US Coins

Take time for friendship

The author, Bradley Karoleff (wearing hat), enjoys dinner out with numismatic friends Charlie Horning, center, David Heinrich, left, and the rest of the Heinrich family, wife, Heidi, and daughters, Anna and Katie, during the American Numismatic World's Fair of Money in 2005 in San Francisco.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image courtesy of David Heinrich.

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.

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