Young Numismatists and the Coin Collecting Merit Badge

By Tyler Rossi for CoinWeek …..
Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have hanker “ endeavor to educate and enrich the youth of America ”, a desire reflected in their motto, “ Be Prepared ”. When questioned about for what a scout should be prepared, the british scout founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell replied : “ Why, for any honest-to-god thing. ” Lord Baden-Powell ’ s answer reflects the broad-reaching nature of Scouting ’ randomness mission. As a consequence, the administration slowly became loop with the idea of boyhood in the popular soul of our state during the early twentieth hundred .
When researching the Boy Scouts, one can well stumble upon an “ accidental history of american childhood ” ( White ). As part of its holistic set about to youth development and in an try to direct the memorize of youth, the scouting leadership created deservingness badges in 1911. For more than a century these badges have served as an “ invitation to explore ” for over 110 million boys. In fact, since 1911, the BSA has awarded over 121 million deserve badges to scouts ( Terry ).

Numismatics, however, seemed to be a focus of early on scouting even before the development of the Coin Collecting Merit Badge .
This is attested to in the 1911 Scouting Handbook, promoting The Boys ’ Magazine by mentioning that the publication has sections dedicated to a kind of topics including “ electricity, mechanics, photography, carpentry, stamps and coins ” ( Boy Scouts, 422 ). Though not included in the original deservingness badge series, the Coin Collecting Badge, introduced in 1938, followed subsequently. The badge ’ south dim-witted design, depicting a gold stater of Alexander the Great surrounded by the standard green background, became easily recognizable on a scout consistent. This easily identifiable ancient coin proved to be an challenging option since many of the requirements centered around collecting, identify, and learning about contemporaneous coins both from the US and abroad .
As Scouting developed, therefore did the Coin Collecting Merit Badge .
The corresponding booklet and requirements have been sporadically updated to remain relevant to both the scouts and the numismatic community. Included in the 1964 impression, the requirements centered chiefly around type-set collection and early 20th-century US neologism. As the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and other numismatic organizations expanded, the badge requirements followed suit. presently, more requirements focus on coin grading and US paper money, as these have become more authoritative to the numismatic community .
Like most Scouting awards, merit badges have undergone over a twelve fabricate changes, and the coin collecting badge is no exception .
The badge has seen two major and four minor design adaptations, the 1969 redesign being the most crucial. Reflecting the United States Mint’s then-recent 1964 shift key away from the 90 % silver coinage, the Scouting organization redesigned the badge replacing the Alexander the Great stater with a Washington quarter. Despite the respective cosmetic changes, interest in the Coin Collecting Merit Badge has historically been high with over 520,000 badges earned from 1938 to 2019. While alone 81 scouts earned the badge during the beginning class, 17,197 badges were awarded in 1976 ( Reiners ) .
Boy Scouts 1961 Coin Collecting Merit Badge While most of the 1964 booklet focuses on basic mint terminology, US types, and the mint process, it contains an significant section on pre-modern world coins describing the exploitation of coinage across the earth – including Ptolemaic, Thracian and Athenian tetradrachms deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as early cast Chinese money and Roman Aes Grave .
This emphasis on the early on history of coinage lento changed until, finally, the 2008 printing placed adequate importance on ancient and medieval neologism. Since a relatively belittled segment of numismatists is interest in pre-modern pieces it is apprehensible that limited energy is devoted to them in the deserve badge book. These coins possess an implicit in interest, however, and intrinsic historical value that could help attract extra scouts to the hobby .
The Coin Collecting Merit Badge and other young initiatives notwithstanding, numismatics has broadly been viewed as a hobby for older collectors. This longstanding predicament, partially ascribable to the monetary value of many coins, the lack of local coin clubs, and a general decrease in the total of coin shows, continues to plague the numismatic residential district .
consequently, the community is constantly trying to overcome this sensed miss of youthful collecting sake .
1976 Boy Scouts of America Coin Collecting Merit Badge Booklet For exercise, in 1966 the ANA lowered its membership age terminus ad quem from 17 to 11 years of long time. Later, in 1976, they took another step towards the inclusion of young numismatists by allowing them to vote in inner elections. While at the 1990 ANA Summer Seminar, a group of young numismatists started the Young Numismatists of America (YNA) ; an organization that helped attract youth to the hobby. unfortunately, the YNA lento ceased to operate by the early 2000s due to disinterest .
nowadays the ANA offers a special discounted membership option to young numismatists that includes special auctions, a subscription to The Numismatist, interactional games, and exclusive resources and activities. By following this link– –you can reach ANA ’ s youth program. Combined with the change efforts by individual collectors and shows, there seems to be a flimsy uptick in modern collectors.

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As the numismatic community continues adapting to today ’ s technological and increasingly cashless world, the Coin Collecting Merit Badge remains a fantastic creature to ensure that our youth retain an concern in collecting. While the accessible nature of Scouting and the base level cognition instilled with this deservingness badge are both full of life to developing the adjacent generation of numismatists, we can draw comfort that as the tempo of exchange seems to be ever-increasing, some things in truth never change .
even though they are considered ephemeron, any collectors concerned in acquiring examples of the Coin Collecting Merit Badge plot and bible can find them readily available online at eBay or early commercial sites. In good condition, the early deservingness badge books from the 1930s monetary value around $ 15-20, with newer books ranging from $ 5-10. Because of the difficulty locating the first 1938 print, a timbre case would cost significantly more than later editions. estimable condition early patches are valued at $ 15-25, while more modern badges cost around $ 5-10 .
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Banks, Dave. “ After 100 Years, Are The Boy Scouts calm Relevant ? ”, Wired. Conde Nast, 22 Aug. 2018 : # : ~ : text=Today % 2C % 20February % 208th % 2C % 20marks % 20the, been % 20members % 20of % 20the % 20BSA .
Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouts Handbook. vol. 1. Boy Scouts of America, 1911. project Gutenberg : .
–. Boy Scout Handbook. 11th ed., ser. 6. Boy Scouts of America, 2005 .
White, April. “ How the History of Merit Badges Is besides a cultural History of the United States ”, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Oct. 2018 : ? page=1 .
Guild, William, et al., editors. Coin Collecting Merit Badge Handbook. Boy Scouts of America, 1964 .
Reiners, Brian. “ Coin Collecting Merit Badge History. ” Scoutmaster Bucky, Mar. 2020, .
Terry, Jr. Robert. “ Development and Evolution of Agriculturally Related Merit Badges Offered by the Boy Scouts of America ”, Journal of Agricultural Education, vol. 54, no. 2, 2013, pp. 70–84 .
Wendell, Bryan. “ Be Prepared : The Origin Story behind the Scout Motto ”, Bryan on Scouting. Boy Scouts of America, 4 May 2017 : # : ~ : text=In % 201907 % 2C % 20Baden % 2DPowell % 2C, Scouts % 20of % 20America % 20was % 20founded.

Worden, Leon. “ The Young Numismatists : Planting the Coin-Collecting Seeds ”, COINage Magazine. Aug. 2006 .
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About the Author

Tyler Rossi is presently a alumnus scholar at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management and studies Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution. Before graduating from American University in Washington D.C., he worked for Save the Children creating and running international development projects. recently, Tyler returned to the US from living afield in the Republic of North Macedonia, where he served as a Peace Corps tennessean for three years. Tyler is an avid numismatist and for over a decade has cultivated a deep concern in pre-modern and ancient coinage from around the populace. He is a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA).

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