Women in Numismatics

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    An interesting column on women in numismatics, entitled "NUMISMANELS: WHY ARE THERE STILL ALMOST ALL-MALE EVENTS HAPPENING IN NUMISMATICS?," by Ute Wartenberg, former Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society: http://numismatics.org/pocketchange/numismanels/
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Very interesting read. Thanks. It does seem like males are over-represented in numismatics, just like they are in engineering or similar professions. There should be a way to attract more women into the field, either as collectors or professional numismatists. Fortunately as the author points out there have been numerous trailblazing women in the field in powerful positions. But there needs to be more.

    Edit: When I first started out with mail auctions (age 14) Frank L. Kovacs was a big name in San Francisco, but there also was Renatta Galasso with an auction house called Coin Hunter (based on the east coast) and I bought a number of coins in her auctions.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Donna ML, for summoning the nerve to raise this issue, and for the link. A concise, but effective reality check.
    ...If there was one single guiding light in the early years of my collecting online, it had to be Sue Hagadorn. She used to list on ebay, and before long (as of the 2000s) had her own website. (In both cases, overwhemingly medieval.) Her listings invariably demonstrated the highest level of numismatic erudition. ...And her generosity, on every level, was phenomenal. You could start with her willingness to buy (and sometimes re-buy) coins, during the occasional, but effectively endemic rent emergencies to which I was then subject, at a better 'wholesale' than I ever got from anyone else. ...Proceeding to her time; she was a joy to correspond with.
    ...And she finally gave up on the business, presumably out of gradual, but aggregate, as such inexorable disgust with the kind of reception she received as a seller.
    Just from here, I promise you, it was a smoking crater of a loss.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  5. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I think there are economic, generational and sociological reasons why coin collecting is an activity pursed primarily by white, older men.

    Economic: Coin collecting, even on a budget, requires disposable income. Depending on the focus of the collecting, the disposable income requirements can be considerable, basically limiting that realm of collecting to the very well to do. Historically, women have had lower incomes compared to men in comparable positions. This gender discrimination could limit the amount of money available for a woman to spend on something like coins. Keep in mind that many women work in the service sector their entire lives, resulting in low wages against ever-increasing costs of living.

    Generational: While there are younger people collecting coins, and who are well represented in this forum, the fact is that coin collecting has been for decades an activity limited to an increasingly aging collector base, primarily white and male. Again, there is an economic factor at play here; older people are more likely to have the income, even into retirement, to buy coins. Younger people, both male and female, are raising families, too busy with life's daily demands, and for many collecting coins is of no interest.

    Sociological: While women have made strides over the decades in achieving equality, barriers still exist. I think, to a degree, this exists with coin collecting. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's (yes, ancient times) collecting anything, including baseball cards, stamps and, yes, coins was the domain of boys. It seems that this male domination has continued over the decades. Perhaps our educational system is one contributing cause, but also, and probably of greater import, our societal norms and expectations have been a prime contributor not only to female under representation in the hobby, also the under representation of people of color.

    All three of these factors are intertwined and, I think, help explain why there are so few women engaged in numismatics.
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  6. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    This is a discussion we've had a few times in the past.

    While there are women collectors, it often seems like there are just plain more men interested in collecting coins than women. Women often seem to be more interested in collecting other types of things. I'm sure if you were to look at the various types of things collected, you'll notice some sectors dominated by men, and some dominated by women.

    Would I like to see more women collectors? Sure. Just like I'd want more younger collectors as well. I don't think there are any major barriers to women collecting - we're welcoming to all here. But if you look at the CoinTalk population, you'll see a similar profile - mostly men, and a few women.
  7. ewomack

    ewomack 魚の下着 Supporter

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  8. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, at my level .. (hobby collector, enjoy CoinTalk, etc) I don't see any barriers or any way that a woman is disadvantaged or kept out of a "mens club". I cannot speak for educational institutions, professional numismatics, etc. There are women that post here that have a lot more knowledge and experience than myself (Donna, TIF, etc) and I know many here respect their opinions and I don't recall seeing any derogatory comments (unless I missed them?). Also with many of the usernames on CoinTalk I frankly have no idea of the sex of many posters - and it doesn't matter.
    People collect what they like... if I am wrong in this or missing something please let me know.
  9. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I would love to see more women collecting coins. I am always happy to see posts from @TIF and @DonnaML and many others here in CoinTalk.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  10. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Thanks bud. I appreciate the shoutout...but I'm a dude ;)

    The other two however, are top-notch female numismatists.
  11. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    There are a couple women coin dealers at the Las Vegas coin shows. The Penny Lady... Charmy. See really knows her cents coins. A real pro. This other lady I can't think of her name that works for Alhambra coins. She is amazing.
    +VGO.DVCKS and DonnaML like this.
  12. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    I am presently trying to foster an interest in collecting and researching Ancient coins in one of my great-grand-daughters.
  13. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    opps I thought you said your wife was into coins. my bad. sorry, opps I must have been thinking' about someone else. Into my 4th Strongbow hard apple cider. lol
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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  14. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . . Supporter

    I think it's because men tend to be obsessive hoarders / collectors vs. women, especially with "hard" objects such as coins, guns, etc. The competitive nature of males drives to ever bigger and better hoards.

    Historically, they have also had more control over disposable income, so there's that as well.

    Just a sociologist view, which I ain't one . . . .

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  15. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    My wife graciously allows me to collect coins :)

    Enjoy that strongbow. That was my drink of choice when I lived in London.
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  16. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    What happened to Woodpecker cider? That used to be my choice.
  17. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    A solid analysis, especially with the element of semantic nuance that you freely acknowlege.
    ...But, as with the rest of life, there are more moving parts --all, as you say, intertwined-- than admit of easy categorization.
    Can we shift to the elephant in the room, involving centuries and millennia of socio-cultural (and economic) history? With gender, as with that famous one-word oxymoron, 'race' (find it in zoological taxonomy: I Dare you), the worst impulses are perpetuated by means which are less than fully articulate in the first place. If a meme is irreducibly irrational to begin with, the most efficient way to promote it is (...wait for it; picture a train crash happening in slow motion --along the lines of the leadup to certain recent wars) correspondingly irrational. Y'know, innuendo, feeding on groupthink. (...We've all been to high school. --Or the equivalent; y'all know the drill. ...For instance, in the absence of a course in Civics, which needs to be required, instead of nonexistent.)
    ...The crazy part is, in America, over most of the past half-millennium, this has Worked! ...From my admittedly limited frame of reference, I guess the advice would be, Watch, Vote and Pray --not necessarily in that order. (You are cordially referred to the example left us by Rep. John Lewis.) Sure, as metaphorically or not as you prefer, regarding some of it. ...Besides watching and voting.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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  18. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    My other go to is Angry Orchard hard cider...yummy.
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  19. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I lived in England from 2002-2004. Our choices were pretty much Strongbow or "K" which had a really high ABV and was super cheap. I'm sure there were others as well, but 18-20 year old FF didn't shop around too much haha.
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  20. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I did and am buying coins from women collectors and/or dealers and have done so occasionally since forever. Irene Preston is one of the co-authors on a book I value highly and Eurydike Georganteli is a praised scholar on (among others) Byzantine numismatics. In adjacent fields, also touching numismatics, I also follow Marie Guerin, Alexandra Wassiliou-Seibt and Pagona Papadopoulou. Am also an avid fan of Averil Cameron.
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  21. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    There used to be a member here, Charmy, The Penny Lady, who posted a lot of coin show reviews. I stopped by her table one time at the Baltimore Whitman show and was astounded by all the great coins and information she had.
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