My interest in coin collecting started like many do, as a kid looking through pocket change. My dad was a collector, but also mainly just from pocket change. He had the neat Whitman sliding window penny, mercury dime and quarter holders. I had the used Whitman folders where some of the coins would fall out whenever you closed them. I was 7 in 1965, so silver coins were still in circulation. There were no buffalo nickels with dates left in circulation, but you could still find common date mercury dimes, silver Washington quarters, wheat pennies, older Jefferson nickels and silver Roosevelt dimes. You could almost make a complete set of the Jefferson and Roosevelt coins from change. Occasionally you could find a well-worn penny or quarter coin from the 30’s, but by that time there were no key dates in circulation. Like most kids I would go through my Mom’s or my Grandparents change and swap them for any of the above coins. You could not really fill a book, but it was still exciting when you I did fill a slot! I never went to coins stores; I spent my allowance mainly on baseball cards. Anyone looking for 1964 baseball cards?-LOL. I never bought them but I since have found out from my friends that you could buy bags of coins at department stores and 5 and dime stores. I did go to guns shows with my dad where there were some coins I could by for my collections. I still have some dimes in the old holders that say 40 cents. My biggest thrill as a kid was to get about 15 Liberty nickels in a Whitman book. There were some from the late 1880’s and 90’s! They were older than may grandparents-to a kid that was really cool!
So I did not do much coin collecting after that other than still searching through change and putting them in jars. Fast forward to 2005 and I started to get back into the hobby by going to coin stores. This turned out to be a good time to buy as silver was still fairly low. I could buy silver halves from the dealer boxes for about 6 to 7 dollars. Then I found out about EBay in 2007. My first goal was to have one coin from any denomination starting from 1825, then that moved to 2 coins. It was a lot of fun learning about old coins I had never seen before! That got me hooked again.
It seems like now I collect everything, raw or certified. Being on a somewhat limited budget has had the normal stumbling blocks. I am sure the list is common for a lot of collectors: 1916 D dime, the big 3 Barber quarters, the 1895 O Barber dime, the 1913 S type 2 buffalo, 1909 S VDB and 1914D penny, the 1877 and 1909 S Indian cents, the 1928 Peace dollar. If I had more discipline I would buy fewer coins and save up for the key dates. Maybe someday I will go in that direction. Unfortunately with EBay and the other auction sites, I am like a kid in a 24 hour candy store. I always see something I can use. Good thing I only win about 1 out of every 10 to 20 coins I bid on. Otherwise I would a homeless guy pushing my coin collection around in a shopping cart!
Thanks for reading and best of luck in your coin pursuits- Dave (Yankeejose)
By the way – Yankeejose comes from my youth. My favorite baseball player was Mickey Mantle- a Yankee. My nickname on my high school baseball team was Jose. There was a professional outfielder named Jose Cardinal whose ball cap kept flying off when he ran because he had an afro. As was the style in the mid 1970’s, and having curly blonde hair, I had an afro too. Since I was also an outfielder, I had the same problem with my hat and hence the nickname.