Finding a Career in Numismatics

Did you know that professionals in the coin hobby come from
very different backgrounds? Often those of us who work in numismatics are asked:
“Did you have to go to school to learn about coins?” Or, “How did you get your
start in the business?” There are many and varied answers, but as a rule, the
numismatic hobby and profession do not require a specific background.

For example, did you know that Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Senior Consignment Director for Europe, Henrik Holt
, learned about European coins and banknotes from his grandmother
and by traveling extensively throughout the region? When he was 12 years old
his grandmother started sharing her collection with him, and his interest
expanded greatly as he traveled beyond Denmark while working as an engineer…that’s
right, an engineer. Christensen’s professional background is in manufacturing
engineering, where he has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a
Master’s in Business Finance/Manufacturing Investments. He worked to address
challenges within the automotive manufacturing, oil and gas, hydraulic systems,
mining, medical device, and electronics industries. Henrik has global
experience, working in Denmark, Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, England, and
South Africa, and he is fluent in five languages, including Danish, Swedish,
Norwegian, German and English. But, he later chose to pursue his numismatic
passion by joining Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Similarly, U.S. coin specialist, Ben Orooji, graduated
from the University of Maine with a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology, and
the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and
Behavioral Forensics. After graduating from the University of Maine he worked
in a maximum-security prison within the Florida Department of Corrections. The
ethical care and rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals remains a cause
about which he is passionate. Ben also has extensive knowledge of Capped Bust
and Reeded Edge half dollars, as well as most other federal coinage, and has
chosen to center his career around these interests.

Chris Ortega
has worked in the auction industry since 2003, with his initial experience as a
bi-lingual auctioneer and personal property appraiser, working with various
government agencies, state and local municipalities, and national consumer
banks conducting on-site appraisal valuations and liquidation auctions. In 2010
he launched a luxury boutique specializing in high-end designer goods, and to
expand that business he successfully completed the Diamond Grading Course at
the Gemological Institute of America. While the business was a success, Chris
decided to combine his areas of expertise to return to a career in the auction
industry with Stack’s Bowers Galleries, where he has become quite well versed
in many areas of numismatics as well.

What we learn from these three experts (and many others
within our company) is that there is no specific degree or educational
background required to become a numismatist. One thing that they all have in
common, however, is a desire to learn and grow. There are no cookie-cutter coin
dealers; each brings a special set of skills to the table. We encourage young numismatists
who desire to work in the hobby to pursue this dream no matter your degree or
background. Allow your passion to cultivate your career, just like so many of
the experts at Stack’s Bowers Galleries have done!​​

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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

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