Hi coin nerds (I hear that WAY too often)!
One Coin is Never Enough: Why and How We Collect, by Michael S. Shutty, Jr., Ph.D., is a fascinating (and somewhat humorous read).
Dr. Shutty starts with a story of his disturbing urge to buy a beat up 1973 Chain Cent for over a thousand dollars. He moves onto why we collect, explaining the fascination we have all felt towards a coin, and explaining Scott Travers’ and Q. David Bowers’ rational and enjoyment models respectively. He explains that the rational model moves from an accumulator to collector to investor, while the enjoyment model goes from accumulator to collector, usually interrupted by a brief stint as an investor. He uses these models to explain Marilynn Karp’s full pockets, deep pockets, and big pockets collector types. He explains that full pocket collectors are drawn to the flashy, big, bold, and expensive coins that contain a lot of intrinsic value (e.g. St. Gaudens Double Eagles). He moves onto deep pocket collectors. This type of collector is drawn to the well-known and valuable coins (e.g. 1856 Flying Eagle Cents). And finally big pocket collectors, these collectors, like me, focus on the overlooked, unknown coins that may have little intrinsic or extrinsic value.
In the second half of the book he talks about the “why” of the collecting urge and why collecting is addictive. Because of this many collectors are driven to a community where they are not met with blank stares while talking coins. As the topping on the cake, he finishes with the collecting cycle, which ends with numismatic bliss, a goal for all collectors.
Dr. Shutty, a clinical psychologist, makes this read feel a lot shorter than 250+ pages through his humorous and relatable stories. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it was all that I could ask for and more than I expected when I borrowed this book from my local library!
Thanks for reading! Questions, advice, tips, and comments are all welcome.