Coin collecting isn’t always for everyone. It takes patience, time, and an interest before the seed can even be planted. However, showing your own love for the hobby is probably the first step toward getting young people involved in this hobby.
One of the nice things about kids and coins is that a little exposure to the hobby is usually all it takes to kindle an interest or show that, at least for now, there is none. If your family has saved a few old and perhaps curious coins you already have the “starter kit”.
When looking at a Canadian large cent, silver dollar, or even a few world coins, the child should at least be curious. If you have no old coins, spending $20 or less at the local coin shop and giving these assorted coins as a birthday or holiday present is another good way to make the introduction.
An ideal choice would be a set of coins minted in the child’s birth year. Anyone would appreciate this gift. Even if they have no interest in collecting coins, this set is something that will be saved.
It is also wise to have a copy of some coin related publication on hand to offer the child who shows some interest. The most common mistake when introducing children to coin collecting is initially doing too much. Many would be chemists have been discouraged after receiving a chemistry set before they were ready for it. The last thing we want to do is create the impression that collecting coins is all your idea and something you want them to do.
Every child already has too much of this type of guidance. How many boys and girls do you think there are who hate playing soccer, but continue with the game because they don’t want to disappoint their parents? Coin collecting should not be made to seem like a required activity. Our purpose in gently exposing kids to the hobby is to help them discover it on their own.
Be prepared for your initial spark to light the collecting fire. Don’t let it go up in flames. New coin collectors of all ages have the common tendency to want to do it all right now. They often feel a sense of urgency. All sorts of supplies are purchased. Every extra dollar they can find is spent on coins. Then, sometimes after only a few months of collecting, they become disenchanted and abandon the hobby. Please don’t allow this to happen. It would be far better if the child only took a mild, but sustained interest. What follows is a list of suggested ways to keep a young collector’s enthusiasm under control.
Encourage the child to share their new interest with you—on their terms. Be there to enjoy the hobby when the child wants to get you involved.
Help the child develop a coin buying budget and see that it stays in place.
If possible, establish a system of rewards for research. Don’t lay down the law, but with the child involved develop some rules. For example, if they wish to add a coin to the collection can they write 100 words about why it should be included? If they have read an article on the Internet can they answer a few questions about it?
Absolutely discourage any ideas the child may have about making money by buying coins. Most coins any young collector can afford will be worth less, perhaps far less, should they wish to dispose of them. This should be explained as soon as the youngster shows any sustained interest in the hobby. At that point they should begin to understand the real benefits coin collecting has to offer.
Kids and coins go together. It’s a great hobby for young people. Collecting coins is also a very individual pursuit. It is extremely important to be receptive to the abilities and interests of every collector should they be nine or ninety.
Guide to Coin Collecting – Index