Annual OMSA Convention coming to Michigan

The annual convention of the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) is coming to Grand Rapids, Mich.—about 250 kilometres west of Windsor, Ont.—on Aug. 10-13.

Like the ANA’s annual summer gathering, the OMSA’s convention moves around the U.S. each year to allow regional members to attend without travelling long distances. This year’s convention is being held at the Amway Grand. Although the four-day convention runs from Aug. 10-13, the bourse floor and exhibit displays will only be open to the general public on Aug. 12 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. There’s a “modest” admission fee, according to the website.

“Those presently, or potentially, interested in learning about medal collecting are cordially and enthusiastically invited.”


OMSA members collect, research and preserve orders, decorations and medals (ODMs), which are often referred to as “decorations” by the general numismatic community. Items of interest include worldwide award medals of all kinds, including Orders of Knighthood insignia; decorations for gallantry or distinguished service; and medals for various types of service, including both military and civilian. The vast majority of such award medals are of the portable variety, meaning they can be worn by the recipient (and often on a uniform); however, award medals of the non-portable variety—known as table medals—are also collected.

“Once acquired, researching the history of the circumstances surrounding awarded medals plays an important part of the hobby and is a value-added aspect that cannot be overstated. Simply put, discovering the many fascinating tidbits of information about the medals and their recipients is great fun,” said organizers of the upcoming convention.

“The OMSA convention is perhaps unique among specialist numismatic events insofar as it is a collector-financed affair, the costs of the convention being paid by registered attendees, rather than primarily commercial bourse table holders, the latter method most common in the numismatic community.”


This year’s registration fee is $195 (it was only $170 before July 1) and grants attendees access to the convention floor for the four-day bourse and exhibit display; two days of seminars on ODM-related topics; a donation auction; several meals and cocktail parties; and a “lavish” annual banquet.

Because members subsidize the event, inexpensive bourse tables are available to any registered OMSA collector or dealer for only $60 each.

Exhibit tables are always available at no charge to exhibitors.

For more information about OMSA, see

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