I purchased my first coin in 1959 when I was nine years old. My family lived in Pennsylvania, and we would periodically visit Philadelphia to shop. One stop was usually Gimbels, a very complete seven-story department store on Market Street. On this particularly day, probably Easter Monday, which for some reason became a tradition for us to visit Philadelphia, we went to one of the upper floors and entered the coin department. There my father allowed me to select a coin. I chose a very worn 1825 Coronet Liberty Head Large Cent, which I would generously grade in fair condition. The reason it attracted me was that it was the oldest U.S. coin that I could find that day.
I still have the coin. And although I have acquired many really nice--and a few important--coins, this one remains the gem of my collection. It is, as they say, priceless.
By the way, think about it: Buying coins in a department store. That's surely a thing of the past.