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Why Do You Collect? Not What, Or At Least That's Secondary, But Why?

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Bedrock of the Community
United States
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 Posted 04/07/2020  11:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I look at it a little deeper. Why do people collect ANYTHING? Most people, probably 50% or more collect something. Why? Why do we have this seemingly inborn drive to collect. Here's a theory. Ages ago humans were hunter gatherers, We had a never ending need to search for food, gather it up and bring it home. Once agriculture came along there was no longer so much of a need to search thing out, the food was there in the field and in our domesticated animals. But that instinct to search things out and bring them home still remained and I would bet those early farmers started collecting things. "Og over there has more rabbit pelts than anybody I know. And his brother, there's his digging sticks for planting. He has 3 and another and another and another (They didn't have numbers higher than 3 yet.). And I hear he just brought home another one. Then there's that guy down the path, my gosh how many stone axes does one guy need?" "What about your shiny rocks?" "Now don't go making fun of my rocks!"......

I can't help but wonder if our drive to collect doesn't come from that
Gary Schmidt
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United States
3757 Posts
 Posted 04/08/2020  03:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Joe2007 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A lot of us enjoy acquiring/collecting tangible assets. I think Conder101 has a point with the Hunter Gatherer tendencies built up in early humans. We humans like to hoard things and if given the chance we would all be like Smaug the dragon of J.R.R Tolkien fame with our giant hoard of goodies. What has changed is what people like hoard nowadays, some hard real estate, some hoard funko pops, others hoard coins and precious metals.
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United States
86344 Posts
 Posted 04/08/2020  10:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I can't help but wonder if our drive to collect doesn't come from that
I agree.
Valued Member
United States
174 Posts
 Posted 04/08/2020  4:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jason39305 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Condor's point made me think of my three year old son. He takes rocks that he finds outside and puts them in this special cup in his room. He's so proud of them, and likes to show them to me and my wife. Even at that early age, we do crave gathering things.
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 Posted 04/08/2020  5:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've always appreciated a thing of beauty - art, landscapes, etc. I immediately recognized the attraction of a well-designed coin the first time I saw a Walker. That started me on the journey. There have been a few detours when less-than-artistic designs entered the pile, but I've refocused.

The history angle is also important. No one would say that 99% of the hard times tokens are beautiful but they are exciting because of the unique period they represent. I like to put myself into the mind of the designers of the objects and to imagine what they were trying to convey to us.
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United States
341 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2020  12:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DrDarryl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Why do I collect? Simply put it's because of the historic significance of the coin, medal, or token.


Quote:
The word "historic" refers to any event, object, or place that is considered an important part of history.



Quote:
The word "historical" refers to anything and everything that has happened in or is connected to the past, no matter its level of importance.


Here is an President Eisenhower Uncirculated Dollar in my collection with historic implications: 1) Gifted by President Nixon, 2) First Day of Issue (date on letter), 3) Letter indicates one of the first strikes of the coin 4)Letter shows President-to-Congressman provenance, 5) Not shown: Documentation from the Congressman's estate provides evidence of unbroken-legal-chain-of-ownership: President->Congressman-> current owner(me)->Any future owner (when I decide to sell).


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United States
86344 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2020  12:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Here is an President Eisenhower Uncirculated Dollar in my collection with historic implications...
Impressive, of course.
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United States
3380 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2020  12:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My reasons have changed over my lifetime.

As a kid I started with the typical fill-in-the-holesin-US- WHitmans collection, and then branched out into foreign coins because of my fascination with world geography.

As an adult (and after a 2-decade hiatus), I shifted to several themes that had a more personal and/or historic context.

Across these themes, it never ceases to amaze me that I can hold in my hand a portrait of, say a 16th century sovereign, or a 13th century religious scene, executed by a craftsman of that era. It is as though I am thumbing through a museum of Western art in miniature, rather than a hobbyist's stash.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
19315 Posts
 Posted 04/10/2020  09:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What I have always wondered is what do people do that don't collect anything.
just carl
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 Posted 04/10/2020  09:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Probably they are a lot more productive and efficient than me.
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768 Posts
 Posted 04/11/2020  9:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I collect because I love coins per se and this is tied in with money. The round shape and shininess seems to appeal to my primitive instincts for aesethic beauty I guess.

I had a major collecting phase between ages 14 and 24 which ended when my collection got stolen but have revived this in the past 18 months.

As for coins - I love the Predecimal series of my country (1933 - 1965) and Great Britain (1662 - 1970) the most. I guess since collecting coins can and is very expensive I need to specialise and collect one denomination at a time and now its halfcrowns.

I love halfcrowns because they are large and shiny and usually show shields, crowns, lions and have an imperial/majestic feel about them. I naturally have a very competitive and showoffy nature and thus why I like the best I can get.

Behold the majesty of this imperial coin


Being a Taurus, it is natural I love to accumulate material thangz that make me feel comfortable and nothing is more solid or reassuring than a large silver coin with a crown or a lion sitting on a coat of arms on it!


The beauty and grandiosity of it speaks to me


I also love historic coins and being a magpie love all the common and interesting stuff.

Yet being a patriotic New Zealander (Rare except for rugby and sailing competitions), also stoop to collect the modern coins and I have been known to buy bank rolls and pull out shiny coins of each year and collect varieties of 20c like the 2014 thin date. Also when in 2018 they issued a Armistice 50 cent coin with only 2 million minted and a limit of 20 sold to each customer, I some how ended up with 93!


Not rare but beautiful!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
04/11/2020 9:47 pm
Valued Member
United States
368 Posts
 Posted 04/12/2020  1:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add KauaiHawaiiGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And as an addendum to my original post, I should say that this Morgan and Peace dollar collecting is my second go around into the world of coin collecting. The first started about 60 years ago and ended about 55 years ago. It's an interesting story and it goes like this:

When I was just a boy around 10, I began collecting Lincoln penny's. Of course that was about 1960 and most Lincoln cents in circulation were still wheat backs, and just in change you could find every year from 1909 all the way up to 1960. At the time getting an album full was fairly easy, and I did. I had one or two of those Whitman blue albums nearly full plus duplicates (some real rare ones alluded me). And I collected for about five years, and then being the foolish 15 year old that I was, I got a wild hair and thought I'd buy some nicer coin albums. I should have just left them in my old worn and torn Whitman albums, but being 15 and dumber than a post, I took them all out and put them in a jar, put that on my dresser and tossed the old Whitman's.

Now my stepfather was a manager of a restaurant and always needed change. Well he happened to see this jar of penny's on my dresser and estimated that there was probably 150 or so in there, and so took the penny's to work to put them in the till, and replaced them with three nice new crisp one dollar bills. He thought he was being nice by giving me more than face value. Needless to say, I eventually got over it after throwing a 15 year olds tantrum and berating my stepdad a while, but it sort of took the wind out of my sails, and up until about four years ago when I started collecting dollars, all I've done with coins ever since was spend them.
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86344 Posts
 Posted 04/13/2020  12:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That was a heartbreaking read!

A lesson to all the kids out there: hide your collection!
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United States
1849 Posts
 Posted 04/13/2020  12:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I thought the lesson was "always" buy a new album before getting rid of the old one :)
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86344 Posts
 Posted 04/13/2020  2:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I thought the lesson was "always" buy a new album before getting rid of the old one :)
It could be, but I can see where you find out a jar is better than infected cardboard or PVC, but the budget for an album is not there yet.
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