Press Release: The 2020 Huntington Award to Sydney Martin

Press Release
New York, NY
October 22, 2020

The Trustees of the American Numismatic Society (ANS) have voted to bestow upon Mr. Sydney Martin the 2020 Archer M. Huntington Award in recognition of his scholarly work specializing in Colonial American coinage. 

The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 1:00 pm ET at the American Numismatic Society, 75 Varick Street, in New York City and will be available to attend virtually via zoom. Featured during the event will be the Silvia Mani Hurter Memorial Lecture by Mr. Martin, entitled “Numismatic Commemoratives of the 200th Birthday of George Washington in 1932.” 

Mr. Martin has written several articles on Colonial numismatics for the Colonial Newsletter, and has presented papers at the Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC), historical societies, and clubs. In 2006 he became the editor, and is now the Associate Past Editor, of the award-winning C4 Newsletter.

Most significantly, Mr. Martin is the author of four acclaimed books in the field, all published by the Colonial Coin Collectors Club: The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood (1722–1724); The Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood; French Coinage Specifically for Colonial America; and St. Patrick Coinage for Ireland and New Jersey. Each of Mr. Martin’s books illustrate his systematic approach to identifying and cataloging numismatic material, which he places in a much wider context focusing on economic, political and monetary developments for the era in which the series studied was struck. 

In the words of Michael Hodder, The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood (1722–1724) is “one of the most thorough, authoritative, and ultimately useful numismatic studies on any subject that has been undertaken in the past century.… Syd Martin’s study organizes a previously inchoate mass of data on the coinages, adds new information, and creates what will become … the standard work on the series.” 

Mr. Martin, of Doylestown, PA, earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked for a defense company until 1988 when he founded his own defense-oriented firm, Sytex, serving as president and CEO of The Sytex Group, Inc. (TSGI) until its sale to Lockheed-Martin in 2005. As part of the sale he retained control of a high-tech, defense subsidiary, Macaulay-Brown, Inc., a nationally recognized firm with 1,500 employees, which he sold to Alion Science and Technology Co. in 2018.  He founded Martin Enterprises, Inc., with interests in agriculture, real estate, and finance. Mr. Martin is a major contributor to the ANS. His generous pledge helped to kick off the Campaign to Endow the Chair of the Executive Director. In 2009 the Society’s Conference Meeting Room was named in his honor for his contributions to the ANS. He has been a member of ANS since 1997, a Life Associate since 2002, was elected as a Fellow in 2009, and is one of the founding members of the Augustus B. Sage Society. Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2005, Mr. Martin served as Treasurer from 2009–2012 and Board President since 2012.

“We are thrilled to offer this prestigious award to Mr. Martin,” said ANS Executive Director Dr. Gilles Bransbourg. “His outstanding contribution to numismatic scholarship, most notably covering fascinating and often understudied aspects of the colonial period, represent a tour-de-force of hard work, extensive knowledge, and factual accuracy. His books will remain major and vital references for generations to come”.

The Archer M. Huntington Award, first presented to Edward T. Newell in 1918, is conferred annually in honor of the late Archer M. Huntington, ANS President from 1905 to 1910, in recognition of outstanding career contributions to numismatic scholarship. The medal was designed in 1908 by Emil Fuchs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the American Numismatic Society.

The American Numismatic Society, organized in 1858 and incorporated in 1865 in New York State, operates as a research museum under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is recognized as a publicly supported organization under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) as confirmed on November 1, 1970.

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