According to a report on Reuters, the United States Postal Service is paying a consulting agency over half a million dollars to assess the future of stamps. If it is recommended that stamps have no future and they should be replaced with alternate methods of paying postage (i.e. credit card methods or electronic payment methods) that will be the end of postage stamps as we know them. Additionally, this will also kill the stamp collecting hobby. There has been a lot of discussion about how to "save" the coin collecting hobby since very few young people are getting involved with it. The membership of the American Numismatic Association is getting older and shrinking.
Who Are Coin Collectors?
If you go to any coin show it'll quickly become apparent to you that a majority of coin collectors are white males that are 60 and older. This is not a scientific study, but you do not need a PhD in statistics to realize that coin collectors mostly have a gray hair. Also, I am not saying that minorities and women are shunned from the hobby, it's just that for some reason a majority of them do not like to collect coins.
Lately there has also been a movement to involve younger people and coin collecting. This ranges from coin clubs hosting Coin Collecting Merit Badge workshop's for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Additionally, many clubs also invite kids to form their own club. Many of these clubs are known as "Young Numismatists". Unfortunately, once kids enter high school their time and disposable income are consumed by other activities. This leaves very little time and money for coin collecting.
Where Are the 20 to 50 Year-old Coin Collectors?
One may also ask, why aren't there more young adults and adults active in coin collecting? My own personal journey in coin collecting began when I was 10 years old and like many other kids I got consumed with other activities and demands on my disposable income when I entered high school. After high school I went on the college. After college I started working full-time job. Then I got married. Then I had kids. And suddenly my time and disposable income was consumed on other things.
Don't get me wrong, most coin collectors still dabble with it during these periods of scarce free time and low disposable income. Unfortunately, most of them will eventually fade away from the hobby. Sometimes, a unique coin find in their pocket change sparks the interest or some other event happens to rekindle the interest in coin collecting.
How Can We Keep the Coin Collecting Hobby Alive?
We cannot change the normal progression of life from childhood to adulthood to our senior years. However, we can make sure that an active coin collecting community can continues to thrive in our towns and cities. You can do this by joining a coin club and encouraging young people to become active in coin collecting.