I remember the first time someone asked me (casually) in a job interview: so… what is your hobby? I answered quickly: I collect coins. The conversation that ensued is still pretty vivid in my head. I mean… what were the odds (I was thinking at the time) that both the interviewer and I have the same hobby. It just happened that we got to spend the next 10 minutes discussing the topic. It quickly built a bridge in the most touching way I could think of. Two people from different cultures and unique backgrounds converging by means of a hobby. It had the desired effect: braking the ice of what is otherwise a very formal job interview and allowed us to discover more of what we are on the inside.
Later on I learned that coin collection is a hobby embraced by tens or hundreds of thousands of people of all background, culture, sex, political orientation and so on al over the world.
I was 5 when my dad gave me a little wooden box with a few coins in it. He’d received it from someone in one of his daily visits to the church congregation (dad was a priest). That someone had a little boy my age named John and the coins in the box were duplicates. And so, I became friends with John and both of us hooked. We’d swap duplicates between us and soon enough dragged others into the hobby and spend our weekends, half terms and summer holiday mostly outdoors looking for coins to add to our collections.
We grew up in an area where there had been much trade historically and the best parts to look for coins was after a rainy day and around the walls of an ancient Roman city which flourished more than 17 hundred years ago.
Of course, we never stopped bothering our often travelling relatives for foreign coins. And mom and dad and soon all my siblings were very soon instructed to enquire about coins wherever they went.
As time went by, the collection grew in size and always moved into a bigger and bigger wooden box. Our knowledge of history, coins and materials grew with it. Yet, identifying our coins was always a struggle, especially in a time without Google or access to specialised databases.
A little while ago I came across Change Checker. It offers a seamless way to find, identify, collect and even swap circulating coins. And, the best part, no more wooden little boxes. Change Checker provides a cool organiser instead. It’s a great to get kids like my 5-yo into coin collection.
Like any working in the city dad, I put a great deal of value on the time I spend with my little ones. And, with Change Checker, coin collection becomes more than a hobby: it helps me creating quality time with my kids, fuels their curiosity and inclination for organisation and builds up their self esteem. I see Lucas being really proud while discussing his collection with everyone he meets and it brings back warm memories from my childhood.
Last week, we received the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin. He sat quietly listening to me reading him that the coin has been issued to celebrate the 160th anniversary of Conan Doyle’s birth (the writer of Sherlock Holmes). By the way, the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin will be available to purchase from Change Checker at £4.50 (+p&p) and can be bought as a special keepsake. There’s other coins (such as the Beatrix Potter 50ps) that can also be found within your change, so take a look!
We’ve now become curious about other coins that might be lurking within our change after getting this coin. Lucas has a money bank (in the shape of an owl) and he’s filling it up throughout the week. And on a weekend usually, we’d sit down and empty it and go through all of the coins. We’d check them against the collectible ones in the Change Checker file. I cannot express enough the joy on his face and in his eyes when he finds one and puts it in the organiser.
I enjoy reading him a few lines about the history of each of the coins we find so we learn more and more each time.
All in all, it’s been a really fun and interesting hobby for me and the kids to get involved with. More than that, those previous minutes or hours we spend engaged in it gives Aly a breather to catch up with her activities.
If you feel coin collection may well be a hobby for you and your little one(s) then go to the Change Checker website to get started. You may start with the purchase of your own Sherlock Holmes 50p coin and, while at that, try and find out more about the other unique 10p, 50p and £2s available! And (:with a Sherlock’s voice:) do give me a shout if you’ve got duplicates that you want to swap.