Why Col­lect Coins?

Montreal Times - - NEWS - By Michael Jof­fre mtl­times.ca

The other day, someone came in our of­fice with a group of coins, and dur­ing my con­ver­sa­tion with them they asked “why would any­one col­lect coins?”. Well here are some of my rea­sons…per­haps you have yours…

His­tory. There are very few ac­tiv­i­ties where you can ac­tu­ally hold his­tory in your hands. How many au­then­tic ob­jects from the Ro­man Em­pire, the knights of me­dieval Europe or early Amer­ica have you seen? How about OWN­ING them? When you hold a 2,000 year old coin, you get a spe­cial feel­ing of be­ing con­nected with the past. This in turn will mo­ti­vate you to learn more about his­tory, and how it re­lates to your coins.

The Hunt. For col­lec­tors, there is noth­ing more ex­cit­ing than try­ing to find that elu­sive item they are missing. Some coins are so rare, that a life­time of search­ing, and an un­lim­ited bud­get will not pro­duce re­sults…so find­ing a rare item to add to your col­lec­tion can be a spe­cial event.

Clubs. Col­lect­ing for some is a pri­vate thing, but it does not need to be. By get­ting to­gether with fel­low col­lec­tors, you can share sto­ries, learn from each other, help each other find missing items, and most im­por­tantly make new friends. I have found that coin col­lec­tors in gen­eral, are some of the nicest peo­ple, and this is why I have joined so many clubs. In Mon­treal, there is the Lakeshore Coins Club (in Pointe-Claire), and the Mon­treal Nu­mis­matic So­ci­ety (down­town). Out­side of Mon­treal, there is a big club in Boucherville, and an­other in Que­bec City. Of course we have a na­tional club, the Royal Cana­dian Nu­mis­matic So­ci­ety, and the largest club in the world is the Amer­i­can Nu­mis­matic As­so­ci­a­tion. I am pres­i­dent of both Mon­treal clubs, and a mem­ber of all of the oth­ers men­tioned, and will be happy to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about them to any­one who wishes to con­tact me.

Travel. There are coin con­ven­tions and ex­hibits across Canada, the USA, and around the world. Plan­ning a va­ca­tion around them can be fun, as it is an ex­cuse to visit places you have not been. Also, many ma­jor cities ac­tu­ally have ei­ther coin, or ma­jor mu­se­ums with ma­jor col­lec­tions on dis­play.

Fi­nan­cial. Many coins are made of pre­cious me­tals, like gold, sil­ver, and plat­inum, which over time (as per my pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cle on gold), have shown to be an ex­cel­lent pre­server of wealth from in­fla­tion. Fur­ther­more, a bas­ket of rare, qual­ity con­di­tion coins, would have likely given you a re­turn much su­pe­rior to the stock mar­ket over the last 5, 10, 20, or 50 years, if pur­chased at a proper mar­ket price.

Learn­ing. Coin col­lect­ing seems like a sim­ple past-time, but as the old say­ing goes…the more you know, the more you know that you do not know. This is why learn­ing is so im­por­tant in our hobby. When I started out col­lect­ing as a kid, I had no books, and went to the li­brary to look at an old ref­er­ence or two. To­day, I have thou­sands (yes thou­sands!) of ref­er­ence books, cat­a­logs, re­search pa­pers, etc, re­lat­ing to coins…and I am just scratch­ing the sur­face. Not only can coin col­lec­tors learn about his­tory, but also geog­ra­phy, eco­nom­ics, met­al­lurgy, art, re­li­gion, pol­i­tics, etc, etc. Young chil­dren have the added ben­e­fit of learn­ing math skills as well.

Un­for­tu­nately, there is not enough space here for me to con­tinue with a myr­iad of other rea­sons to col­lect,…but to sum it up in one big rea­son…be­cause coin col­lect­ing is FUN.

Michael Jof­fre is owner of Cars­ley Whetstone & Com­pany Inc. a firm that buys and sells rare coins and re­lated col­lecta­bles. He is al­ways in­ter­ested in buy­ing older coin col­lec­tions. CWC also car­ries a full line of books and col­lect­ing sup­plies, avail­able in stock in their re­tail store. Michael can be reached at 514-2899761, or at sales@cars­leys.com . For more in­for­ma­tion please visit:

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