Over the years I had been contemplating joining a local collectors club, thinking they may hold any value.
I am a life member of the American Numismatic Association who resides in the state of Massachusetts and belongs to a number of out-of-state coin clubs. Those clubs supply a great amount of information in newsletters. That is priceless to me because due to the great distance they hold, I am unable to be present for any of their meetings.
Within the last month or so I visited three local clubs that use the same meeting place and start times. The first club was the Collectors Club of Boston. The meeting I went to was on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Like any associations, it started with club affairs. Then there was a free door raffle. I won. I had to choose from many items. I picked an encased coins that celebrates the club’s 50th anniversary 1945-1955. It is shaped like a horseshoe with a BU 1995 Lincoln cent in the center. They also did a $1 chance drawing for a silver Eagle with five different dates to pick from.
Then the encounter went into a share of any new findings. I showed the new Hiawatha belt Sacagawea that I received that day from the direct shipment program offered by the U.S. Mint. I sold a bunch to the club membership at cost.
This meeting then featured members talking about a few of their favorite coins. The knowledge in that room was astronomical. I was spellbound and hooked in a big way. Two hours flew by and I wanted more.
On Feb. 1 I was present at the Currency Club of New England. I was hooked again. The main subject was a speaker on notes from the Waltham, Mass., banks. A raffle was also done. I did not win a prize that time. I can only say I am a winner just for being in attendance.
At this gathering I purchased a few notes and they were at a great price. One was a $1 obsolete note from the Cochituate Bank of Boston (S-32).
Then on Feb. 9 I visited the 1,390th meeting of the Boston Numismatic Society, established in the year of 1860. It is a sponsor of the Boston World’s Fair of Money to take place this Aug. 10-14.
One of the 30-plus members present was Prue Morgan Fitts, a chairperson of the Boston World’s Fair of Money.
The club started with a show-and-tell. Prue’s husband, Arthur Fitts, showed two gold coins from Scotland. The first was a 1601 James VI sword and scepter 6 Scot’s pound. The other was a 1602 James VI 1/2 sword and scepter 3 Scot’s pound. All I can say is wow!
I was thinking ahead. I brought in a 2000-D statehood quarter I found in a BU roll that same year. It looked strange. I sent it to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and it came back MS-64 Rev Clad Layer Missing.
After the show-and-tell it was numismatic items associated with our presidents. One asked how many U.S. presidents are found on notes (paper money). Fourteen was the number given. That collector showed 11 different notes that he owned.
The club meetings take place once a month. Each one blew me away. They were way beyond belief. The pure excitement of each gathering left me full of enthusiasm – so much so, it was hard to fall asleep when I returned home after each night.
All in all, I would say those club meetings are worth their weight in gold, or should I say local clubs in my estimation are good as gold. I would highly recommend checking into joining a local club or two – or in my case, three!
Let’s not forget the well-built club of the ANA that led me to the local clubs in my area.
Needless to say, I joined each club and the price tag was only $10 per year. I had already established my $30 worth of pleasure, knowledge and awareness of the worth of local collector clubs.
Old-fashioned coin clubs offer the true essentials in learning. Having a chance to hold a real sense of history, versus viewing items via the Internet, it is far more stimulating to our thought process, and the ability to build new friendships face-to-face is priceless.
I highly recommend stopping and contemplating a visiting a club meeting in your area and see its worth as I have done. Good as gold.
Richard J. Hand Jr. is a collector in Brockton, Mass. He is also a member of the Penn-Ohio Wooden Money Club.
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