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Wissahickon Collection


What Would You Include?

A friend recently announced that she was going to start collecting coins. She stated, "I don't know what I want to collect or how to go about it, but I'll start by going through a big change jar that we have at home."

I gave her suggestions about getting coins from the bank to view, and she had heard about the "Red Book", so I told her I would give her one.

Later, as I thought more about it, I decided to construct a "starter kit" for her. Here's what I included:

-2 Red Books: (one older and one new- for comparison of content).

-Coin World Almanac.

-Coin World Guide to US Coins.

-Coin Collectors Handbook by F. Renfeld, 1960. (Again for historical perspective).

-Standard Guide to US Coin & Paper Money. Since she doesn't know what she wants to collect, currency may come into play. My library is pretty slim on this topic.

-Coin Values Magazine.

-A set of Gray Sheets for all denominations. (For some understanding of the multiple layers of wholesale and retail pricing in this hobby).

-Gray Sheet articles on Lincoln cents and Jefferson nickels, and one on how to handle and care for your coins.

-A box of 2x2 coin flips.

-Cotton gloves.

-Some plastic coin storage tubes.

-I would have included some Whitman coin boards; however, I gave all that I had to a friend's grandchildren, last year.

-A starter group of early wheat and memorial cents, Jefferson nickels, Roosevelt dimes, Statehood quarters, and a proof silver quarter.

My goal was to strike a balance between a solid start and an overwhelming array.

My final bit of advice was to play with the coins; have fun; go to the books as questions arose about the types of coins that interested her; and not to try reading them cover to cover. The danger sign would be if anything began to feel like "work".

So, what would you put in a starter kit for a friend?



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