Everyone has their own unique story about how he or she got interested in coins and here’s mine. Many years ago, when I was probably around five, my dad bought two state quarter books, one for him and one for me. During this time, whenever he got quarter change, we would look through it to find State Quarters to fill the books. This was before the National Park Quarters, so we would find either generic Washington Quarters or State Quarters. We slowly filled up both books. I was about seven years old when the series concluded. By the time we finished our books, I was probably around eight years old. After that, my collecting run essentially ended.
Fast forward to age eleven. As a reference, I am currently sixteen at the time of writing. We had just recently moved and had piles and piles of boxes from the old house. I was helping my dad go through these boxes, sorting out things to keep and things to throw away or donate. In one box, there were coin folders and a few coin binders. These were my dad had collected when he was younger. He didn’t stick with the hobby too much, however, and had stopped collecting by his teenage years. Into adulthood, he did have a few coin collecting projects, which I will get into in a later blog. Anyways, my dad gave me all of his coins since he thought I might be interested in collecting. I have a large interest in history, so it makes sense that I like coins. He had reasonably large collections of Lincoln Wheat Cents and Lincoln Memorial Cents. He also had a lot of non-Silver Kennedy Half Dollars. His collection was pretty small and consisted mostly of cents, half dollars, and several 1976 bicentennial quarters and half dollars. Additionally, he had a binder of currency which he had collected when he was younger. Most of the currency was foreign, but there was some US currency. Starting at this point, I was determined to finish his collection, starting with what he had and building off of that. To this day, I have significantly grown my collection.
This was the starting moment of coin collecting for me. Sure, we had done the State Quarter collection, but, that was the full extent of my collection. At this point, I began going to a local coin show once a month and looking for cents to fill the collection. To further grow the collection, I began purchasing cent boxes at my local bank and returning the searched rolls to a different branch in town. I would search through the boxes, filling out any empty spaces in the folders and keeping all the wheat cents I found, even if they didn’t fit in the folder. This continued for quite some time. I even started searching through nickels, dimes, and quarters. I had started the National Park Quarter collection, so I was working to fill that and was also working to fill up some other folders that I had purchased for Jefferson Nickels and Roosevelt and Mercury Dimes. Unfortunately, I was never able to find any silver quarters, but I was able to find a couple silver Roosevelt Dimes and several War Nickels.
This isn’t all! There will be a Part 2, where I will discuss more of the history of “What Got Me Collecting?” This was going to be a very long blog post if I didn’t break it up and this helps create suspense and keep you coming back for more.