23 May 2021
We chatted to Richard Weaver, the President of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), and found out more about his role at the trade organisation.
Richard Weaver is President of Delaware Valley Rare Coin Company in Broomall, Pennsylvania.
He grew up in the coin business and began his full-time career in numismatics in 1983. Weaver is well known for his expertise in United States coinage and bullion items from around the world, and is a leader in combating counterfeits in the marketplace. For the past two years he served as PNG Vice President.
How did you originally become involved in the coin trade and coin collecting?
My father was a local dealer and the co-founder of the Valley Forge Coin Club. I would attend the shows with him and help at his stores. Like most other children I started out by collecting Lincoln pennies in the blue Whitman folders.
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What do you think has changed about coin collecting over the years?
To me the biggest change in collecting is the average age of the collector has risen dramatically. Unfortunately, the younger generations are not familiar with physical money and really don’t understand true rarities. A state quarter looks different but there are millions so no real “collectors” value versus 50 years ago when you could go through change and find low mintage rarer coins.
How does it feel to be President of the PNG?
Being elected President of the PNG is in my opinion a great honour. It says that dealers from around the world have complete confidence in your ability to help keep the hobby going in a forward direction.
How does the PNG help collectors and traders?
The collector should know that when you are dealing with a PNG dealer you have some legal rights that nonmember dealers don’t afford you. You can visit the PNG website to see the Code of Ethics and explanation of binding arbitration when dealing with a PNG member.
How do you think Covid has affected the coin trade and how would you describe the current health of the trade?
The effect of COVID to the coin trade is two-tiered in my opinion. Last year dealers were wondering how they could possibly sell the coins that were currently in inventory.
However, towards the end of 2020 we saw a true lack of product availability. So, prices and demand have risen tremendously and look to remain strong in the near future.
What tips would you give to a collector wanting to buy coins for the first time?
Someone starting out in the hobby of Numismatics should crawl before jumping. Look around meet different dealers look at different coins think about what they want to collect or can afford to collect.
I often tell new hobbyist to start with a type set.
Look at all the different coins you might find a design that you find more appealing and then you start collecting that series. There is no right or wrong way to go about collecting but if you are going to be a bit more advanced get to know the dealer you’re working with.
As I tell clients who are buying “If you don’t know you coins you better know your dealer”.
Which is why I highly recommend trying to deal with a member of the PNG.
How did you become involved in detecting and helping to stop counterfeit coins?
The PNG took control of overseeing the “ACEF” (which is now the ACTF). This was an organization for policing and make dealers and collectors aware of counterfeit goods that are flooding the marketplace.
I took interest early on when a client presented to me some supposed Morgan dollars for authentication. Upon examining the items, they were all counterfeit copies not stamped “copy” as required by law and represented and purchased as genuine.
We then put the wheels of justice into motion and preceded through the proper channels to arrest, convict, and remove close to $50 million dollars of counterfeit goods from the marketplace.
What can collectors do to avoid being duped by fake coins?
KNOW YOUR DEALER!
Find a local PNG member to deal with. If not ask a PNG member if he can recommend someone local to you.
What does the future hold for the PNG, the trade, and coins in general?
There will always be collectors! You might see the area of collecting redefined but there will be interest at some level. The PNG is strong and will continue to help put fourth top notch dealers for the collectors to deal with.
With thanks to Richard Weaver and Donn Pearlman.