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ANAS honors numismatic legend at World’s Fair of Money

November 17, 2016 – The Armenian Numismatic and Antiquities Society, in partnership with the Armenian Numismatic Research Organization, recently hosted an event on the sidelines of the World’s Fair of Money that honored Y.T. Nercessian and launched a new book on ancient Armenian coins. The venue was a major international coin show organized by the American Numismatic Association.

“The California branch of the ANAS / ANRO put on a wonderful program and dinner. We must thank Aram Manasaryan, Sarkis Kilimjian, Armen Nercissiantz and Andranik Grishikian for their planning and hard work to put this meeting together,” said Chuck Hajinian. 

Dr. Levon Saryan holding the lifetime achievement award for Y.T. Nercessian; also pictured is ANRO founder Aram Manasaryan, ANAS founder Chuck Hajinian, author Frank L. Kovacs and attendees Dan Pelc, Bob Leonard and Armen Moloian. Photo: © ANAS.

Dr. Levon Saryan holding the lifetime achievement award for Y.T. Nercessian; also pictured is ANRO founder Aram Manasaryan, ANAS founder Chuck Hajinian, author Frank L. Kovacs and attendees Dan Pelc, Bob Leonard and Armen Moloian. Photo: © ANAS.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The ANAS awarded Y. T. Nercessian their first “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the event, which was attended by collectors and other enthusiasts. Mr. Nercessian was unable to attend but the award was presented to him privately along with congratulatory messages from around the world.

About the awardee

Mr. Nercessian spent 50 years of his life learning, writing, and sharing his immense knowledge of Armenian coins, medals, paper money, and other items of antiquity through the publication of books and journals. His books are monumental in covering Armenian coins from the ancient period through medieval times and all the way to the modern era. He, along with Wartan Gewenian and George Marderosian, founded the Armenian Numismatic Society in 1971 and for 40 years edited, wrote and published a journal that educated collectors worldwide. 

“Y.T.’s greatness will be remembered for taking a ‘closet hobby’ and making it a profession by sharing his collection and knowledge with the world. He dusted off and exposed people’s collections. His youthful energy was a driving force for those around him. He wrote commemorative volumes and honored those who came before him. Now it is our turn to honor him,” stated Dr. Hajinian.

“I thank you Aram Manasaryan, Levon Saryan, and Chuck Hajinian for this recognition. I am greatly honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Service Award,” Mr. Nercessian wrote in a letter to the ANAS.

Book launch

For the second year in a row, the ANAS convinced noted author Frank L. Kovacs to be a guest speaker at its annual meeting. Mr. Kovacs presented his monumental new book, “Armenian Coinage in the Classical Period,” for the first time. The book was recently released by Classical Numismatic Group, one of the leading ancient coin dealers in the world.

“I waited years for this book. The study of Armenian coins from this period was always incomplete. Great efforts were made, but seemed to fall short,” noted Hajinian. “Unidentified coins sat in coin holders. There was a story to be told and Frank has boldly stepped forward. Every coin issued by Armenian kings from 400 BC to 250 AD is photographed and described in this book.”

Mr. Kovacs is an accomplished and internationally recognized numismatist. He has co-authored many books and articles. His immense numismatic reference library was recently acquired by Stanford University.

Those in attendance had the opportunity to spend time with him as he signed books and answered questions: “Let the coins speak for themselves. The coins will show us the order in which they are to be arranged,” he explained. In this work, the author has changed several long-standing attributions, documented previously unknown Armenian kings, and presented several unique coins from ancient kingdoms including Commagene, Sophene, Armenia Major, and Armenia Minor.

To access the Armenian Numismatic and Antiquities Society website, please click here.

The website of the Armenian Numismatic Research Organization can be found here.

A list of Y.T.Nercessian’s scholarly contributions is available here.

And more information on Frank L. Kovacs’ “Armenian Coinage in the Classical Period” is provided here.

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