Some years ago, when I was a wee bit younger I used to collect coins. I could never afford to buy anything really special, but I did have a few nice things. At some point I lost interest, and back in the early 80s when I was unemployed and short of money, I sold the few items that were worth anything and eventually gave away the rest.
I never really gave the matter another thought until quite recently. I happened to look in the window of a Newcastle coin dealer and saw some things that looked interesting. I thought about it a bit, and had a few more looks in their window. And found that I was interested enough to spend some money.
The scene has changed a lot since I was last paying attention. For a start, there are a lot more commemorative coins issued these days, with the Royal Mint making a lot more coins specifically for the collectors’ market. Some of these are very attractive, and come in folders with at least moderately interesting background information.
Another big change is the Internet. The ubiquitous eBay is a good source for collector’s items. As ever, you have to be careful – some sellers do exaggerate about the condition of the coins they’re selling, but if you have a vague idea of what you’re doing, there are bargains to be had. I just need to avoid the dreaded bidding frenzy, and only bid on things that I really like, and that are not too expensive.
I’ve got a list of things to buy direct from the Royal Mint next payday. I’ll post the details when I have them. I also plan to take some pictures of the coins I collect, and put some of the nicer ones on show here.
 Another one of those understatement thingies
 From about age 10 to some time in my teens
 So we’re going back over 20 years
 And spent the coins that were still legal tender