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Commems Collection: Reflections By A Long-Term Commemorative Collector

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5289 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2021  6:54 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
For my 5,000th post, I decided that a bit of self-indulgence was in order. This post is about me and not about any particular commemorative coin or medal! Sorry!

From time to time, I've been asked to describe what type of collector I am. I've often described myself as a "collector of the periphery." I've never worked on a set of Lincoln cents, "Buffalo" nickels, Winged Liberty Head/Mercury dimes or Morgan dollars - I've always needed to pursue a less traveled path with my collecting to keep me interested. Hence US commemorative coins, coins of the US Territory and Commonwealth of the Philippines and commemorative medals (US Mint and otherwise) have been my primary appetite, with a side of Canadian commemorative silver dollars.

Of course, collecting US commemorative coins is not really all that far afield, but the manner in which I pursue my collection is a little less common. The coins are the easy part! It's been the collecting of the associated ephemera, related medals, related books, vintage coin holders, etc. that have given me the most enjoyment and have made my pursuit less than common. I don't know any other collector who has put as much time and energy into collecting the "stuff" that goes with the coins as I have. I'm sure they're out there - I am confident I am not even close to being unique - I just haven't met them yet. But I'd like to! Speak up if you're one!

At my local coin club, I've been kidded about my preference for higher grade coins. It's true, I can't argue. In fact, I would prefer to have a picture of an attractive example of a rare coin in a book or auction catalog I own vs. buying an actual example that is low end (i.e., worn slick, damaged, harshly cleaned, etc.) just to say I have it. This doesn't mean I don't respect those who build collections of lower end coins, because I do! This hobby is big enough for all of us and we all need to collect what makes us happy. To me, that's the definition of a true collector - one who collects what they enjoy! And I enjoy interacting with all types of collectors - I almost always learn something new from each! (Except those collectors who believe they are the be all and end all of the hobby and that what they collect is the only thing worth collecting. They're no fun!)

Quick story: Years ago, I attended an auction of tokens and medals in Baltimore. As I sat in the audience with a friend, I was amazed at how the price for a particular Hard Times token escalated into five figures. I wasn't surprised that a truly rare token could garner such a price, but was simply dumbfounded that multiple collectors were willing to pay such a price for one that was worn, bent, environmentally damaged, etc. The piece was downright ugly! Give me a nice picture in a book!

After years of collecting, I believe I've progressed beyond being a collector, and now consider myself a full-fledged numismatist. I spend a fair amount of time researching what I collect and I particularly enjoy sharing what I have learned with others. In addition to writing posts here on CCF, I've also written many articles for other venues, have created dozens of exhibits for display at national/regional/local coin shows (remember them?), given talks / presentations about coins/currency at national/regional/local venues and have even helped staff Q&A tables at local shows and malls. I've certainly enjoyed answering questions here on CCF over the past nine years (though I'll admit I get a bit disappointed when I realize the question was only asked so that the person could learn enough to sell the piece).

Occasionally, I chime in to correct some misinformation that someone has posted. I don't do it all that often, but sometimes the error is too significant to ignore and let slide. I only do this when I am 99.99% sure of the accuracy of my correction - I don't want to add to the spread of misinformation! I hope I haven't offended anyone by adding a clarifying post to a discussion. If I've offended you in the past, please know it was not personal, it was just my effort to support the dissemination of accurate information and educate fellow collectors.

I guess I'll stop there, though I could go on and on. (Some of you probably feel like I do so when you're reading many of my posts! ) Suffice it to say, I enjoy sharing what I know with the community here on CCF. It's a place that has quite a few extremely knowledgeable contributors that never fail to impress me - I enjoy learning from them. Hopefully, I've been able to help educate a few of you who are reading this. If not, give me another chance! Post #5001 might be the one for you!

One last thing - I want to say "Thanks!" to everyone who has engaged in the discussion within one (or more) of my posts and for the positive feedback. It is always appreciated and encourages me to keep going. I'm not going to list names here, but there have definitely been some CCF'ers over the years that have gone above and beyond in supporting my efforts - I believe you know who you are - to you I send out a "BIG THANKS!" for all of your encouragement and support!

Until my next post...

And because I had to include at least one coin image (or four)...





Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 01/13/2021  7:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beautifully written, thanks. Always inspiring to hear about this kind of devotion to a single series for such a long time.
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 Posted 01/13/2021  7:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
We all hold you in the deepest of regard commems - and have enjoyed and benefited from your many informative posts capturing the reality of the behind-the-scenes machinations which you have brought to life our commemorative coins of today - as well as those who did not happen.

In 2017 we hosted a CCF petition to nominate/approve you as the 'CCF Master Historian of USA Commemorative History'. I hope a more internet capable member can post the thread for us to see again.

It was passed/agreed with unanimous acclaim as a small sign of our deep respect for all the knowledge you have so freely shared with us.

My salute to you commems - many thanks and stay healthy friend.

BTW - I do indeed recognize the lightly circulated Roanoke.
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 01/13/2021  7:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Rothery to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
"Buffalo" nickels,

Interesting read! I like the way you emphasised the word "Buffalo" -
Edited by Rothery
01/13/2021 7:43 pm
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18689 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2021  8:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
This hobby is big enough for all of us and we all need to collect what makes us happy.


This.

So glad to have you here @commems!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 01/13/2021  8:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You were instrumental in reigniting my interest in numismatics. I consider you a friend and always look forward to the new posts by Commems. You are the reason I joined our local club and have really enjoyed the camaraderie. Not to mention my personal Roanoke hand-picked by the master. Here's to another 5000 posts!
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 Posted 01/13/2021  11:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add psuman08 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't have a long history here, but I certainly look for and appreciate your articles. I like seeing your collection as well, so keep the pics coming!
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 Posted 01/14/2021  12:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add owatchman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great post!
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 Posted 01/14/2021  08:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add yotie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for being here,always in for a treat when I read your post. Thanks for showing Errol,
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 Posted 01/15/2021  01:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Winesteven to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@commems, thanks so much for sharing. I'm a newbie to CCF, and have learned AND enjoyed reading several of your posts. You're truly a Positive asset to the CCF and our wonderful hobby!

You've encouraged me to create a new topic in this category, which I'll do momentarily.

Thanks!
A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!

My collecting "Pride & Joy" is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
https://www.PCGS.com/setregistry/ty...edset/213996
Edited by Winesteven
01/15/2021 01:50 am
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 Posted 01/15/2021  02:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I always love reading the pieces you write Commems, they're always so well thought out and well researched. In a similar vein, I've always felt that the researching was one of the best parts of the hobby, there's so much to get to learn and relay to others.

Thank you for helping us all along in this hobby of ours
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 Posted 01/15/2021  11:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add southsav to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ditto, Ditto, Ditto!

What more can be said except Thank You!
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 Posted 01/16/2021  08:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@All: Thank you very much for the kind and encouraging words - very much appreciated! It's always nice to hear that folks are enjoying your efforts!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 01/16/2021  11:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Contratulations on post number 5k, commems! It's insightful, well-researched posts like yours that make CCF such a valuable resource to numismatists of all levels.

Here's to your next 5k!
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 Posted 01/16/2021  2:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BGLI to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Commems- I always enjoy and learn from your well researched and very well written posts. Thank you
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