Coin collecting, also known as Numismatics, has been practiced since the middle ages. Some of the earliest known coin collectors have been Roman Emperors including Julius and Augustus, and grew to be known as “the hobby of kings”. Pontiff Boniface VI and Italian poet Petrarch were also known to have impressive coin collections.
The American Numismatic Association was founded in 1891 and currently has 28,000 members. The group’s goal is to further the study of coins and increase the popularity of coin collections. In 1962, the first international coin collecting convention was held in Detroit and more than 40,000 people attended.
One of the most impressive Numismatics success stories is John J. Pittman’s story. This North Carolina man, despite his modest income spent what he could on rare gold and silver coins, that had a rich history. He was known to be a truly avid collector who did it not for the potential money he could make off his collection, but because he loved the lore behind the coins and truly loved the art of coin collecting. His love is evident when you look at how much he spent on coins--Pittman spent over $100,000 on his collection in his lifetime. But all that hard work, money, and dedication paid off, literally. The collection ended up selling for $30 million.