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Grandfather’s coin searches sparked interest in collecting


From the Numismatic News Special 60th Anniversary Edition – By Douglas Banicki • Bolingbrook, Ill.

Like many of us, I started collecting coins as a young boy. I was 7 in 1959, growing up in Chicago, living upstairs from my grandparents.

Every Saturday afternoon I would go downstairs to help my grandfather sort through coins he would bring home. We would fill holes in his blue Whitman folders and each week he would let me take a few coins for my collection. I was fascinated by the older coins, and I would choose a Buffalo nickel or a Mercury dime.

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When I was 14, I started working at a camera shop. I used the money I made to bid on coins at my local shop’s bid board. Every Thursday night I would meet some great people there who were always willing to help a young collector. I focused on type coins and Indian head cents.

I joined my high school coin club and had great times trading coins and sharing knowledge with other collectors. I was like a sponge back then, soaking up information and knowledge on grading and varieties. I would spend hours at the coin shop looking at dozens of coins to help perfect my grading ability.

Some of my favorite coins are those that I received as a small boy. My grandfather gave me a set of 20 Seated Liberty dimes he got from his father. I treasure those dimes to this day.

Now I have three children and five grandchildren. Many of my coins will be passed on to them, along with the stories that go with them. I still collect coins with a passion to this day and think it still is the greatest hobby in the world.

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