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It's always summer for me with coins

For me, summer and numismatics are forever intertwined in my mind.

Just as it is “Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” it is always summer in my attitude to coin collecting.

While many collectors put coins aside for the season, I have fond memories of ramping up my coin collecting activities just as soon as school was out.

It was then that I was able to focus, focus, focus on coins.

I read Coins Magazine from cover to cover.

I drooled over the coins listed in the ads.

I even sent off an order or two.

But most importantly, I searched through bags and rolls of coins day after day.

There was no homework to stop me.

Only the demands of my paper route and activities with my friends could divert me from coins.

Of course, that was a good thing.

I knew several other kids who collected coins.

We didn’t talk about it so much as work in parallel.

One friend had even ordered a 1968 proof set.

He paid the issue price of $5.

I foolishly decided I had to have one, too.

I paid $15 on the secondary market.

It did rise to $20 but then crashed.

It was one of my first market lessons.

But even this kind of disappointment couldn’t stop me.

I became more careful with money, and that has served me well.

It pleases me to read each and every circulation finds letter that comes my way.

Obviously, it feels good to see others going down a path I had trod many years ago.

However, no matter what these new coin searchers find, it is an important experience.

Collectors need to see, handle, and study many coins.

It is no accident that coin authenticators often need to put a genuine coin side by side with a possible fake to make a determination.

Every coin collector needs exposure to genuine coins. It is the bedrock of the hobby experience.

Summertime’s arrival reminds me of this.

Happy hunting.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."