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What Interested/Started you off collecting?


CoinGeek9
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I`m just interested to see why people started collecting.

I collect because, i find it fascinating, it gives me that mental stimulation that many other hobbies don`t.I find it interesting and love the feels and the prints on the coins,and i always think about what was going on in the year the coin was made or if it was say like made in 1938 i`d think that it was around when WWII was on, and it just makes me imagine who would have had this coin,and what shops they would have went it etc.

 

So yer, why did you start collecting?

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Oh jeez... where to start?

 

Probably being given coins from my father. It was one of the first things he really got me interested in. He gve me the little amount of his father's collection remaining. I was astonished to see coins that were gorgeous and used to circulate just as the pennies in my pocket had. The history, the art, the challenge but accessibility of collecting.

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Before I knew the word "numismatics" I knew "Francisco's Money Speech" from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? In its entirely here on Capitalism Magazine.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, I bought gold and silver coins in various forms. Never much for dead presidents or even deader kings, my choices were for issues without famous heads. Then, in 1992, I proposed that my employer issue trade tokens as an advertising medium. To support my presentation, I gathered information, joining MichTAMS, MSNS, and eventually the ANA. My employer did not accept my proposal, but I was now in the hobby. As a writer, it gave me an opportunity to be published on topics of some interest to me, on the history of money.

 

I bought a few US coins, Mercury dimes, Barber dimes, etc., but they never interested me deeply, being the obvious copies of classical images from a period when America was suffocating in the wedding cake frosting of neo-classicism. We call that a "Renaissance in American coinage" ignoring what the word "renaissance" actually means.

 

As I was in MSNS, my daughter had the opportunity to work a state convention as a page. Dropping her off and picking her up, I walked aisles and finally saw ancient Greek coins. I was shocked to discover that they were affordable, no more expensive than the mass produced machine made moderns. And, they were not copies. These were the originals. I was entranced.

 

What finally pushed me over was catching a rerun of Carl Sagan's Cosmos episode, "The Backbone of the Night," about the Greek philosophers. I decided to pursue the coins from their times and places, those coins worth a day's wages for a rower on a galley, a soldier in the field, or a citizen at assembly. I think I put together 35 from Thales of Miletos to Hypatia of Alexandria.

 

A few years later, I lost interest in collecting. I was never one for it. ANA president Cliff Mishler calls it "a gene you do not inherit" meaning that the collector type of person is different from the non-collector. My brief romance with collecting aside, I am not a collector. I enjoy researching, discovering, and reporting. Perhaps what I collect is not material. One of the greatest researchers of all time was Walter Breen. Many famous coins passed through his hands on their way to markets and auctions. When asked what he collected, he replied, "Knowledge."

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My grandparents on both sides were collectors, and understandably my parents were as well. When I was little, my mother gave me her collection, which mostly consisted of wheat pennies, half dollars, and assorted Canadian change. Her parents gave all of their grandchildren all the latest commemoratives and as much foreign change as they could get their hands on. However, I wasn't particularly interested in coins on my own until recently.

 

My love for the hobby didn't flourish until a few years ago, when I got a job as a cashier to help pay for my new car and college tuition. I occasionally saw the new president dollar coins, but didn't pay much attention until I found a heavily battered 1947-S nickel in my drawer. I made change for it out of my pocket and decided to keep an eye for anything else like that. After I had amassed more than a full roll's worth of 50+ year old nickels, I decided to organize them into a collection, which started the slippery slope...

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To correct Ayn Rand, technically, it's the love of money that is the root of all evil. But back to the original question, I got started when my parents and I visited my great great grandparents old homestead in Donaldson, Indiana in 1978, and at the time my great uncle and aunt still lived there (we saw the old house again in 2010, not much had changed). My uncle Ed gave me a coffee can with a bunch of old coins in it that he had saved over the years from circulation and some which were passed down as well from his parents. It included some buffalo nickels, indian cents, large cents, two-cent pieces, liberty nickels, seated dimes, half dimes, quarters and halves, a few old silver dollars, and probably others that I am forgetting. But that was it, I was hooked!

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Back in the early and mid-1970s, I used to help my mom and my uncle Mike load up the ol' hearse (seriously, a 1964 Cadillac hearse that the owner before my uncle had gutted and reupholstered with leopard-spot carpeting and decked out with an eight-track player) to set up for the Lakevue Hall flea market every Sunday morning. This was in the days before flea markets were all Herbalife and Amway dealers--it was an eclectic and entertaining mix of collectors and dealers of all sorts of ephemera.

 

There was one coin dealer who set up every week -- I don't recall his first name, but his last name was Szymanski. He formalized my interest, hooking me on Jefferson nickels. I'd been interested in coins before, partly because up in northwestern Ohio, we'd see Canadian coins all the time, so looking at coins was second nature -- the Canadian ones fascinated me, particularly when a George VI penny or nickel (especially the 12 sided ones!) turned up. The oddest find I ever had when I was little was a 1942 silver Netherlands 10 cent piece, just lying in the alley... in a suburb of Toledo in about 1971.

 

Long story short, Mr. Szymanski turned that stray interest into a full blown coin bug. After that, it was downhill all the way. The bug left me in the early '80s, but bit me again in the late '90s and hasn't shown any sign of letting up since.

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I used to rummage through my father's change at the end of each day and keep anything that looked different, this got me really hooked. We went to Jersey every year until I was sixteen and I used to find the coinage fascinating as it was the same as the UK but had different images on. Finding US coinage in my change when at the school tuck-shop cemented it further and I've never looked back since and still keep a handful of coins from my trips abroad.

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I don't remember distinctly what made me choose this hobby. Though I remember whenever new coins were issued, I did get them at my house. (My father worked in the monetary authority in India). Along with that we used to get special edition coins. Plus I knew people who traveled to places. When they came back, whatever small amt of change was left with them (negligible enuff to change back into local currency), they used to give it to me. I guess that's how it all started with me.

 

Good topic of discussion. We should have more topics like this. WTG!

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To correct Ayn Rand, technically, it's the love of money that is the root of all evil.

 

"Or did you say it's the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money--and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

 

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/index.php?news=1826#

 

It would be pretty easy to correct Ayn Rand on any number of points, but you would first have to actually know what she wrote.

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"Or did you say it's the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money--and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

 

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/index.php?news=1826#

 

It would be pretty easy to correct Ayn Rand on any number of points, but you would first have to actually know what she wrote.

 

Fine then, to correct the quotation of Ayn Rand...sheesh...I think if I ever want to get married some day, all I need is for some people to store a piece of coal up their ass for a few years and I'll have an awesome diamond! :evilbanana:

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Boys, let's save the Ayn Rand discussion for the Debates Forum. I'm worried this will turn into a Tea Party!

 

It is why I am a numismatist. To me, money is the concrete expression of our highest moral abstractions. We say that this is "history you can hold in your hands" and the images are often of kings. But the stuff itself is not given value by force or fraud. And for me, numismatics is as much about stock certificates, checks, drafts, banking ephemera, tokens, and medals ("the currency of fame") as it is about the issues of the state treasury. I saw a funny thing in a Dark Ages coin from Britain. It had the name of the moneyer and his city, but no king's name, so it was catalogues as "Anonymous Issue." How could that be, except as we glorify the conquerers and ignore the producers.

 

I was at first surprised, but now I am only disappointed, when I meet the anti-capitalist mentality in numismatics. We buy and sell money in an unregulated market, and too many people just do not understand.

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My original starting point was an Imperial Russian coin my grandfather gave me when I was 11 (I'm 21 now) that was the last piece he had left from his own collection that he had to sell off when he moved out of the USSR. I loved it and held on to it, but didn't start collecting until a little over a year ago, when I was putting together a project of memorabilia from the 20th century, discovered the world of Russian banknotes, and then went back and started building a coin collection as well. So now I have hundreds of Russian coins and banknotes, all accumulated in about 15 months, and I know I'll be doing this for a very long time :D

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I have no idea why I collect coins or anything. And I collect other STUFF also. From my brief college course in Psychology I found people are basically pack rats. Almost all people want something to hang on to regardless of valuable or just junk. And if you look around you'll find many that do save JUNK. Ever hear little kids say Mine, Mine, Mine? They don't know why but they need to have something that is thiers. As little babies we all need that so called security blanket. As we get older we naturally don't want people seeing us with a blanket all the time so we graduate to more adult STUFF. Notice how many people answer this question with Not Sure, Don't Really Know, Don't Remember for sure, etc. Look around at everyone you know or can see and notice how they all hang on to something.

I've got virtually thousands of coins and could never get myself to sell any of them. Me too have that necessity to have something solid to hang on to. I suspect coins are our security blankets.

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