Christmas is my favorite time of year… I love the chilly weather, the decorations and festive atmosphere, and most important of all making memories with my loved ones. Some of my most cherished memories are those I made around the Christmas tree with my family when I was much younger. I particularly remember some of my earliest years as a coin collector, when I received many of the first expensive coins I ever received for my collection.
While I began collecting coins in 1992, it wasn’t until the following year when I really got involved in the hobby. And it was during the Christmas season of 1993 that I began receiving some really neat additions to my collection. It was that year that my grandmother, who was on the verge of receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, had become aware that I was a coin collector and gifted me two mid-century transit tokens from her home state of Massachusetts. That Christmas of 1993 was also when my family bought me an 1809 half cent and 1847 large cent – two major additions for the type set I had recently begun working on. I also was gifted with Photograde, a wonderful book by James F. Ruddy that taught me much of what I know about basic coin grading.
My coin collection and numismatic library expanded many times more over the Christmases that followed, with additions including several copies of A Guide Book of United States Coins (“The Red Book”), nice mid-grade type coins such as Seated Liberty and Barber coinage, and a variety of coin supplies. I thank my family for helping me become more well equipped in the hobby during my youth and for the gifts they bought me way back, which helped me become the collector I am today.
That’s one of the many reasons why I encourage anybody with loved ones who collect coins to buy their favorite numismatists coins, coin books, and coin supplies as gifts to help them advance further in their hobby. Such gifts don’t have to be grand or expensive. But they will be much appreciated, and they may just help make some terrific holiday memories to be treasured for a lifetime.