The modern world is changing at an unprecedented pace. I know we hear that lament often and now take it for granted. In fact, we hardly even register the comment anymore. I guess we’re too busy learning to use our new cell phone or figuring out how to program the big screen television.
Collecting coins can be a welcome respite from the constant demands of our time. The fascinating hobby allows us to pause and disconnect from our world of computer, phone and television screens. Numismatic collectors have the pleasure of holding a piece of history in their hands. They know that coins provide a direct link to both the past and the future.
Coins have always been more than a means of exchange. Each is a small piece of art telling the story of its country’s history and values. Coins often bring back fond memories (spending that Mercury dime in a dime store) or invoke glories of the past (the Kennedy half dollar reminding us of the short-lived days of Camelot).
Some coin collectors pursue the hobby for the investment potential, others for the thrill of the chase or in appreciation of the coin's artistic merit. But the true value of a coin collection is in preserving history for future generations.
Being a steward of our past is more important than ever in this day and age. Our systems of exchange have moved from coins, to paper money, to plastic, to sending a text from a cell phone as payment.
Coin collecting is also changing. Our past numismatic treasures are disappearing due to attrition and melting, especially in this time of market uncertainty. The rise in silver and gold prices affects the cost of many coins. There are also more demands on our time and attention and countless options for entertainment.
BUT, it is important to remember that coin collectors provide an incalculable service to their heirs by saving both affordable items as well as rare expensive pieces, coins that must be rescued before they disappear forever.