Talking of Coins…

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.


About John

Dia Duit! Hello. My name is John. I am retired. I live in Ireland. I am on a five year mission to visit every city, town, village and place of historic and scenic interest in Ireland.
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4 Responses to Talking of Coins…

  1. Timbrofil says:

    Sometimes, the hobbies have something in common, and it is hard to not be interested to form another collection and to enjoy it. Personally, I like the worldwide coins illustrated on stamps, as well as to discover information about them on the internet. Regarding your last question, I think the best choice to exchange coins, stamps and something else, is the dialog between collectors, based on strong specialized information. Best wishes! Catalin

    • johnjgmooney says:

      I think youre right about this.
      As you will know I have sent stamps to people and asked them not to send me any.
      I find the “exchange rates” easy when it is 25 used stamps for 25 used stamps.
      But even this seems unfair as used stamps from major countries (USA, Germany, Japan, India) are more common than used stamps from Vatican, Liechtenstein and Nepal).
      I also understand one postcatrd for one postcard but that is also unfair because some countries are easier than others.
      Coins are more difficult.
      But the whole point is to use the the things we dont need to obtain the things we do want.
      So setting a “exchange price” on a postcard is difficult. Is a postcard from Germany worth 20 used stamps from Malta?
      Is a postcard from Malta worth 20 used stamps from Germany.

  2. Jim Jackson says:


    It’s funny.. I have no interest in coins…nada.. but I am incredibly addicted to stamps- especially WW stamps of the classical era. I have a good friend who is very much into classical era US coin collecting- I listen politely to him, and he listens politely to me. 😉

    I saw your post over at Keijo’s stamp site about the lack of recognition of your stamp blog- but I like it a lot, and you have posts about general topics of collecting also.

    I’ve added a link to your fine site.

    (Note: I did not put in my true email address, because i do not want spam-bots picking it up)

    All the best!
    Jim Jackson

    • johnjgmooney says:

      Thanks for this Jim. Apologies for slow response. I have been busy with grandfather duties for a few days.
      I took a look at your excellent site…andI will be returning for other visits.
      I have not worked out how to do links. Next time my son visits, I will ask him to show me how.
      Thanks for linking to my site.

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