PCGS 2023 Summer Seminar Scholarship winner Hunter Hicks published an article about his collecting interests on the PCGS site.
I'm Hunter Hicks, a 19 year old from Northern Virginia. I started collecting coins about 10 years ago, when a shiny 1943 Lincoln Steel Cent at an antique shop caught my eye. Beyond thinking that the coin was pretty, I left with a fascination about how the world interacts with money. Since I first started collecting, I have been just as intrigued by coins as I am with the ways they arestored and transacted. In addition to collecting U.S. type and Lincoln Wheat Cents, I used to browse the various U.S. Mint packages on eBay before I could afford the actual coins.
As I became more involved in the hobby, I joined the local Alexandria and Fairfax Coin Clubs. Later on, I started attending the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminars and then added Witter Coin University to my summer plans. When I turned 16, I began working at Wayne Herndon Rare Coins. Working for a coin dealer gave me a different perspective on the relative rarity of various coins.
Many times, the coins are not as rare as the means with which they were stored. Beyond old coin folders and albums, the history of the hobby of course includes PCGS memorabilia. While I am still desperately hunting for a PCGS double-row
rattler box, I am proud to own every other regularly issued box design and color.
Collectors often talk about all the stories a coin has gone through, and I want to bring that idea to life. While I am working on a 140-coin Lincoln Cent Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1909-1958) PCGS Registry Set, I recently expanded my collection to include some of the mechanisms with which coins were transacted. In addition to a series of mechanical coin-op machines and change counters, my passion project is to fill my 1916 National Cash Register Company with period-correct coins, including VF/XF Barber silver coinage, Black Eagle banknotes, and eventually some pre-1933 gold coins.
Recreating the appearance of an active, vintage cash register is a great way to gain an interactive historic perspective of how coins were once used. I also like that this is an open-ended project with no overt completion guidelines. I can always increase the quality of the coins in the register or perhaps buy a few dozen uncirculated 1916 Lincoln Cents, all with the same surface appearance, to replicate a bankroll that may have recently been cracked open. I recently began my freshman year of college in Northern California. From attending local coin shows to buying coins for my cash register, to joining local Peninsula and Cupertino Coin Club meetings – and occasionally interning at Witter Coin in San Francisco – I am enjoying the constant reward the hobby provides as I get settled in. To feel at home, one truly needs a community, and I am so fortunate that the coin community is everywhere.
To read the complete article, see:
Young Numismatist Goes from Coins to Cash Registers
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
PCGS 2023 SUMMER SEMINAR SCHOLARSHIPS
THE BOOK BAZARRE
RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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