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My First Coin: The Coin That Started It All.

Would like to hear what coin started others in collecting and how. Mine was a 1918 Lincoln cent found in an old desk my grandmother gave us. The coin was in good condition and after I found an old copy of a 1965 Redbook, I was hooked. It wasn't worth anything, but it kickstarted my imagination. I found the coin in 1969, and until a few years ago, had held on to it for sentimental reasons. Recently, I returned it to circulation for someone else to find.

The first significant coin I remember buying was a 1908 $20 St. Gaudens in AU condition. I bought it in 1979 for about $500 (at the age of 17) and can remember my mother giving me a hard time about sending a check through the mail for such a high amount! (Her mortgage payment back then was $80 a month.)

6 years ago

I had multiple.

6 years ago

Can't really say it was one coin. It was mostly just helping my grandfather with his collection.

6 years ago

Same here. My dad gave me a peace dollar, but my Grandpa gave me a Ziplock bag full of indian head pennies and mercury dimes, but since I'm big on silver dollars, it would have to be the peace dollar by just a bit. (It's a 1923 in horrible shape, by the way!) 

6 years ago

I got started on the state quarters when my grendpa gave me a set, but what really started it was when he have me a jar with a ton of wheaties and copper pennies that I still hav

6 years ago

The Mercury Dime. Like others here, I had coins before. An uncle gave us silver dollars for Christmas. For some odd reason, I bought an ancient from Littleton's, a Gordian III denarius. My interest in coins was for the precious metals as a bulwark against inflation. I have had sovereigns, Swiss, French, Netherlands, and others.  But I never took a true numismatic interest in them. When I was given my first computer account at college, I was allowed to choose my username. I took "Mercury" the messenger of the gods and the patron of merchants (also thieves). 


I got interested in numismatics from a project at work. Knowing something about the history of money from talking to coin dealers, I recommended that my company make tokens for advertising. We installed robots. A typical workstation started at $100,000. The annual robot show never drew more than 15,000 attendees. If we made $1 tokens for advertising, no one would ever throw them away, or collect them all and turn them in. My suggestion was rejected. But it got me to join the ANA.

As I learned more about numismatics, I was looking for a series to pursue. A dealer suggested Mercury Dimes. There is only one Key and you can buy one anytime you want. All you need is money. The rest, even the semi-keys, can be found.  "Well, not in change," I said. He pointed to buckets on the floor in the vault. "Search those," he said.

I came in on Saturdays and in about a year, I filled most of two Whitmans. I ended up buying the semi-keys from him.  I still need the 16-D.  But I bought the book by David Lange. I spent a lot of time with an Ansco lens looking at bands and curls, comparing VFs and XFs, and learning to grade. I could correlate the grades across dates with mintage figures. I could correlate numismatic data with the economic data from the Roaring Twenties, Thrifty Thirties, and Fortified Forties.

I have many Mercury images. The one on my business card is by Benvenuto Cellini. I found "Mercury" phone cards from the UK. The former Dutch colony of Caracao had Mercury on one of their banknotes. I have a French medal - a bribe to bureaucrats to stay loyal during a revolution - with Mercury. Belgium put him on their Chamber of Commerce emergency token in 1921. I have others. ... and then there was NASA's Project Mercury... 

The images below are pewter demonstration pieces made by the Gallery Mint Museum at an ANA convention.  

6 years ago

I like everything that my fellow collector's wrote. I don't rember my first coin. I do rember my fist big buy.Antietam! My friend is a collector. He had a magazine out. I rember saying that bridge look's familiar. Of course it did I was on it. I looked at the price I think it was about five hundred. It was a ms65. I bought it and I'm still happy today!

6 years ago

for me it all started with statehood quarters and later national park quarters now I don't collect anything in particular just anything that catches  my eye

6 years ago

For me the coin was a Winged Liberty dime. My mother worked for a newspaper at the time, so I got to go to a flea market and a coin show in the same day. I, not yet having declared myself a coin collector, enjoyed the idea of having a real silver coin.


 After the flea market which I got the dime from, we went to a coin show, and of course, I was amazed by the friendly dealers and the proof sets. From the coin show I learned of the coin club which hosted it. I eventually attended two meetings of that coin club and another coin show.


By the time my family moved that same year (the reason I didn't join the club), I was already a coin collector.

6 years ago

Awesome! Very interesting to see the spark that lights up this passion in collectors, thanks for sharing!

6 years ago
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