Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
4:52 pm EDT
Monday, July 26, 2021

Person of Interest: Abigail Zechman

Young Numismatist hopes to inspire other kids with her knowledge of coin collecting.

Vital stats:

  • 19 years old.
  • Will graduate with an AA from LSSC this semester.
  • Will attend UCF for elementary education.
  • Collection consists of thousands of coins.
  • Plans to work in the American Numismatics Association’s (ANA) education department. 

What first sparked your interest about coin collecting? When I was 10, in 2012, I went with my Girl Scout troop to the January FUN Show, which is a really big coin show we have here in Florida. We were getting our Fun With Money patches, and when I saw all the coins and the history and everything, I was hooked. When I was younger my entire bookshelf was historical fiction, and history has always been one of my favorite subjects, so when I saw that there was a hobby that combined that and art, which was my other passion, I was like, “This is perfect, this is me in a hobby.”

What was your first coin? The first coin that I got was an ancient coin from Venice because I loved ancient history and I loved Venice, so I thought that that was really cool. But my collection itself got started when I had to do the work for my Girl Scout patch for it. I had to collect coins and I needed a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter from each year, from my birth up until that year, so from 2001-2012. 

How do you go about finding coins you’re looking for? You can get coins at coin shows, which is my main way of getting coins. I like being able to see the coin and hold the coin and examine it myself before I buy it, but a lot of people nowadays buy coins online as well. There’s a huge coin market on eBay and it’s starting to go onto Instagram as well. There’s a huge Instagram coin community that has been having virtual coin shows lately since we can’t have in-person coin shows right now.

What coins are you searching for currently? The main coin I’m looking for is a 1796 draped bust large cent. They’re the pennies that we had back in the 1700s and it’s actually an error coin, so instead of saying the word “liberty,” the “b” looks like an “h.” It’s one of those coins that no other coins, even the ones of this variety, will look the same as it. 

Do you have a favorite coin? I do this thing called Hobo Nickel carving. I essentially take the coin and carve on it and change the design. It’s an art form that goes back to the Great Depression. When I started doing that, I was about 13, and I had a mentor who took me under his wing. He was one of the greatest ambassadors not just for Hobo Nickels but for numismatics in general. He was super involved in the community and very much about getting kids involved in coin collecting, so I learned a lot about that from him, and I get a lot of my passion from him as well. He unfortunately passed away from cancer a few years ago, and actually has a coin that some other Hobo Nickel artists carved that commemorates him, so it has him on the coin. That is by far my favorite piece in my collection; It has a lot of meaning in it and it’s very special to me. 

What do you plan to do with the ANA in your future? The ANA has just given me so many connections and allowed me to really move forward in my collection, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that for other up and coming numismatists, because the ANA is really big on getting kids involved. I want to work in their education department as a numismatic educator and just teach kids about coins. Hopefully I can one day run their education programs and travel to shows as a representative of ANA and help get kids as excited as I am. I’ve won national awards through ANA and I’ve done articles and exhibited with them, and they have the summer seminar every year that I always go to. It’s helped increase my passion for coins, which I didn’t think was possible.

About the Author

Originally from Buffalo, NY, Victoria graduated from Canisius College in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in English and Writing. In August of 2019, she relocated to Eustis, Florida, and soon began at Akers Media Group assisting with social media projects. Later that year, she was promoted to a full-time writing position at the company and has since found her niche telling the stories of so many of Lake and Sumter County’s awesome people, thriving businesses, interesting organizations, awesome events, and important issues she’s had the pleasure learning about along the way. “I feel lucky to have found a job that I love at such a young age, and that I’m able to work with other talented writers who are constantly helping my own writing evolve,” Victoria says. Besides writing, Victoria’s passions lie in travel; she has visited over 18 countries and spent a semester in Galway, Ireland as a college student. In her free time, she also enjoys reading, experimenting with new recipes, and spending time with friends.

1 comment

  • Tshareman@aol.com'

    Abby is a wonderful young lady! She has a huge heart and gives back to her world in so many ways. I’m proud of her and love her to death!!!

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