The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 24, June 12, 2011, Article 25


Dick Johnson submitted this piece last week, but I was unable to get it into the issue. Here it is. Some interesting ideas for collectors. -Editor

Parade magazine published an article that listed a "bucket list" for Americans to do this summer. A "bucket list" I learned is a wish list of things to do before one kicks the bucket. Could coin collectors have such a "bucket list?" Not only could they, but it could be divided into two divisions, for newer and senior collectors.

A Bucket List for New Collectors.

1. Join a coin club if you haven't already. Ask around for meeting details. Your local coin dealer would know even if he doesn't attend.

2. Join the ANA. That's the national organization. Find their web site on the internet at

3. Subscribe to a coin publication. Feel free to buy from the ads, the publications monitor their advertisers to keep out bad guys.

4. Buy a book. In fact buy several, the more you know the more fun and knowledge you will possess.

5. Google the name of a coin, or a coin type and see what you find. Lots of info on line, be skeptical, however, lots of misinformation online as well.

6. If you are collecting one denomination only, try another.

7. Hey, try collecting coins of another country. There are dealers who specialize in foreign coins. Check out the ads in the coin publications.

8. If you have a set of coins in an album, buy a more expensive album and transfer the coins. Handling them again is a pleasure, you will enjoy viewing both sides again and will appreciate the more attractive album..

9. If you have collected only coins, try other numismatic items -- tokens, medals, paper money, odd and curious. It's a big field. Collect something new.

10. Jump into the Senior list for one of the items listed there.

A Bucket List for Seasoned Collectors.

1. Try a new specialty. Medal collectors have as many as six specialties at any one time. New items to acquire don't come on the market all that often, so they need to work on several at once.

2. Photograph your collection. First obtain a "light box." Lay the item on that, turn on the light and shoot. This method removes all background image. You have only the image of the item. That's ideal. Create a computer file of those photo images.

3. Catalog what you have collected. Develop your skill in describing each item. Make a checklist of every datum you could ideally identify about each item and attempt to find that information. Merge the two, put the descriptions you have written under the photo of the item. It's easy on the computer.

4. Do some research. Hit the libraries. What information are you lacking or would like to know about what you own or other items in your specialized topic? The information is out there but it may take a lot of digging to find it. Ask questions. From librarians, curators, other collectors.

5. Write a speech or article on your specialized knowledge of that specialty. Clubs welcome speakers on interesting numismatic subjects. Likewise publications welcome articles.

6. Join with other collectors of your topic or specialty. In addition to the camaraderie, the larger the number of interested collectors the greater the sales potential for your collection when you go to sell it, or your estate disposes of it.

7. Acquire a die (or a pair). It will give you tremendous insight how coins, medals, tokens are struck.

8. Attend an ANA Summer Seminar. Dozens of subjects available. Pick one and spend a couple weeks in Colorado Springs.

9. Travel to a national or international numismatic convention. It's days of pure numismatic pleasure. Meet new people. View some new material. Purchase something new to remember the event by.

10. Make plans for the disposition of your collection. Sell, auction or donate? Who to sell or auction? Who to donate, are you sure they will accept it?

Good Luck.

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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