CoinLady's Blog

25 Jun 2017

Everyone needs a mentor

Coins-United States | CoinLady

Everyone needs a mentor for encouragement and inspiration, whether it's for a career or a serious hobby. I had a collecting mentor when I was young and became interested in coins.
Dealer Larry Whitlow ran the Beverly Hills Coin Shop in Chicago. I can't recall exactly when it started, but I visited the shop soon after my collecting days began. I was all of 11 years old and a girl, too, not your typical coin enthusiast. He always let me look around, browse. I was full of questions, and he answered them all. There were boxes of foreign coins and "better foreign," the foundations of a world coin collection. And there were good finds to be had.
Even then, I appreciated Morgan silver dollars, which were on sale for $1.25. Little better condition, $1.50. One year, Larry gave me a 1904-O dollar for Christmas. Another year, a Brown & Dunn grading guide.
Years later, I caught up with him at a World's Fair of Money and gave him a copy of my coin book. He said, "I will treasure this."
I was sorry to hear of his passing some years ago. If he didn't encourage this little girl to collect, I don't think I would have remained in the hobby and enjoyed it as much as I have.
Thanks, Larry.


Conan Barbarian

Level 5

you had the best places to go and made out well


Level 5

Mentors are important. My parents were mine. And they did me a huge favor at a time that I was thinking about "cashing-out." They stopped me. Thanks Mom & Dad!


Level 4

Thank you very much for publishing this thought. It is always important to remind, as you have here, of the important need for the ANA coin dealers and all collectors and club members to always try to support and to help to educate and inspire the young (and not so young) novice collectors. Coin collecting is truly a rewarding lifetime hobby in many ways for all, both young and old. The ANA is certainly a good association to support an to be involved with.


Level 5

I only wish there was someone to mentor me when I was growing up, but there were no dealers in the small town in which I lived. Rather, I subscribed to numismatic periodicals and did a lot of reading. In some respects these were my mentors. But oh how I loved collecting, I used much of the money I earned as a lad to buy coins through mail order!


Level 5

I totally agree. Nice thoughts in your blog.


Level 7

I was lucky also. Great story. Thanks for it. An elderly gentleman I know but I didn't know he collected coins took me under his wing. Taught me how to diversify my collection and get books and helped me in every way I needed it. To work on a budget and buy what I like not what he liked. I have kept that way to this day. Thanks for brining back a good memory to me. Mike


Level 6

That's a very nice sentiment to share with us. It's great when you can find a mentor. I am lucky enough to have found two. First is my coin store dealer. He is very free with his knowledge to my wife and myself. He won't let us waste our money, unless we insist. He has set us on a course in our collecting in 2 categories: investment coins and coins we just enjoy. He is one of those guys that will set aside a coin he thinks we might like. Next, I took the ANA correspondence course. Part of the deal is you are provided a mentor to help. I tried doing it on my own and just got more and more confused. I asked for a mentor and was assigned Bill Fivaz of the Cherry Pickers Guide. That was great. He is a very helpful teacher and mentor.He even went to bat for me when one of my test answers was marked incorrect and I thought I was right. He agreed with my reasoning and had the answer marked correct. Can't get better than that! Wow! This is the longest answer I've ever done!

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