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Reflections...from a proof ultracameo?

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Tweed Collection

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As another eventful year comes to a close, it's only natural to think about the future....

The kids are asleep-for now-and I'm sitting at my desk looking over a couple of proof coins I recently bought from my birth year. As the light refelects off the smooth, mirror-like surfaces, it occurs how lucky I am to be able to enjoy this great hobby and share it with others.

I enjoy reading the posts in this forum, and check in a few times a week to see what's going on with my fellow collectors. It's a great escape from the craziness in the world.

It's fun to see how excited both kids and adults can get from something as simple as finding a coin we've sought. Or how the history, beauty and artistry involved in creating these coins can bring pleasure that only a fellow collector can really truly share. My wife thinks I'm nuts when I try to explain it to her.

My best friend's oldest daughter became interested in coins some years back, and I actively encouraged her interest. As a birthday gift when she was about 12, I got her an 1849 large cent (raw, about VF). Not only was she intrigued at the size of the coin (she had never seen a large cent "in person" before), but I told her that a Gold Rush miner had actually carried it in his pocket to California. She asked, "How do you know that?" I replied, "And how do you know it didn't happen?" She got the same look of wonder we all know so well, and realized, it COULD have happened, and she was holding a real piece of history in her hand. She did a report on the Gold Rush for her history class, and brought the coin to school when she presented her report. The other kids also found it fascinating. (She got an "A".)

A couple of weeks ago, I gave my 8-year old niece a new blue Whitman Album for the State and Territorial Quarters. I explained to her about mintmarks, and we began searching quarter rolls for coins for the new album. She was so thrilled as the pages slowly filled. She's going to go into a bank in Texas while on a family trip next week to get some quarter rolls to seek out the Denver coins she's missing.

I showed her a blue Whitman Lincoln Cent album I have that I started when I was 8, over 40 years ago. She was intrigued that I was her age when I started it. Now she wants to start a Lincoln Cent collection too.

My son just turned two, and my daughter is just two months old. I'm really looking forward to sharing this hobby with them when they're old enough, and taking them to coin shows like my Dad did with me when I was a kid.

Having a #1 Registry Set is a great accomplishment. But it's a lot more fun sometimes just filling the pages of a cheap coin album with a child, knowing that they are beginning a trip along the collecting road just as we did before them.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday season, and a happy, healthy New Year.

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