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Numismatics: Our Connection to our Collection

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发表于 2018-8-2 09:14:06 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Numismatics:  Our Connection to our Collection
By Kyle Ponterio
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When it comes to collecting, making a connection is the key whether you are a young child or an adult. The ability to relate to what you collect is essential. A collection is not defined by any one piece, but by the sum of all of its parts. For many, collecting is a way to connect to bygone eras of dynastic rule, political intrigue, national turmoil or revolution, although others may have no interest in the tumultuous times of the past and would rather spend their time looking at pieces of modern art. Among collectors, some would go with a thematic approach and collect various interpretations or iterations of specific subject matter, while others are drawn to things that simply catch their eye and attention, or that provide investment potential or even camaraderie. In any case we collect for various reasons, each creating our own unique experience. Even if collecting interests are shared with friends and family, no two collections are exactly the same.

Growing up I had no interest what-so-ever in numismatics, seeing it as something my father, Richard Ponterio, did for work but not fully understanding what he actually did. It wasn’t until my mid-20’s, when I started working for my father in the mail room, that my interest was piqued. The one piece that really got me interested in numismatics was a countermarked Mexican 8 Reales cob. It had made its way from Mexico to Brazil and then to its final destination, Indonesia, where it was buried in a hoard with other cobs all bearing local Indonesian sunburst or flower countermarks. This piece intrigued me so much because out of the entire group, this example was the only one to have been countermarked for use in both Brazil and Indonesia. I found it absolutely fascinating as I could theoretically trace the route it took to get to its final destination. It first left Mexico, followed the east coast of Central and South America, and made a stop in Brazil. There it was countermarked, raising its face value to 600 Reis so that it was now worth more in country than out. It then left Brazil going around the southernmost part of the continent, crossing the Pacific and finally making its way to Southeast Asia where it was countermarked for use and then buried in a hoard with other cobs. Sadly, at that time I had not started the long journey of coin collecting and I let it get away from me.  I kick myself every time when I talk about this piece, not because it was particularly valuable, but rather that it told an interesting story. I have not seen it in over 13 years.
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In an age where the move to digital transactions is making coins and currency less and less relevant, how can we insure the future of our hobby, numismatics, for generations to come? There are many options, but no simple answers. One suggestion is engaging our youth and guiding them so that they can make those connections. In numismatics there is truly something for everyone, from the first coinage of ancient China to modern Shanghai transportation tokens, along with anything and everything in between. Everyone should be able to make a connection to something in numismatics. There is no wrong way to collect if it is something you love.  
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Not everything is a work of art, has intrinsic value or is historically significant, yet seemingly unimportant pieces of little value can hold a special place in the heart of a collector. Not everyone has the means or knowledge to acquire items for their collection that cost multiple thousands of dollars. However, anyone can put together a really great collection with a little bit of knowledge, a lot of patience and the willingness to learn as you go.  

One approach to collecting is to acquire the best possible example you can afford. Not to say that you shouldn’t reach for an extraordinarily special item, but that you should be mindful of what it is you are buying. When an item appears that makes you think: “if I don’t buy this now, I may never get the opportunity to acquire it again in my lifetime,” then you should probably make it a part of your collection.
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Sharing interests and information with other collectors is another aspect of collecting that sometimes gets overlooked. The dissemination of information fosters collectors both new and old. Subsequently this also creates lasting bonds as well as friendly rivalries.
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With a bit of guidance, knowledge and a personal touch, a fabulous collection can be assembled. Many of the great collections that were formed and sold during the last century, such as those of Edward Kann, Irving Goodman, Wa She Wong, The Chin Family, and Q. David Bowers / R. B. White (just to name a few) were not put together overnight. These collections took years and in many cases decades or generations to assemble. Studying and getting to know every aspect of new acquisitions, adding depth and continuity to their collections over long periods of time have made these collections so great. Keep in mind that whatever your collecting interests may be, you are collecting for yourself and no one else.  
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发表于 2018-8-2 19:05:21 | 显示全部楼层
I've met Mr.Kyle personally a couple times. It can be told by how he speaks and act that he is truly a senior collector who possesses experience which beginners like me would perhaps never going to encounter in a lifetime. RESPECT.
WeChat:Kevin_TZM-929
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