I just found this forum.
My name is Michael, but I go by Mike. I used to collect coins back when I was 10-13 years old. That was back in 1978-81.
My father was Air Force and we got stationed at San Vito AFB in Italy. When you're old enough to go pretty much anywhere, but you're not old enough to drive (plus there's a guarded gate so you can't just stroll on out without you're parents!)
So, you kinda check out anything that looks interesting. As part of Boy Scouts, I did the coin collecting merit badge and that lead me to the adult coin collector club on the base. They would meet every 2 weeks, and had trade/auctions and talked about the history of various coins, designs, etc. Obviously I was on a much lower budget than the rest of the club, but I would save and buy the ones I liked that were in my price range. That's where I got a 1943 steel penny I still have.
Of course, I didn't exactly treat it well. Not bad, just not correct. I put it (and the rest of the wheat pennies I had) in a plastic penny tube I ordered. When we got back to the states, I was in 8th grade and the coins got put in the back of a drawer and left while I pursued other interests (girls, cars, video games!). When I moved out after high school, I left them with my dad and basically forgot about them until this year.
My father passed away earlier this year, and I helped my mother sort though all his stuff looking for the various important papers and such. He had health problems, so he had set up in a medically adjustable bed, with oxygen, and other stuff, in my old room. So there was a lot of stuff that had collected. going through this, I found the coins, as well as some he had kept from various travels.
That got me into thinking about coins and possibly collecting again. At a very modest level. I'm split about 50/50
on collectible coins and straight bullion, as far as what I want to collect or invest in. Right now, I'm splitting the difference by buying modern silver coins with limited production runs, when they first come out, while the price is close to the spot or original mint price. I'm also buying a few MS-69 and MS-70 certified ones as well.
I have forgotten most (if not all) of what I had learned, so I'll be re-educating myself. Which means I'll probably be asking a ton of stupid questions. Just pat me on the head, answer in small words, and send me on my way. I'll eventually get to being fluent once again. (Although I'm not 100% sure I was ever actually "fluent" since I was 12 at the time.)
Thanks for having a great forum like this!