Home Hobbyist column from May 30, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:
As more collectors buy coins online and brick-and-mortar shops close in hometowns, numismatic mentorship may change from the interpersonal to the digital.
Bloggers and columnists (and I am both) will be mentors of a sort.
But something will be lost.
I have a mentor: Scott Nichols, owner of Chester’s Coins and Gifts, in Ames, Iowa.
A few years back, a vibrant Scott was biking across the country and learned via telephone from his doctor that he had developed cancer. He has been fighting the good fight, all the while showing up for work and selling coins.
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For decades now, Scott has planned our annual Coin-a-Rama show. This year he felt it was time to showcase his complete collection of Morgan dollars — none of it for sale. Many of the coins are beautiful high Mint State and some are richly toned.
I arrived after the doors opened. Scott was in the process of selling a coin when he glanced up and I shot the photo of him, happy to be among friends and hobbyists.
I began collecting coins as a pre-teen. One coin dealer in my New Jersey hometown was across from the local bank. I would get rolls of cents from the bank, inspect them in the lobby, and go to the dealer with my finds. I collected through high school.