Coin News

Volume 43, Number 10, October 2006

Calling all parents and grandparents!

Volume 43, Number 10, October 2006

In this month’s magazine you’ll see that we are launching a competition to encourage young people into our hobby. Thanks to the incredible generosity of COIN NEWS reader Geoff Simms we are able to over several not insubstantial prizes to young collectors simply for telling us what coin(s) they would buy if they won. We aren’t asking for vast essays just a few well-chosen words that reflect a little bit of work (rather than simply picking up the COIN YEARBOOK, opening it at random and saying “I’ll have that one). We are hoping that the “carrot” of £150 first prize (there are second and third prizes as well as two special category prizes too) will encourage even the most reticent of youngsters to put pen to paper (in this day and age? Who am I kidding – I mean finger to keyboard don’t I?). They won’t have to spend the money on coins but with any luck they’ll have so much fun doing the research that that’s exactly what they’ll want to do -however there is a small problem. It probably won’t have escaped your notice but coin fairs aren’t exactly buzzing with children these days, coin collecting isn’t what it was forty, fifty years ago, it really isn’t a hobby of the young and as such I can pretty much guarantee that there aren’t that many under 18s who are regular readers of COIN NEWS there are a few but they don’t number in their hundreds that’s for sure – so how do children get to know about the competition in the first place? That’s where we are hoping you’ll come in. We are asking all parents and grandparents to give their little darlings a gentle nudge, we’re certain that most 12 year old boys will throw up their hands in horror if you start to talk to them about your coin collection but who knows the incentive of cold, hard cash may just get them thinking and after that who knows….? Perhaps if you nudge them in the right direction, encourage them just a little more than perhaps has been the case in the past (after all why bother encouraging your children to collect when at best you get blank looks, either that or that look of mingled pity and disdain as they turn away and go back to the games console?!) then who knows what will come of it? Perhaps if you tell them they can win some fairly decent money just by spending a few minutes going through an old Coin Yearbook or your copy of COIN NEWS then you may well find that they take an interest. You may be pretty certain it will be a fleeting one but you never can tell and you may just find yourself, a few months from now, comparing your latest acquisitions with those of your son or daughter as they start out on the road to full blown collecting – it’s not impossible! The crux of the competition is for the young collector to tell us what coin he or she would buy given the money, and why, it’s the last bit that’s the most important. We are not simply looking for someone to tell us they’d buy a coin because they like the look of it or because they think it’s a good investment for the future, we are looking for a little thought to go into the choice. Perhaps they’re fascinated with Roman history, maybe the Civil War period captures their imagination, perhaps they remember their grandmother owning a pendant with a coin in it and want one just the same as she used to have. Perhaps they want a memento of a trip abroad and so will opt for a foreign coin or maybe their trip to the Millennium dome wasn’t marked at the time and so they want to try and get a silver crown with the special mintmark as a keepsake. Of course it doesn’t have to be one coin that the money is spent on – maybe you can encourage your budding collector to use the money to buy as many examples of coins depicting their favourite animal as possible or to get a complete date run of a particular denomination. You may well be amazed at how this fires the imagination – and when you tell them that actually, if they win, the money is theirs to do with as they want and that they don’t actually HAVE to spend it on coins you may well find yourself pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm they suddenly show. We hope you’ll be even more surprised when you find that, after all their hard work and research, they in fact actually want to use the prize to buy the coin(s) they’d told us about – stranger things have happened. I should point out that although I’ve used the word coin throughout this Editorial there’s no reason on earth why a budding banknote or token collector shouldn’t enter too, we’ll happily take entries entitled If you were to win first prize which banknote(s) would you buy and why? Provided the subject matter is covered somewhere in the pages of COIN NEWS then that’s fine by us – so get out there and do a bit of encouraging! We look forward to hearing from your children and Grandchildren!

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