Designs of the Times column from the Aug. 29, 2016, issue of
I just returned from a trip to a friend’s house where we spent a
wonderful weekend immersed in our collections. It has been a long time
since I have had the opportunity to share “numismatic geek” time like
this. It reminds me of the reasons I collect these interesting coins.
We, all too often, amass significant collections of coins only to
relegate them to the dark confines of a safe-deposit box until the
time comes to sell them. Is this really how we want to collect?
The sharing of our passion with a like-minded collector will be very
rewarding. It may even grace your collection with a duplicate or two.
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Do not be intimidated if your collection is inferior to your
friend’s — the fun and knowledge you acquire will more than make up
for the difference. I was totally outclassed by his collection in
nearly every instance, but when I had a winner it really made me smile!
The research we did on die marriages and odd die states expanded the
knowledge for both of us on the different series we studied. Each
collector looks at a coin differently, and what may appear to be
common knowledge on one person’s part becomes new information for another.
In particular, I was able to study some of the early Draped Bust
half dimes that I do not collect. He had a wonderful example of the
1801 half dime LM2 marriage, which Daniel Valentine in The United
States Half Dimes had cataloged as two different die marriages
(Valentine 1 and Valentine 2) due to what he thought was a die cud on
the obverse. The ”cud” on his coin actually was proven to be a deep
die clash of the eagle’s tail feathers! My friend’s coin was high
enough grade to see other evidence of the die clash, like arrowheads
from the reverse “floating” in the field of the coin behind Liberty’s
head. Having two (or more) sets of eyes on a question will always give
better results than studying in a vacuum.
We spent a very enjoyable two days looking at coins and trading
stories on how we obtained them.
Memories of collectors now gone abounded, often inspired by a coin
including them in its provenance. Much laughter and a few tears
accompanied the stories and memories, as we made new memories of our own.
Take the time to look up a collector with whom you can share a
similar experience and make that date now. You will have a blast
creating new memories with your collections, as well as deepening your friendship.