It was a chance find by a young lad on a New Zealand beach that inspired his life long passion for coin collecting. Thanks Jim (name changed by request) for recounting your delightful story and becoming the second recipient of an Australian Mini Roo pure gold coin under our invitation to Write for Us.
“In 1980, I was seven years old. My parents rented a lovely house on a clifftop overlooking the East Coast Bays of Auckland, New Zealand, which had panoramic views of the sea. Every evening after school, I would spend hours on the beach, playing in the dunes and fossicking for crabs, sea-glass and limpets in the rock pools.
It was a late summer evening with the sun hanging low in the sky, when I happened upon an old Chinese “I Ching” coin half-submerged in the sand, right on the tide line. But to my juvenile eyes, it was nothing short of pirate’s gold! An exotic treasure cast up upon the shore, wet with sea-foam, and glinting in the fading light.
Later that night, the coin was hidden from sight in an impressive fortification I had made of Lego.
From this early age, I was obsessed with coins. At the age of ten, I inherited a small collection from a man in his seventies… a family friend who recognised in me, the same passion he had nurtured in himself as a young man. I displayed them proudly – presenting them to my peers at school each individually sellotaped to large pieces of card that had been labelled in marker pen, written with a shaky hand.
More than thirty years have passed, and today, I now work just a stone’s-throw away from The Perth Mint. I visit regularly to peer through the glass counter-tops, and admire exquisite coins through the polished vitrines. I have amassed many coins from this Mint, and others I’ve visited around the world, but I have a soft spot for The Perth Mint Proof Australian Gold Sovereigns and the Silver Proof High Relief releases. They’re exceptional in both quality and design.
Whilst I regard my collection as a nice investment for the future, I feel preserving gold and silver coins is a fantastic way of recording a vivid snapshot of our culture and times.
I often think about my chancing upon the I Ching coin, and how it changed my life. The coin itself, unfortunately, has since been lost to time. I suspect it may turn up one day in an old piece of furniture at a garage sale somewhere, or in my old back yard in New Zealand… perhaps waiting to be plucked by the fingers of another boy, his mouth gawping in amazement, and with the glint of gold in his eyes.”