As I write this on the day before Thanksgiving, the television, radio, Internet and newspapers all are inundated with ads for consumer goods. I wonder how many of these suggested holiday gifts will even be remembered in the coming years.
Coins and paper money can provide interesting, thoughtful gifts, dripping with history and value, that the recipients won’t soon forget.
Of course, some choices are obvious, like 2013 Proof and Mint sets from the U.S. Mint, or the ever-popular American Eagle silver bullion coin.
But why make the obvious choice when our hobby has so many rich alternatives that can connect the gift with the individual receiving it?
Do you have someone on your list who likes history? A framed post-World War I German inflationary note with a ridiculously high denomination is an inexpensive gift that looks great in an office.
Have someone with an unusual name on your list? Do a bit of research and find a token or medal related to the name.
Have someone with a passion for beer, gaming or sports on your list? Beer and casino tokens are widely available and highly decorative, while sports-themed medals celebrate just about any sport imaginable.
What could be an easier gift than a membership? A regular Young Numismatist one-year membership to the hobby’s largest organization, the American Numismatic Association, costs just $26. State, regional and specialty organizations are typically less expensive.
Of course, subscriptions to publications like Coin World spread out the cheer all year long.
Every year, too, the list of new, quality books available on topics both broad and specialized expands, although, likely, hundreds of thousands of collections have started with an annual Guide Book to United States Coins (the “Red Book”)
As Dave Bowers points out this week in his column, our hobby is always in need of new people curious about money and its history.
A thoughtful numismatic holiday gift is a great way to introduce someone new to our hobby and keep it thriving.