I would not describe myself as a Coin Collector. Rather I am a Stamp Collector with an interest in Coins.
I first became interested in 1971 when Ireland and Britain went “decimal” and I wanted to preserve the memory of the Irish and British coins, I had in my pocket in the 1950s and 1960s. Nostalgia playsa large part in any form of Collecting. I was able to pick up most low-denomination Irish coins quite cheaply. The early “silver” shillings, florins and half-crowns were more problematic. Likewise most low-denomoination British coins from the time of “Queen Victoria” are easily obtained thru market stalls and flea markets.
When Ireland became part of the “Euro” zone in 2002, the country’s decimal coins were confined to History and this stimulated my interest even more.
I have never had much interest in foreign coins. I did bring some home from my trip to USSR in 1980 but after more than fifty years exposure to “cents”, “nickels”, “dimes” and “quarters” on TV and in the Movies, I made my first trip to USA in 2013 and got to handle these coins for the first time. Inevitably I developed an interest.
Most American “silver” coins from the mid 1960s (the metal was changed around then) are readily available at roughly “five for £1” on stalls in my local markets.
Of course these cheap coins are “circulated coins” but unlike devout collectors, I have no real interest in condition or specialised coins such as “proofs”. Indeed the fact that these coins were circulated over a number of decades is actually a bonus to me.
Obviously I need more knowledge than I have at this point in time. But I am also as certain that too much knowledge would be a bad thing.
Some American friends have told me that they will look out for State Quarters (I have eighteen different already). But the next logical step is to trade with American collectors. Friendly, uncomplicated trade of course. My circulated and circulating Irish and British coins for their USA coins.
But is there a formula? Is it simply one coin for one coin or determined by face value of circulating coins. Today’s exchange rate suggests that a USA Quarter is worth €0.22 and £o.16 respectively.