accomplishment. Earning a Ph.D. is not easy!