I started collecting coins in the early 1970’s by helping my grandfather sort pennies for our Lincoln folders. We would spend hours sitting around my grandparent’s dining room table. I remember being absolutely amazed at the size of his collection of what I considered to be impossibly old coins.
His pride and joy was his nearly complete set of Liberty Head (V) Nickels. It was nearly complete, missing only the 1883 no cents and of course the 1913. I remember there being a perforated cardboard plug in the spot of the 1913. I thought it was perforated so that if you did happen to find one you could just press it into that Whitman blue folder.
He had multiple almost complete sets of Lincoln cents, a largely complete set Mercury dimes and a nearly complete set of Buffalo nickels. Just about everything in his collection was both well-worn and minted during his lifetime.
Recently I started trying to get my granddaughter interested. She is 4 so I have plenty of time to work with her. I want her to have similar memories of me that I do of my grandfather. The time we spent sorting coins are some of the most memorable of my childhood.
The real point of this story is one that I believe is important. In his lifetime my grandfather never purchased a coin. Actually he thought it kind of strange that a lot of people did purchase coins. Coins minted in my youth are now approaching 50 years old which is only slightly younger than the coins from my grandfather’s youth when I was a young boy. Hopefully in another 50 years the coins minted now will be just as interesting to the current YN’s grandchildren as I found my grandfather’s coins to be. Some of you will say that because of the absence of precious metal coins being minted now for circulation that I am not comparing apples to apples per se. My grandparents were poor. The largest denomination my grandfather collected was dimes because they couldn’t afford to keep anything larger than that. So, the only precious metal coins he had were dimes.
Just food for thought.