Blind Coin Collector

It's another kind of fun to collect coins if you can't see them.

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge

| Filed under Blindness Museum Travel

The next trip including numismatic interests led to Cambridge, UK. I’m spending a couple of days here and traveling on to Ireland this week. This time, I wanted to check out the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum. Currently they have a display of Indian coinage extending through the last two millennia. However, this time, I was not able to contact anybody at the museum. I tried through email and Twitter, but I didn’t even get a response. Fortunately, things turned out much better than it looked when I arrived, but more about that later. First, let me start with a few thoughts on travel which maybe interesting, not necessarily numismatic related, but part of the journey of a blind collector.
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Getting kids interested in coin collecting

| Filed under Collection Kids

Recently I read an interesting article on Coinweek, about how difficult it is to win the next generation for the hobby. I just started to write up my thoughts on the subject, not necessarily a response, when I came across another interesting piece, which argues that the best recruit is the middle-aged collector. I don’t want to respond to this one either though it may sound that way, but I would like to add my own $0.02. I believe kids are still good recruits if approached well. I don’t think it is an all or nothing deal, kids can enjoy collecting before they become numismatists.
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Interview with the Numismatourist

| Filed under Book review Museum Travel

Over the last months I had a few conversations with Dr. Howard Berlin, the Numismatourist. I think the story around his book is just as interesting as the book. I am happy to announce, he agreed to an interview on this blog. I thought my readers would be interested in the background story as well. So, for a lack of better interviewer, I had the pleasure to ask him a few questions.

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Book review – Money Talks : British Monarchs and History in Coins

| Filed under Book review

It is hard to talk about coin collecting without understanding the history that surrounds coins. Often, the way it happens is that we know about certain facts of history, and when we get a coin from the same age and location, we can put it into perspective. Or, we can take the other approach. Take a random coin, and examine the era and the country the coin is from. They are both interesting, but time consuming approaches. We either have to hunt for particular coins, or read up on the background of a coin.

When it comes to the British Isles, Bob Whittington takes the guessing work out of the process, and helps us obtain the information we are looking for much faster, so we can enjoy the coins and the history together.

His book, Money Talks : British Monarchs and History in Coins, is the perfect companion for a coin collector.

money Talks cover
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Visiting the ANS

| Filed under Blindness Collection Museum Travel

I have been to New York several times during the past year, but for some reason, I could never arrange a visit to the American Numismatic Society. I either didn’t have time, or it wasn’t open when I was there. This time, my trip got scheduled so close to departure that I could only call the day before I left. I had no hopes, but never hurts to try, especially because this was something I really wanted to do. I got to talk with Emma Pratte, the membership assistant. I explained the situation, and she promised she will see what she could do. In a few minutes my phone rang: they can see me at a two days advance notice. I was lucky again. But what can I do, I always have to schedule my trips last minute.

ans picture 1

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The Money Museum in Chicago and Primitive Money

| Filed under Kids Museum Travel

Just a few days after visiting the Money Museum in Cleveland, we traveled to Chicago with my daughter. Amongst many things, we had a chance to visit the money museum, with my friend, Carl Wolf. I couldn’t help but comparing it to the one in Cleveland, after all, both museums are maintained by the Federal Reserve.

Emily as 2 Dollar bill
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Notes on the 4th Birthday

| Filed under Uncategorized

I can’t believe this blog has existed for 4 years already. With many ideas, expectations, unfulfilled desires, and many many more unexpected surprises. One thing for sure, as I plot the next year, things happen which make it different from what I have in mind. Again, during the last year, for the better.

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The Holy Grail of Coin Recognition – The BeSpecular App

| Filed under Blindness Coin description Collection Photos

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while probably know that the biggest challenge of collecting without vision is recognizing an unknown coin. There just isn’t a good way to do it alone. I need help. I was trying to come up with all kinds of ways of using technology to do this independently, but I couldn’t succeed. There are a number of shortcuts, but in most cases I need help from a human. While this hasn’t changed, I found a solution where I don’t have to bug friends and family, and I can get a coin recognized any time I’d like to. I found an app, called BeSpecular.

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The Ottawa Mint, Checking Off A Bucket List Item

| Filed under Museum Travel

I still have a few things on my bucket list, one of them was visiting a mint. Until recently. A business trip took me to Ottawa, where it was just the right thing to do. I don’t even know why some things take so long to complete from my bucket list, after all, these are supposed to be some of the most important things. The mint in Philadelphia could have been doable, I even started to make arrangements, but somehow, it never happened. I have even been to Philadelphia a few times when I always had “more important” things to do. But enough is enough. What’s living without having been to a mint, if living is possible having been to a mint.

mint set

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