Tuesday, August 01, 2017

My Story

Numismatics, or Coin Collecting

July 31, 2017

 Coins are the footprints of history….

Picked up my first coin collectible in high school in the 50’s, when I literally picked up a shiny US silver quarter which I found lying on the ground close to the cashier’s office of the school.

That initiated a nascent interest and devotion for the activity of collecting not only metal coins but also paper currencies of any and all countries in the world.  And in my personal case, the infectious drive to collect extended to most anything that caught my fancy, like ball pens, baseball caps, pencils, even assorted wrenches. BTW, that orphaned coin is still in my possession.

I cannot be described as having the kind of driven or addictive interests many collectors exhibit, but simply as being egged on by the kind of random and unplanned spark of interest one could generate going about one’s everyday living of life, by simply allowing oneself to get taken in by serendipitous opportunities that enrich the hobby.

And as fate would have it, I got employed in the local banking system, which provided fertile grounds for me to pursue my avocation.  And when the family migrated to the US, the wife for her turn got employed by a bank and spent almost a quarter of a century under its tutelage.  Opening more productive opportunities to broaden and make richer the collection that was slowly approaching critical mass.

Now, many years later, I can take stock of what I have gathered as accounted by the least efforts expended, and even with scant resources set aside for its purposes.

I may now own over a thousand pieces of coins from different parts of the globe filling in about two dozen folders, and with some loose special ones lying around.  All of them mounted and inserted into folders. And another separate folder for the paper currencies that are part of the hoard. Heavy and substantial enough, that one would be hard-put to carry all of them singly if they were all loaded into one big suitcase.

Thus at this more relaxed stage and at a time when one feels the time ripe, I am setting aside more time to sort, assess, and do research on the assorted items in my possession.

It would be safe to assume that the collection has over the years accumulated substantial values in dollar amounts.

At a rather leisurely pace and time, I am slowly getting ideas of the probable and possible values these coins may have on the markets, from the low ends to the highest possible.

In US Numismatics, the silver Morgan dollar is the darling of many, the Holy Grail for some, idolized and desired for its beauty, design, size and silver content.  Similarly then, the over two dozen pieces I have enjoy a special place and regard.

But so do the many others from different parts of the globe, and spanning many mintage years of their existence. And for many due to their age, demonetization has caught up with them.  And thus those who continue to hold on to them, consider their numismatic values instead, or the melt value of the metals they are made up

In many European countries especially those who have since joined with EU, their old currencies have been all replaced with the EU coinage and currency making the former all demonetized and out of circulation.