Leaders in numismatics are essential for helping others to grow within the hobby. Whether that leadership is provided through teaching, mentoring, research, writing, or leading conventions and shows, these activities help foster learning for all collectors. The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) biggest influencers were recognized during two virtual awards programs on September 1 and 2.
Mentors who ensure the growth of the hobby by encouraging and guiding the next generation of numismatists are honored with the Lawrence J. Gentile Sr. Memorial Award for Outstanding Adult Advisor. This year the award went to Brian Fanton of Hiawatha, Iowa, during the Sept. 1 award ceremony. Fanton is actively involved in several local and regional numismatic organizations, including the Hiawatha Coin Club (which he founded in 2004), the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Coin Club, the Iowa Numismatic Association, and the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS).
This experienced hobbyist is happy to share his knowledge, accumulated over nearly six decades of collecting, with eager youngsters. Fanton conducts Boy and Girl Scout Coin Collecting Merit Badge workshops in his home state and also donates supplies to Scout classes nationwide. Additionally, the U.S. Navy veteran travels to elementary schools to give talks to thousands of children. He also welcomes youth to his shop, BE’s Coins & More, where he shares the allure of numismatics and offers a “smile discount” at the register.
Fanton has been a life member of the ANA since 1989, and in that time he has won an assortment of accolades, including a Presidential Award (1998), the Adna G. Wilde Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence (2012), and the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service (2017). He has served on the Education