My interest in coins began in 1955 at age eleven when the 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent was in the national news. I had no awareness of what a double die cent was but that coin was my introduction to mint marks. I used a Lincoln Cent folder and started to collect. When I opened the folder I noticed the initials VDB after the 1909 opening. Didn’t mean much, just that I knew I needed one to fill the hole.
Many years later I learned Victor David Brenner designed the obverse and the reverse.
I never did find a 1909 VDB Lincoln Cent. Where and how did I get pennies to look at to try to fill the openings? I pestered my mother to make the one-hour round-trip drive to a bank where she would buy rolls of pennies for me. After about three trips that ceased.
1n 1957 my father brought home a plastic slab containing a penny, nickel, dime and a quarter. I thought that was interesting but I went no further. In 1960 he gave me a large brown coin and an old piece of paper that looked like it was once used for money. In 2013 I discovered he had given me a Large Cent and an Obsolete Banknote. Both had belonged to my Great-Great-Grandfather (1836-1919). His daughter (1874-1954) had given them to my father.
During the 1960s I was aware of Kennedy coins being minted and later Eisenhower and Susan B. Anthony dollars. Still, the idea of collecting hadn’t taken hold. I purchased a Sacajawea coin from the United States Mint when they first came out and promptly filed it away. I saw coin articles from time to time in the news and saved them.
One day in 2013 I was looking through a drawer in my house and came across the big brown coin and the old paper money. I then decided I would actually look closely to see what I had. Only after looking up US coins did I discover I had an 1839 Large Cent and what was called an Obsolete Banknote. From there I wanted to find out what cents/pennies came before and after the Large Cent. Also, I got a history lesson about money when I researched why no Large Cents were minted in 1815.
While researching and collecting my mother said she wanted to show me a coin. She had this coin for about sixty years and had only realized she had it when I started collecting in earnest. Her coin turned out to be an 1824 50¢ Capped Bust XF, as graded by Heritage Auctions.
I also wanted to find out why the money was “Obsolete” and what came before and after Obsolete Banknotes. I also wondered why it took the United States government until 1861 to begin printing paper money (excluding the 1812 Treasury Notes). Why were the 1812 Treasury Notes even created? Numismatics can lead to many interesting areas.
It took from 1955 to 2013 for my interest to fully develop. If you want to begin collecting or learn what you may already have, don’t wait. The pursuit of your coin and the history of the coin is fascinating. I especially like the United States Commemorative Coins; Early (1892-1954) and Modern (1982-to Date).
Areas Of Interest
- Fugio (1787)
- Draped Bust (1796-1807)
- Classic Head (1808-1814)
- Matron Head (1816-1839)
- Large Cent (Braided Hair) (1835-1837)
- Flying Eagle Cent (1856-1858)
- Indian Head (1859-1909)
- Early (1892-1954)
- Modern (1982-Present)
- Gold (1849-1889)
- First Spouse Gold Bullion Coins (2007-2017)
- Error Coins (US Mint)
Emergency Notes World War II
- North Africa
Obsolete Paper Money
Platinum Eagle (1997-Present)
- Art bars
US Paper Money (Large Bills)
- Silver Certificates
- Legal Tender
- National Bank Notes
- Gold Certificates
- Fractional Currency