Tucked away with my old movies backed up on DVD, old bubble gum and comic book cards, and a few blank VHS tapes, you'll find the several boxes that make up my coin collection. My Canadian coins have a dedicated box of their own, and then there's the millennium quarters, my framed centennial coins, and most recently the Olympic coins that have their own cases.
The biggest box is full of coins from around the world. Some of them were gifts, some I bought at airport currency exchanges, some from eBay, some I found in the dryer at College West, and a bunch I bought in handfuls from collectors shops as a kid. None of these coins are particularly valuable by themselves, but as a collection they represent every region of the globe.
I don't really know why I started a coin collection so young, but I think collecting is in my blood. As I started to learn more about geography and history, the idea of having something tangible to connect myself to those concepts became more appealing. It's why I'm still adding to this collection to this day.
I like to think about the stories behind the random coins I find. What was happening the year it was minted? Why did they put this image on it? How many people might have held it? It's a bit ironic, but a box of currency from around the world has actually been one of the cheapest ways to experience it.
Here are a few of my favorite coins:
1916 - Canada - One Cent
This penny is actually closer to the size of a modern Canadian quarter. It was minted during WWI.
1916 - Russia - 20 Kopecks
This coin features the emblem of Imperial Russia and the monarchy of Czar Nicholas II. It was minted one year before the Russian Revolution would result in the formation of the USSR.
1947 - India - 1 Pice
Some coins caught my attention just because they were so different. This coin was minted in British India in 1947, the same year that India gained its independence.
1901 - Ceylon - Half Cent