Visiting the laundry while living in the USA sounds like a curious way to get in to coins. Believe it or not, that’s exactly what sparked an enduring love of collecting for one Perth Mint customer. Here “MyTwoCents” recounts his story for The Perth Mint Blog.
“Coin collecting can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It can be inexpensive, such as looking through your pocket change and trying to save a dollar coin for each year since 1966, or more expensive such as bidding for special coins at auction.
For me, personally, it has to be about collections. One coin is not a collection. I like to collect coins that are part of a series and over the years I have made several (yet to be completed) attempts at collections, such as Australian Pennies or the ever-expanding range of 50 cent pieces.
It seems unusual, therefore, in hindsight that my first experience of purchasing coins online was not Australian. In the late 2000s, while doing some laundry in the USA, I noticed a map of the Hawaiian Islands on one of the quarters. It was quickly pocketed and I’m not ashamed to admit that doing laundry became exciting as I started to find more State quarters in my change.
Upon returning to Australia I had 35 of the 50 states (not yet realising there were also 6 territories to collect) and the thought of having to return to the USA to complete the collection led me to the internet.
I quickly realised that, for me coin collecting was an enjoyable challenge if three key criteria were met:
- The coins need to have personal interest – in my case it is historical (the year each state joined the union was printed on the reverse.
- There needs to be a fixed number to collect so that the collection can be complete. In this case there were 56 coins which seems a big number, but quarters are relatively small coins.
- The collecting project needs to be affordable. I realise this differs between collectors, but this instance was well within budget.
When the Perth Mint made the The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary coin series available by subscription, I jumped at the opportunity the same day because, by my reckoning, it met all three criteria:
- The coins tell a significant historical story that unfolded over a number of years. This means they have personal interest to any Australian, but particularly anyone who has had relatives or ancestors serve in the military.
- Fifteen coins is a perfect number given their size and colouring. Storage will not be a problem while I work out how to display the collection more permanently.
- At less than $200 per year, with payments 12 months apart, the project fits nicely within budget.
…and that is my two cents worth for today.”