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I Was Looking at My Collection & Thinking of My Parents Today...

RichRRichR Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 15, 2020 7:48PM in U.S. Coin Forum

When I was a kid, there was no internet...there was only the Yellow Pages.

And when I was a kid...I also wasn't interested in coins until my father (a collector, like his father, my grandfather) brought home a proof set to cheer me up when I was home sick from school with a very bad ear infection. And that was the beginning of a lifelong hobby.

I still have that set too...the three-piece Bicentennial silver proof set. Not worth very much...but it's priceless to me.

I now laugh when I think that back in those days, when you needed to call around to determine which coin shops had which sets in stock (assuming they would even tell you over the phone), and then my parents would drive me to their shops to take a look. With eBay and online sales still more than 20 years away, it's unbelievable how slow and deliberate you needed to be to build a collection!

All those miles and hit and miss car trips.

And I was fortunate enough to live in the New York City area, with dozens of coin shops in the city and on Long Island...and in Woolworth's and many larger department stores. But still...the process was extremely slow and tedious!

Now you might ask...where is this story going? Nowhere really...other than my dad is gone 15 years ago today...and my mom 18 years...and I was sad...until I held up that stupid little Bicentennial proof set today and said to my wife, "Did I ever tell you the story about this?'


  • koynekwestkoynekwest Posts: 10,048 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Both of my parents are gone, too. Mom for 27 years and dad for 13. My dad was a part time bartender and I still have the AU58 1920 Standing Liberty quarter he gave me over 40 years ago. And it ain't goin' anywhere.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My Mom and Dad are long gone now... Dad did have a couple of Morgans and some German silver coins, though not a real coin collector. In later years, Mom would save any coin that looked 'old' because she knew I collected coins...and even gave me a colorized ASE as a gift ("A real treasure and will be worth a lot in years to come.") :) Makes me smile when I look at it. Cheers, RickO

  • thebeavthebeav Posts: 3,731 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My dad had an 1886 S five lib, it's a nice XF with golden copper color. He kept it in a little metal 'cash-like, tackle box like' metal box. That box came out every two weeks when he and my mom would "do the money". They had envelopes for all the household expenses and would budget their money by placing so much in each envelope. I would check out that five lib every once in a while. My dad had gotten it from his dad, which was surprising to me, as I know my grandparents really didn't have any money. well, I have that five lib now and am contemplating who gets it after me.......I'll try to post a pic when I get home.....

  • Tom147Tom147 Posts: 1,299 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yup, mine both gone 23 years. Dad gave me an empty Whitman Lincoln album ( how many forum members started this way ) when I was 8 years old. This would have been in 1964. Yes, I still have it. Wouldn't sell it for anything.

  • CalifornianKingCalifornianKing Posts: 1,259 ✭✭✭✭

    Both of mine are still alive. My dad got me into collecting at around 8, now almost 9 years later I'm still collecting.

  • goldengolden Posts: 8,805 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My Mom brought home a Lincoln Cent folder ( 35 cents ) in February 1961. My Dad provided the money for me to get bags of coins from the bank to search. Dad passed away in 1987 and Mom in 2013. Sure miss them!

  • Joe_360Joe_360 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Touching. Me and my two Brothers are collectors because of my Parents. My Mom owned a groceries store back in Chicago in the 60's and 70's and would save silver.

    He had albums and he started me off with collecting Wheaties. I have 300 Pennies as of today, many of which were found. Still look for them today and think of my parents whenever I find one.

    Kids today have no clue...

    Thanks for sharing, Joe

  • 2dueces2dueces Posts: 5,865 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dad passed in 1982, mom 2011. Before she passed gave me two Peace Dollars. Both circulated. A 1924 and 1925 their birth years. Every time I open the safe they are sitting in plain view. Value. $2. Value to me Priceless.

    "I spent 50% of my money on alcohol, women, and gambling. The other half I wasted.
  • crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 13,672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I miss my folks but my collection takes me away to another place and time. Yes I feel your pain and your joy.

    The bitterness of "Poor Quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
  • RichRRichR Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 16, 2020 6:33PM

    Adding on to my original post...

    My parents would drive me all over Queens and Long Island to look at proof and mint sets and see if any of them "were nice and clean"? I never really liked toning (still don't).

    It's incredible to think how far they'd drive me to look at a few random coins (again...this was way before the internet was even a dream).

    I was just thinking what my mother would say after we hit the third or fourth store...and I still hadn't found anything that was bright white. She'd say, "Don't settle for anything less than perfect."

    Meanwhile, dad was a bit less exacting...he'd say, "If you like it, buy it!"

    As a kid, I think I tended to "like" a few things that weren't always "perfect"...but that I'm still happy to own.

    And PS...why did all the "old" men (they seemed old to me) in those coin stores always wear their glasses on a chain around their neck???

  • hchcoinhchcoin Posts: 4,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great thread. I have many of the same memories.

  • thebeavthebeav Posts: 3,731 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My folks were always so supportive. whether it was collecting coins, building motorcycles or cars, starting a business.....whatever it was, never a discouraging word. An attitude I would have used on my children, if I had ever had any. They had long and fruitful lives, I've just lost them in the past two years. My dad was a former national handgun champion, and my mom sang opera, and was a premier soprano soloist. They supported each others interest, just as well as those of their children.
    My ninth or tenth birthday, "What do you want for your birthday ?", "I wanna go to a coin shop !"....
    My mom took me, and I picked out ten foreign coins from the junk bin. I think they were a dime a pop.
    The best birthday ever !

  • joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 14,590 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 16, 2020 7:24PM

    Nice story. Always heart-warming to think of a parent/s. Pulling at my heart strings. Yes, both of mine are gone as well. My Dad/Mom never got me into the hobby but my father did do something coin related when us kids were born. He engraved 5 Old Silver Morgans/Peace Dollars with all our names and birth dates on both sides of the coins. Many of you know what I had done to mine and my two deceased siblings coins.
    Thanks for starting this thoughtful thread. <3

    "Jesus died for you and for me, Thank you,Jesus"!!!

    --- If it should happen I die and leave this world and you want to remember me. Please only remember my opening Sig Line.
  • RichRRichR Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love the custom slabbed "graffiti" dollars! I didn't know that type of customized label was an option.

  • CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 17, 2020 4:56AM

    My dad was taken too early at 54 in 01 a few months before 911. He didn’t collect but taught me a lot including the business I currently own.
    One lesson one day when I was about 7 there was a kid outside pushing my little brother around. When my dad saw this he told me to go outside and beat the dog sh__ out of him. So I did :)
    Add; It was either gonna be me or that kid so, he never really even stood a chance.

  • air4mdcair4mdc Posts: 793 ✭✭✭✭

    My dad was taken way early, when I was five years old, but in a way he did get me started in coin collecting. He left behind a Morgan dollar money clip which I still have today, some 57 yrs. later. I can’t say I miss him as much as I wish I would have known him. I only have about four memories of him and sometimes wonder if they are real. On the flip side, I have been blessed with my mom still alive. She was a waitress all her life and eventually became a small cafe owner/ chef so I’m sure she came across some collectible coins over her years. We struggled growing up, never a penny bank but we all made it ok. So I know she spent all here coins. But that Morgan.....,,man it’s special!

  • WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 17, 2020 6:38PM

    This thread is making me emotional and I am fortunate enough to still have both of my parents. Reminds me of a song by the late, great Chet Atkins:


    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set:


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