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Why Do You Collect Coins?

21 posts in this topic

I wanted to do a poll but couldn't find how. :blush:


I was late to the game of coin collecting. Most start young, I was in my late 30's maybe 40's before I started? No one left me a collection or gave me any insite into this hobby.


How'd I get started? I was working full time in the U. S. Navy and part time in a convenience store. Had a family to support ya know. The Navy didn't pay much back when I first joined. ;) I happened to need change in my cash register and picked up a roll of dimes for the till. It felt lighter than usual? I opened the roll and dumped them in the till. Low and behold, they were all Mercury's! :) I proceeded to replace them with cash from my wallet and ended up having a good day.


Years later, I retired from the Navy, got divorced (a good thing), and really got involved in coin collecting. I started out buying junk on eBay found the right coin forum to really start a true learning process and as I move to the present day, I'm truly excited to be a part of this great hobby of ours.


How can one be happy spending money on money? An ages old question that each collector must answer for themselves For me, it's about the enjoyment of the coin itself. I'm not a label collector. Some of my favorite coins have been in the lower grade range for the respective series.


As my daughter's matured, I have three, and eight grandchildren, I've sold coins to help them as events occuried in their lives. I have no regret's on doing this even though I hope to have first shot on the coins when the current owner decides to sell, if ever. ;)


I use to play the crossover game and for the most part I think I came out on the plus side. One of my true regret's is selling my Lincoln Cent Collection at a loss.


So, to those who have taken the time to read most of my BS here, where am I today as a collector. I am a person who buy's the best that I can afford. I do sometimes spend money I shouldn't be spending. But if it's a coin I like, it's worth it to me.


My passion now is my book project. I spend hours a day researching and writng a book around the Classic Commemorative series of coins. It is my favorite series of coins. Rich in history, troubled with abuses, and just a joy to investigate. I have no time line for completion of my book. I want it to be "the source" for future fan's of the series. I don't care if I lose money on the book, it will have my name on it, and I hope, a good read for other fans of this series. :)


My ending note to this overly long soliloquy:


Find your passion in this hobby, explore it, research it, and make it your own!


Enjoy :cloud9:




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Have you chosen a title for your commemorative book yet?

In anwser to your question Walkerfan, here is a rough cover image for my book:





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Lee, I enjoyed your story.


As for mine...


My dad called me and told me about the Wisconsin extra leaf quarters that were found. I was 21 then. I went on eBay, found a pair, and bought them in MS 65 NGC holders.


I researched what NGC was, and got genuinely excited about collecting. I bought a few raw American Gold Eagles and sent them in to be graded. Four came back MS 69, and one came back MS 70. I was pleased.


Then I started a small business and needed every spare dollar I had to go into that. So I stopped collecting before I even really started.


A few months ago, while surfing the web, I saw an auction up for a pair of MS 67 Wisconsin extra leaf quarters. The bidding went off and I got a GREAT deal on them.


Winning those quarters reignited my interest. Since then, I've dug in deep. I started a number of custom sets (links in my sig), and a US Coins Type Set.


Luckily, my small business is doing very very well and I have a lot of disposable income right now for coins.


I hope to build a showcase-worthy First Year of Issue Type Set. That's my main focus for now, while also working on a few of my custom sets. I've purchased a few books, and continue to learn every day here on the NGC forums... I'm currently 28 years old and can't wait to see where this hobby takes me. =)

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Cool story there Lee. I started collecting older coins from pocket change in the early 80's. Wasn't a real seroius thing at the time, wheaties and such. Lost that small collection and never thought about collecting again til about 2004. I really didn't have any certain goals at the time, just buying a few morgans and proof sets. Now I'm into Danscos, got hooked on jeffersons somehow, and I still try to update my proof sets as finances allow. As it stands now, I think my most enjoyment is trying to work on my 12 Dansco albums from time to time. I'd love to fill them all but there are some key date coins that I will never be able to fill but what I do fill keeps me content enough. These boards have been a big help for me from day one. I've learned alot that I didn't know and have been able to share what I do.

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In answer to YOUR question, Lee. I do it for the beauty of the coin. It really astounds me and boggles my mind when I think of how absolutely scarce and historic some of these coins are. It relaxes me and I learn ALOT. It is an escape for me. I also truly believe that it is probably THE BEST collectible to invest in for the long term, so I do it for that reason, too. If I didn't truly believe this, I wouldn't be so 'all-in' to it. I started when I was about 9 or 10 and have evolved for the last 30-35 years more and more as a collector and a specialist. I have had some years of inactivity but each year or time that I get back into it, I become MORE involved and more advanced when I jump back in. I have been really heavy into it since about 1994. I really enjoy it. My Dad was and is a great influence on me :)

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I started collecting back in the late 1970s, perhaps it was 1978 when my parents brought me to visit great uncle Ed and great aunt Grace who still lived on my mother's ancestral homestead in Donaldson, Indiana. I just visited it again about a year ago when my great aunt Audrey passed away at 105, and though it's no longer in our family it really hasn't changed much. While I was there playing with the chickens and goats, uncle Ed gave me a coffee can full of old coins he had saved, presumably from circulation. There were some large cents, 2-cents, IHCs, some silver dollars, seated coins from half dimes to half dollars, all sorts of interesting items for an 8-year-old. So that got me started, putting together albums of Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels, and eventually compelled me to complete albums of all the current circulating issues, as well as completing albums of Mercs (minus the 16-D), Buffs, Peace dollars and Franklins, and eventualy after becoming addicted after buying my long awaited first Saint-Gaudens double eagle, about 2/3 the way on that set as well.


As for why I do it, some of it is for the art, some for the history, and some just because I am a hoarder (how esle to explain the 11,000 copper pennies in my closet). Thanks for the discussion, and best of luck with the new book!

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I didn't have a relative who passed along their collection to get me started. I won my first Morgan dollar gambling in a poolroom in 1957 at the age of ten. Over the next few years, I had accumulated about 800 circulated Morgan dollars which I would get from my bank at face value from my pool winnings. I sold the collection in the mid-60's for $4K because pool was taking up too much of my time.


After my first divorce, I got into bartending in the mid-70's and handling so much change reignited my interest in collecting. I was actually more of a hoarder of interesting coins, and I really didn't become serious about it until I got my first computer in 1994. Naturally, the first series I started collecting was Morgan cartwheels.



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Why Do You Collect Coins?

Simple question, and I have a simple answer:


I enjoy American history.


Yes that sums it up for me. I enjoy coins, tokens and medals that have an interesting story around them. I also like to be able to complete things and make concise summations about them. I have not collected very many sets of coins. I find that too repetitive. I like type collecting because every coin is different and the set covers the entire history of U.S. mint system.


I started collecting coins when I was 10. My interest really bloomed when I got my first 19th century coins, an 1838 half dime and an 1846 large cent in the spring of 1959. The age and totally different appearance of those coins fascinated me, and I’ve never lost that fascination.


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It's a communicable disease/condition for which there is no known cure. I caught it in Florida 1978 when some dude named Hap showed me MS65 Morgan that I could actually hold between my fingers. He showed me how. I said "wow, that's cool, do you have more"? Too late!

Then I found my Grandfathers Whitman for well worn Lib Nickel and Lincolns. I have upgraded the Lib Nickels to Fine then Very Fine, AU and now mostly Gem. Geez!

Sometimes I have actually made small money trading coins.


Then I joined this forum and look at some of the finest coins on earth!






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1. I collect coins because I enjoy viewing them.

2. I collect coins for their "investment" potential.


Now, some purists here would disagree. But coins are of secondary importance to many things, most of which is family.


Would I sell a kidney to buy a coin? No. Would I sell my coins to get a loved one medical treatment if needed? Absolutely.


My first passion for collecting came when I randomly bought a stack of interesting books at the public library for $1.00 back in 1980. I was 8 at the time. In this stack was the "Red Book". So, I viewed the pages and found it to be interesting.


Alas I didn't have any money, so I searched for different coins or special varieties. I found none valuable.


When I first started making discretionary income, I bought a 1995 U.S. Mint Proof Set. The coins looked shiny and I enjoyed looking at them. I still do.


When my first "real" paycheck came, I bought some cheap individual coins from a local coin store. Nothing big, probably $100 or so altogether. But they were fun and interesting to look it at the time. I didn't care so much about grading and of value then.


As my knowledge refined, so did my tastes. I don't mean to be rude, arrogant, or anything by the forthcoming statements. But, besides the annual proof sets and perhaps some special world coins that pique my interest, most of my coins I buy now are of the $500+ range. I do research and make wise purchasing decisions. I am like LeeG, and buy "the best I can afford."


With my numismatic experience, I can say that I truly enjoy collecting coins. My collection gives me daily viewing pleasure.

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Like a lot of folks here, my dad got me interested in coins when I was 12 or 13 years old. I started out with Lincolns and had fun with that and kinda moved on with life and didn't pick it up again till I was in my late twenty's or early thirty's. Then the Buffalo nickel bug bit really hard and I've been with it off and on for many years. Then one day I ran across this guy on this forum and the one ATS with a collection of proof Buffalo nickels called "horns a plenty" you know this guy as "Robeck" that's when I put it in overdrive and started looking for the best Buffs I could buy and it's just keeps going.....Now I feel I have one of the nicest Buffalo nickel collections around, at least I think I do......

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