Since I can’t have it all, ok, I don’t even want it all, I constantly have to make the decision on what will I get next. Mostly, anything works that I don’t have yet, but sometimes a little more goes into it.
When I exchange coins with people, it is pretty obvious: what can I get from my swap partners that I don’t have yet for the coins they would like to have from my swap list.
Otherwise, I have different phases. There are times when I go for adding more countries to my collection, at this time it is still relatively easy. But mostly I tend to develop an interest in a particular country or era, and I try to look for those.
One of the ongoing themes is completing my US and Hungarian collection as much as possible. Certain US coins are so expensive that I don’t think I will have any of those, and in Hungary you can go back over a thousand years, so it is almost impossible to get all types. So, this is more of an unachievable goal, but for the better.
Since I’m making more use of coin catalogs, I tend to look up information about coins I’m planning to get to determine how interesting they will be, but it is hard to get a sense of what they look like. Most of the descriptions are very brief, and there is no way to tell if I will be able to feel much of the design. So, it is always a surprise. Even though I said I don’t collect commemoratives, I recently picked up an 1893 Columbian half Dollar commemorative, where you can feel the ship and the two globes, which was very interesting.
It was also perfect timing, because my five-year-old daughter just learned about Columbus, so I showed her the coin. Her question was if it was hers, but I had to disappoint her. Not yet.
And there are the coin stores and the coin shows. I don’t necessarily go there to buy, rather, to touch certain coins that I may be interested in. Sometimes, even if I don’t get the coin, I red more about it, develop an interest in it or in related coins, and with the online data it is less of a surprise what I’m getting. Other times, I just simply like something that I don’t have yet, no particular reason, but I just get it at the store or at the coin show.
When I travel to another country, I try to research current and old coins, and acquire as much as I can. It is not even cheaper or easier sometimes to get the coins from the given country, but there is something to it. It is more meaningful to go through the pocket change every day, or to get something in a coin store where people can tell me quite a bit about a coin and its historical background.
So, what’s next right now? Probably a Half Cent, I just had my hands on one at the last coin club meeting. I don’t have one yet, and since the US is one of the top countries I would like to “complete”, I will not let another chance go buy without getting one. Also, recently I red a little about coins of the Azores, and I even got a 10 Reis. I would like to get a couple more.