In mid-June, Heritage Auctions announced a quarterly essay contest to encourage and support young numismatists and budding authors. The first winners were announced in late July, and all winning essays can be read at HA.com/YNessay. Contest rules can also be found there.
"It was our intention to select our first winning essay in October, but we received so many fine entries that we were able to award the first set of prizes now. In fact, our first essay was received within 24 hours of our announcement!
"Our winner, 12-year old Taylor Webb of California, entered his "Mentors of Numismatists", describing the many kind people who have helped him develop his keen interest in rare coins. Taylor won $750 in ANA credits (for ANA YN Dollars to be used in any ANA YN auctions; toward ANA bookstore purchases; for ANA YN Correspondence Courses (scheduled to start in late 2012); or ANA Summer Seminar tuition costs), plus dues for his local coin club and ANA YN membership.
"Taylor's essay will also be printed and distributed to every numismatic shipment sent by Heritage for the next quarter, so tens of thousands of collectors will have the opportunity to read it! Taylor reminds us that there are very few current collectors who didn't receive help, guidance, and sometimes coins when first starting out.
"We also selected three Honorable Mention winners," added fellow contest judge Stewart Huckaby, "who will each receive $50 plus ANA YN membership. We were so impressed with these efforts, plus they will still be eligible for winning the next quarterly contest."
- Kyle Woolard of Ontario, age 15, wrote about the joy of discovering an "Ancient Silver Coin Found in Junk Coin Box."
- Chelsea Blair of California, age 10, described the "The Wonder Of Coins" and the discovery of a proof 1973-S quarter in a roll.
- Adriana Tsang of Massachusetts, age 8, explained that "I Love Butterflies!" and how growing butterflies in her backyard led to discovering butterflies on world coins.
Contest judge John Dale Beety was especially impressed with the age of the entrants and the work they produced: "Steve Ivy started as a Young Numismatist. Jim Halperin? A Young Numismatist. Greg Rohan? Another YN. And I started as a Young Numismatist. All of us know the importance of encouraging young collectors. As I read through the essays submitted for the contest, every one was a reminder of where I began with the hobby. And encouraging new generations of collectors is just as much a responsibility as taking proper care of the coins and notes."
Concluded Korver: "A large part of the joy of reading these essays comes from the realization that with a little effort by all of us, a new generation interested in numismatics is waiting to be cultivated and grow. There are teens — and pre-teens — out there waiting for an adult to step up with guidance and support. I am especially appreciative of Heritage's sponsorship of this effort, and the ANA's complete cooperation in distributing the prizes. Even the Boy Scouts of America are publicizing the contest on their website. We ask every experienced collector to help this effort by making young collectors — or potential collectors — aware of this contest."
Essays should be emailed to Korver@HA.com, or mailed to:
Bob Korver (YN Essay Contest), Heritage Auctions, 3500 Maple Ave., Dallas TX 75219
We will print the winning essay in Heritage Coin News next week!