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What is the American Numismatic Association? 

american numismatic association

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and collection of coins, paper money, tokens, and medals. Founded in 1891, the ANA promotes numismatics through education, research, and community. It offers educational resources such as books, online courses, seminars, and workshops. The organization also publishes a monthly magazine, The Numismatist, delivering in-depth articles, research, and news on coin collecting, currency, medals, and related topics. The ANA organizes annual conventions, coin shows, and exhibitions and provides certification programs and awards.

According to the ANA website: “The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a congressionally chartered nonprofit dedicated to the study, collection, and appreciation of coins, paper currency, and other forms of numismatic items.”

Today, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This location houses the ANA’s administrative offices, the Money Museum, and an extensive numismatic library.

History of the American Numismatic Association

Dr. Goerge F. Heath founded the American Numismatic Association in 1891. Heath, a physician in Chicago, Illinois, saw the need for an organization among coin collectors that promoted the exchange of knowledge within this specialized field. The ANA started as a small group of dedicated numismatists but grew as more enthusiasts recognized the value of a network.

In 1962, the organization moved its headquarters to Colorado Springs, Colorado. This relocation marked a significant development, providing the ANA with a more permanent operating base. Over the years, the ANA has advocated for the hobby, influenced coin legislation, and established ethical standards for trading and collecting.

The association played a crucial role in significant numismatic milestones, such as creating the Coin Collectors’ Blue Book and establishing the World’s Fair of Money. These contributions have enriched the community’s resources and helped elevate interest and engagement in numismatics.

Purpose and Activities

The American Numismatic Association’s mission is to “educate and encourage people to study and collect coins and related items.” The ANA serves as both a resource and a community for its members, providing various services to assist collectors at all levels, from novices to seasoned experts.


One of ANA’s cornerstone offerings is its educational programs. These include a series of courses on numismatics taught by industry experts, available online and in person at the annual ANA Summer Seminar. The organization also hosts the “Money Museum,” which features over 250,000 objects, including rare coins, paper money, and tokens.

The Money Museum

The Money Museum is dedicated to the history, artistry, and science of money. It houses extensive collections of coins, paper currency, tokens, and medals from around the world. The museum’s permanent and rotating exhibits showcase money’s cultural and historical significance. Through its displays, educational programs, and special events, the Money Museum aims to educate the public about numismatics and the role of money in society.


The ANA organizes several conventions yearly, including the World’s Fair of Money and the National Money Show. These events attract thousands of collectors and dealers from around the globe and offer opportunities for networking, trading, and learning. Industry leaders provide incredible insights into numismatics and precious metals through workshops, lectures, and exhibits.

Through these activities, the ANA supports the numismatic community and helps to ensure the preservation and appreciation of monetary history.

Membership and Community

Anyone with an interest in numismatics can join the American Numismatic Association. The ANA offers several membership levels with varying benefits, such as subscriptions to the Numismatist magazine, access to exclusive online educational resources, and eligibility to participate in ANA elections. Members also enjoy discounted rates for the ANA’s conventions and educational programs, encouraging active participation in the numismatic community.

The ANA supports a network of over 400 local and regional coin clubs throughout the United States. These clubs serve as local hubs where collectors can meet, exchange ideas, and share their passion for numismatics. The association also maintains a strong online presence with forums and digital resources that help members connect and learn remotely, ensuring that even those unable to attend in-person events can benefit from membership.

By bringing together like-minded individuals, the ANA strengthens bonds among collectors and promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of numismatics as a hobby and a field of study.

Investor Benefits

The American Numismatic Association offers a wealth of resources and benefits, making it a helpful asset for precious metals investors. Understanding the historical and numismatic value of coins as an investor in precious metals can significantly enhance your investment strategy. The ANA provides access to a vast network of experts, educational resources, and exclusive events that can deepen your market knowledge and help you make informed decisions. The ANA’s comprehensive resources can guide you through the complexities of coin investing, ensuring you maximize the potential of your portfolio.

Joining the ANA also connects you with like-minded individuals who share your passion for numismatics. This network can provide insights into market trends, rare coin discoveries, and investment opportunities unavailable to nonmembers. The ANA’s regular publications and events keep you updated on the latest developments in precious metals, offering you an edge in a competitive market.

Getting Involved

Getting involved with the American Numismatic Association is straightforward and offers numerous opportunities for personal growth and community engagement. For those interested in joining, the process begins by applying for membership on the ANA website, where prospective members can choose from several membership levels to suit their needs and interests.

Once you are a member, there are numerous ways to participate actively. Members are encouraged to attend the ANA’s flagship events, such as the World’s Fair of Money and the National Money Show. These gatherings provide excellent networking opportunities, where you can learn from seasoned collectors and gain exposure to a wide range of numismatic items.

Additionally, members can volunteer at ANA events, contribute articles to the Numismatist magazine, or even run for leadership positions within the association. Engagement in the ANA could enhance your numismatic experience and contribute to the growth and enrichment of the broader numismatic community.

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