The History of National Coin Week
The history of National Coin Week began in 1923, when American Numismatic Association Governor Julius Guttag suggested to the association's President, Moritz Wormser, that a week-long event should be established “to attract the general public to our hobby and consequently increase our membership, and aid in our science.” That December, the first announcement of a “Coin Week” was made in The Numismatist and scheduled for the week of February 9-16, 1924.
The first National Coin Week was a success, and discussion ensued in 1924 about establishing an annual event. The following year, the name was changed to “Old Coin Week,” and the event was planned for February 15-21. In 1925 Wormser said, “Let us all work together for the accomplishments of the principles for which the American Numismatic Association was founded: To disperse numismatic knowledge . . . to demonstrate that numismatics is an educational and entertaining pursuit . . . and to imbue other collectors with your own enthusiasm and love for the subject.”
Coin Week enjoyed successful observances in 1926 and 1927 under President H.H. Yawger. But, from 1928 to 1938, the association did not actively promote the event, and it existed in name only. In 1939 member Lee Hewitt of Chicago proposed that the American Numismatic Association reinstate Coin Week as “National Coin Week.” President J. Henri Ripstra confirmed a new March date and announced that prizes would be given to clubs and individuals who accomplished the most during the week. In 1942 the observance was moved to the third full week of April, where it has remained ever since.
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