How Did You Get Your Start? Small Town Values...

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by tommyc03, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    I feel inspired for this based upon tonight threads ( two to be specific). How did you get started collecting coins? I started work at 10 years old, getting up at 5AM every morning to help my Dad on the farm. This started with shovel the manure and dosing out the silage, no pay. When I was 11 I went to the main farm he worked at and did the same for 50 cents a day. When I was 12 I was driving a tractor bringing in hay for $1.00 a day. When I turned 13 I bought a lawnmower and towed it behind my bicycle to mow neighbors yards-$3.00 a pop. Now I was getting somewhere. I went and purchased my Lincoln Cent & Jefferson Nickel folder and started to fill the spaces, meanwhile selling seeds door to door for 10 cents a pack and the Grit newspaper for 10 cents a copy. "maximizing my profits" ( hint, hint) I stepped up to dimes and quarters and filling those spaces. Turning 14 I rode hay trucks delivering to the horse farms for $15.00 a load. At 16 I got a state tax permit and was selling Amway products, again still on my bike, so now I'm collecting silver halves. At 17 I bought and paid for my first car, a 1965 Pontiac Catalina and was manager of the automotive dept. at W.T. Grants. At 18 I joined a top 500 company and stayed there for 38 years. I now am retired and have a wonderful collection to look back on. As you can see, I was not raised on a silver spoon. So sad those who want it all now or else refuse to work. So what is your story?
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. charlietig

    charlietig Well-Known Member

    I started after a shopping day out with my mother.
    After receiving my due change after a purchase that day, I pulled it out of pocket and the first coin I pulled out was a 2008 Hawaii State Quarter... I sat there amazed that a machine could put such a image on a coin...... I was hooked from there :)
    Gilbert, Trish, NSP and 3 others like this.
  4. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    Nice story. I'm not sure mine is anywhere near as interesting as yours. When I was young, I collected stamps. One day someone gifted me a 1958 Cuban 10 centavos coin, and that got me interested in learning more about coins. I started to browse the infant internet (this was circa 1997) and discovered there were people who collected coins, and what's more, there were these things called "coin shops." I searched the yellow pages (for the younger collectors, the Yellow Pages were like Google Search but in book form) and discovered there was a shop a few miles from my house. I pestered my parents until they agreed to take me and the rest was history. The minute I walked into that shop and started looking at the 19th and early 20th century American coins on display, I knew my stamp collecting days were over and I should be collecting coins. Nearly 19 years later, I'm still collecting, except now I'm acquiring ancient coins instead of American coins.
    Gilbert, Trish, tommyc03 and 5 others like this.
  5. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Well, @tommyc03 I grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. and we didn't have farms in our neighborhood, but we did have a lot of poolrooms in the metropolitan area. That's where I got my start collecting Morgan dollars at the age of 10. Yes, I hate to say it, but I was a gambler and very good at pool. I rarely lost. I bought plenty of Morgan dollars at face value from the banks with my winnings. I paid cash for a brand new '64 Corvette from one pool match and then a brand new '66 GTO two years later.

    After marriage, military service and a career in insurance, the best thing that ever happened to me was getting a divorce. I lost my job and ended up becoming a bartender. I made a lot of money bartending, still gambled at pool and bought a lot of coins. But, most importantly, I was able to devote a lot of time helping my parents and I never regretted anything.

    Gilbert, Mainebill, Trish and 8 others like this.
  6. Blissskr

    Blissskr Well-Known Member

    I did a lot of metal detecting with my father when I was a young boy in the 80's and helped him fill many jars of coins. Although I kept a couple collection jars when I was a kid, I didn't really get back into collecting until 2011 as an adult. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer mid way through 2011 and I spent a lot of time with him until he passed in Feb, 2012. During this time I joined the forum and learned a ton from many of you here. In fact I went back to see some of my first posts and it's amazing how far I've come in the past five years knowledge and collection wise. Some of my favorite coins are ones that I've kept in small tube for almost 25 years now. Although they mostly consist of only beat up junk silver that's been cleaned with lemon juice, toothpaste, you name it from when I was a kid and didn't no any better. But the memories attached are priceless, vividly remember finding them with my father detecting on the families old farm land and under old house porches in Massachusetts where I grew up.
    Gilbert, Trish, midas1 and 5 others like this.
  7. TJ1952

    TJ1952 Well-Known Member

    Ten years old, in 62' with a 100 costumer paper route during the HOT summers. On Thursday's (after making my collections) I would come home with black ink all over my hands, face and so much change on my packets, my pants would be falling down! At some point, (right around that time) my father said the gov't would no longer be making coins out of silver. He suggested I start saving as much of the silver as I could. Again, at some point Whitman folders came into my life and I was hooked!
    Gilbert, Trish, midas1 and 3 others like this.
  8. SeberHusky

    SeberHusky Member

    Coin collecting has been in the family I guess and it got passed onto me. My great grandmother did it, my mother does it, and now I do it. My teenage (younger than myself) nephew did it too for a time, but not anymore, he gave me ones he had. (Some world coins from different countries and 2 buffalo nickels)
    Gilbert, Trish, midas1 and 4 others like this.
  9. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    I got my start from my Grandfather. I had good times with him and some of the best times were just siting around and talking about what he found. He had a couple different jobs as he was retired but he couldn't stop working completely because that was a sign of the times and part of who he was. Anyways, he had a couple of small jobs and one of them was cleaning up a laundromat. Cleaning out the traps in the washers and dryers he would find coins and tokens as this was in the late 1950's and early 1960's. I was amazed at the tokens and coins he found and the stories he told about them. Unfortunately, he died a couple years after sharing good times and stories with me but the passion he shared with me never did. Every now and then I see a token that I was first shown by him, I don't have the one he gave me as I was later ripped off for my sentimental treasures. But
    MiscHumpR.jpg $_HumpBackObv57.JPG this pic is of a token I used to have, not the same exact token of course b/c mine was ripped off, but it still brings back memories, every time I see one like it.
    Gilbert, Trish, midas1 and 5 others like this.
  10. gibsport

    gibsport Active Member

    My father was a coin collector and started an older sister on Roosevelt dimes, skipped me and started a younger sister on Lincoln cents. I was normally dragged along to auctions and antique stores so I wouldn't be home fighting with my 4 sisters. In one store, I spotted a 1909-1940 cent book with a nickel price tag. I asked my parents to buy it but they refused. For some reason, I had a nickel with me and bought it myself. I eventually rode to the bank and got 2 rolls of pennies. Once I found a 32D that got Dad off the couch in a hurry. He looked through the rest with me and then traded me a 1901 Indian cent for it. Another time it was a 23-s and again he was down there with me.
    I was also the errand boy and my mom sent me with 6 cents to mail a letter for her. After pedaling several blocks to the post office, I discovered the nickel was a 38-s that I didn't have. Needless to say, the letter didn't get mailed until the next trip. I now collect nearly all U.S. coins but the Lincoln cents are still my favorite. My father created a monster by trying to keep me from collecting!
    Gilbert, Trish, midas1 and 4 others like this.
  11. DUNK 2

    DUNK 2 Well-Known Member

    I also started working at a relatively young age. . . Beginning around age 13, my summers were spent working at least 40 hours/week on a vegetable farm. I started at $1/hour, got a 25 cent raise each year and ended my farming career making $2/hour. Hard work at any age, especially for a youngin' with severe allergies!!!

    I survived, learned the value of money and hard work and, many years later, my now deceased father gave me his collection. Among many other treasured pieces, his collection included this Liberty Head, the most cherished piece in my collection. This coin was actually passed to Dad by my grandfather.

    Coronet Obverse.jpg
    Gilbert, Mainebill, Rushmore and 7 others like this.
  12. Rushmore

    Rushmore Coin Addict

    Nine years old (1985) we went on a family trip to Canada and got some leftover change from my dad. Quarter, dime, nickel, and two pennies.
    TJ1952, midas1, Blissskr and 2 others like this.
  13. midas1

    midas1 Exalted Member

    My mother was a coin collector. Some of my earliest memories are of watching her handle coins she had collected. I think I was around 5-6 when she bought me some blue Whitman albums to fill. By the time I was twelve or so I was replacing pocket change coins with coins of a higher quality. Then I discovered the owner of the local hobby shop would take collectable coins for model airplanes and such. Most all of the valuable coins I had collected were traded for model airplanes, a BB gun, Lionel trains, etc. I mother was very disturbed by my behavior.
    Gilbert, Trish, Blissskr and 4 others like this.
  14. Chuck47

    Chuck47 Member

    All these stories have brought back some good memories for me. I got started in collecting in 1958 while working in a corner grocery store, delivering groceries on a bicycle in a small town in North Carolina.

    The owner was a collector himself and gave me an old worn Whitman Lincoln folder and included a 1909 VDB cent. I had to promise never to spend it and in return, he would help me find the coins to go in the folder. Each Saturday I was paid $5.00 for my weeks salary. I would peddle the bike with the huge basket on the front like crazy to get to the bank before it closed and exchange my $5.00 for 10 rolls of pennies to search though later.

    With the owner's help, I was able to fill a lot of holes in that old folder. I was always surprised that I was able to find some early coins in the teens and twenties whenever I would get rolls from him!

    I went on to collecting other US coins and have enjoyed the hobby off and on for almost 58 years.

    I still have that 1909 VDB because of the promise I made and in a separate holder and it means a lot to me.
    Gilbert, micbraun, TJ1952 and 6 others like this.
  15. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    Wish I'd known you in those days. No better friend on Earth than a poolplayer who tends bar. :D

    For me it started during a Matchbox road construction frenzy in my front yard in upstate New York, in the late 1960's. I unearthed an 1861 IHC, and ADHD me was beyond obsessed with what I'd found. It seems contradictory to the perception of ADHD, but when I find something that fascinating, the rest of the world ceases to exist and I can spend hours staring at one coin. Anything else, well, I can't sit through a whole movie.

    Neither have gotten any better since - the ADHD or the obsession with coins. :)
    Gilbert, Mainebill, TJ1952 and 5 others like this.
  16. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Great story! I actually collected stamps also until the over promoted Elvis issue. Collected comics until the early 90's and prices skyrocketed. Trouble with being a baby boomer is that everything came hard, got hand me downs in a family of 10, etc. So I not only collected but dragged it everywhere I went as an adult. It's all paying off now tho. Those country songs about hard times and working your hands to the bone, they are all true.
    midas1 likes this.
  17. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    I knew you would have a great story Chris and thanks for sharing. I used to love playing against the rich kids from the private school nearby. Made a lot of money and always drank for free.
    Mainebill likes this.
  18. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Thank you for sharing and I'm so sorry for the loss of your Dad. I lost mine in 95 after a 10 year battle with multiple myeloma. We were both workaholics but I spent a lot of time with him those last 10 years. I still remember following behind him on foot when he was plowing the fields when I was a kid looking for arrow heads. Our property was right on the Konkapot River, named after Chief Konkapot here in the Berkshires in Ma. Found a few but my younger brother scoffed them from me. Priceless memories for sure.
    Blissskr likes this.
  19. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Thank you for sharing. I only had 30 customers for the Grit newspaper but they were all older folks who had change jars and the route was worth it getting all those silver dimes they had stashed away for who knows how long. It's how I got my first Barber dime. That was from a lady who had taken in orphans during the depression.
  20. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    I used to get a real kick out of the so-called "road" players who came into my bar. They were always looking to hustle some poor schmuck, and for some reason they never thought that a bartender could play pool. The problem was that it didn't matter if they won or lost. Word would get around so quickly about them playing me that they couldn't find a game anywhere.

    One of my favorites......

    JOSS WEST Img1[1].jpg

    Gilbert, midas1 and tommyc03 like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page