I first became hooked on this fascinating hobby about five years ago when I found a 1951 Franklin half-dollar in a roll of half-dollars I found in a drawer in my Dad’s closet. After showing my find to my father, I found this coin was made of 90% silver, and that it was worth about $11. I looked through a small jar of coins I had saved up in my closet and found two Wheat Pennies and a Buffalo Nickel from 1935. After I found these coins, I googled them and what I found was a little disappointing. The wheaties were each worth about two cents and the nickel was worth about $3. I decided that coin collecting might be a fun hobby. Since then my collection has grown from those four coins worth $14.02, to a collection of over 400 coins worth a combined amount of over $2000!
I love to collect coins because it gives me a great sense of satisfaction when I complete a series or find that elusive missing coin on e-bay. I love going to shops for a new numismatic book or purchasing some new coins to round out my collection.
I love to open my safe and review my collection. I love to feel the weight of a hefty 2010 MS-69 Silver Eagle or look at my reflection in a shiny Proof grade quarter. Every coin has a meaning to me beyond its intrinsic value, date, and mintmark. All of my coins (with the exception of my first four coins and an 1897 Morgan Dollar) were bought with money I had worked for. All of them symbolize something special, such as a job well done or a birthday gift of cash so I could continue my fascinating hobby. One could say I am in love with my collection.
These coins are more to me than just a hobby. They are also my investment. All of the coins that contain silver are essentially like stocks. Their value fluctuates with the spot price of silver. A few years ago, when silver hit a high price of $50 an ounce, I sold six Morgan Dollars and made $232 in one day! I think that was my best day ever! I had bought all six of them five months earlier for $15 each. That is only $90 for all six, a profit of $142. For a twelve year old (my age at the time) it was pretty heady stuff!
So, to answer the question posed in the title “Why I Am a Numismatist” , I would answer with, collecting coins is both satisfying and exciting. It is also an excellent way to learn history because it teaches the evolution of the science of coin minting. The final reason I collect coins is because it is very lucrative.