Rules for Exhibiting at an
American Numismatic Association
Anniversary Convention

last update: Nov 30, 1998

Revised April 1998:

ANA Rules for Exhibiting and Judging

These rules set forth standard procedures for the entire spectrum of numismatic exhibit presentation and judging at ANA anniversary conventions.

Separate parts for exhibit rules and judging procedures are presented here, including a copy of the judges' rating sheet. All exhibitors, exhibit judges and staff, exhibit chairman and committee personnel, and members of the ANA exhibits committee will be furnished copies of these rules. All personnel concerned will adhere strictly to the provisions of these rules.

These rules are under the control and direction of the American Numismatic Association, which reserves the right to accept or reject any offered exhibit at any time. Offered exhibits will be accepted only upon receipt and approval of the official application form (enclosure 4) filled in completely and properly, and submitted to ANA headquarters for the specific convention by the date set forth in the exhibit application.

Exhibit Rules

  1. Exhibits will be divided into two groups. Each of the groups will be shown in separate exhibit areas, and no exhibit entered under one group may be displayed with an exhibit of the other group. The two exhibit groups are competitive exhibits (group A) and non-competitive exhibits (group B).
    1. Group A - Competitive Exhibits.
      1. Open division - open to any member of the American Numismatic Association, including young numismatists and ANA member clubs (see rule 5).
      2. Young numismatist division - limited to members of the American Numismatic Association under eighteen years of age. Young numismatist (YN) exhibitors may compete for open awards and for the separately endowed YN awards. See page 8 for descriptions of the YN awards, which differ somewhat from the classifications associated with the open awards. A single YN exhibit may win an award in each division, except that if a YN exhibit wins the Howland Wood best-of-show award, the next best YN exhibit will be awarded the Charles H. Wolfe, Sr. YN best-of-show award. YN exhibitors will prepare, mount, and place their own exhibits subject to the rules that apply to the open division. YN exhibits will be judged with the open exhibits and those rating sheets will be returned to the exhibitors. YN exhibits will also be separately judged as necessary within the consolidated YN classes by the assistant chief judges. No rating sheets will be returned for this separate judging. Judging standards used for YN exhibits are identical to those used for open exhibits, and YN exhibits will not be distinguished in any way by labeling or by placement in the hall.
    2. Group B - Non-competitive exhibits. Open to members of the American Numismatic Association and to those invited to exhibit by the ANA president or by the general chairman or the exhibit chairman of the convention.
  2. Application to exhibit.
    1. Each exhibitor must file a separate application for each exhibit, designating the group and classification in which it will be entered. Young numismatist exhibitors will designate both an open division classification within which each exhibit will be placed in the hall and the YN division classification within which it will compete for YN awards.
    2. A member of the exhibit committee, after review of the exhibit summary contained in the exhibit application, may transfer an exhibit from one class to another before the opening of the convention if it appears that the exhibit was not entered in the proper class. Similarly, when the exhibit is placed at the convention the exhibit chairman, after conference with the exhibitor if possible, may transfer an exhibit from one class to another. In the event that the exhibitor does not agree with the exhibit committee or the exhibit chairman on the proper placement of an exhibit, or if the exhibit chairman is unable to consult with the exhibitor, the chief judge will make the final decision.
    3. Each competitive exhibitor is limited to four exhibits, each of which must be entered in a different classification. In addition, if exhibit space is limited, exhibitors may be restricted to a certain total number of cases, which can be used to enter up to four exhibits within the bounds of Rule 8A(1). Any such restrictions will be shown at enclosure 1.
  3. American Numismatic Association officers, elected or appointed, the convention general chairman and exhibit chairman, the chief judge and assistant chief judges, and members of the immediate families of these officials may not place competitive exhibits. An individual who sponsors an award may not enter an exhibit in that class.
  4. Forged, spurious, or counterfeit material and copies or replicas may not be displayed unless each such item is described as such in the exhibit and unless such items are displayed for educational purposes. No such item will be displayed in violation of United States law or government regulations. Violation of this paragraph, even if unintentional, will result in total disqualification of the exhibit.
  5. No exhibit may contain any advertising of items therein for sale, nor any statement as to price or value. The name or identity of any competitive exhibitor will not appear in the exhibit, except as an author in a bibliographic reference which will be sufficiently general that the exhibitor cannot be linked to the exhibit by that reference. All exhibited material must be the personal property of the exhibitor (which may include property owned jointly with a spouse). Exhibits placed by ANA member clubs must be composed of material owned by the club or association itself, not by the members thereof. Competitive exhibitors will not be permitted to attend their exhibits while the exhibits are being judged.
  6. An exhibit that has won the Howland Wood Award (best-of-show) may not be entered again in competition. Similarly, an exhibitor who has won two first place awards with a certain exhibit may not again enter that exhibit or a substantially similar exhibit in competition in the same division and class. A new exhibit that is completely changed in nature from the previously winning exhibit may be entered, even though it is entered in the same division and class and includes numismatic material presented in the prior winning exhibit. The change(s) in the subsequent exhibit must be explained in accordance with the requirement stated in the exhibit application. An unchanged prior-best-of-show or two-times first place exhibit may be shown in Group B (non-competitive exhibits).
  7. Applications for exhibit space must reach the address shown on the exhibit application (and at enclosure 1) not later than the date set forth on the application and in enclosure 1.
  8. Exhibit cases will be provided to exhibitors for use at the convention. The rules on exhibit space below pertain to competitive exhibits; space allocated to non-competitive exhibits is a matter of negotiation between the exhibit chairman and the participating exhibitors. See also rule 8A(4) below.
    1. Cases and case limits
      1. The diagram at enclosure 6 specifies the inside dimensions of ANA cases. The ANA has completed its transition from the small cases formerly available (display area 30"x18") to the large cases, sometimes called "Allstate" cases, that were introduced several years ago. The exhibit area inside the internal lips in the new cases is 32 3/4" x 20 3/4". Small cases are no longer available to competitive (Group A) exhibitors. Non-competitive (Group B) exhibitors may be required to use small cases in some years. If so, exhibitors will be notified after their exhibit applications are accepted. In the following discussion "ANA cases" means the new larger cases.
      2. Exhibits are allowed a total display space related to the kind of material being shown, called here "large material" and "small material." Large material exhibits are those in the paper money, primitive money, and literature classes (classes 2, 6, 9, 21, and 22) and those composed of at least 25% large material in classes 12 through 17, 19, 20, and 23. For this rule, large material includes bonds and shares, checks, philatelic-numismatic covers (PNCs), souvenir cards, casino plaques, and other similar material. All other exhibits are defined to be small material. The sizes of non-numismatic collateral items included in an exhibit (pictures, decorations, holders, and so forth) have no bearing on the display space allowed.
      3. Exhibits of small material, as defined in (2) above, may use up to six ANA cases. Exhibits of large material, again as defined in (2) above, may use up to seven ANA cases.
      4. Exhibitors may provide their own cases, provided that no exhibit of small material may exceed 4800 square inches of table space and no exhibit of large material may exceed 5600 square inches of table space. If a total case limit is imposed (Rule 2C and enclosure 1), total table space for personal cases will be (the case limit) x (800 square inches).
      5. All cases must lie flat on the tables provided, viewed either horizontally (preferred) or vertically. Wall-mounted display by an exhibitor is limited by available wall space and is only permitted by prior specific arrangement with the exhibit chairman.
      6. No titles, placards, or numismatic materials of any kind may be placed outside the exhibit cases. Switches or buttons intended to operate lights or educational displays in the cases, or magnifying glasses provided to assist exhibit readers, may be mounted on the table or on the cases, provided that nothing extends more than one inch above the top (glass) surface of a case.
    2. Summary of maximum case allowances:
      Type of material,
      rule 8A(2)
      ANA cases Exhibitor's
      own cases
      Small 6 4800 sq in
      Large 7 5600 sq in
    3. Additional information pertaining to exhibit equipment.
      1. No electrical outlets of any kind will be provided.
      2. Exhibits of material not capable of being presented in the usual cases will be permitted only upon prior and specific arrangement with the exhibit chairman, and subject to the concurrence of the exhibit committee chairman, which will not be unduly withheld.
    4. Panels.
      Panels as used for philatelic exhibits are no longer available from the ANA. If an exhibitor wishes to use panels, the panels must be furnished by the exhibitor. Consult the chief judge for advice on the maximum number of panels that may be used for a specific exhibit class or type of material. Placement of panels in the hall must be approved by the convention exhibit chairman.
  9. Exhibit rooms will be open for the placement and removal of exhibits according to the time schedule set forth in enclosure 2. A photo I.D. badge will be required for admission to the exhibit area at all times when the general public is not admitted. The schedule of hours for public admission and for obtaining photo I.D. badges is available in The Numismatist and the general numismatic press.
  10. A small exhibit identification label showing the number of the exhibit, the number of cases, and the group and class in which the exhibit is entered, will be affixed to each case of the exhibit, preferably at the upper left comer. For competitive exhibits, the label will not indicate whether the exhibit is eligible for awards in the YN division.
  11. The exhibit chairman will keep a full and complete record of all exhibits, showing the name of the exhibitor, the class, the identification number of the exhibit, the number of cases used, and the convention residence of the exhibitor. Names of the exhibitors will not be disclosed until the judges have made their reports to the chief judge, all reports have been prepared, and the best-of-show exhibits have been selected. Exhibitors who wish to remain anonymous must so inform the exhibit chairman. Names of YN division winners, except the YN best-of-show winner, may be released to the ANA committee chair for young numismatists on request as soon as they are available to the exhibit chairman.
  12. Each ANA exhibit case will be locked and sealed by the exhibit chairman or his assistant in the presence of the exhibitor or his/her agent. The keys will be kept by the exhibit chairman until the exhibit is removed by the exhibitor/agent. Keys to cases provided by exhibitors/agents must be turned over to the exhibit chairman or assistant. These cases must also be sealed. An exhibitor's inventory (enclosure 5) must be completed by the exhibitor, listing numismatic items contained in the exhibit. This form must be signed in the presence of the exhibit chairman or assistant at the time the cases are locked and sealed.
  13. Security room services will be provided during the times shown on published schedules. Exhibitors are advised that the presence of security personnel or security systems does not constitute a guarantee against loss, a policy of insurance, or a promise to indemnify in the event of loss by fire, theft, or other casualty.
  14. Each competitive exhibit must be placed in the exhibit hall prior to the published deadline for placement (enclosure 2). An exhibit may be placed and/or removed by a person ("agent") other than the exhibitor, provided the exhibitor executes the required application to do so (page 4 of the exhibit application, enclosure 4) and the ANA accepts the application for appointment of the agent. An exhibit may be placed and removed by different persons, neither of whom is the exhibitor. Any exhibitor's agent who handles the exhibit in the absence of the exhibitor must be an ANA member, must have a photo I.D. badge, and must satisfy the exhibit chairman as to his or her identity. The original of the agent's application, naming every person who will handle the exhibit while the exhibitor is not present, must accompany the exhibit application; a copy must be carried by each agent. (Exhibitors must be sure to make copies of the agent's application before sending it to ANA with the exhibit application.) An exhibitor's agent may also use the security room after obtaining a photo I.D.
  15. Classifications in which competitive exhibitors may enter are described below. If an exhibit contains items belonging to more than one classification, but at least 65% of the items (as recorded on the exhibitor's inventory form) are from a single class, the exhibit may be entered in that class. (Examples: an exhibit of 52 modem European coins, including 13 gold coins (25%), would go into class 8; an exhibit of banknotes including half from Latin America and half from Europe and Asia would go into class 9, because the Latin American pieces still qualify as foreign notes.) Exhibits that cannot meet the 65% test for any other classification will be placed in class 14.
  16. An exhibit that could be shown in more than one class may be shown in the class of the exhibitor's choice. (Examples: recent medals that could be shown in either class 3 or class 15; paper money that could be shown in either class 6 or class 16.)

Judging Procedures

  1. Administration. The president of ANA, in consultation with the ANA exhibit and judging committee chair, will, at least 250 days prior to the opening of each anniversary convention, select a chief judge to oversee all aspects of judging. The chief judge will select assistant chief judges as necessary. The chief judge and assistant chief judges should be recognized for their impartial viewpoints and fairness. At the time of serving they must not be encumbered with other ANA convention duties. None may so serve if members of their immediate families are competitive exhibitors at the same convention.
  2. Selection of exhibit judges.
    1. Selection of exhibit judges must be made by the chief judge at least 45 days prior to the opening day of the convention. The exhibit judges should be selected with specific standards in mind, such as those shown in paragraph 3 below. Each judge must be an ANA member.
    2. The chief judge will use a list of exhibit judges maintained by ANA from which to select judges for the next convention. As required, the chief judge may also select others, keeping in mind the points above.
    3. There will be a minimum of three judges for each class, except that classes in which fewer than four exhibits are entered may be judged by a single judge in close concert with an assistant chief judge. When more than one judge is assigned to a class, one will be designated the class leader. Standby judges may also be selected. When needed or appropriate, a judge may rate exhibits in more than one class. No judge may rate exhibits in any class in which s/he or a member of her/his immediate family is exhibiting, or in any class in which the judge has placed or will remove an exhibit on behalf of a competitive exhibitor.
    4. The chief judge will dispatch a letter to prospective exhibit judges in March preceding the convention. S/he will, at least 45 days prior to the opening date of the convention, notify those who have indicated availability as exhibit judges as to prospective class assignments and will also assign judges' numbers. Those who cannot accept an assignment or who wish to request an alternate assignment will so notify the chief judge at the earliest practicable date.
  3. Attitudes and abilities of successful numismatic judges
    1. Openmindedness - A perspective that is unencumbered by fixed opinions - such as an idea that no exhibit should receive full rating points on any standard, or that certain kinds of numismatic material are inherently more worthy of recognition than others. Each judge should keep in mind that every exhibitor deserves the judge's full and impartial attention.
    2. Thorough knowledge of the exhibit class being judged.
    3. Humility towards the task of judging, with a willingness to ask for assistance and to give due credit to the opinions of others.
    4. Willingness to explain a rating and to change a rating when an error, obvious or otherwise, has been made.
  4. Instruction of judges. A meeting of all judges will be held as set forth in the schedule of events, which will be mailed to each judge when it becomes available. This mandatory meeting is for the purpose of making late assignment changes and for reviewing exhibiting and judging procedures. All judges must have a photo I.D. badge, so judging can be conducted both early and late.
  5. The judging process.
    1. Each judge must be careful to follow judging procedures and to carry out the instructions and interpretations presented at the judges' meeting. Judges may perform their tasks together or independently, and there may be comparison of grades or discussion between judges concerning specific items or total grades during the judging process.
    2. Any questions that arise should be directed to the chief judge. If specific information on any point is needed, standard reference books or recognized experts in attendance at the convention will be consulted.
    3. Judges are expected to read all the information presented in an exhibit before arriving at a conclusion about the exhibit. In the event a judge awards fewer than 75% of the available points for a given evaluation element, comments should be placed on the judging sheet for the benefit of the exhibitor.
    4. In any case where it is considered necessary the judges will have the right to remove material from an exhibit case for the purpose of closer examination. The exhibitor or exhibitor's agent (see page 4 of the exhibit application) must be present. Such removal must also be made in the presence of the exhibit chairman and the chief judge or their assistants.
    5. Judges will upon completion of all judging in any class, discuss among themselves the relative standings each has given the respective exhibits. Judges may at this time make such changes in ratings as they deem necessary. Upon completion of this consultation the class leader will submit all judging sheets (for all judges of the team) to the chief judge.
    6. The deadline for returning judging sheets to the chief judge will be stated in the deadline of events (enclosure 2).
    7. As each class leader turns in completed rating sheets, the chief judge or assistant will keep the ratings in each class together and check them for arithmetic accuracy. The chief judge will then enter the ratings on the master record sheet, which will show a side-by-side comparison of points awarded to each exhibit by each judge, for each exhibit standard (as shown in enclosure 3).
    8. A review committee, consisting of the chief judge and the assistant chief judges, will then review the exhibit judging record sheet for variances (or lack thereof) in the results submitted by the three judges for each class and for any errors. If a wide variance (or a substantially complete lack of variance) occurs, or if there is patent error, the chief judge will ask the exhibit judges involved for explanation and, where necessary, make any appropriate corrections. The chief judge has complete discretion to request that a class be rejudged, by either the original team of judges or by a newly appointed team of judges. The committee will also review all classes to ensure that there are no discrepancies between the ordinal rankings of the exhibits and the numerical scores that have been given them. In other words, did the consensus of the three class judges about which exhibit is first, second, and third agree with the scores? It is possible for two judges to place an exhibit "first," yet the scores show another exhibit with higher points if the third judge is a "high marker." Such cases will be resolved in favor of the exhibit that received the greater number of votes for first place (or second or third, as applicable).
    9. Ties for first, second, and third place will be broken by the chief judge and assistant chief judges, who will rate the exhibits involved, using the standard rating sheet.
    10. Upon completion of judging of exhibits the chief judge will turn over the completed rating sheets to the exhibit chairman. The results of both class judging and best-of-show judging will be reported to the exhibit chairman by the chief judge only, not by exhibit judges.
  6. Exhibitors' rating sheets, as received from the chief judge, will be given to the individual exhibitors by the exhibit chairman upon oral request, not earlier than the time announced in the schedule of events.
  7. Review process
    1. An exhibitor or exhibitor's agent may, within the time period announced in the schedule of events and posted at the exhibit chairman's table, submit a written request for review to the chief judge, through the exhibit chairman as to any supposed error in rating the exhibitor's exhibit. The exhibit chairman will provide standard forms to those who desire review and will post the review times. Only forms provided by the chief judge will be used. Such appeals will be reviewed in the same manner as outlined in paragraph 5H above. Personal presentation by an exhibitor will not be allowed.
    2. After any review pursuant to paragraphs 5H or 7A, the review committee may correct any error in the ratings of any exhibit judge without the latter's concurrence, or replace the judge with a substitute exhibit judge for the purpose of rating all exhibits in that class. Exhibitors who file a request for review may have points taken away as well as granted.
  8. Awards
    1. Awards for exhibits will be made by the American Numismatic Association in accordance with the procedures approved by its board of governors.
    2. First-, second-, and third-place awards will be given for each competitive class. The chief judge, however, has the authority to withhold awards in any class where exhibits are deemed insufficient or unworthy of an award.
    3. An exhibit must earn an average of at least sixty-five scoring points to merit an award in the open division. A YN division award may be granted to a YN exhibit that averages as few as fifty-five points.
    4. Only first-place award winners in the open division classes will be eligible for the Howland Wood best-of-show award. Only first-place award winners in the YN division classes will be eligible for the YN best-of-show award.
    5. All exhibitors and judges will receive a suitable medal or plaque for their participation.
  9. Point system. The point system to be used for judging competitive exhibits is summarized below. Explanations of these standards are amplified in the rating sheet for numismatic exhibits, enclosure 3.
    Exhibit standards Maximum points
    (A) Numismatic information
    Educational value to the viewer.
    (B) Presentation
    Manner of presentation, neatness, and eye appeal.
    (C) Completeness
    Completeness of exhibit material as it relates to the scope implied in the title of the exhibit or other data in the first case of the exhibit.
    (D) Degree of difficulty
    Estimate of the difficulty that the exhibitor had in assembling the material or the information in the exhibit.
    (E) Condition
    Quality of exhibited material compared to highest reasonably available quality of like material.
    (F) Rarity
    Scarcity of the exhibited material, without regard to its price.
    Total points 100
  10. Selection of competitive best-of-show award winners. Selection of the best-of-show and YN best-of-show exhibits will be made by one or two separate groups of at least five judges. No such judge may have been a competitive exhibitor in the division being judged, nor have placed or be scheduled to remove an exhibit on behalf of a competitive exhibitor in that division. These judges, as a group, must be knowledgeable as to all classes, and will look for special qualities in the exhibits, such as the following:
    Best-of-show standards Maximum points
    (A) How consistently has the exhibit followed the announced title or theme for the exhibit? 10
    (B) Does the display give a striking or exceptional effect, or is it merely average in its overall appearance? 10
    (C) Does the exhibit present information above what is known to the average collector of this type of material? 10
    (D) To what extent has careful research been done as evidenced by the numismatic information imparted to the viewer? 10
    (E) Has credit been given to numismatic written sources? 5
    (F) Would a non-collector understand the exhibit? 5
    Total points 50
    In the event of a tie in the selection of the winner of one of these awards, the chief judge and the assistant chief judges will break the tie.
  11. Custody of records and reports. The chief judge, promptly following the conclusion of the convention, will deliver to the ANA executive director all completed judging record sheets and all submitted requests for review. He will also submit a suitable after-action report. The exhibit chairman will deliver to the ANA executive director all completed exhibit applications, unused forms, and all rating sheets not returned to the exhibitors.

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