Mail Bag – Should I Join The ANA or the ANS?

Today’s Mail Bag question is one that I suspect many collectors starting out ask: Should I join the American Numismatic Association or should I join the American Numismatic Society. That’s exactly the question that Andrew submitted to the Mail Bag a few weeks ago.


I’m starting out and I’m trying to decide if I should join either the ANA or the ANS. Which you do you suggest?



Andrew, the answer is yes! Join both!

The American Numismatic Association and the American Numismatic Society both have outstanding reasons to join and provide a wealth of information and services to members. Both provide excellent educational opportunities via webinars and online classes and both have tools to help you research coins that are of interest to you.

There are differences of course. The ANA tends to focus a bit more on United States coinage (that is not 100%) and more on modern (17th century and later) coinage across the globe. Meanwhile, the ANS has an incredible amount of information available on ancient coins (pre-A.D.). Both have significant databases of resources for you to research nearly everything they have virtually including high resolution images of coins. Both also have lending libraries for books for members to aid in your research while the ANS in particular has a significant number of databases online that you can use to research.

As with any club or membership Andrew, ultimately the amount of time you put into it will impact the value of the membership for you. I personally am a member of both the ANA and the ANS for different reasons. The ANA is my oldest membership and one that is my primary resource for researching US coinage for the site or my own personal collection. Meanwhile, the ANS allows me to learn more about ancient coinage, something I knew little of prior to joining. The ANS offers nearly weekly webinars that allow you to meet other members but also learn about a specific coin, type or part of history. The ANA offers detailed classes that are free to members on a wide range of subjects including coin grading, coin photography, and other subjects.

If you have the resources to join both the Association and the Society, I highly recommend doing so. Not only will it benefit you and your education around coinage around the world, you’ll also be supporting these two and long standing Numismatic groups.

To join the American Numismatic Association, you can follow this link.

To join the American Numismatic Society, you can follow this link.

Thanks for taking the time to write in Andrew!

If you have a question for the Mail Bag, just use the contact form on the About Page here at to send it in for consideration.

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