To the Editor:
I would like to bring to mind the concept of starting your young ones on starting a coin collection. It has been a lifelong (OK, if nerdy) hobby of mine. I have met people locally and internationally in my passion to collect coins from all over the world. There are 197 of them!
Such a hobby does not take a lot to start and can be rewarding in so many ways. To start with you learn about money and in it's many denominations, including the Civil War 3 cent nickel! In American collecting you can observe the way our country grew and developed, gaining a perspective on people and actions of this great nation. The 1943 steel penny comes to mind and the 1944-5 pennies made from spent shell casings.
Coin collecting is also about history. If one collects foreign coins you get a rich knowledge of how European countries colonized the world and made coinage. Shipwreck coins are a wonder to see and history plays into as well. Thee Spanish ship El Cazzador was on it's way from Mexico to Louisiana to pay soldiers when it sank. This changed the way our country developed. Aside from history (which can help in school) you can start a collection that only grows in value. Not bad for junior investors.
Unfortunately there are not too many coin shops to buy coins from. Aurora lost two and the nearest one is Fox Valley Coins in Aurora at Route 59 near the tollway. Quite a hike but well worth it as you can talk to staff and get knowledge. The internet abounds with website like Cointrackers.com that will give you superior knowledge about collecting. It's a wonderful and easy hobby and if you ever go to some relative's attic and find coinage you may have stumbles on your own treasure.