RSchwa57's Blog

29 Jun 2022

Where Have All The Coin Clubs Gone

Club Exchange | RSchwa57

I did not write the article I am passing on to others in the Numismatic field.I do not know which periodical the article was published in originally.I was given this Word copy for a speech last winter at a banquet. However, all CLUBS should keep the message of the article in mind to survive.If not allowed on here, since I cannot state the publisher, I will remove. Thanks!

“Where have the coin clubs gone?”


“The Napa Valley Coin Club Existed, January 1961 – May 1999

“There are no cemeteries for dead coin clubs. There is no Memorial Day – Decoration Day – for dead coin clubs. There are no funeral services nor wakes, nor sympathy cards for dead coin clubs. There, sadly, are no mourners for dead coin clubs.

“A dead coin club is just that: dead, cruel dead. There is nothing left, save what may be preserved on yellowing pages of minutes or newsletters or in fading photographs of individuals no one knows, or cares, or what might be held in the memories of a few.

“What Happened To The Napa Valley Coin Club? Why Would This Local Coin Club – which once claimed an attendance of 150 per meeting, a pre-eminent local coin show, and members driving from around the Bay Area to be at its meetings – Just End? Where Did All Those Successes Go? What Happened?

“The answers are legion. There were so many factors spread over a decade, and there were, cruelly, so many missed opportunities.

“For myself, I was an honored Life member of the Napa Valley Coin Club, and the club was the second local coin club that I joined, back in December 1975. Yet, I must publicly accept some of the fault for the club’s demise. I admit that openly and candidly. But, my own guilt would not be enough for this club to end. Then, What Was The Problem? What Went Wrong? Why Was Not Something Done?

“In the months, since the final meeting on Friday, May 21, 1999, and in packing and protecting 38 years of history for preservation by the American Numismatic Association (ANA), I have come to hazard an answer, not the whole answer, nor maybe just an answer.

“This local coin club died when its members – some who once were so devoted – retreated and no longer gave: there were no replacements for those who had served; there was no willingness to try; there was no effort; there was no interest. It had become what one gets. In the end, the members – those with sterling records and those without ever giving – simply walked-out and went home.

“Yes, the Napa Valley Coin Club was only a coin club. Yes, in all the tragic pains, there are far worst and terrible loses. Yes, nothing can be achieved in this agony and fall so far from ecstasy. It Is Ended. Finished. Closed. Done. Dead.

“What happened was so typical of so much of life. We simply seem to forget that ‘a living is what you get out of life, yet a life is what you gave.’ There is a difference between the verbs, ‘get’ and ‘gave’. One was the attitude of most Napa Valley Coin Club members; however, the other could have saved and sustained the Napa Valley Coin Club. They wanted to ‘get’, and they did not want to ‘give.’

“Which Is Your Verb?”

It has been 10 years since the final meeting of the Napa Valley Coin Club. A few times in the years since, someone has mentioned this coin club or discovered a wood issue or silver round from its Silver Jubilee in 1986. There are ephemera and memories left. But, the club is dead, long dead.

In the end, a possible answer, are the verbs “get” and “give.” One verb takes and one verb sustains. That might answer your question and that might be our challenge, too.
Remember: Have fun with your hobby. Always serve others. Enjoy your collecting! And, create hope!



Level 1

I would love to have a group in Spokane wa sadly i cant find a mentor either hard to get started alone. start a group would be okay if i knew what i was doing!


Level 5

My grandpa got me into collecting. My parents could care less about society going cashless. I care and I support my local coin club (school and required duties do come first).

AC coin$

Level 6

Nice article and information. Thanks.


Level 6

I wish there was a coin club near me, but I'm in the middle of the Mojave Desert... Not much coin action out here. That's why I especially like the ANA site! ; )


Level 4

I am sure there are not a lot of people in the middle of the dessert. Email me if you want my next couple club communications to members. "Club News" We do not meet in person the months of July and August. I will send out a couple communications monthly during the down period.


Level 6

I would be a very happy man if a coin club started in my area. An in person one. Thanks.


Level 4

Still in the process of getting to my local coin club. It’s not a well advertised thing outside of the numismatic community. And in smaller communities, it’s a lot like a lot of other civic organizations where participation has dropped off over the years. Just trying to get my kids into something their dad enjoys is proving to be a challenge.


Level 4

My son wants nothing to do with my collection. When you get to your local club, participate as well as attend.


Level 7

Clubs are important. Not only learning but sharing information. Were I live I don't have a club. But in 30 years I have learned more than I ever thought I'm still learning.


Level 4

You never stop learning.

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