Whether it’s baseball cards in the 1960s, Pokemon cards in the 1990s, or fidget spinners in 2017, kids seem to have a natural tendency to categorize and collect whatever they fancy at the moment. Any collection can be a great way for kids to learn the value of working hard to build something to be proud of, but a collection of coins and currency offers unique benefits that you just won’t find elsewhere. Here are seven reasons why:
1. It Creates a Sense of Accomplishment.
Coin collecting necessarily requires patience. Unlike trading cards, you can’t go to the grocery store, buy their entire inventory of cards, and immediately have an impressive collection. It takes years of perseverance, conversation, trading, and diligence before one has an assemblage worthy of admiration. But the payout is high: the satisfaction of having a unique set of coins, each with a fascinating story and history behind it, can be a formative experience for kids, and one that will inspire and motivate future endeavors.
2. It Teaches History
Coins and banknotes carry a tremendous amount of history. The designs, years, and even materials used all carry clues to the eras in which the currency was in circulation. For example, the 1943 steel penny, made to preserve copper for munitions in the depth of WWII, still serves to commemorate the sacrifices everyday Americans made for the war effort. Anyone can read about this history, but to own something that was part of it all gives history a tangibility on par with visiting historical sites.
3. It Teaches Geography
Can you locate Andorra on a map? What about Transnistria? Those are tough ones, but ask yourself this: How many adults could correctly identify Romania on a blank map of Europe? Sure, maybe having a knack for Geography won’t guarantee a six-figure salary in the future, but it is still a crucial piece to understanding our complicated world. Introducing a kid to coin collecting (particularly international coin collecting) is a great way to generate interest in other countries and inspire them to research exotic places. At the very least, being able to name-drop Lichtenstein in an assignment is a good way to impress the teacher.
4. It Is More Than a Fad
How long did the fidget spinner last? Maybe a year? Short term hobbies and interests just can’t provide the same lessons as a persistent effort. Interest in coins and money may wax and wane to a degree over time, but the idea of collecting coins has been around since ancient times. If a child gets involved in collecting currency, you can rest assured that, even if the child may one day lose interest, it is not an interest that will be dictated by fleeting social fads and fandoms.
5. It Is Both Accessible and Scalable
Starting a collection can be as easy as digging through the car dash and on top of the dryer now and then looking for state quarters, and it can be as complicated as searching for ancient Byzantine silver coins at shows. Your kid can start easy and grow within the hobby as interest and intrigue increases. Joining Coin and Currency Club can be a great middle-of-the-ground approach to expose kids to more exotic specimens without breaking the bank.
6. It Can Pay
Coins don’t always go up in value, but they certainly can, and they rarely lose value. Thus, collecting coins, especially sought-after coins and banknotes and coins made of precious metals, can be a nice savings account for your kid. Personally, throughout my childhood, I showed an interest in coins, and over time, I amassed quite the collection. A great deal of it was given to me by friends and family, and part of it was comprised of special pieces I saved up for. I didn’t have a single coin that would truly be considered valuable, but a lot of coins made of silver, historical coins with numismatic value, and so on. It added up. After college, I sold most of them to put a down payment on my house. It was bittersweet, but I am grateful I spent money in my youth on a collection that held its equity rather than blowing it on depreciating toys and video games.
7. It Generates an Interest in Finance.
Did you know that the most valuable dollars we ever make are the ones we make as kids? This is because these dollars have the longest time to mature in an investment and accrue interest. If I make $10/hour at age 18, and I invest all of it with a 7% return, it would be the equivalent of making $240/hour at age 65. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. It’s called the time value of money. This is why it’s so important for young people to have an appreciation for money and start fostering their financial literacy before they head off to college, which can be one of the most important financial decisions they make in their life. Understanding how money works is the difference between a prosperous life and an impoverished life. Collecting coins and banknotes (as well as antique bonds and stock certificates) as a hobby is a great curiosity that naturally leads to investigation into some of the nuances behind these instruments of finance, and it is a curiosity that WILL pay great dividends.
If you want to introduce your kid to all these perks and let them have some fun while they’re at it, Join Coin and Currency Club, a monthly coin subscription box, today!