Saturday, May 06, 2006

Personalities In History

The local coin club, of which I am nominally still a member, held it's annual coin show today. Sometimes they hold two a year, sometimes one--since I haven't been to a meeting in awhile, I'll just assume it's an annual show.

Great turnout, lots of dealers present, and I added some beauties to my collection.

I don't collect any one thing--Indian Head cents, Buffalo nickels, anything like that. I prefer world coins, and I just buy whatever jumps out at me. For instance, today I bought a beautiful piece from the Falklands. It was the penguins on it that caught my eye.

Mostly I like coins because of their cultural or historical significance. Sometimes I do funky things--I have a case that has coins of dozens of different denominations. As a math teacher, I find that kind of collection fun.

Lately I've considered creating a case of coins of significant personalities in history. Unfortunately, many of the big names in history have large premiums associated with their coins. Many Roman coins can be had for only a few dollars--not bad for a man-made object 1700 years old or more! But try finding anything from Julius Caesar in even the double digits. And if you do find one, please let me know! Today I added Alexander the Great, Elizabeth I, George III, Napolean Bonaparte, and Joseph Stalin to my collection.

I saw only one piece from Ludwig II of Bavaria (a favorite of mine since childhood), but it was about $200 over my budget! He built three castles in Bavaria, and as a child I was fortunate to visit all three. If nothing else he was eccentric, and while his role on the world stage was small indeed, it was big enough for me to want a coin from his reign.

If I ever assemble this "personality set" and display it at a show, I'll let you know if I win a prize. I did win 2nd place once for my "denominations set" at one show but darn it, I want a first place prize!

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