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Curiosity fuels our future

Every collector seems to share a burning curiosity about just about everything around him. Time does nothing to diminish it.

And it is not just about coins.

Coin collectors often have interests in other fields – sometimes many interests. Krause Publications would not exist had it not been for founder Chet Krause’s interest in coins.

The firm expanded over the years as he pursued his interests in old cars, horses and stamps.

Curiosity might kill the cat, but there would be no organized numismatics without it.

I paid a visit to Chet Krause’s office in downtown Iola, Wis., on Friday to wish him a happy birthday.

He turned 89 yesterday and I wanted to wish him well ahead of time since I knew I would not see him on the actual day.

The fire of curiosity still burns brightly in his mind.

While I was visiting I learned he was working on a new project to expand and update a local church history. He was undertaking it because he knows there is little likelihood that anyone else will.

This is not his only project or even his No. 1 project.

On my last visit in October he was working on compiling information about all the Iolas that exist or existed in the past in the United States. This latter project involved him in an automobile trip.

Now Chet isn’t the only curious collector. Numismatic history wouldn’t exist without the formal contributions of thousands of people and the informal efforts of millions.

It is amazing what has been built since the advent of popular numismatics as demarcated by the proliferation of coin boards and albums in the 1930s.

We know where Chet Krause’s curiosity took him.

Where is your curiosity taking you?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."