This is my story of precious metal stacking.
So this is my first Silver Forum post, not my first forum post as I do navigate many different forums including vehicle forums for my love of cars as well.
So a BIG hello to all other members on TSF, keep up the good work and have fun.
So I am 33 years old, I have Aspergers and dyslexia the former which was recently diagnosed after a long arduous process, however my long term memory is amazing even my sister can’t comprehend how I can remember Such details from quite some time ago. Anyway I have never really been someone who is able to take up an expensive hobby until the coin collecting bug started.
Stamp collecting, railway magazines as well as a few other collecting interests where a part of my late dads life that I really never got into. I suppose the bug started when I was on holiday one year at my Grandmothers house on a rainy day in Scotland which was a regular annual trip up from England.
So I started to explore the house, could I find something interesting, perhaps if historical relevance? Can I find any item that might pique my interest without being found out what I was doing, can I do it in a stealthy manner so that I was not found out. Hmmmm, not exactly I could be bull in a china shop considering aspects of autism/Aspergers lead myself to being dyspraxia, an unhelpful amount of clumsiness. That day however I successfully uncovered my Granddads WW2 service medals from being in the RAF. How shiny they were after all these years, never touched since they were worn on the his old uniform since the late 40’s. Though finding these items as stealthy as I could be, a small house it was I was soon discovered and told to put them away and not touch them again.
Well it was a nice find, so upstairs I went to my bedroom to look out the window at the bleak sky covering the mountains to the north. Bored as I was the rummaging began again, I was limited this time to my bedroom, a small room that was formally a servant/house maids room when the buildings first ever owner bought it during the Victorian era. A building that still had a series of bells that worked and a handle in each room to notify them of their duty to that particular room when it was needed. So there I was stuck in the room with a cupboard I couldn’t open and wouldn’t open for another 10 years when I finally fixed the problem, 10 years of anticipation that was to reveal what was inside, hopeful treasures only to be disappointed with a empty cupboard.
Advisory notice I must remember not to go off on tangents, it is a habit of mine but I do return. So stuck in a room, raining and overcast (dreich as they say in Scotland), slightly entertained by the medal discovery the rummaging began again. Rummaging about house has brought about the lesson of hiding Christmas presents a very difficult task for my mum, until they were hidden right under my nose, like my bed, yet I found them but decided to then leave them and keep quiet in earlier years. So I had one place left, a set of draws I would store my clothes in, though i only had use of the bottom draws as such the rest were stored in the big cupboard in my mums room. So my inquisitive urges came on. What was in the other draws? Not much really old clothes were in the large draw above mine. There were two other draws in this chest of draws, a red wood chest of draws we still have today and still going strong, none of the cheap MDF Ikea rubbish that last a decade before it get scrapped. These draws were nice and chunky. So I had two draws left, both on the same level at the top. Pick and choose really, left draw or the right draw, well I picked the left draw and there I found two red presentation mock leather coins sets. One 1984 and one 1986, I realised these were the sets from the years my sister and I were born. So out they came, along with an enquiry. “Mother, whose do these belong to”?
“Oh, they belong to you”!
Apparently they were gifts that had never been given, bought, forgotten about and had remained there for many years never seeing the light of day since bought from the Royal Mint. With such intrigue I wanted to see inside but before I could I was stopped and told not to open up the box as even breathing on them could damage the proof finishing on the coins. So through the perspex plastic I just stared at them in wonder, looking at the all the detail, the inscription around the queens head. I had no computer in those days no internet either, that was a luxury, a luxury I didn’t even know existed. Not that a 56k modem could have helped answer my questions at such a low speed it was.
It was at this point I was hooked, yet there would be a few more years before I would really start to purchase coins or precious metals for collecting.
My first coin purchase was in 2000, my Dad at the time was a Daily Telegraph and FT reader, no toilet rags as he put it will be found in the house. In the magazine that came with the paper was to be found the TV times, a useless 2 pages for most of my childhood as we didn’t have a TV until that year, the old one we had broke and no replacement was made for a whole ten years. The only time I saw the TV was at my other Grandmothers house most Sunday’s for the F1 race. So the Telegraph magazine had the usual holiday adverts towards the rear, where I came across a small cutout section from the Royal Mint. An offer i could not refuse, A full or Half 2000 year Sovereign plus P&P for about £50 for the cost of the coin. So I filled it in gave my money to mum that I had saved up and she gave me her card so I could fill in the details and posted it off. The Sovereign bug had bitten and it bites hard.
My dad, who had been working abroad had different ideas, I was told off, and with a smack on the backside as it was I was forced to send it back for a refund. There I was being told it was not worth the money, the price of gold (unknown to me at the time) was not going to be going up any time soon he said.
Well in 2002 he died suddenly whilst working abroad, then came the problem years of my later teens. All the shackles had been removed and rebellion had started. Well I suppose I could have spent the time collecting but I suppose those years were spent studying at college and then failing at university followed by redirecting myself into more useful qualifications like mechanics and engineering.
Then the 2008 financial crisis hit and for some reason I had the instinct to buy gold and silver bullion and coins. Well with very little money, still no proper internet this never really happened until 2011. The price of gold was hitting its peak, however no matter what I had saved up loads of pennies in a big bottle and cashed them in lots of of plastic bags you get from the bank, with it I opened a current account so I had access to a debit card and off I went to purchase gold and silver. Regardless the price was high, no matter what I had to have that which I had lost out on 11 years earlier, a Sovereign, yet I could not afford it all I could get though was a Proof half Sovereign, so with that I bought it.
Since then, my stack has grown and shrunk, I have bought sovereigns of specific dates from 1911 my lucky number as it seemed funny considering it’s biblical association, not that I’m religious but who knows maybe there will be a second coming. I have been buying up silver like mad, 1oz Britannia coins but none are proof quality, Olympic 50p’s were an interest for a time and have two silver none proof. I was lucky to even find a Kew Gardens 50p at a shop I worked at. Recently I have gone and purchased the 2000 half sovereign the year I was forced to send back, it might not have been a full sovereign like I had back then; I buy only what I can afford per month which is not easy now I have moved abroad, my partner works, in a full time dad now. It’s my favourite job in the whole world, it’s very rewarding, instead I’m buying what I can silver mostly, 50p’s, 1966 Australian 50c as they are 80% silver and only made that one year until the price of silver cost more than the face value of the coin so they stopped production until 1969.
Right now, I’m saving what I can on €200 per month I get during covid to send a few coins off to @Numistacker so that I can have these coins and also a few notes graded. Whereby I will be leaving them all to my daughter and teaching her about the differences in coins, precious metals, the multiple uses that can be utilised In industry as well as the ancient coins that my parents used from farthings to Crowns.
I enjoy all the coins I have, they all have a unique art to them from Pistrucci and his classic design to the various types of heads of the Kings and Queens of past and present to all the minor differences that could mean the difference between a coin that is common to one that is very rare due to a subtle difference regardless of 2 coins being stuck in the same year.
I’m hoping that my enjoyment of this rather expensive hobby that it is now can be passed on to my daughter so that she can carry on the collection and build up the current one with some she can carefully select through the lessons I intend to teach her about coins. Hopefully she will find a decent paying job that can fund such a hobby but it will take hard work and studying so she can get such a job or good career so that numismatic collecting can continue for further generations to come.
Other than that once my coin purchases end I’m going to purchase generic gold and silver bullion bars for invest purposes only with the exception of low mintage proof sovereigns.
We might need a bigger safe if that happens.