Here are five ways for Colonial coin enthusiasts to add more
enjoyment during this new year.
Keep better records. Take more careful notes about coins you see
at auction lot viewing, on the bourse, in friends’ collections, or in
museums. Write all over your books and catalogs; that’s where you’ll
look for information when you need it. Print out the eBay auctions you buy.
All of that will come in handy when you want to sell something, or
write an article, or are looking to start collecting a new specialty.
Buy more books. Several notable new titles have appeared in the
last few months. Also, there are always out-of-print books to acquire,
and plenty of non-numismatic titles can inform and expand your
numismatic interests. The Internet is no substitute.
Read your books. Be honest: How many hours a week do you spend on
coin dealer websites, eBay, or coin-related Internet forums? Cut back
by an hour or two a week online, find a comfortable chair and read.
Your new knowledge will come in handy when buying coins and making
forum posts. Keep a pen handy for note taking.
Take a numismatically inspired trip to somewhere other than a coin
show. Go see the tiny Old Treasury Building in Annapolis, Md., and
visit the homes of minter John Chalmers and printer Jonas Green
nearby. Go see the collection of Vermont coppers at the Bennington
Museum. Take pictures in front of B. Max Mehl’s building in Fort
Worth, Texas. Walk down the Florida beaches where coins from the Fleet
of 1715 wash up. Consider visiting someplace that will make your
collection a little more interesting.
Sell one coin from your collection and donate the money to a
worthy numismatic charity. We all have forgettable duplicates, or even
coins we paid very little for that turned out to be worth much more.
Whatever pleasure is derived from owning it, you may more enjoy the
act of helping the American Numismatic Society to digitize its
collection or sending a Young Numismatist to the American Numismatic
Association Summer Seminar.
Bonus: Attend a major Colonial coin related event that you’ve
never been to before. Whether it is a major Colonial coin auction
(there should be at least a couple in 2014) or your first convention
of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club in Baltimore, you’ll remember
friends you meet and conversations you’ve had long after your
acquisitions blend into the rest of your collection.
If your collecting goals in 2014 are to learn more about coins and
make more friends who share your interest, there is no replacement for
John Kraljevich Jr. is an independent professional numismatist and
researcher specializing in early American coinage.