As with any hobby, any good coin collector wants to find other people who share his passion and are willing to participate in exploring it with him. There are many groups, local, state, national, and international, dedicated to bringing coin collectors together, but another way to make this goal happen is to convert the people around you to your hobby.
Who should you start with? Well, cross off the people you know have no interest in collecting, paying attention to value and detail, or exploring history. Those are prerequisites for this hobby. To quote a famous book, “Cast not your pearls before swine.” Instead, look around your circle of acquaintance for like-minded souls, and, if they are few and far between, look younger. While you may have coworkers or friends with similar interest, people get set in their ways as they age. The great thing about younger people is that they have so much world to be introduced to, and they are still excited about that introduction. So if you have kids or nieces and nephews, they may the ideal audience to share your coins with.
Once you have someone in mind to open up to, what strategies should you take to get them interested in coins? Here are several you could try:
Give them a coin from your collection as a gift. Children, in particular, love to touch and explore new (or old!) things, and a gift could hardly be more personal or thoughtful than something you have collected and valued. Look through the coins you have and see if there are any interesting ones you could part with to spark someone’s interest in coin collecting, and see where that takes you.
Give out coin folders. This newest generation of American young people have been introduced to coins in a way that previous ones couldn’t have imagined because in 1999 the U.S. Treasury began minting new quarters with designs from each of the 50 states on them. It became the most popular commemorative coin program in U.S. history. For kids, it was suddenly easy to learn about the states and collect coins at the same time, and they could display their collections in colorful 50-states folders. This is the purpose of the coin folder - to inspire the urge to fill it with coins, and it certainly works with coins other than quarters. It makes a great introductory gift.
Introduce them to topical coin collecting. Perhaps your friends or family already love birds, kings or queens, or mythical creatures. Coins have been produced for millennia by countless cultures and feature a whole range of beautiful and wonderful things on them. If you can match up an already established passion with coin collecting, there’s far more of a chance you’ll be successful in converting a friend.
Take them to a coin show. Like any other kind of show, coin shows will be attended by genuine enthusiasts pumped up about their passion as well as professionals who have made a life’s work from it. The energy will be high, the number of coins to see practically uncountable, and there will be lots of opportunities to learn or just plain have fun.
Take them to a coin dealer. For those who don’t care for crowds and want a quieter place to explore coins or ask questions, a visit to a coin dealer can be a better way to introduce a friend to the hobby. Coin dealers often love to talk about what they have and what they’ve seen and can be a great evangelist for coin collecting. They are also available to visit all the time instead of once or twice a year, like a coin show.
If the first person you share your coin collecting hobby with doesn’t show any interest, don’t lose hope. The world is full of people and coin collectors. Keep your eyes open for people in your life who might be receptive, and sooner or later, with patience and the help of these tips, you may find a kindred spirit in your coin collecting passion.