Over the last few weeks, I have been posting and watching the chatter on social media about the current offerings by the world’s mints. Given the opportunity, I engaged several people to conduct an informal poll. I did not define specific questions. I allowed people to discuss and argue about what they really think. Based on these conversations, here is what I learned.Many people are interested in colored coins. More than half of the people who responded to public statements or my direct queries said they were interested in the colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. It was almost unanimous amongst this group that they favored using color as an enhancement to the design.
Although those favored using color as an enhancement, an overwhelming majority did not like all printed coins. Many of the complaints came from the lenticular coins from Canada. And while most would not purchase many of the coins with comic book themes, the only objections were the printed designs.
Few people objected to the commercial themes used on coins. Whether the coins celebrate Star Trek or Star Wars, the only difference was if the collector wanted to be beamed up or was with the Force. Those who did not like colored coins would be interested in coins struck using these themes.I heard from a small group of comic book fans who love the coins with their favorite characters’ themes. Many pointed to fandom websites that celebrated the coins produced by the New Zealand Mint, Royal Mint, and Royal Canadian Mint. They do not care who produces the coins. These fans see the coins as an extension of their comic book fandom.
Last week, I talked with someone about classic rock, which was wearing a Kiss tour jacket. He expressed excitement at finding the Kiss Challenge Coins online. He also mentioned challenge coins and medals from other bands. After our conversation, I searched online for the information. I found that Kiss authorized four challenge coins with each member’s image plus one for Eric Carr, the late drummer who died in 1991. Exonumia is a part of numismatics.
Themed coin series is a trendy way of collecting outside of the United States. Several British collectors thought that the Royal Mint’s 50p coins’ themes were a lot of fun. The Royal Mint produces 50p coins that celebrate children’s book characters, famous authors, and historical figures. A mother of three youngsters was excited about the recently released Winnie the Pooh 50p coin. Aside from being a children’s favorite, Winnie’s creator, A.A. Milne, also wrote speeches for Winston Churchill.Then there were the hard-core, anything made after 1964 and not silver contingent. These collectors were a minority but were the most vehement about the “right way” to collect coins. When I asked how they would classify my collecting habits, I was accused of collecting junk or trinkets or buying into scams. I never told them that I compiled a complete set of high grade (not in slabs) Peace Dollars. With one exception, everyone in this group was male and over 50 years old. The other was in his late-40s.
Numismatics is a hobby. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. You are supposed to like what you collect. If you like Kiss Challenge Coins, then go out and find them all. If using different metals to create interesting effects like the Royal Canadian and New Zealand Mints create, have fun. Even if you find enjoyment with searching pocket change for coins, you are a numismatist and are welcome to the hobby.
Everyone who collects numismatics should be welcome without being told they are collecting the wrong way. As time moves on, I will be proposing new ideas on making the hobby more inclusive. I welcome everyone’s feedback!