Numismatics is a wonderful hobby encouraging the participation of a
wide range of collectors. Interesting coins are available for purchase
from a few dollars to millions of dollars.
Collectors come in all shapes, sizes, budgets and intellects. Ages
span from young numismatists just beginning their journey to retired
collectors reaching the end of their collecting careers.
The interesting thing about numismatics is that these diverse
individuals share a common interest that allows them the unique
opportunity to interact.
I began collecting in 1965 and have had a wonderful life in
numismatics. Today’s beginning collector has so many more
opportunities than I had to learn about the hobby. The Internet was a
dream and national conventions did not come near my hometown very
often. I had to go it alone at the start of my collecting career.
Today, the “newmismatist” has a greater opportunity to meet other
collectors and learn from them. Internet chat rooms and boards offer a
fascinating insight into the collecting hobby. Questions can be asked
with a variety of answers forthcoming. Knowledge is dispensed much
more rapidly than in the “old days.”
I have developed some of the most important friendships of my life
through numismatics. I would never have had the good fortune of these
friendships without numismatics. They are a diverse group of
individuals. Some are veteran collectors who, like me, have been
accumulating coins and friends for many years. They are dear to me and
provide intellectual and moral support for my collecting habit. Others
are newcomers to the hobby that are seeking someone to ease their
entry to this interesting world.
Having been in the hobby for so many years, I have also lost a few
of these old friends. Often it is like losing an extended family
member. They were such an important part of my life for so long and
now they are no longer there. The hobby that bound us together offers
more than just an accumulation of metal disks. It allows people of
vastly different backgrounds to share a common interest.
Recently, I lost one of my oldest and best friends in the hobby.
John Burns left us much too soon. He was a source of immeasurable
pleasure and information in this hobby for many collectors. His
presence at shows will be sorely missed. Those that knew him realize
the depth of his knowledge and commitment to the hobby.
Take this opportunity to put the metal of numismatics aside for a
moment and take a little extra pleasure in the personal friendships
that you have collected. You will be enriched for the effort.
Image courtesy of David Heinrich.