When you are looking for the perfect holiday gift, “Think Numismatics”. Who hasn’t heard the saying “Money always works, everyone can use it”.
Instead of just stuffing some bills in an envelope and handing it to someone, get more creative. Take the extra time to show that special person just how special they are to you. There are lots of options depending on your budget or their special interests.
1. A proof set from their birth year – a full set, a state quarter set or a Presidential dollar set. Maybe all the state quarters and an album to put them in; let the child assemble them. Perhaps looking at each design might tempt them to start collecting.
2. Currency – crisp new bills work well. The banks usually have them at holiday time or you can order them from your local bank. Put together several different denominations and include some additional information about the face and back design on each bill. See if the child can bring the gift to school and get some extra credit in a history or art class.
3. Books designed at the child’s level – available at the larger shows and Barnes & Noble. They’re colorful and use the correct numismatic terms.
1. Proof sets work for them as well, unless they were born before 1960 or they are really special people. These also work for anniversaries or graduation.
2. Find out what the “holes” in their collection might be. Many dealers issue gift certificates. You can also issue your own I.O.U. and accompany the person to a show and let them pick out their own.
3. Books about their special interest.Most authors at the shows are happy to autograph them when you see them at a show.
1. Sheets of uncut currency from the Bureau of Engraving and Print or some “star notes” for framing. These look very impressive on an office wall for clients to view.
2. Have them go to a coin club meeting with you and pay their dues. Give someone a membership in the ANA;
it’s worth it for “The Numismatist” alone.
3. Every collector would enjoy a subscription to a weekly and/or monthly publication: Numismatics News, Coin World, Coin Prices, Coinage, etc. Keep up with all the news, personalities and prices. Find out which dealers have that item you need.
4. Take someone to a coin show – FUN is great during the wintry days if you live up north – and make it a vacation too.
5. For the ultimate gift – sign them up for the ANA Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs. Five days of intensive classroom instruction with the best teachers in the hobby, access to the world’s finest numismatic library, the Harry Bass Collection of America’s gold coins, “A House Divided – Money of the Civil War”, and evening get-togethers with all the instructors on campus.
Don’t only collect money; collect numismatic friends and memories too.
Patti Jagger Finner of Iola, Wis., is the vice president of the American Numismatic Association.
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