Another of the first recruits who recently began year-long paid internships in the Professional Numismatists Guild's "Promoting Numismatic Growth" project has been offered and accepted a full-time job only a few months into the program. Christopher Salladin, 22, of Fernandina, Florida has been hired as a coin grader by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, PNG's official grading service.
"When NGC offered me a full-time position grading I couldn't even comprehend it. It was even harder for me to think I'd be sitting in the same room with industry leaders everyday! I had to take a few days to realize what an excellent opportunity it was and has turned out to be," Salladin said.
The PNG internship project is designed to provide education, training and mentoring for the next generation of coin and banknote dealers. Each successful applicant has the opportunity for a series of four, three-month-long salaried internships.
There currently are five PNG member-dealer companies mentoring PNG interns: Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. in Chicago, Illinois; Dillon Gage in Dallas, Texas; Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas; Numismatic Guaranty Corporation in Sarasota, Florida; and Stack's Bowers Galleries in Irvine, California.
"The early success of this new mentoring program is exciting! We already now have two former PNG interns working as full-time, professional numismatists. Four other young adults currently are in the mentoring program or soon will be starting their internship rotations at leading numismatic companies across the country," explained Carol Raia, Administrator of the PNG Promoting Numismatic Growth program.
"Applications are encouraged and being accepted from all other prospective professional numismatists, ages 21 to 32, who want to participate in the program," Raia said.
Specific information about the internship program and how to apply is available online at www.PNGdealers.org under the "Promoting Numismatic Growth" navigation links near the top of the PNG's home page. For additional information, contact the PNG by phone at (951) 587-8300 or by email at internship@PNGdealers.org.
Salladin said he is grateful for the opportunity PNG provided for him to become a full-time numismatist, and he encourages others to apply for the program.
"One of the first reactions I had to the program was that the age range was so broad. I had no idea the PNG would choose someone as young as me when the oldest to be considered is 32. This experience has been the perfect opportunity for me, and if it weren't for my Dad telling me, 'Just go for it", I wouldn't have. My parents are the main reason I've come so far over the years," Salladin stated.
"My advice to young adults is to learn as much as you can about numismatics and don't be afraid to make mistakes along the way. If you are thinking about applying and are hesitant, don't be because the PNG internship program can make the impossible happen. What you learn in the online courses and the book work is very informative, and (PNG Internship Administrator) Carol Raia will help you if you have any questions or concerns throughout the entire program," he explained.
Salladin was hired full-time by NGC only a few weeks into his initial internship rotation.
"Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is proud to be partnering with the Professional Numismatists Guild in their Promoting Numismatic Growth initiative. Through this internship program, the PNG is introducing the brightest and most enthusiastic young men and women to the professional numismatic community. In turn, NGC and others involved in this program are introduced to highly qualified, astute numismatists," said NGC President Rick Montgomery.
"We are very fortunate to have hired our first candidate in the Promoting Numismatic Growth program, Christopher Salladin. After several weeks in our grading departments, it became clear that he was a young numismatist with a very keen eye. Christopher has a strong appreciation for modern Chinese coins and we discovered that he could also bring his grading acumen into the modern US grading room. We could not be more pleased that he has joined the NGC grading team and we look forward to a long and thriving relationship," emphasized Montgomery.
This past March, Zeke Wischer, 22, of Abilene, Kansas was hired as a cataloger at Heritage Auctions where he started his PNG internship program a month earlier.
Founded in 1955, the Professional Numismatists Guild is composed of many of the country's top rare coin and paper money dealers. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise. A complete listing of PNG member-dealers is available online at http://www.PNGdealers.org.