My first encounter with collecting US coins was finding some of my brother’s blue Whitman coin folders when I was 11. I’m guessing one of my uncles gave them to him. He didn’t seem to care about collecting coins so I took the folders. Here are a couple of those folders that got me started collecting.
My mom had a big glass piggy bank full of Lincoln Wheat Cents. It was easy to fill the second Lincoln Cent Folder starting with 1941. The challenge would be the first folder from 1909 – 1940. I did find a 1909-P VDB as well as a 1911-D, 1912-D and 1913-D. No 1909-S VDB or 1914-D. Drat! I found all of the coins from 1915 to 1921 with the exception of the 1915-S.
The next hole after the 1921-S is the 1922-D. The 1922-D is filled with controversy and the one in my blue Whitman folder is no exception. Some people have found 1922 Lincoln cents without the D which is valuable. Now, the cent pictured on the right is in the 1922-D hole. You can see the 192 but the last number is difficult to distinguish. It could be a 2 and it could be a 7. You judge for yourself, but I think it is a 2.
After the 1922-D, I only have 4 empty holes, all key dates. They are the 1924-D, 1926-S, 1931-D, and 1931-S. However, I did find some other semi-key dates in that piggy bank including the 1924-S, 1928-S, 1932 P and D, and the 1933 P and D. 1934 on are not difficult to find finishing up the folder.
All in all, I am only missing 13 out of the 74 in the folder. Not bad. I do have a 1931-S, but like other key dates, I am not going to include it here. This folder is a reflection of my childhood and my collecting beginnings.
As you would expect, the first Jefferson Nickel folder would easier to finish than the first Lincoln cent folder. If I recall, some of the 11 silver nickels were already in there. I’m guessing my uncle put those in there for my brother. Surprise, surprise! My mom had a Jefferson Nickel’s bank. I found most of the nickels from the bank, but there were a few early ones missing including the 1938-D, 1938-S and 1942-D. I think I found the key 1939-D in my mom’s bank. I would find the remaining ones in change, especially in the lunch money that my dad would give me.
There is one empty hole in my folder, the 1950-D. The 1950-D would only be released in mint sets so I am not including it in the folder. Just like the Lincoln folder, this folder brings me back to my childhood. My father past away when I was 14, but before then, he would give me lunch money every day up until then. I would find some of the coins to fill the holes through that change and remind me of my dad.
What were your coin collecting beginnings?
If you have collected, I’d like to hear how you started. Did you start with the blue Whitman folders like I did? Did you begin with Lincoln Cents and Jefferson Nickels like me? Did someone help you get started, like a parent, grandparent or someone else?