Why do you collect coins?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by AdamsCollection, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. AdamsCollection

    AdamsCollection Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone! I was sitting here just thinking about my passion for numismatics and was wondering what it is that fascinates me SO much about coins. Is it the designs? If that were so wouldn't I just collect art? Is it the history? I guess this is the most true for me, but still something I just can't quite put my finger on.

    I know for me each and every coin is a work of art, art created during the time of minting but that art never stopped being made. Every nick, scratch, dent, embellishment, toning, mark and detail on the coin adds to its individual profile. It adds to the story of the coin. Some more obvious then others like counter marks, carvings and alterations. Each coin is from a place with its own history, from the hands of people who we will never meet, or truly know. It leaves us guessing, thinking, wondering and pondering about their lives and history.

    Some people collect silver and gold for their value, some people collect coins of ancient times, coins of the modern era, or coins of the world.
    Why do you collect? What do you collect? What do you find in coins, that you don't find anywhere else?


    This is an old coin from my collection, a severely worn classic head large cent. Something about it just fascinated me, coins are weird in that each coin provokes a different fascination, unlike the rest.
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  3. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    I was hoping you could tell me. ;) I'm still trying to figure it out.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  4. Lawtoad

    Lawtoad Well-Known Member

    For me it has always been the history attached to the coins. With the ancients, how many hands has the coin passed through to wind up in front of me. With U.S. coins, I focus on mainly obsolete coinage and wonder what the coin was used to purchase and whose pocket did it rattle around in. As you might guess I am mainly attracted to coins that have seen circulation. MS coins are great, but the ones that have traveled have seen the history.
  5. longnine009

    longnine009 Most Exalted Excellency

    Maybe we're wannabe Conquistadors capturing territories?
  6. 352sdeer

    352sdeer Collecting Lincoln cents for 50 years!

    I started collecting as an eight year old and have collected for fifty one years. I collect pretty much just Lincoln cents with nickels scattered in now and then. I like to coin roll hunt and love filling folders to make “grade” sets. It’s just the way I’ve always done it. I remember collecting bottles and then buying rolls from the bank in the early days of my obsession. Sometimes the store would give us rolls in exchange for the bottles. I got burned on a Morgan dollar that had been whizzed when I was thirteen and never branched out after that.

  7. masterswimmer

    masterswimmer Well-Known Member

    The thought of the times when these old coins were minted is an allure that attracted me to coins. For instance, gold coins from the mid 19th century were all mined from gold that was possibly panned. Maybe through a sluice box. None of it was mined using an excavator, backhoe or dump truck.

    I think about the times when our currency was backed by something tangible. Being able to go to the federal reserve to request silver in exchange for currency meant something. Now the Fed wouldn't even exchange my currency for an old car. ;) Fiat currency is a promise based on a wish and a prayer. One that becomes more and more eroded daily.

    The thought of the working man and woman slaving at a job only to come home with a coin or two from something in my collection preserves their turmoil.

    There's a myriad of reasons I collect. Those are a smattering of those reasons.
  8. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    In 1948 my aunt gave me an 1885 nickel and an 1883 without cents nickel. I was 5 years old. I found that, at the time, the 1885 was worth $5. What, a nickel worth $5. That was 71 years ago and I 'm still at it.
  9. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    Great. I feel the same. I collect mostly for date, mint and eye appeal. Mildly circulated coins have a character that you don't get with MS.
  10. AdamsCollection

    AdamsCollection Well-Known Member

    Very interesting that you never branched out! I respect that!!
  11. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Why do you collect coins?

    I imagine that it gives me the same high that drugs would, only I know the high will last a lot longer . . .
  12. AdamsCollection

    AdamsCollection Well-Known Member

    Very Fair Point. I most certainly get a nice serotonin rush
  13. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Quite likely, it's in my RNA.......

    I can't explain the passion, but the passion of collecting keeps me out of trouble. :)

    It's like what the wife says (about another hobby of mine)....I'd rather see him chasing trains than other women. :)
  14. Jeffjay

    Jeffjay Well-Known Member

    For me aside from the fact that so many coins are beautiful and their history is fascinating I like the fact that you never stop learning in this Hobby.
    Every day that I spend a little bit of time studying coins I learn more. I think it's a great brain exercise and more fun than crossword puzzles.
  15. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    Each coin is a representative of its historical era. Coin collecting and the study of history go arm in arm for me.
  16. AdamsCollection

    AdamsCollection Well-Known Member

    Simply, but well put.
  17. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter


    I dunno...habit I guess
  18. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    I collect coins because the sheer weight of them would pull my pants down.

  19. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    I love history and my collection is mostly made up of coins that were used by my ancestors in Sicily and Italy. There was extreme poverty in Sicily and each coin represented much work for the holder. There was no paper money used back in the 1600's-1700's so the coins were the primary form of currency. There were also no banks for the common folks and each silver coin was part of their savings if they could manage to put a few away. Sometimes they would hide a few silver coins in the walls of their homes or bury them under the old olive tree.

    There were gold coins minted but they were out of reach for the majority of people. If they could get their hands on a silver dollar sized scudo/piastra they would have felt fortunate
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  20. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    One of those History channels had a piece on Jesse James. Jesse was having fun with his gang members. Cocked his gun and they stepped back. He said "I was just Joshing". I sent a letter to the channel letting them know that the "just Joshing" comment didn't come out until after Jesse was dead. Jesse was killed in 1882. The Liberty Nickel came out in 1883. Gold plating the V nickel was the start of the just Joshing comment when a man named Josh was gold platting these coins and trying to pass them off as $5 gold pieces. When caught he would just say he was joking.

    Yes, there is plenty of history in coins.
  21. longnine009

    longnine009 Most Exalted Excellency

    I think someone on the RCC once said we collect coins because we descended from squirrels who collected acorns.
    AdamsCollection likes this.
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