Numismatics – a fascinating collecting activity

Why do people collect things – what is its actual use?
Our distant ancestors were able to survive by gathering and hunting. Although livestock and grain farming have made hunting and gathering less important, the instinct has survived to this day. Hunters, anglers and mushroom gatherers are living testimony. At the same time, today's opportunities for collecting have expanded considerably: everything the earth and its biosphere have to offer and every kind of product of civilization are collected, sometimes even the refuse of civilization. And it need not always be physical items, as demonstrated by the gathering of experience and accumulation of knowledge. After all, libraries collect knowledge secured in a physical form.

All these forms of collecting have something special in common: they convey joy, feelings of happiness and satisfaction. This perceived joy can be so wonderful that a feeling of happiness will be repeatedly sought after and repeatedly experienced as well. For that reason, the expression collectors are happy people may contain more than a grain of truth.

Consequently every field of collecting, however unusual, should be treated equally: the collector's joy is what counts!

Coin collecting –is it worth it?
As mentioned above, in my opinion joy, fascination and thirst for knowledge clearly have to be at the heart of a desire to collect coins or bank notes. Every collector has his own individual financial means, which of course can be relevant to the establishment of a collection. But the collector's joy should not depend on the value of a piece. For real happiness can neither be marred by a fall, nor increased by a jump, in price. The cultureless cult of the golden calf is foreign to the true collector. Although foregoing the purchase of a piece for financial reasons can be painful, this ultimately also reveals a strength which is the precondition for long-lasting joy. I therefore strongly advise against purchases that overrun one's personal budget. Collecting should be a joy and not a burden. It is still possible today to build up an individually valuable collection without a large wallet – wise collectors often compensate a lack of financial means with imagination – and with great success!

Why collect coins though?
The best known and most popular collections are those of stamps (philately) and coins (numismatics). The reasons for that are numerous, and in the case of numismatics obvious: money has played and to this day still plays an important role in society. Money is needed on a daily basis; everyone carries some coins or banknotes – an ideal requirement for beginning a collection of one's own. Curiosity and replacing one's habitual way of viewing with the so-called collector's eye will make it possible to enter the wonderful world of coin collecting:
A world full of coins, which as incorruptible witnesses of the past document history and through being touched, viewed, studied, learned about and collected are brought to life again. A world that has much to tell.

So open your eyes, the reward you can expect is enjoyment.

© 2018 by Johannes Müller, Bern - schweizergeld.ch