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Question for Numismatic Omnivores

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It's not at all unusual to see collections numbering in the tens of thousands. Until very recently I had over 25,000 coins myself. Even now, with a very tightly focused collection, it extends to hundreds of coins and around 50 different albums.

At what point do you begin to question the sense of having thousands upon thousands of coins you will never look at again once they've been labelled and catalogued? I reckon we're all different and you should collect in a manner which makes you happy but I just don't get it. For sure I don't mean to offend anyone with wider ambitions, I just want to understand how others see their collection.

Me? I very much enjoy taking out an album and just browsing through the beautifully designed coins inside, even the ugly worn ones. Actually, especially the ugly, worn ones. I like to imagine what kind of famous, or infamous people might have handled a particular coin, wonder how it might have changed the life of some humble workman or brought a smile to the face of a long dead child. Did Jack the Ripper spend that 1888 penny during his Autumn of Terror or was it given to one of his victims in exchange for a moment's passion? Was that Reichsmark in the uniform pocket of a brave and eager 6th Army recruit on his way to betrayal and an icy grave at Stalingrad? Did that old Australian 1/2 Crown decide the toss during the Bodyline series? Oh, I could go on forever but you get the drift.

Each of my coins, or more specifically each of the coins in my collection vs my swap list, is a very personal thing to me. Apart from the pseudo historical context alluded to above, there are some which will always be associated with a particular friend and fellow collector, or with a brief (but not according to my lovely wife) stop at a coin shop during a memorable vacation.

Can you feel the same way about a soul-less commemorative coin in a plastic slab which has never been touched by a human hand? Don't get me wrong, I've got plenty of such coins! I have boxes of junk silver and a safe full of bullion coins. I just don't find them appealing, exciting or even particularly interesting. They don't have a tale to relate to me.

I know I'm generalizing but I wonder how many of these large collections or perhaps more accurately accumulations, which have been so enthusiastically put together, often at great cost, will end up being sold by the pound once the interest inevitably fades?

A final thought...... Isn't it in all of our interest to develop a widespread and sustainable passion for Numismatics by encouraging new or young collectors to focus their ambitions and grow some understanding and appreciation of a particular series instead of blindly clicking on check boxes and filling albums with coins they know nothing about?
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Make Numismatics Great Again!  
I feel the same way about the history of coins, which is why I only collect pre-1945 coins. After that was when the commemorative production train really started gathering speed. It's also after that that most countries stopped using precious metals in their coins.

Of course when you start out collecting you collect absolutely everything you can get your hands on. You need to, because you need to find your passion. I was like that when I first started collecting, but once I found out what I liked an wanted to focus on I started refining my collection. The biggest clear-out was just before I entered my collection on this site, and I dropped from around 5,000 coins down to about 1,400 - and I've continued refining my collection down to the point where I now have around 500 coins in 4 albums (one album for my main 10 countries, one album for the UK, Ireland, and the Channel Islands, two albums for the rest of the world).

You can see from my graph on the "your coins" page when I decided to refine a bit more



In case you're wondering, my main 10 countries that I concentrate on are:
  1. New Zealand
  2. New Zealand trade tokens
  3. Panama (complete)
  4. Vatican
  5. Australia
  6. Canada
  7. USA
  8. New Guinea
  9. Fiji (complete)
  10. Malaya area (Sarawak, Malaya, Malaya and British Borneo, Straits settlements, etc)

I find that if you collect anything and everything you tend to concentrate on the lower value, easy to get coins and you never bother with the tough ones or higher value coins, your joy comes from getting more and more coins you don't have. But if you narrow your collection down then you don't mind spending a good amount on a single coin that advances your collection, because your joy comes from getting a collection finished and collecting beautiful coins. I used to balk at the idea of spending $20-$30 on a coin. Why would I spend that much on one coin when I could get a kilogram of coins for that money? Now I wouldn't think twice about spending that on a single coin, I have most of the cheap, easy ones for the areas I collect so now I'm working on the beautiful higher value coins.

Coins like this ones that I recently added

I started questioning it about a hundred coins in. Even now I have a very tiny collection, maybe 300 coins and a few specimen sets. I see my modest two binders and wonder what I'm even doing. Keeping coins in binders, in the dark. I question it every so often still, but it hasn't stopped me.

Like all good addictions you get your first one free and then you snowball from there.

And then, like you, I take them out and start looking through and I love every single one. My favourites are often the ones that are worn or have crinkled edges. I have one that looks like someone tried to cut it in half with metal snips and gave up. I like to think of what kinds of things they have seen, or paid for. Maybe some woman used it as a final payment on her wedding dress. Or a kid was given it for helping the elderly next door neighbour and used it to buy candies. Maybe it fell into the foundation of a building under construction, and now that the building is gone that coin has found its way to me.

My main goal is to get one of every Newfoundland coin. Other than that I've been picking up coins as I see them around here or eBay and fall in love with them. Some are current sets that I got from friends around the world. Common now, but maybe someone will find them in a hundred years and be as amazed as I am.
That discussion started by Phil is very interesting.

When I first registered on this site (May 2016), I was surprised to discover than many fellow collectors were trying to reach 200 or 300 countries. Of course every one is free to collect what they like ─even non-circulating souvenirs or whatever coins─ but I find it much more rewarding to become a specialist in a particular area, such as a historical period or a region/country. In another thread I said that when I see something I like, but is not in my area, I always ask myself whether I would not rather spend that same money on my Canadian colonial series, and the answer is "Yes" pretty much always, except perhaps for a Roman coin once in a while.

I said on a couple of occasions that I was working on articles in the field. That wasn't a joke; I actually have several papers underway, and I hope to present one in a Department of History early next year (I already told them about it). Some of my countermarked coins were purchased (and are being purchased) with exactly that in mind. And if I need to provide pictures, they will be my own, instead of having to ask permission from museums to use their pictures (for which they may charge you a fee).

My main problem over the next few months will be to organize my collection into albums of some sort. The great pleasure of collecting, in my view, is to have every piece purchased in order to create a single "work of art", some sort of a "composition" ─made of artefacts instead of words─ and telling a story. It is of course much easier for stamp collectors to organize their collections into albums than for us coin collectors. How do I fit my friggin' humongous 1797 2-pence¹ into an album??

As for circulated coins, it's ironic that the most successful coins, which circulated sometimes for over a century, and are graded G or lower, are the least desirable coins for collectors. I try to have higher grade coins, of course, but my "foreign coins used in Canada" section contains a good number of low grade coins because that's what our ancestors used in the late-17th to the mid-19th centuries. They most probably never saw a high-grade pistareen. Our so-called "blacksmith tokens" were struck to look like worn out British ½d precisely because that's the kind of copper that was circulating along with US large cents and odd foreign pieces.

That was my ' worth.

_______
¹ Which I consider part of my "foreign" coins used in Canada.
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I've been a coin omnivore myself for some time, but then understood that quality is more important than quantity. This picture says it all:

ROMAE AETERNAE
Very good timing for this topic. I am culling the herd at this moment.

As my Canadian Cent collection nears completion, I have rolled over 5,000 and just found another tupperware container. Jeez. My side project of non-silver Canuck 25 Cents is very close to completion too, rolled 200 of those. Several bags of 5 and 10 Cent pieces are going to be rolled tomorrow.

My secondary goal of 300 countries is going to be altered to include only coins prior to my birth year (where applicable). This should increase my swap list considerably.

And lastly, working very hard at improving my Canadian Colonial Tokens.

I see like many of us, it is the history of these "little beauties" that makes the hobby so interesting. I can spend hours on the internet researching Kings and Queens, rebellions, animals, ships, and on and on.

In fact, I have spent enough money on their product during my hobby hours that Molson's should just give me a token https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces99301.html
(doesn't have to be the silver one)
We were so busy deciding whether we could, we never asked ourselves whether we should!
Ooohhhh Phil we missed you!!!

I agree with you, I take this hobby back in 2014 from a long and somehow not so continuous collecting, or having the Idea of what I wanted to do with all the coins I had.

Around 2 years ago I knew what I wanted but continued to hoard coins from here and there and now I have kilos and kilos of coins.

First thing, I am now only focused on the main 3 countries I started to collect (Venezuela, Syria and Lebanon), I hope I dont have an issue later when I will repatriate my collections to murrika under the current situation :)

as for the other coins, I will reduce the coins to 1 per country and keep those from the countries I have lived in.

It will be a nice small collection that will satisfy my soul I am expecting this will be about 10 albums in a nice cabinet in my office. Will see what happens in 5 years from now, I hope I dont deviate from this plan.
JustforFun...
Quote: "Camerinvs" "foreign coins used in Canada"

"blacksmith tokens" were struck to look like worn out British ½d precisely because that's the kind of copper that was circulating along with US large cents and odd foreign pieces.
Great topic Phil, and this thread was a good read. I hate to interrupt but...
​I would like to hear more about these Blacksmith tokens.... in another thread.
Taking a break from swapping for a while, but still interested in pre 1799 Spanish coins, I will make time for that!

Looking for pre 1783 coins
I derive a lot of pleasure from completing a set, placing it in the album and revisiting the coins periodically. It's sort of like seeing an old friend. I enjoy re-admiring the beautiful designs. Most of what I collect silver wise is commemorative but my preference is pre-1970 or so in order to incorporate coins that while perhaps only lightly or not circulated were minted for that purpose. I tend to target higher grades as opposed to heavily circulated. For me it's a chance to learn about a country through its coinage: what it chooses to celebrate and commemorate.

I find my type set of German 3 marks and my old US halves to be the most rewarding and exciting sets thus far. I can only afford to add them sparingly and when I do they each feel like a new gem of my collection.
Quote: "redsmithstudios"
Quote: "Camerinvs" "foreign coins used in Canada"

​"blacksmith tokens" were struck to look like worn out British ½d precisely because that's the kind of copper that was circulating along with US large cents and odd foreign pieces.​



​ Great topic Phil, and this thread was a good read. I hate to interrupt but...
​​I would like to hear more about these Blacksmith tokens.... in another thread.
​I will when I have more time. The idea that a blacksmith made them is just a legend. I posted one such token several weeks ago on this thread (December 20th). It looks like most "blacksmith" tokens are missing from the catalogue, unless I'm not looking at the right place. My BL-7 is basically uncirculated, still showing its color from out of the kiln, since "blacksmiths" were fired to give them the appearance of having a patina.
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Short answer: Omnivores are omnivores because collecting is fun and addictive.

Long answer:

To understand what area(s) a collector would be most interested in, they must first branch out into multiple areas and explore what is out there.

This growth will likely continue unchecked until they reach the point where they find that their pockets are not deep enough to support their omnivore habits. At that time, everyone decides for themselves how to proceed, whether it's limiting themselves to just one (or few) numismatic areas, or operating within a predetermined budget, or perhaps even switching to another, more affordable hobby.
HoH
Quote: "Camerinvs"
Quote: "redsmithstudios"

Quote: "Camerinvs" "foreign coins used in Canada"
​​
​​"blacksmith tokens" were struck to look like worn out British ½d precisely because that's the kind of copper that was circulating along with US large cents and odd foreign pieces.​

​​ Great topic Phil, and this thread was a good read. I hate to interrupt but...
​​​I would like to hear more about these Blacksmith tokens.... in another thread.
​​I will when I have more time. The idea that a blacksmith made them is just a legend. I posted one such token several weeks ago on this thread (December 20th). It looks like most "blacksmith" token are missing from the catalogue, unless I'm not looking at the right place. My BL-7 is basically uncirculated, still showing its color from out of the kiln, since "blacksmiths" were fired to give them the appearance of having a patina.
I wasn't quite sure if this "outlier of an outlier" was required but, I see at least two of us have Canadian Colonial tokens as a primary goal. I'll get to those additions as soon as I can.
We were so busy deciding whether we could, we never asked ourselves whether we should!
Well, I think Neil hit the nail on the head that when you start you pretty much have to collect everything in order to find out what you're really interested in. I do think you inevitably end up with focus areas, if only because of limited time and funds.

I guess I am a "numismatic omnivore with definite preferences". I've been collecting world coins for just over a year. I started with a 5 pound bulk lot, which gave me a very broad-ranging collection, but I eventually established a number of priorities and tiers.

My only hard and fast rule is that I only collect coins that circulated, or at least were intended to do so. Tokens are OK only if they circulated generally in the place of coins, such as German notgeld, Canadian bank tokens, etc., but not including telephone and transit tokens, etc., or any kind of commemorative token or medal. I make a very few exceptions for a few British commemorative crowns that I have.

Beyond that, I will collect any circulating coin if I receive it, but I don't seek out everything indiscriminately. I have a number of priority category lists. For example, I will spend "the big money" (relatively speaking) on completing my 20th century British predecimal type collection, but I won't go out of my way at all to acquire modern coins from random countries (though I will save them if they are given to me or found).
I really enjoy your comments on the history of coins, Phil. I remember marveling the first time I handled a worn Victorian penny, having similar thoughts to yours. Or actually gasping the first time I saw an ugly zinc 5 Reichspfennig with the eagle and swastika in a junk bin. Or holding a sliver of silver in the palm of my hand and trying to wrap my mind around the idea that it spent time in the purse of some Bavarian peasant in the year 1400.

Modern commemoratives are fun to collect (I just caught my National Parks quarters folder up to date) but for me it doesn't compare to holding a piece of distant history in one's hand.

(As an aside, I don't have any slabbed coins for that reason - I enjoy handling my coins before I put them in a binder. Obviously, I try not to get them oily or fingerprinted, but these things were intended to be handled and I enjoy feeling the weight and other tactile elements. The "look but don't touch" aspect of slabs just feels too sterile for me!)
Quote: "Jesse11"​(As an aside, I don't have any slabbed coins for that reason - I enjoy handling my coins before I put them in a binder. Obviously, I try not to get them oily or fingerprinted, but these things were intended to be handled and I enjoy feeling the weight and other tactile elements. The "look but don't touch" aspect of slabs just feels too sterile for me!)
​Wonderful thought Jesse11. My slabbed coins (used to improve my grading skills) are one step closer to being removed and handled one more time.
We were so busy deciding whether we could, we never asked ourselves whether we should!
That's one reason why I like the cardboard 2x2s so much. I can still feel the coin really well through the shield but I avoid damaging any. I also really enjoy the process of putting them into the shields. Feeling the cold metal, the smell of it, carefully dusting out the shield and locking the coin in. And I really enjoy writing all the information about the coin onto the shield as well.
I'd agree that it's a good way for new collectors to get a feel for what's out there and bulk lots are the way to go initially. I would suggest however that here's a great example of the old "books before coins" adage. It's a much less costly way to work out where your interests lie and at the end of the process you will have the beginnings of a great coin library which will serve you throughout your life.

I know... books aren't sexy and searching through a 5 kilo bulk buy is a whole lot of fun. Who thinks long term in this disposable, instant gratification age? But trust me, if you want to be inspired try and pick up a few vintage coin catalogs and spend a few hours browsing the beautiful engraved illustrations. It's the origin of the matte proof type, they were struck that way in very small quantities so the mint photographers could capture the clearest image possible from the special, non reflective surface. See y'all already learned something! You won't find a Petition Crown in that eBay bulk lot, I'll guarantee that much. Aspire towards excellence from the very beginning and your collection will flower.

Now I'm not suggesting that new collectors should run out and starting dropping $1,000 or even $100 on a single coin. That's a recipe for disaster in the age of Shanghai Specials. I'm saying, find where your interests should be focused and concentrate your efforts on slowly building a collection of quality coins and avoid the "filler trap". I would guess that if you took a poll of experienced collectors, roughly 100% would tell you that they started out by rashly filling their albums with coins they already knew were unsatisfactory. A single $10 coin is worth far more than 100 10c coins. Concentrate on the key dates first, the common dates will fill up all by themselves.

Of course this is the counsel of perfection given with the benefit of hindsight and should be treated as such. Getting a lot of several hundred coins in the mailbox and filling dozens of empty album slots before bedtime is fun. Go for it guys!
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Make Numismatics Great Again!  
Phil, I absolutely agree with all what you said.

Me, being a collector for ehm... roughly 4 years, I started as well, let´s say in semi-omnivore state. I focused on something, but if there were some additional coins, I added them to my collection.

Then I went to the second period where I reduced the collection to British, French coins(+ I think Netherlands, Portugal and so), Slavic countries and colonials.

After a while I found out that only British, French coins, colonies of those and Slavic countries interest me - third period started.

And in about last 3 weeks I went from third period to the fourth period, which I think would be a stable one. Now I collect just British coins (since 1893/95, a.k.a. Victorian Old Head portrait), British colonial coins (since 1920 up to, well, mostly end of 60s/start of 70s) and Russia from 1895-1931 (transition from Russia through RSFSR to USSR).

This is how my collection "grew" eventually. You can see all the period location there.
The best news is that when you do decide to narrow your collection you end up with a really great swap list!
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Make Numismatics Great Again!  
Or in my case, plenty of coins to sell to get enough money to buy the coins I want
This is a nice read, but I think my perspective is somewhat different from the "find what you like and focus on that" commentary.

i started collecting since I was 7yrs old in pre-libéraliséd India which was pretty much as good as being in a socialist-communist country in terms of the chance of having international exposure and the chance to learn about different cultures. My primary driver for collecting coins uninterrupted for the last 25 yrs was my interest in politics, history, geography and general knowledge. Coins formed the perfect window for that and I've still been unable to decide what areas of coin collecting I like. so I'm pretty much all over the map, literally !

however reality is also potent and over the last couple years, thinking about what will happen to my collection in the future , I've been more amendable to think in terms of culling my collection. For the moment I will continue to collect and not sell anything off. However, I probably won't branch out into many new areas . Though once I hit my late 40s or early 50s, I will start selling off those parts of my collection I am least fond off and which are the most valuable.The idea eventually is to land up with a small collection of coins that are not worth much by the time I'm gone. I don't want to pass on the hassle to my family of deciding what to do with a significant collection. I have no intention to pass on my collection to the next generation. If they are interested in numismatics, I think they'll derive more satisfaction from building a collection from scratch then.

on a different note, once I've put the coin in a flip and catalogued it, i rarely ever look at them again. I keep saying to myself I should see them once in a while... that usually only happens when I pull out an album to show a visitor or fellow collector
Outings administrator
There's no hard and fast rule for collecting, everyone has different goals and gets enjoyment from different ways of collecting.

Personally I had to force myself to specialise because I was buying absolutely anything and everything that looked like a decent deal and often the flip I put them in were worth more than the coins. Now I'll buy something if it is a good deal and the coin is worth putting in a flip, but otherwise I concentrate of my top 10, that still gives me plenty of scope so I won't get bored or run out of coins to buy, but it also limits what I'm buying.

The most impressive collections are always the ones that are the most specialised. There was a well know philatelist in New Zealand (unfortunately who has passed on now) And his entire collection was New Zealand government life stamps. But what a collection it was, individual stamps, corner blocks, whole sheets, faults, varieties, covers, pretty much anything you could imagine.
My hobby prior to coin collecting was genealogy. I have ancestors from most eastern and western European countries as well as Russia and other Slavic countries. I am interested in coins my ancestors used. I am still in the stage of accumulating. My world coins are one album of 1 coin from each country. 6 albums of 27 pages and 20 coins per page. The coins are arranged alphabet by country and identifying number KM or other depending on the country. I will add an additional album when needed. After each swap or purchase of 40 coins or more the coins in the albums are rearranged into the proper order. My USA coins are arranged in folders. 19 folders are complete 16 still in progress. I obtain most of my coins thru swaps but still am very pleased when I find a new coin to me in bulk lots or rolls from the bank. My start in coin collecting was when I found a book in a thrift shop “Coin Collecting for Kids” with slots for 50 state quarters and other USA types. I am still in the process of filling this album. My interest is mainly in common circulated coins and their history with very little interest in expensive coins.
Looking for more countries. Open for Swaps.
Excellent topic! I absolutely love interesting regardless of the condition. And I get nostalgic at the imagined history of pieces in my collection...

Unlike some of you all though, I look at all my coins at least once a year. Mainly because, I keep them in row boxes, and I have to integrate my new purchases. One reason I do this though, is because I love exhibiting at coin shows. And I also love writing articles about my coins. So when I write, or am developing an exhibit, I will pull all my related coins out to seek inspiration and connections.

For example, one of my favorite coins is the 1953 crown of Queen Elizabeth II. I love these coins with her astride her horses. In fact, she is on so many coins on horseback that it would be a several case exhibit were I to mount it. I have found out that the horses she appears with on coins actually are named! When I actually take a look at those coins the history comes alive.

Or how about the magic image of water on coins? The great Australian artist Stuart Devlin is almost a wizard, the way he makes water appear on a coin...

Or just the great contrasts and links between coins of several nations..I have thought long and hard about developing a column for the numismatic press where I link seemingly unrelated countries with coins that have a commonality.

I was very fortunate some years ago to acquire the coin collection that was created by coins acquired and photographed for the Krause Catalog of world coins. This provided me with additional reasons to look at my collection frequently, because I have kept everything in the original envelopes and holders. And if the holders were damaged, I replaced them, but keep them with the newly holdered coin. I see at a glance the collector who donated a coin for photographic purposes. I see the names of numismatic bigwigs who donated coins for the free publicity of providing coins for catalog photographs. I see notes from Chet Krause himself on coins, " picked up while on my tour of duty in Australia" I think it says, on an envelope full of pristine Australian 6 pences... These coins are alive. I dont think I could ever have them shut away permanently.

I am desperately concerned about what to do with my collection someday...I do not want to donate it to a museum...but at times it seems that I will never find an adequate deserving person to give it to... I am still looking for answers in that regard.

I just had to mention one thing about banknotes. Specifically short-snorters. Well, any banknote with anything written on it. I enjoy reading all the signatures of the young soldiers of the war, and my hope that they survived...I have notes with a woman's lips kissed on to the note, "for my Seargent to remember me..." or a note "signed by all my buddies on leave in Japan.." I have a note that says," this is the banknote that I have ever seen Joey not spend.." One that swells my heart is, "Honey, this is the money they use in Japan. We can show our babies someday..." I have a little Philippine note and a boy named Peter has asked for a pen pal to write him at this address. And I did. Never heard back. It was from the 1960s. I know I would have wanted a response.

So I love hearing these stories of notes and coins that have actually served their purpose and seem to be worse for the wear. It will probably be those notes and coins that I will hold onto the longest. Thanks Phil for a great topic.
Quote: "Oklahoman"​For example, one of my favorite coins is the 1953 crown of Queen Elizabeth II. I love these coins with her astride her horses. In fact, she is on so many coins on horseback that it would be a several case exhibit were I to mount it. I have found out that the horses she appears with on coins actually are named! When I actually take a look at those coins the history comes alive.

​The New Zealand coronation stamps high denominations have QEII on her horse as well. I really liked the stamps, much more interesting than the plain bust that is on the lower denominations.

Like many others, I changed my mind. I am not inclined to collect random coins anymore. Some are too similar to the ones I already have. Others simply look ugly and dull (not because of old age, rather the contrary). But I also noticed a change in myself that I find unsatisfactory. Namely, I started to think more about money. This thread shows that I am not alone. Some quotations from above posts (nothing personal):

"the idea of spending $20-$30 on a coin"
" A single $10 coin is worth far more than 100 10c coins"

I must stop thinking like that!
ūūūūū
Confession of an omnivore.

My name in chaosharvard, and I am an omnivore.
It was always a case with me, growing up in a former Soviet Union you couldn't be too picky. Coins were a window to the outside word. And now, to a some extend, collecting coins brings memories of a small boy 30 years ago.

So why do I still collect everything? Several reasons, in no particular order.
1. For me coins are like a puzzle, but with a twist - you just try to make a picture, without having all the pieces when you start. Rather, you have almost none. And the 3-D world map (with the third axis being time, I am not into mining) is your ultimate goal.

2. For me, any activity is dull if I can't tell a story. And the coins provide a wealth of the seeding for them. A coin from Belgian Congo leads to a fascinating tale on how the Belgium got that land in the first place. A coin from Ottoman Empire - while you try to figure out what part of that huge agglomerate of lands actually issued that coin - is a cause to tell talk about how Russians tried to conquer that Empire, or at least bite a piece here and there. Or why a turtle appears on Fiji coins.
So why on the good green Earth should I limit the topics I can wonder about?

3. Related to the previous point, for me getting 100 new 10-cents-worth coins that I am missing for my collection are actually exactly 100 times better than one $10 coin. 100 stories are better than one, are they not?

4. And finally, there are just a lot of interesting-beautiful-weird-unusual coins. And I, in my infinite ignorance, have no idea what particular coin would wow me tomorrow. Just like I don't want to limit myself to books by a certain (small) group of authors, by the same logic I don't want to limit myself to a too restrictive set of coins.

Again, sincerely yours, Omnivore
Quote: "chaosharvard"​Confession of an omnivore.

​My name in chaosharvard, and I am an omnivore.
​It was always a case with me, growing up in a former Soviet Union you couldn't be too picky. Coins were a window to the outside word. And now, to a some extend, collecting coins brings memories of a small boy 30 years ago.

​So why do I still collect everything? Several reasons, in no particular order.
​1. For me coins are like a puzzle, but with a twist - you just try to make a picture, without having all the pieces when you start. Rather, you have almost none. And the 3-D world map (with the third axis being time, I am not into mining) is your ultimate goal.

​2. For me, any activity is dull if I can't tell a story. And the coins provide a wealth of the seeding for them. A coin from Belgian Congo leads to a fascinating tale on how the Belgium got that land in the first place. A coin from Ottoman Empire - while you try to figure out what part of that huge agglomerate of lands actually issued that coin - is a cause to tell talk about how Russians tried to conquer that Empire, or at least bite a piece here and there. Or why a turtle appears on Fiji coins.
​So why on the good green Earth should I limit the topics I can wonder about?

​3. Related to the previous point, for me getting 100 new 10-cents-worth coins that I am missing for my collection are actually exactly 100 times better than one $10 coin. 100 stories are better than one, are they not?

​4. And finally, there are just a lot of interesting-beautiful-weird-unusual coins. And I, in my infinite ignorance, have no idea what particular coin would wow me tomorrow. Just like I don't want to limit myself to books by a certain (small) group of authors, by the same logic I don't want to limit myself to a too restrictive set of coins.

​Again, sincerely yours, Omnivore
​Thats so eloquent, I am an ominvore and I second the commentary above :D... like you, I also think buying "100 new 10-cents-worth coins that I am missing for my collection are actually exactly 100 times better than one $10 coin". Its not that one is better than the other, its purely the collectors perspective ! Thats pretty much what I did at the WMF in Berlin last week
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