I was inspired to write a “how I got started in collecting” post by iccoins’s cool blog on this subject.
Unfortunately, it’s a little hazy in my mind as to how it all started for me... Was it when I started finding Buffalo Nickels and Mercury Dimes in change and wondered about them? That’s probably how the seed was planted, but I have so many other great early memories as well, like starting a circulated set of Lincoln Cents with my best friend, and in the process meeting a helpful local dealer who taught us a lot. And I’ll never forget the hours we spent stuffing our new treasures into Whitman folders at his mom’s kitchen table. And, of course, all this lead me to voraciously read everything about coins I could get my hands on. I’ve put my numismatic endeavors on the back burner now and then over the years as life unfolded, but I’ve found that, for me, once the spark was struck, it has never really gone out.
But it was this 1878 7TF EF Morgan Dollar, a gift from my grandfather, that I will always be the most proud of. It was a coin I hadn’t even known existed. One Saturday afternoon, while pouring over his box of circulated Roosevelt Dimes one more time, he handed the silver dollar to me. He told me it was special, he’d had it for years, and that he knew he could trust me to take good care of it. I’ve treasured it since that day. I’ve since owned much rarer and more valuable coins, but I could never put a price on this one.
Maybe this is when it truly started for me, when this special man taught me that we’re really just caretakers of what we collect, and must preserve them for the next collector to learn from and appreciate.