I am now in my later 40's as I write this bio and finally have reached a point in life where I can set aside some money monthly for my "coin allowance."
It was not always this way.
My fascination with coins started at a very young age--although the exact age I am not sure. I would guess I was between 7 to 10 years of age when my mother showed me her silver coins. As a child in the mid 1970's, the sight of a mercury dime design, walker or franklin half and even the old buffalo nickels were somehow exciting and mysterious. Compared to the pictures of the busts of presidents, the older designs were fantastically beautiful in their art and sculpted design...I was hooked!
The only problem was that I was a kid and had no money. My mom and dad got me some thumb busters of Lincoln wheat cents and Jefferson nickels. Oh what a prize to find a wheatie in my dad's change of a date before 1940! Of course I could not just take the coin--I had to do some extra chore to earn that prize, this made the enjoyment all the more.
Later I would have the pleasure of trips to a local coin shop in Rockville (MD)-called Coins of the Realm--I don't even know if it still exists or not. As the holes in my thumb busters became harder to fill, I figured out that I could find many of them at the coin shop. I would cut the grass of the older families in the neighborhood during the summer and if we had a snow in the winter--me and the other kids in the neighborhood would be out early knocking on doors to make that $5 for shoveling a sidewalk and driveway.
The difference was, my friends would spend that money on candy, sports cards or slot cars--for me it was a trip with my mom to the coin shop.
Eventually my mom even gave me her old silver coins--circulated and common date, nonetheless, they were quite possibly the most exciting coins I ever received.
After many years of hiatus from numismatics--about 12 to 15 years ago I rediscovered my passion for the hobby of kings--and with the discovery of the Registry here at NGC--and the ability to hunt for treasures on the internet, I foresee coin collecting being a part of my earthly pleasures until the day when I will leave it.