Young numismatists can earn free ancient coins in ANA program

November 22, 2000 By ekr

Young numismatists can earn free ancient coins in ANA program
Junior and student members of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) can earn quality ancient coins from ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Indian empires by completing a short list of numismatic activities.

“The ANA’s Ancient Coin Project is re-named for its founder David R. Cervin, who originated the program more than 25 years ago to encourage the collection and study of coins from ancient civilizations,” says ANA Education Director Gail Baker. “He did a magnificent job in advancing not only interest in ancient coinage but a genuine love of all aspects of numismatics. Because of Mr. Cervin’s advancing age and with the generous help of ancient coin expert Harlan Berk, the ANA will now directly administer this program.”

Berk, president of Harlan J. Berk Ltd. in Chicago, is donating the coins for this program, and  says he sees it as “a chance to save an important numismatic educational tool that introduces young collectors to ancient coins and encourages their interest in general numismatics as well.”

“This program is not just about ancient coins, it promotes all numismatics,” Berk adds. “I am happy to help a really good program and return something to the ANA and numismatics for future generations. Although I am busy, like most everyone else, I am willing to mentor and consult with those who request my help.”

An ANA life member and contributing editor to the ANA’s monthly journal, The Numismatist, Berk has served as a consultant for more than 20 years for the Association’s Authentication Services. He also is vice president of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and fellow of ANA’s sister organization, the American Numismatic Society.

The first coins are given to participants in the ANA Ancient Coin Project as they complete three of the first six categories. The activities include making a numismatic presentation to a school, coin club or scout organization; producing an exhibit for coin show, school, bank or library; writing a numismatic article for publication in a local state, regional or national publication; holding office in an ANA member organization; volunteering at a coin show; and/or earning a scouting badge, club award or special recognition for numismatics.

For their efforts, participants will receive:
  • • An antoninianus (double denarius) from the Gallo-Roman Empire in the 3rd century during the reign of M. Piavvonius Victorinus (AD 268-270) who ruled the breakaway empire of Gaul and briefly Spain and Great Britain
  • • A silver denarius issued during the rule of Septimius Severus (AD 193-211), who held important posts under Emperor Marcus Aurelius before assuming supreme control of the Roman empire
  • • A square silver coin issued between BC 321 and 181 in ancient India by the Mauryan Empire, which was created after the death of Greek expansionist Alexander the Great

In the “Scholarship” category, project participants must complete either an ANA Correspondence Course or a Summer Seminar class. For their successful efforts, the students will receive an antoninianus issued during the reign of Marcus Aurelius Probus (AD 276-282), who rose to distinction in the armies of Roman Emperors Valerian, Claudius and Aurelian

In the advance categories of the ANA Ancient Coin Project, students receive their final four coins after recruiting five new ANA members, or completing another ANA Correspondence or Summer Seminar course; repeating either of the previous activities; publishing an article in an ANA member regional or national publication; and exhibiting at a local, regional or national coin show the first seven coins they have received in the project.

The final four coins project participants will receive include:
  • • A Greek bronze coin, featuring a figure of the epic poet Homer, issued in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC in Ionia, on the west coast of modern-day Turkey
  • • A Greek bronze piece issued between BC 300 and 200 in Arpi, a city settled by the Greeks in southeast Italy
  • • A silver tetradrachm issued under King Gotarzes II (AD 40-51) in the Parthian Empire, which was created in modern-day Iran after becoming a great enemy of Rome
  • • A silver stater – famous for its depiction of two wrestlers – issued between BC 400 and 300 in the Pamphylian city of Aspendus, now southwest Turkey

To register or for more information about the ANA’s David R. Cervin Ancient Coin Project, contact the ANA Education Department, 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3279; telephone 719/632-2646; fax 719/634-4085; e-mail; or visit the ANA web site at Harlan Berk can be contacted at 31 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60602; telephone 312/609-0016; fax 312/609-1309; or e-mail 

Originally Release Date: November 22, 2000
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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