Question: I don't know if my question is of general interest, but I'm desperate. I have a young son who is interested in collecting coins from all over the world, and I can't seem to find anything suitable for young children. I have enclosed a stamp-collecting advertisement that I received--half page of narrative and half page for the stamps--perfect, except that he's interested in money. How does one get a young child going in this field? We're obviously not interested in rare and expensive coins yet.--C.L.T.
Answer: Coins and stamps are probably two of the best hobbies a youngster can pursue. I'm partial to coins, and because your young son is too, then you certainly have the right instincts in seeking guidance. Also, because your son at least initially seems interested in foreign coins, the cost should not put a major strain on the family budget.
There are several steps you can take. Check with a local coin dealer and see if he handles foreign material. If he doesn't, perhaps he would be willing to get some if he knew you would be a regular customer. Also, I notice that you live in Long Beach. One of the more active coin clubs is in Long Beach. The Long Beach Coin Club meets on the first Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Mercury Savings & Loan, 4140 Long Beach Blvd. The mailing address is P.O. Box 8101, Long Beach, Calif. 90808.
Coming up in Long Beach in early February is the massive Long Beach Coin & Stamp Expo at the Convention Center. Your son might enjoy visiting the booths, talking to the dealers and getting an overall picture of numismatics.
One of the nice features of this show is the young people's bourse, especially designed for the young collector. Inexpensive coins are featured here, and it would be a good introduction to the hobby. Also, he might meet other youngsters with similar interests.
Numismatics can lead to lifelong friendships and to an educational experience; it also holds the potential for financial gain. Do what you can to encourage your son's interest. It will be well worth the effort.
More than 2,000 coins will be featured in the 400 Sale, which commemorates 400 public coin auctions produced by Stack's, the New York coin firm. The auction, Wednesday and Thursday, features U.S. gold, silver and copper coins. Catalogues and prices realized are $10 from Stack's, 123 West 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10019; telephone (212) 582-2580.
Highlighting the Numismatic Assn. of Southern California convention Jan. 28-30 will be the four-session sale of the Lloyd M. Higgins MD Collection by Auctions by Bowers & Merena. Many outstanding coins will be featured, but among the most interesting will be Lot 226, the presentation specimen of the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter (pictured). It is accompanied by a letter from the designer, Hermon A. MacNeil, and mounted in its original presentation frame. Miss Liberty's exposed breast caused a public outcry, and the coin was modified in 1917. The auction at the Hyatt Airport Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd., will take place Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 29 at 1 and 7 p.m., and Jan. 30 at noon. Catalogues are $10 from Bowers & Merena, Box 1224, Wolfeboro, N.H. 03894.
Saturday--A seminar on "How to Invest in Rare Coins" will be conducted by Robert Badal from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Beverly Hills Adult School. Coin grading, pricing, the history of U.S. coins and new issues will be covered. Cost is $15. For information, call (213) 277-4747.