This past Sunday was Father’s Day. It was a great day honoring the men of our church. I preached a message, “What Kind of Father Do You Need” and encouraged our men to be the Father to their families as Abraham was a Father to his generations. My daughter made a surprise visit through the weekend and sang a beautiful song. I gave all the men a gift and believed we had reached the end of our service.
Jack and Beverly Peters did a very special thing. Something they are so good at. They spread the word to the church to feel free to bring a Father’s Day card to me and include something special inside… MONEY! Not spendable money, but important money to me. Since about 5 years of age I have had coin books and worked hard a filling them with all the years and versions of coins. Penny’s, Nickles, Dimes, Quarters and so on. This gave me a numismatic desire that at times has consumed me.
- Once, I belonged to a coin collection company, and regularly was mailed coins from all age and denominations. I was allowed to keep what I wanted, pay for what I kept, and return the others back to the home office.
- Having spent many years working in a bank, I have always swapped personal currency for collectable currency. One central vault used to call me when they came across Silver Certificate bills – 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, etc. Once they had a 500.00 bill but I did not have enough money available for that. At another bank, tellers would call me when they got something special in their till and give me the first opportunity to purchase the collectable.
- Knowing what kind of money passed through the bank, as a customer I used to buy a certain amount of rolled coins and inspect every coin for a collectable. When done, I would re-roll the coins and trade them in for more rolls. This produced a lot of elderly pennies, war-time nickles, mercury dimes, and other silver coins.
- When working in downtown Houston, a currency exchange place used to place devalued bills in cardboard boxes and sell them, generally 5 bills for $1.00….. Some pretty bills that were basically worthless, nevertheless I would purchase some.
- I have asked various missionaries passing through my world to send me money of their destination and I would gladly send them back an offering of support. To date, several have sent me bills and coinage and I’ve appreciated every mailing. Several missionary’s would used various coinage given to churches to help us remember them and pray for them – I still have the coin from China with a square hole in the middle that I received in Alaska in the early 80’s. Any money they sale, ends up in my hands!
- My Aunt Velma used to work at a place in CA where she was around money all day long. When she came through Houston she would always give me Silver Dollars for gas money. I never spent them for that! They are in my collection.
- My son-in-law came back from a Missions trip to Poland and brought me some samples. Just the way a son-in-law should be!!
Needless to say, when the cards came to me last Sunday with various collectable coins included in the envelopes, I was surprised, happy, and excited. I have spent these past few days opening every card and looking at these special additions to my stash. There have been a few silver coins, pennies from my birth year (1955), and foreign coins from Mexico, Philippines and Europe.
In teaching a banking class I found a statement that said something along this line: “Collecting of coinage is nothing but hoarding and does not do our financial system an favors.” Maybe so. Maybe not. I will say that if anyone has something they are hoarding and would like to give up, then feel free to send it to me and I will “hoard” for you!
Now, my collection is worth nothing financially to anybody. It is my part-time enjoyment and every so often I will dust open the bins and books and flip through my collection. Just like some of you do with baseball cards, or jewelry, or thimbles, or shot glasses, or salt/pepper shakers. You collect what you want and I’ll do the same. (My past collection has included key chains, cigarette lighters, etc.)
Thank you mom and dad for encouraging a great past-time for me. It has brought me over 50 years of enjoyment!