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Who taught you about coin collecting?


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My father.

 

Here is a photo of him at the ripe old age of 25 on his wedding day looking impossibly young and skinny.....

 

Dawn-1.jpg

 

Everyone in the photo is Irish except my dad who was English. I'll explain why.

 

When my father's English father heard that my dad was to wed an Irish girl he disowned my father, didn't attend the wedding and never spoke to his son again. My father's brother married an Italian girl so he received the same treatment.

 

That's why everyone in the photo is Irish except my dad. (The woman in the fancy hat is my mom's mother.)

 

My dad passed away in August 1990 and it's hard to believe he has been gone for 20 years.

 

But everytime I look at his coins I think of him. And I'm glad he passed his favorite hobby on to me.

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Thank you for sharing this with us, hiho!

 

My father got me started on collecting by giving me the remainder of his father's collection. I mostly taught myself (of course with the help of books, magazines, the internet, and CP). I never had another collector I was close to.

 

Can't wait to see what everyone else shares.

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My grandfather. He had a collection of coins, just various stuff over the years, and showed it to me when I was about 9 or 10. I got interested in this "old stuff" and that's where it all began. We started going to coin shows working on my Lincoln collection.

 

15 years later, still in it, just not like I was (between still being in college, buying a home, and a $13k car.....I'm more broke than before!).

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Good man for finding a lovely Irish colleen, my kind of Englishman, a man who knows a good lady and marries her even at the risk of his family doffing him. We have a similar story in my family where my uncle(a German commoner) married my aunt(a Spanish marquesa) Despite all the disinheritance etc that happened then, they were married just over 70 years.

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Alexander the Great first handed me some coins but at that time I was to young to care.

Julius Ceasar got me started when he handed me some coins with his picture on them. They were so ugly I just had to search the World for coins that looked better than those.

Thousands of years later I'm still searching. :ninja:

In reality way, way back my Dad came home with a brand new Lincoln Cent that just came out. It was the 1943 Steel Cent and in 1943 and I thought it was Silver. So my Dad started to bring home some of those more and more until I had accumulated rolls of them. I still have all those from back then.

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Self-taught really. My father noticed i had an interest in coins and gave me what he had collected when he was younger, including reference books. So although my father didn't actually teach me about coins or cause the initial spark he definately gave me a push in that direction.

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I've taught myself using books, the internet, handling thousands of coins and hanging out with old codgers. ;)

 

No one in my family could care less about coins unless they are to be spent. Oh well... :ninja:

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My family has always been casually interested in coin collecting.

 

My grandfather on my mother's side is probably the most responsible. He picked it up from his father, who had started a modest collection. My grandfather sold a great many of them for some extra pocket change during the Depression while he was a kid. However, after his tour of duty in Korea, my grandfather kept several coins from each country he visited while he was traveling with the navy. Whenever he went vacationing after that, he started the tradition of bringing back all the coins in your pocket as a souvenir.

 

Many of the coins were handed down to my mother, who gave me her entire collection of wheat pennies, half dollars, and bicentennial quarters in addition to a handful of coins from various corners of the world. She brought me to several coin shows when I was little, the last of which I participated in a "scavenger hunt" which was rewarded with a small collection, including a buffalo nickel, an indian head penny, an old-style British penny, and a brand-spanking new copy of the 2001 Red Book, which I would use as a crutch later as I struggled to delve into the world of collecting.

 

Also worthy of mention is my grandmother on my father's side, who provided me with a near-complete collection of wheat pennies when I was little. Unfortunately, I'm not currently in the financial situation to attempt to complete that collection.

 

Beyond that, this site has probably been one of my best learning tools in terms of more in-depth knowledge of coins. By which I mean, beyond "Bicentennial quarters are rare! Keep all the ones you find and never spend them!"

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I see a trend amongst some of our less aged members here. :ninja:

 

I am a self taught collector but if it wasn't for my grandparents giving me a Peace dollar when I was little I probably wouldn't have gotten into coins as readily. My family collects antiques and whatnot; I think that reverence for the old is really what got me going though.

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My parents would set aside anything different and I kind of went from there. At 12 or so, I got a several-year-old copy of KM, and things kind of went from there. There are still days where I flip through it to look at things (especially some of the smaller island country issues), waiting for the day I'll actually see one, in person, or online.

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In my case the initial spark happened when my mother gave me here small collection of leftover travel change and I was encouraged by a friend who used to collect. This plus support from almost everyone in my family from aunts, uncles, my grandmother, cousins and especially my dad, helped me get hooked to collecting. Most of the information I know though is from researching and the net.

 

The coin that got me started was a 1950 East Africa King George VI One Shilling, Being a leo, I fell in love with the lion on the reverse.

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The coin that got me started was a 1950 East Africa King George VI One Shilling, Being a leo, I fell in love with the lion on the reverse.

 

Great coin to start with!

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Good man for finding a lovely Irish colleen, my kind of Englishman, a man who knows a good lady and marries her even at the risk of his family doffing him.

 

 

My father was a pretty amazing guy. He lied about his age and joined the Navy at 17 during WWII. He wanted to be a fighter pilot but didn't have 20/20 vision and was denied.

 

"Fine" he said, "Put me on a submarine." Which they did.

 

The sub went back and forth between Honolulu and Sydney Australia sinking Japanese supply ships. He told me it was the best time of his life.

 

After the war he became a policeman in New Jersey until two things happened. Walking the beat one day an eight year old child started kicking him and screaming "I hate you, you put my daddy in jail!" Then he got home and my mom told him to choose between the badge and gun or her and the kids, as she was worried all the time and was developing an ulcer. Talk about a bad day!

 

So he put himself through night school at NYU while still working as a cop, earned a degree in business and took a position at a bank. The first year he was there the bank was robbed and guess who tackled the robber? That's right, my fearless father. The bank rewarded him with a $5000 cash bonus as a thank you, which he used to buy our first house along with his coin collection.

 

He rose from bank teller to Senior Vice President. He was also the only one at the bank who could figure out the 1970 era computer system, and I suppose some of that rubbed off on me.

 

He only collected United States coins and had no interest in other countries. He assembled almost a complete set of classic commemoratives, but was more of a type collector like myself. He loved old silver coins.

 

I look just like him. :ninja:

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Mostly self-taught here, although I come from a long line of pack-rats collectors of various things. We once calculated that among my immediate family (mom, dad, me, my brother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my uncle) we had 45 active collections going at the same time -- mine being coins, comics, books, unMSTed versions of movies from MST3K (and movies that *should* have been MSTed!), pro golfer autographs, and obsolete (but still working) computers... among others.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coin dealers and other professionals taught me.

 

I am not sure what "I taught myself" means. Ultimately, we all always teach ourselves everything as there is no way for another person to open your head and pour knowledge in. The best teachers in the world only give you a reason to open the door of motivation, which always opens only from the inside. Good teachers inspire. It is true that a mentor can explain or demonstrate, but if you are not open to the experience, their effort is wasted, no matter how good they are.

 

That said, coin dealers Bill Bradford at Liberty Coin Service in Lansing and his crew showed me a lot, explained a lot, gave me insights and perspectives and that continued with the new LCS ownership. On the LCS staff, Paul Manderscheid has been president, etc., of Mich-TAMS, the Michigan Token and Medal Society. From the perspective of working with material for which there is no "Red Book" or ANA Grading Guide, he helped me understand ancients, which became my main interest.

 

In Howell, the late Bob Matthews who won exhibitiion awards at ANA and Early American Copper conventions, explained the hobby, grading, pricing, and so on, from a specialized track of the US mainstream: Large Cents and Half Cents.

 

The first time I attended a meeting at the Livingston County Coin Club, the guest speaker was dealer Chuck Sharpe, who talked about the 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo. I joined the club; and became an officer; and attending meetings, I learned from the other collectors there.

 

Working as the International Editor at Coin World, I came in knowing somethiing about world coins, but not nearly enough, and practically nothing about US coinage. Bill Gibbs furthered my education by assigning me feature articles -- one to three every week -- typically on some dusty area of US numismatics, such as the "Patterns of 1792" and the "Paquet Double Eagle." Also, at Coin World, I struck up a friendship with Trends editor Stuart Segan. Holding a bachelor's in physics from UCal Berkeley, Stuart brought a scientist's passion and perspective to pricing. He told me to buy a Breen Encyclopedia. I have been buying books ever since: Taxay, Pollock, Newman, Bowers, Bowers, Bowers, Crosby, and now the new series from Whitman across the board from Ancients to Cameo Proof US.

 

At conventions of the ANA, MSNS, and CSNS, I attended talks ("Theaters") and walked the exhibits. I learned about "wildcat" paper money from Wendell Wolka and grading Morgan Dollars from Bill Fivaz. I learned from judges who reviewed and critiqued my exhibits. I qualified as a judge for Literature; and I learned from Joe Boling a lot about successful collecting.

 

I first subscribed to The Celator in 1992 and have been with it these past 18 years. I placed about a dozen articles there, but I read every issue cover to cover -- though admittedly not word for word. Is there a better tutor for "coins of the Bible" than David Hendin? The features typically come from other impassioned amateurs who devote uncounted hours to research.

 

Then, there is the online world, this forum, Coin Talk, Ancients.info, Coins Are Fun, and many others. This is where knowledge is shared.

 

These are not the only sources, only the ones that came easily from the top of my head. These are easiest to talk about. Not all of the lessons were pleasant -- and often the harsh ones are the most valuable ... which is why I stopped collecting and focused on writing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, great stories!

 

Like many I'm primarily self-taught but like many others the truth is that I learned to listen before I asked stupid questions. Then I learned there aren't any stupid questions; just guys (and gals) who needed another cup of coffee (or had had 1 too many!) who snap at the "obvious" questions.

 

Ok, a couple of bad club meetings... I digress.

 

My uncle gave me several sets of 1967 Canadian Centennial coins and bills and my dad bought me a Whitman penny album back when they all had wheat reverses. The Napoleonic bug bit me in the early 80s when my wife squelched the idea of a Napoleonic sword collection. Babies in the house = blunt objects to collect.

 

I put my site up in the mid-90s and immediately met David Black, a curmudgeon who taught me about buying all the references I could find. This forum and others gave me an outlet for communication; you know what I mean. Instead of people whose eyes glaze over when you mention your latest finds you suddenly enter a world where people actually know more than you do about the hobby and your favorite era (you guys know who you are) and surprise! they want to talk about it! I really need to have that ADHD checked for...

 

I guess I'm saying, I'm still learning! Thanks folks.

 

Oooh, shiny!

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