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Question for 'aging' coin collectors

I have been collecting coins for around 50 years now. At first I wanted to fill in all (or as many) holes in my Whitman Lincoln cent books as I could. Being 10 - 12 years old and with limited funding, I found samples in rolls of pennies or bought coins in VG - XF condition. Later, after I got the second book filled and had maybe 50% of the first book filled with highly circulated coins, my interest shifted from completing series' to exploring types. So I got 2 cent and three cent pieces and even my first gold coin (an 1895 $10 BU for like $35). It went on like this off and on for the next 40 years or so, but now as I am starting to need reading glasses for close work, I find that I don't care for 'small' coins so much anymore. Since Flying Eagle cents are my favorite and I would never get rid of these, I define 'small' as $1G, Dimes, Three cent silvers, Half Dimes (don't know if I missed any other coins smaller than a current cent). And I now enjoy some of the larger coins (like Double Eagles, Bust Halves and Dollars) that I didn't have too much interest in before.

Is this just me being weird again or do other long time collectors have similar feelings? Or do you just get a bigger magnifying glass?

Vic

Comments

  • bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 2,479 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It sounds to me that your collecting interests are just changing. If you still had the passion for the little guys, you would have already gotten something to see them better with.

  • bearcavebearcave Posts: 2,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My eyes are gone. I can't roll hunt like I used to but always did like the Morgans and Peace dollars! 🙂

    Ken
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,325 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Small coins are less popular to begin with. Vision issues only add to that. Shiny, big coins are more impressive to the casual observer.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2020 8:05AM

    I collect small items (13mm tokens by Soley) and large items (oversized medals) and large medals, up to 70mm so far. Around dollar sized pieces, I have a number of So-Called Dollars that are 42mm in size and now even think silver dollars are a bit small at 38mm.

    Overall, I think being able to see and enjoy something raw in hand adds to the experience unless you are into things like varieties and cataloging.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 95 ✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2020 8:06AM

    Similar for me, I was severely nearsighted in one eye and almost blind in the other eye and I enjoyed smaller coins more. With my glasses off and holding the coin right in front of my face I could see every detail. One of my eye doctors told me that, without my glasses I had the equivalent of a 5x lens. Big coins looked worse to me because I could see every imperfection too good and big coins have more of them. I used to have fun at coin shows cherry picking varieties that most people could only see with a magnifying lens. But then I developed a cataract and started losing my close up vision at the same time and everything was blurrier. I really slowed down in coin collecting for about 10 years because I couldn’t see the details of them anymore. Then I got a cataract replacement where they gave me an artificial lens and now I’m far sighted. Now the big coins look great to me. I still like the small coins, but I need a magnifying lens to be able to see the details on them like I used to be able to see. But now At least I’’m starting to get back into being able to enjoy the hobby again.

  • pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 3,896 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2020 8:06AM

    This is one of the reasons I pushed myself to set up a copy stand with a decent camera and lighting, and put up a high quality dual monitor system. My eyesight is certainly worse than it was, but once I take pictures in a controlled environment that I understand, and can study those up close on a decent monitor, it certainly helps. I still like to study them in hand and with a glass first, but it's pretty quick from there to the table and pictures. My pictures have shown me things I have missed with a glass. And even if they are not the greatest (not perfect color, lighting, etc.) as long as they are well focused (copy stand, decent camera and lense) I get to see things in a much easier environment, and I trust the images because I took them.

    Todd




    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”
  • ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,259 ✭✭✭✭

    Buy two of these and call me in the morning...

  • TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 1,954 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm still in my 40s but aging as everyone else does. Just picked among the smallest of US coins to specialize in for a while: gold dollars. lol. I've always had glasses and always been nearsighted. I guess it doesn't bother me much.

  • hammer1hammer1 Posts: 2,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cataract surgery can make your eyes 21 again.

  • jmski52jmski52 Posts: 20,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Vitamins & supplements can help.

    Q: Are You Printing Money? Bernanke: Not Literally

    I knew it would happen.
  • SimpleCollectorSimpleCollector Posts: 325 ✭✭✭✭

    Although I keep some smaller coins as examples, I have moved towards larger sized coin types as I get older. So you are not alone.

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 26,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All else being equal younger collectors are a little more likely to prefer small coins to large since they can see them easily.

    Of course all else is never equal and small coins tend to be less expensive so this trend might be hard to see.

    I've always preferred quarter size to a little less than half dollar size (40 centavo) but I have collected almost everything except most gold.

    Tempus fugit.
  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 4,790 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nothing like a good Loupe.

    Buy / Sell US & World Coins / Currency
  • crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 11,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cougar1978 said:
    Nothing like a good Loupe.

    I agree. Get a good loupe and carry on. We all get old but we can improvise.

    The bitterness of "Poor Quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 9,567 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In so many different areas of human activity (including numismatics) "Size Matters". :)

  • OldIndianNutKaseOldIndianNutKase Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have been collecting well over 60 years now. I am blessed" with near sighted vision so I can still see small details without a loupe. But I cannot always see really fine issues like hairlines on proofs. .....always needed a loupe for that. I find the most pleasure in collecting Lincoln proof coins that are nicely toned. The best ones have fabulous mirrors, just like DCAM's but with swirling color. Perhaps that image could be captured with the imaging application currently being used by David Lawrence Rare Coins?

    I am looking at a Lincoln PR66RB (which I think is (undergraded)

    The TrueView is not bad........but it does not capture the watery mirrors when you turn the coin in the light. You do not need young eyes to see the mirrors and the color.

    OINK

  • ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,259 ✭✭✭✭

    My sight was damaged in grade school when I was hit in the left eye by a hard thrown butterfinger candy bar. Never wanting glasses I fudged my way through school eye exams somehow. Finally in 8th grade the called the left eye 20/80. My brain simply shut off the fuzzy stuff from the left eye. I seen with One eye for decades, until I began doing civil war photography and altered a pair of old gold wire glasses to give me left eye clarity again. I wore these for several years, and got stereo two eyed vision back. THEN..... the cataracts started. Gentlemen, fear NOT cataracts. The operation is 100% painless. The results are truly life altering. I chose lenses I suppose more carefully crafted as the costs were higher. But, now, I have 20/18 uncorrected vision in both eyes. It has helped every aspect of my life.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The nice thing about photos is that true size doesn't matter whether it's 13mm or 43mm!

  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 8,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow! Talk about a similar experience!

    I don't remember how old I was, I'm thinking 4. My Dad had just bought my brother one of those rubber suction tipped bow and arrow sets with a target. I just happened to come through the door at the wrong time and caught an arrow dead center in my left eye. It hemorrhaged pretty severely. The treatment back then was to cover your good eye for a few weeks to a month so you wouldn't develop a lazy eye.

    I never noticed my sight problem until Ironically I started the eighth grade! I was at a Pep Rally with a few friends and we were tossing paper airplanes from the top row in the bleachers. That's when I found out why (along with bigger classes where I was farther from the chalkboard) I was the one who always got caught. Shortly there after I had an eye exam and the vision in my left eye was 20/80! To top matters off all that fix the doctors did to me way back then was make me left eyed with my bad eye. I found this out trying to figure out why I could never get the sights to work for me while shooting a gun as I was right handed and trying to sight with my left eye. The next Pep Rally I was at after I got my glasses I was like WOW! No wonder I always got caught! I could now see the teachers who were catching me! Didn't get caught again after that! :#

    @ambro51 said:
    My sight was damaged in grade school when I was hit in the left eye by a hard thrown butterfinger candy bar. Never wanting glasses I fudged my way through school eye exams somehow. Finally in 8th grade the called the left eye 20/80. My brain simply shut off the fuzzy stuff from the left eye. I seen with One eye for decades, until I began doing civil war photography and altered a pair of old gold wire glasses to give me left eye clarity again. I wore these for several years, and got stereo two eyed vision back. THEN..... the cataracts started. Gentlemen, fear NOT cataracts. The operation is 100% painless. The results are truly life altering. I chose lenses I suppose more carefully crafted as the costs were higher. But, now, I have 20/18 uncorrected vision in both eyes. It has helped every aspect of my life.

  • privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 1,270 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sadly i have 20/20 in both eyes so I am addicted to all sizes and denominations... :D

    Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero. Voltaire

  • BustDMsBustDMs Posts: 677 ✭✭✭✭

    The half dimes keep getting smaller every year......I just get more magnification and continue to enjoy them.

    Q: When does a collector become a numismatist?



    A: The year they spend more on their library than their coin collection.



    A numismatist is judged more on the content of their library than the content of their cabinet.
  • 3stars3stars Posts: 1,364 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don’t collect one penny maundy coins. At 11mm they are one of the smallest coins out there!

    Previous transactions: Wondercoin, goldman86
  • EbeneezerEbeneezer Posts: 166 ✭✭✭

    Why no, you are not alone. I myself have been captivated with the dime for many, many years. With a complete Roosevelt, Winged Liberty, the Barber lacking an 1895o and only 31 from the a complete Seated Liberty I have the same problem. Failing eye sight. Stopping now seems out of the question since I don't have any Capped or Draped Busts yet. So it's a much bigger magnifying glass with it's own light source.

  • erwindocerwindoc Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use my reading glasses much more often than I care to admit to look at my coins! At least I can still see them though!

  • rickoricko Posts: 77,732 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Over the years I have collected cents, dimes and nickels.....but I have always preferred the larger coins, halves and dollars and particularly, big gold. I have worn glasses since junior high, near sighted. I had an operation on the right eye (always my weakest) in which they had to clean the retina, and also left a scar there... so even with cataract lens replacement, my right eye still has a blurry spot (tough for a shooter, but I have workarounds). I like the heft of the large silver and gold coins, and they are usually more attractive as well. Cheers, RickO

  • stockdude_stockdude_ Posts: 203 ✭✭✭

    @ambro51 said:
    My sight was damaged in grade school when I was hit in the left eye by a hard thrown butterfinger candy bar. Never wanting glasses I fudged my way through school eye exams somehow. Finally in 8th grade the called the left eye 20/80. My brain simply shut off the fuzzy stuff from the left eye. I seen with One eye for decades, until I began doing civil war photography and altered a pair of old gold wire glasses to give me left eye clarity again. I wore these for several years, and got stereo two eyed vision back. THEN..... the cataracts started. Gentlemen, fear NOT cataracts. The operation is 100% painless. The results are truly life altering. I chose lenses I suppose more carefully crafted as the costs were higher. But, now, I have 20/18 uncorrected vision in both eyes. It has helped every aspect of my life.

    Wow good for you Ambro!

  • nwcoastnwcoast Posts: 1,840 ✭✭✭

    Some great cataract solutions here! Happy to see that.
    They’re creeping up on me too.
    My close vision started to go a long time ago. I’ve always had supervision, better than 20/20 so THAT was an adjustment. I just stocked up on various strength reading glasses for the close stuff and kept going with coins and everything else.
    I actually wear a magnifying head piece when roll searching. I looks like a nut but I’m old and don’t give a damn anymore ;-)

  • DBSTrader2DBSTrader2 Posts: 3,072 ✭✭✭

    I lost most all the sight in my left eye around 10 years ago with a spontaneous detached retina. Had to retire (actually, was "RIF'd" at a very opportune time for me, when that was the fad in the industry). As a result, I can only see some blurry outline of shapes out the side of that eye. And, if not covered by a patch about 90% of the time, it's just enough to 'whack-out' my overall vision via the right eye. At first, it felt as if my right eye was drying up & losing focus otherwise. With a patch, that sensation goes away & I can function somewhat normally. But my good right eye has a slow-developing cataract that's making it harder to see sharply. It's too soon to have cataract surgery - - especially since the docs think I should only consider it when it gets bad enough, since any problem arising from the procedure could basically leave me blind with no left eye to fall back on. It's frustrating trying to look at coins for dates (especially dimes), or having my good eye briefly blinded by bright light or glare in general or when driving..... or even when light just bounces the 'right way' off a shiny coin. It has definitely cramped my collecting style, not to mention browsing store shelves, driving locally, reading a newspaper/magazine, using the computer, etc. Just one moment in my timeline, and things forever changed.....

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 24, 2020 8:09AM

    @3stars said:
    Don’t collect one penny maundy coins. At 11mm they are one of the smallest coins out there!

    11mm never looked so good!

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