American Numismatic Association

American Numismatic Association

American Numismatic Association Membership

Member Number One was reputed to be “big, fat, good natured, and larger than life.” Doctor George Francis Heath of Monroe, Michigan one day in 1888 printed and distributed a four page pamphlet entitled The Numismatist. Doctor Heath soon acquired a growing list of fellow coin enthusiasts and in 1891 The Numismatist posed the question, “What is the matter with having an American Numismatic Association?” Apparently everyone thought this would be ok. The question was quickly answered with gravitas — “There is nothing like the alliance of kindred pursuits to stimulate growth and interest.” And the idea of American Numismatic Association Membership was conceived. Thus, in Chicago, in October 1891, Doctor Heath, physician, collector, and three time mayor of Monroe, Michigan and 66 others founded the non-profit American Numismatic Association (ANA). It should be mentioned here that the American Numismatic Association is not to be confused with the American Numismatic Society, founded in 1n New York in 1858. Doctor Heath is and always will be, member number one. To date, there are 24,000 other numbered members in the Association. Memberships can be for one year, three years, five years or a lifetime.

There is no benefit without some cost but the benefits of American Numismatic Association Membership come at modest prices. Membership can be had for as little as $30 a year. The cost of a lifetime membership can range from $800 to $1200. The determining factors in pricing depend on age and whether or not The Numismatist is delivered or read digitally. There are four levels of membership benefits:

  • Silver–Available only to “spouses and domestic partners”.
  • Gold–All benefits plus a digital subscription to The Numismatist.
  • Platinum–Same as Gold but with The Numismatist in print.
  • Life–Everything for $800 – $1,200.

The Association is ruled by a board of governors and a number of various committees. The Numismatist, a splendidly illustrated magazine issued monthly, features original articles on numismatics, collecting tips, and coin values. Membership allows members the best educational opportunities in numismatics, whether beginners or seasoned, professional collectors.

American Numismatic Association Certification Service

The American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS)is, in fact, America’s oldest grading service. The Service was created in 1970 by the Board of Governors of the American Numismatic Association. The need for a reliable grading service was growing acute in the early seventies. The world of coin collecting and trading was inundated by a flood of counterfeit and altered coinage. The service began on a small scale, with two or so experts situated in Washington D.C., close enough to the Smithsonian Numismatic collection and oh, yes, the Treasury Department. ANACS certified its first coin in June 15, 1972. The need for the service expanded and more and more experts were added to the staff.

In 1976 the Service was moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, the home of the ANA. The ANACS assisted in creating the American bible for coin evaluating, “The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins”. Coins were graded on both sides, obverse and reverse. Business boomed and soon grading volume was approaching 3,000 or so a month. In those days the service would issue a certificate with a photograph displaying both obverse and reverse sides of the coin. In 1983 ANACS discontinued using the paper certificates and began using tamper proof plastic holders instead. Eventually the ANA Board of Governors sold ANACS to Amos Press in 1990. In 2007 ANACS was acquired by EKW, LLC and was moved to Englewood Colorado.

American Numismatic Association Money Museum

The crown jewel of the American Numismatic Association is the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs on the Colorado College campus. The museum is open to all Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:30am to 5pm. Admission is free to ANA members. For non-members General Admission is $8, including Seniors ($6), military and students ($6). Exhibits include the Money of Empire, coins from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II, The origins and 4500-year history of money and the evolution of money from minerals to paper. Under the operation of the American Numismatic Association, the museum examines art, history and culture from the aspect of money in all its forms, from cowrie shells, beaver pelts and precious metals to colored paper. One of its main attractions is the Deaccession Auction posted each month, accepting bids on coins, paper money, tokens, medals, mint sets and stock certificates. All of these items are duplicates of originals already represented in the museum. And then there is The Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library. ANA members can enjoy the largest numismatic lending library in the world. There are in excess of 128,000 volumes. Books, catalogues, magazines and DVDs can be had online through

American Numismatic Association Benefits

Might as well come right out and say it. There has never been a better time. The American Numismatic Association Benefits are available now and there has never been a better time than now. Alright then, what are the benefits? The basic memberships have been itemized above as SILVER, GOLD, PLATINUM, and LIFE. GOLD is the average choice and currently is offered at half the usual price. GOLD includes:

  • A one year Digital Subscription The Numismatist
  • Access to Numismatist archives
  • Money Museum Virtual Exhibits
  • Videos and Money Talks radio archives
  • Coin Collecting advice, blogs, online resources
  • Seminar, publication, and collection discounts
  • Direct Submission Privileges to The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, Numismatic Conservation Services, and Paper Money Guaranty.

The list goes on. Educational opportunities can be found in access to the best programs in numismatics. Grading and counterfeit detection are offered in summer seminars in Colorado Springs. One to three day seminars are available at yearly ANA conventions. If attending classes and seminars in Colorado Springs is too impractical, correspondence courses covering these and many other topics may be had at home. There’s free admission to the World’s Fair of Money and the National Money Show.

From just a few enthusiastic collectors and the irrepressible Doctor Heath, the ANA has developed into the world’s largest and most respected organization of its kind. Doctor Heath talked of “an alliance of kindred souls…”. But his message perhaps is more about the joys of pursuing what one loves in life and doing it in the company of others. There is no better time than now.

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Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He started IRA Investing to share his expertise in using his Self-Directed IRA for alternative investments. His views on retirement investing have been highlighted in USA Today, Business Insider, Tech Times, and more. He invested with Goldco.