My favorite numismatic mentor would have to be my grandfather. I can remember when I was only about 4 years old and my grandpa taking me and my brother to local coin shows. At the shows he would introduce us to some of the dealers there, who would sometimes give us coins. When Mike (my brother) and I got back into the car, my Grandpa Larry would spend the whole ride home telling us about the coins. Some of my best memories of when I ws littles are those car rides home with my grandpa.
It seemed that almost every weekend, my grandpa would come to our house, and take Mike and Ii to another local coin show. I started to get really involved in coin collecting and I started to focus my interests on foreign coins. Foreign coins have always been interesting to me because each coin told a short story of that country. My Grandfather told my brother and I that we were topical coin collectors since I especially enjoyed collecting coins with fish on them while Mike enjoyed collecting coins with animals.
With my grandfathers mentoring, I was soon bringing coins to school for show and tell. By the time I was 7 I had made my first exhibit and exhibited it at the ANA convention in New York City in the YN category. My exhibit was “Fish on Coins.” My brother also exhibited “Animals on Coins” and we both took home awards for our exhibits. We also attended the ANA convention in NY in 2002 and the 2003 Baltimore convention. I worked there as a page, and exhibited in three different categories in which I brought home several awards.
Now, my brother and I are 14 years old. I now collect paper money, medals, tokens, elongated coins, ancient coins and US coins. But still, my favorite coins to collect are, you guessed it, foreign coins. Without my grandpa Larry introducing me to coin collecting, I never would be involved in this wonderful hobby. I do a lot of baby sitting, and I have introduced coin collecting to the two boys I baby sit who are 11 and 9 years old. I’ve started them on State quarters and its unbelieveable how joyous they look whenever they find a new quarter to add to their collection. I suppose that makes me their mentor. I hope that one day I am as a great of a mentor to them as my grandfather is to me.
By Nicole Caltabellotta.