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My Favorite Article

This is one of my favorite article, "Do You Have A Lucky Coin?", written by Ms. Shannon Taylor. I came across it, when I read Newsgroups : rec.collecting.coins on 03 May 1998. It is just the same as Ms. Taylor stated I really enjoyed reading that kind of articles, and it's fascinating to see that many of the stories mirror our own. This article is short, but it is full of too much human sentimentality. Thanks indeed to Ms. Taylor for the good post!



Do You Have A Lucky Coin?

My "lucky" coin? Not really "lucky", just the one that I remember the most. When I was around twelve I asked my dad why he collected "those old coins you can't spend anymore?" He handed me a 1899 Liberty nickel and told me to touch it and feel it. I did so, and as I was looking at it he told me about the everyday people of that time who probably used that coin.
The dawning of a new century, the incredible expansion of machinery, thought, and science...but most of all he told me about the people in which that nickel must have passed through the hands of, and showed me pictures of that time. Not the grand pictures, but those of the poor and the emerging middle class, and those of the crowded streets and the immigrant areas, and how much even that five cents meant to them.
A picture of a young immigrant boy, dirty and unkempt selling everything from fruit to odds and ends for from a penny to five cents apiece, and how he did so probably out of the urgency to keep just himself, or probably a mother and several brothers and sisters, from going hungry and stay in a probable squalid tenament flat.

That it wasn't just an "old coin that couldn't be spent". Since I was touching it it was like touching the life of that boy and all of those other people that lived in that time. It had a profound effect on me. When I started to hand the coin back he told me that it was mine now so that I could stay in touch with them (the people of that time). That is what started me collecting coins on my own. Not for their value, not for an investment...but for touching history and the people who lived through it.
And that coin connected me and my dad in more ways too. You see, he was a history teacher (now retired) and now...so am I. That coin, and the many coins after, started me on my own lifelong passion for history and the people who lived it.
It is just a simple poor grade 1899 Liberty nickel, but I would not give it up for any amount of money in the world. To me, it's priceless.

Shannon Taylor



A Futher Explanation of A True Value and "Life" of an old coin

That really is what it's all about; connecting to the time, history, and people who lived during the time that the coin was being used.
That's also why I collect circulated coins, not uncirculated or proof sets. To me Uncirc's and Proofs have no "life" in them. They have been put away and let history and people just pass them by. They're lifeless to me. I know that investment collectors love them...but I'm not into it to make money or as an investment. I'm into coin collecting because of their very real connection between me and the time period in which they were actively used. Even when I'm holding a coin, I don't think about if it passed through the hands of presidents or great figures in history...I like to think of the common person who used the coin; what were they doing? What was their story, their history, their daily lives when they had and used this coin? To me, that is where the true value and "life" of an old coin really shines...

Shannon





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