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Closing of the ‘Women in Numismatics’ organization


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This isn't about women in general not participating in numismatics. This is about a specific organization, Women in Numismatics.

Women in Numismatics logo

From the press release:

"After more than 30 years of service to the numismatic community, WIN has accomplished its mission and achieved the goals it set for itself. With some sadness but also pride in what the dedicated members and officers of WIN have achieved over the years, the WIN Board of Directors has decided to dissolve Women in Numismatics as of December 31, 2022.

Women in Numismatics was formed in 1991 as a national non-profit organization that provided a networking and educational forum for female numismatists. Members included new and established collectors, dealers and those associated with numismatic-related organizations. WIN encouraged fellowship among its members and promoted education through guest speakers and informative presentations. WIN also provided educational opportunities to its members by awarding an annual scholarship to the ANA’s Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs.

WIN will hold a final special awards meeting during the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money show on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. in Room 11 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois."

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I would guess that males heavily outnumber females, not sure why. In astronomy, my other hobby, it is similar. If you look at the membership of local astronomy clubs in the U.S. you will find aging, mostly white men. Even young folks are reticent to get involved in the hobby, partly due to the "instant gratification" of social networks. In the LA Times, there was an article about the lack of interest in the subject amongst younger folks, which was blamed on screen time and mobile phone proliferation. Some of the same factors may be impacting ancient coin collecting.

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There is a thread over on cointalk related to Instagram and many members are active participants on the coin community on it. Majority are the younger generations. It's very possible, whoever wrote that article, never bothered to check social media like IG, facebook groups and or even reddit. It was just a broad generalization that no younger person is into any outside activity but playing mobile games or making stupid dances on tiktok.

I read several numismatic magazines, especially the "Numismatist" and there's been several articles written by females alone, couple in their early 20s. Some may not collect, but they work in the auction houses dealing with coins themselves too.

It's a shame to see this organization go, but don't discount the fact that women may be smaller in numbers or not at all. Being that many of these hobbies are male dominate, maybe they like to keep a low profile so they don't catch the wrath of men who think they are superior or have sexual jokes made at their expense. I see and hear about it pretty often.

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I agree, some of the older coin collectors may not know how to search resources more frequented by younger people. More younger numismatists, some of who may not know or care how to search for forums, may lurk there awaiting discovery.

But I agree that coin collecting seems to remain a very male dominated hobby. When my wife has accompanied me to coin shows, she said that she felt like she had walked into a "geriatric men's locker room." The local coin club I attended a few times only had 1 woman out of dozens of members and I rarely see women perusing and buying coins at shows I've attended.

I don't think the hobby has done a lot to reach out to women. Once again, my wife also said that she was a little put off by the "100 Greatest Women on Coins" book being written by a man and containing a large number of allegorical women. I know others probably feel differently, but I can see her point. I don't know if the new series featuring women on quarters will help this situation or not, but it's nice to see more historical, real women on coins.

I'm sad to see "Women in Numismatics" go, though I honestly hadn't heard about the organization until this thread.

I hope the hobby does more to reach out to women and create a better balance.

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As a young male I guess I can totally contribute to this thread. I'm not sure about other countries, but whenever I go to coin shows in my city, after old men, the next set of people I see are dads with young daughters and sons. One of the factors that might hook kids into coin collection is producing these sort of coins for official circulation, however 'silly' they look.

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And not to get political, but having women on the currency itself will certainly help more women feel comfortable to think they belong in this hobby.

australian-dollars.jpg.ecd0fbcc8051904207eef17543e0b866.jpg

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Why must we keep on treating women differently? (Coinwise)

I am an equal opportunist, and on this forum I have 'met' some truly impressive women (Tif, Pish, Erin, Donna etc.) and probably many others, (who I am not aware are women because of usernames). 

Each time I hear questions about 'numbers of women', and, of organizations like 'WIN" it sounds very patronizing to me.

By it's nature, it almost suggests that women are not 'up to it', (which I do not agree with), and some assistance is required.

Your thoughts are valuable to me, irrespective of your sex, when talking about coins. (Just my opinion. I hope that I have not offended anyone.)

Edited by Topcat7
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Myself, I don't know, if more men collect ancient coins, than women. Perhaps, more women collect ancient coins, than men. It seems to me, that it is impossible, to know, with 100% certainty.

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I guess this is as good a place to say it as any, but I've been a bit disappointed with some of the childish thread titles that have been permitted on this new site, based around female body parts. I can't imagine it helps to make women feel comfortable, and it's not something I want my daughter to see on a web page I'm looking at. In fact, I tried putting the member in question on "ignore" but unfortunately that feature barely works and the threads were not hidden.

 

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6 hours ago, Topcat7 said:

Why must we keep on treating women differently? (Coinwise)

I am an equal opportunist, and on this forum I have 'met' some truly impressive women (Tif, Pish, Erin, etc.) and probably many others, (who I am not aware are women because of usernames). 

Each time I hear questions about 'numbers of women', and, of organizations like 'WIN" it sounds very patronizing to me.

By it's nature, it almost suggests that women are not 'up to it', (which I do not agree with), and some assistance is required.

Your thoughts are valuable to me, irrespective of your sex, when talking about coins. (Just my opinion. I hope that I have not offended anyone.)

I think it's more about recognising that this has traditionally been a hobby dominated by men and the environment that those circumstances creates means the hobby may not feel as inclusive to others. That's doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad thing per se - it is only natural that a group of people with a shared characteristic may develop a culture that is biased towards that characteristic in some way (e.g. in how we communicate with each other, the environment we create at coin shows and meetings, our broader behaviour around how we interact, etc).

So it's not about treating women, or anyone else, differently. If we want more people to enjoy the hobby, which I think we can all agree that we do, then we may need to either reflect on whether we're doing our best to support that, or, if it's not something that we think we can or should do ourselves, supporting others in the hobby who want to (e.g. Women in Numismatics).

I've heard stories from women who have been to coin shows and felt they were patronised by other collectors or dealers just because they were a women. Whether or not that is true (it's not for us to argue here), ideally we want to create an environment in which no one feels that way. It's not only limited to women either, I'm sure many younger experienced collectors may also find they're not taken seriously because an older person assumes they're just a novice.

So would you say the same about an organisation focused on encouraging younger people to participate in numismatics?

2 hours ago, sand said:

Myself, I don't know, if more men collect ancient coins, than women. Perhaps, more women collect ancient coins, than men. It seems to me, that it is impossible, to know, with 100% certainty.

I don't think we need to do a scientific study to know the answer to this. You certainly could though and I'm sure all of us here would bet that there are more male collectors than female by any definition.

Edited by Kaleun96
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What I find interesting is that within professional numismatics, there are a number of women who have made an impact. I'm not in academics, so I can't say the proportion at universities, but it certainly seems much higher than the percentage of female collectors. So, I would say it's false that there are fewer women interested in coins. It's just that there are far fewer who collect them.

From my perception with very little basis of fact, it certainly seems like women are less prevalent in most forms of collecting. Comic books, toys, coins, stamps, Biersteine, antique firecracker packs - collectors are overwhelmingly male. I'm not sure if the high percentage of men in these groups make it an unwelcome place for women, or if men just have a more natural proclivity to accumulate stuff.

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1 hour ago, kirispupis said:

 

 Comic books

Thanks to all these endless comic book movies & TV programs, there is a very high percentage of female comic book collectors. 35+ years ago? No.  Cosplay is the beating heart of comic books and the majority are female.

Edited by Kali
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On 6/20/2022 at 6:47 AM, Prieure de Sion said:

Are there any statistics on the gender distribution in the numismatic scene? How high is the percentage of women? Do they know?

In my experience, coin shows are almost entirely male. The only women you really see are spouses dragged along or helping run a booth. Online seems to have more female collectors than in person. If this proof of intimidation (unintentional yet real) at coin events or just evidence of the younger collecting crowd being more balanced, I don't know. 

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Posted · Administrator
21 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

What I find interesting is that within professional numismatics, there are a number of women who have made an impact. I'm not in academics, so I can't say the proportion at universities, but it certainly seems much higher than the percentage of female collectors. So, I would say it's false that there are fewer women interested in coins. It's just that there are far fewer who collect them.

From my perception with very little basis of fact, it certainly seems like women are less prevalent in most forms of collecting. Comic books, toys, coins, stamps, Biersteine, antique firecracker packs - collectors are overwhelmingly male. I'm not sure if the high percentage of men in these groups make it an unwelcome place for women, or if men just have a more natural proclivity to accumulate stuff.

Was intrigued by your first paragraph so did a quick google search which brought up this article. It has a lot of good thoughts and was a really good read. 

https://numismatics.org/pocketchange/numismanels/

I did find this interesting, quote, "...all major numismatic organizations—the American Numismatic Association, the American Numismatic Society, and the National Numismatic Collections at the Smithsonian—were all run by women until last year, when I stepped down as Executive Director."

Hopefully this will help bring more women into the collector world over time! 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, kirispupis said:

it certainly seems like women are less prevalent in most forms of collecting. Comic books, toys, coins, stamps, Biersteine, antique firecracker packs - collectors are overwhelmingly male. I'm not sure if the high percentage of men in these groups make it an unwelcome place for women, or if men just have a more natural proclivity to accumulate stuff.

You're only saying that because the kinds of collections you're thinking of happen to be predominantly pursued by men.  I'm surprised you didn't list baseball cards! But there is an equally large number of types of collecting (some of them stereotypically "feminine") that have traditionally been (and still are) predominantly pursued by women: antique porcelain figures, china dishes, silverware, furniture, dolls; in fact, "antiques" in general. There are just as many female collectors of fine art as there are male collectors.  The idea that men have a more natural proclivity to accumulate stuff is preposterous!

By the way, a lot of academic numismatists in the ancient coin area are women. Look at Liv Mariah Yarrow and Clare Rowan.  Which shouldn't be surprising, given that there are almost certainly at least as many women as men in academia and in the museum world in the art history field. 

Edited by DonnaML
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  • Restitutor changed the title to Closing of the ‘Women in Numismatics’ organization
Posted · Administrator

Hi everyone. I have gone ahead and made a tweak to the title of this thread. I debated the pros and cons as I don’t want to seem heavy handed, and everyone has been following the rules, but to be open and honest I felt the original title may not have given off the best impression to a casual browser who may not have known about the organization, and may not click into the post. Didn’t want to unintentionally send the wrong message that women in numismatics were on the decline. 

Please do not view this title change as me moderating the discussion or saying anyone did anything wrong. Nothing of the sort! Just want to be cognizant of how titles can be perceived. 

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I've bought some of my personal favourite ancients from women dealers - Dr Martina Dieterle sold me this one:

sirakusa2.jpg.f68c174c4c044923d0a2c3a82f5a87a6.jpg

This coin is a hemi litron from ca. 405-395 BCE. Curiously this is a cast piece, and the casting spur was never removed from the coin, making for a very dramatically formed coin which probably did not circulate for long, but may have been saved as a curiousity or perhaps never circulated at all. This piece has a portrait of Arethusa on the obverse and a dolphin and clam shell on the reverse.

 

I also collect paper money, and purchase from Kate Gibson and Pam West in the UK.

 

I've tried to interest my daughters in collecting, two of them could care less, and then there is my youngest who loves money in all it's forms and has a decent collection including some early Asian stuff that blows me away!  Even when she was a baby she was hauling around bags of coins.

 

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Having a little bit of insight in actual databases I can assure that at least 95% of collectors of classical coins (not the very new stuff) are male.

But - women collectors are usually "hard core collectors" and and leave a little bit of money with the dealers (English understatement)

Regards
Klaus

 

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10 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

I guess this is as good a place to say it as any, but I've been a bit disappointed with some of the childish thread titles that have been permitted on this new site, based around female body parts. I can't imagine it helps to make women feel comfortable, and it's not something I want my daughter to see on a web page I'm looking at...

 

Have to say I agree. I enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere; not only for myself, but also for the sake of young people interested in the hobby.

 

15 hours ago, Topcat7 said:

Why must we keep on treating women differently? (Coinwise)

I am an equal opportunist, and on this forum I have 'met' some truly impressive women (Tif, Pish, Erin, Donna etc.) and probably many others, (who I am not aware are women because of usernames). 

Each time I hear questions about 'numbers of women', and, of organizations like 'WIN" it sounds very patronizing to me.

By it's nature, it almost suggests that women are not 'up to it', (which I do not agree with), and some assistance is required.

Your thoughts are valuable to me, irrespective of your sex, when talking about coins. (Just my opinion. I hope that I have not offended anyone.)

I also agree here, and it's why I don't particularly care one way or another that WIN is dissolving.

Women are free to pursue the hobby if they desire. If they opt not to, I assume it's because they aren't interested. Why should I (or anyone) try to push and cajole them into a hobby they aren't interested in pursuing?

I don't see the need or the benefit of segregating coin collectors by sex. Less segregation and more integration would be better for everyone.

 

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4 hours ago, DonnaML said:

You're only saying that because the kinds of collections you're thinking of happen to be predominantly pursued by men.  I'm surprised you didn't list baseball cards! But there is an equally large number of types of collecting (some of them stereotypically "feminine") that have traditionally been (and still are) predominantly pursued by women: antique porcelain figures, china dishes, silverware, furniture, dolls; in fact, "antiques" in general. There are just as many female collectors of fine art as there are male collectors.  The idea that men have a more natural proclivity to accumulate stuff is preposterous!

This is a fair point, but while things like Biersteine, antique firecrackers, and toys may resonate especially well with men, areas like stamps and coins should be of equal interest to both. Perhaps you hit in on the point with your statement that there are "just as many female collectors of fine art". For a small sample size, my aunt collects fine art, but she doesn't collect anything else. Putting things in a more general sense: collecting fine art is a more "professional" pursuit, while collecting "other things" is more akin to organized hoarding.

But in terms of collecting "other things", yes - you are correct that many women collect things like china dishes, dolls, etc, but one thing I can remark is pretty much every guy I know collects something. They collect all different things, but only a small percentage of women I know similarly collect something. There must be some scientific research here. Who knows. Perhaps men have some "gathering instinct" but now instead of firewood we just gather nick knacks.

4 hours ago, DonnaML said:

By the way, a lot of academic numismatists in the ancient coin area are women. Look at Liv Mariah Yarrow and Clare Rowan.  Which shouldn't be surprising, given that there are almost certainly at least as many women as men in academia and in the museum world in the art history field. 

Yes. I made the same point earlier. Women are very well represented in academic numismatics. That's why it's intriguing that the percentage of female coin collectors is still low. The interest in numismatics and history is obviously there. The deficit of coin collectors therefore seems to go back to the nature vs nurture debate.

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2 hours ago, kirispupis said:

This is a fair point, but while things like Biersteine, antique firecrackers, and toys may resonate especially well with men, areas like stamps and coins should be of equal interest to both. Perhaps you hit in on the point with your statement that there are "just as many female collectors of fine art". For a small sample size, my aunt collects fine art, but she doesn't collect anything else. Putting things in a more general sense: collecting fine art is a more "professional" pursuit, while collecting "other things" is more akin to organized hoarding.

But in terms of collecting "other things", yes - you are correct that many women collect things like china dishes, dolls, etc, but one thing I can remark is pretty much every guy I know collects something. They collect all different things, but only a small percentage of women I know similarly collect something. There must be some scientific research here. Who knows. Perhaps men have some "gathering instinct" but now instead of firewood we just gather nick knacks.

Yes. I made the same point earlier. Women are very well represented in academic numismatics. That's why it's intriguing that the percentage of female coin collectors is still low. The interest in numismatics and history is obviously there. The deficit of coin collectors therefore seems to go back to the nature vs nurture debate.

I think we should try to stay away from this kind of speculation here. Too likely to lead to arguments! I will point out, though, that if we're going to go in the direction of pop evolutionary biology to explain these alleged tendencies, your theory would run up against the problem that according to people who think that way, it's the women who were doing most of the "gathering," while you guys were out hunting the mammoth! (In fact, from what I understand current research to indicate, both were involved in both.)

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7 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I think we should try to stay away from this kind of speculation here. Too likely to lead to arguments! I will point out, though, that if we're going to go in the direction of pop evolutionary biology to explain these alleged tendencies, your theory would run up against the problem that according to people who think that way, it's the women who were doing most of the "gathering," while you guys were out hunting the mammoth! (In fact, from what I understand current research to indicate, both were involved in both.)

Very true, even a recent PBS program talked about that. But, it seems to be pretty common knowledge male cavemen hunted, females gathered. Some females did go on the hunts as well.

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11 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I think we should try to stay away from this kind of speculation here. Too likely to lead to arguments! I will point out, though, that if we're going to go in the direction of pop evolutionary biology to explain these alleged tendencies, your theory would run up against the problem that according to people who think that way, it's the women who were doing most of the "gathering," while you guys were out hunting the mammoth! (In fact, from what I understand current research to indicate, both were involved in both.)

The "gathering" comment was mere speculation and a (evidently poor) attempt at humor. Also, I'm not sure myself whether this is nature or nurture. I'm just stating that it seems that men have a higher probability of collecting things, and was wondering aloud why that's so. I would love to see some research on the topic.

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