• U.S. Pattern Coins Tell the Stories Behind Our Currency I started collecting coins when I was five years old, and I started dealing when I was 13 or 14. Most kids start with coins of circulation—I had albums for Jefferson nickels, Lincoln pennies and Roosevelt dimes. I started with Morgan and Peace dollars pretty early. I came close to finishing a set of Peace dollars, I was one coin away. That’s the closest I ever got to completing a collection of any…
  • An Interview with Smithsonian Coin and Currency Curator Richard Doty When I was 8 years old I had a friend named Jimmy Hood. His father was in the army, and he had been on the staff with General MacArthur when MacArthur was effectively the boss of Japan right after World War II. Jimmy had some Japanese and Chinese coins, so we swapped a few things, as kids will do. And at that point, in 1950, I just got hooked on coins. I also had some paper currency when I was …
  • Foreign Coins of the U.S. Founding Fathers I started collecting coins at age 11 when I earned a Boy Scout Coin Collecting Merit Badge. I collected cents, nickels, and dimes, placing them in the blue Whitman folders. Like most other boys in the late ’60s, I got interested in girls and cars, and then I went to college. I had been married for a few years before I dusted off my Whitman folders and tried to fill in the remaining holes, like the…
  • Controversial Coin: The Peace Dollar When I was about 7, I began to notice the different kinds of dimes, nickels, and cents I got back as change. At the same time, I had a cousin whose father gave him several large cigar boxes of Indian cents and other coins. His father worked in a New York City post office in the 1930s and had set aside every Indian cent or interesting coin that came across the counter. The boxes also contained a fe…
  • Gerry Fortin Explains the Many Varieties of Liberty Seated Dimes Like everybody else, I started collecting coins when I was probably around 10 years old—going to the bank, buying a roll of Lincoln cents, and trying to fill those Whitman folders. My focus was on Lincoln cents from 1909 through 1966. Then I moved up to Jefferson nickels, and I tried to find Buffalo nickels still in circulation coupled with some occasional pre-1965 silver. I grew up in a re…
  • Buffalo Nickels, Lincoln Cents, and the Coin Boards Meant to Hold Them I started collecting coins when I was about 7 years old. I took over my brother’s collection of Lincoln cents. At that time, the early 1960s, it seemed like every boy collected coins for a week or two and then got bored just like my brother did. I kept at it, collecting a little bit of everything over the years—from ancients to metals to tokens to paper money. I learn as much as I can, but usually…