Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars… today’s reality shows have focused attention on collections and items from the past like never before. People have collected for thousands of years – ever since we could carry more than we needed to survive. Whether it’s gems and minerals, shells, books, coins, toys, classic cars or whatever you can dream of, people collect it… and it may be healthy!
Hobbies help you reduce stress and develop new skills
Some people collect because they appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. Some collect for sentimental reasons – the items they collect might remind them of a time or person in their past. Others do it for the challenge of completing a goal. Studies show that having a hobby like collecting allows you to relax, reduces stress and lets you focus on something you enjoy, taking your mind off your problems and work.
As you put your collection together, you’ll learn new things and may develop new skills. Photographs, military memorabilia, baseball cards – whatever you choose – leads you back through the ages, letting you use your hands and mind, and develops your creativity. You’ll also learn about the items you’re collecting.
Collecting is Social
Did you know that Littleton’s president David Sundman collects Red Books? In fact, he has a complete collection of them. Read about how The Official Red Book sparked his interest in coin collecting in the 1950s and 1960s.
The collecting hobby is social – collectors love to swap stories about their items, their hunt for the perfect find or trade tips. And there are many societies, associations and organizations out there to help you get started. There are groups for View-Masters or Tru-Vues, Vacuum Cleaners and Cereal Boxes, as well as those for Chevy cars, Christmas ornaments, postcards and more. Plus, attending shows and meetings lets you get to know people from around the country and globe. And who knows, your collecting interests may be the same as a celebrity.
The Past Lives Again
Every object has a story behind it, whether it’s Star Wars memorabilia, license plates or coins. They evoke a feeling or memory and are part of the past. This is especially true of collecting coins because they are used daily in commerce and are an integral part of world history. The earliest date back to about 650 B.C. or 2,650 years ago, but the coins don’t have to be that old – they could be something newer like Morgan silver dollars from the early 1900s, that you got from your dad… Many antiques and mementos can be quite costly, yet in comparison, most coins, even from long ago, are still affordable today. Old or new, coins or something else, you’re holding an important piece of history – a memory – right in your hand.
On your voyage to build a collection, you’ll explore art, geography, history and more. Whatever attracts you – your interests and personal preferences – you can collect it. When you collect, you make time stand still and hold the past in your hand. Most of all, you should enjoy this incredible journey! Collecting is a never-ending treasure hunt, filled with exciting discoveries.
Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
- Collect what you like. Find something you’re interested in and want to learn more about. It could be Christmas ornaments, Star Trek figures, antique board games or even a coin you were given. And, maybe it’s the item’s design or history that attracts you… the possibilities are endless.
- Begin with common, easy-to-find pieces. These pieces become the “building blocks” of your collection, and as you learn about each one you’ll gain expertise.
- Read the book. The old adage, “read the book before you buy” is advice that applies here. Books, websites and collector groups abound, so learn as much as you can about what you’re collecting. Find out about building blocks and the “Holy Grails.”
- Start slow and small. It can be easy to get discouraged if your collection gets too big too fast. Start small – then add to it. From there, it’s easy to branch out or shift your focus.
- Share your enthusiasm. You’ll discover some great stories about the pieces you’ve acquired – share them. As you socialize with fellow collectors, friends or family members, tell them the about the history and unique stories behind the items you’ve collected.
What do you collect? Do you collect anything besides coins? I can’t wait to hear about your collections.