“Facebook’s Close-Knit Coin Communities” by Jack Topping.
[13 February 2018]
3,852 members and counting. This ever increasing membership number is just one example of many Facebook groups dedicated to numismatics. “All American Coin Collectors” as it’s known, is a unique yet relatable group of numismatic beginners, experts, photographers, journalists, and everyone else between. Besides a mutual bond over money, the group is comprised of total strangers, all part of Facebook’s 2.2 billion person platform, as of 2017.
This massive group of people, all welcomed into groups like All American Coin Collectors, allows for “the hobby of kings” to now become “the hobby of the people” through education, recurring passion and group-reinforced interest. Becoming a springboard of inspiration, communities like these gives an outlet of discovery for the daughter who discovered her grandfather’s hidden attic coin stash, or the seasoned collector looking to discuss various topics.
Despite the name being “All American”, the group is a melting pot of different cultures and currencies spanning across the globe. The best part is, this deeply elaborate community is just one among hundreds of others. Some deal with U.S. wheat cents, while others focus on error coins. All in all, there isn’t a group that won’t explore your niche- numismatics related or not. If for some surprising reason there isn’t, you and your Facebook account has the power to start it instantaneously.
Being a member in all of the aforementioned groups, as well as a moderator for one of them, gives me a front row view on the organizational structure of such communities. Upon joining these public groups this past November, I was feeling the “stranger danger” when engaging with individuals all around the world. After time passed, I grew to be in favor of commenting on questions, liking various posts, and overall actually being a part of the group I considered myself to be a member of.
After being appointed a moderator in one of the groups, I got used to the idea of taking a bigger role in trying to be a problem solver, or someone knowledgeable enough to assist others. Regardless of managing groups, it has been a humbling experience learning not only more about the hobby, but in understanding how to contribute something meaningful back to others around me. In other words, if I deeply value my time, why wouldn’t I expect the same for my fellow members who are reading what I post or comment? I imagine other members who spend their time in these groups are there to learn, be inspired, or be a part of the larger conversation, not to waste time.
It is amazing to see how much of an impact these online coin groups have, especially on Facebook, the “News Feed” platform many times filled with mind numbing frivolities. Besides those only interested in buying or selling coins through these groups for the sake of profit, I continue to believe the groups are one of many ways our hobby will continue to remain relevant in today’s digitally dominant society.
For transparency purposes, there were no endorsements or sponsorships of any kind by the groups listed above for the comments made in this article.