Allen Rowe: Collect coins for enjoyment
For the Nevada Appeal
Being a professional numismatist, it is easy to let day-to-day business mask the heart of my industry – fun. Coin collecting gets its roots from the fact that a person can get an immense amount of joy and satisfaction while collecting.
Collecting coins can be challenging, as not every coin is always available when you want it. Most collections are made up of coins that were struck in limited quantity and, thus, the availability is not always there. Of course, many coins are readily available, but if one has taken on the endeavor of a complete collection, there are always a few that challenge a seeker and their pocketbook. Obtaining the key coins to the series being collected is a common goal and makes one feel a sense of accomplishment every time a new coin is procured.
Some collect not by series, but rather by theme. I have seen collectors make up a variety of ways to collect coins in their own unique way. But behind most of these collections is usually something of historic significance. Events such as the Olympics are inspiration for which coins are created. Political themes are another popular catalyst for new coin creation, but reasons can be nearly anything.
In our country we began minting commemorative coins back in the late 1800s up until the 1950s. States used these special coins to create extra revenue for parks, bridges, battlefields, or other areas of historic significance. Then in 1986 we began this trend again. Today one can find coins that relate to hundreds of different subjects; thus, just about anything you wish to collect can be collected.
The price of coins has skyrocketed in the last few decades and the industry sprang a new aspect: investors. By studying trends and demands, one can reap profits. Although many collectors do not realize profits, the idea that coins can be worth more down the road factors into nearly every purchase made in our industry. It has spurred on those who do not collect for the pure joy of collecting, but also for profit. Of course, even these collectors are inspired by a type of coin that catches their eye. The root is still there, only subdued by money involved.
When I took on the profession of numismatics, I realized that I would have to part with most of my collecting ways, or all of the inventory would never be for sale, but the kinds of inventory in stock show my natural collecting tendencies. Of course I do have one arena that is not for sale. I personally collect Carson City error coins. The reason I collect them is that these coins rarely come up for sale. Thus I can collect without breaking the bank and still keep connected to the collectors we serve. Coin collecting can spread across all demographics, and one can collect inexpensively or for a world-class status. Either way, the heart of the industry still stems from the roots of enjoying what you like to collect.
• Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.