By Vic Bozarth – Rare Coin Road Warrior – Bozarth Numismatics Inc………….
Dear Rare Coin Enthusiast,
Often times I reminisce about how much fun I have had both collecting and buying/selling rare coins. The ‘fun’ hasn’t ALL been about the coins, because the ‘players’, many of which have been and are great friends are what make the experiences memorable. Like a good friend and part time dealer once said at a show, ‘where can you go and have this much fun?’ My friend was referring to not only the fun we have ‘playing’ with coins, but the additional potential for profit now and later.
Because we spend a major portion of our lives at shows, some of our closest friends are other dealers. In addition, we have met hundreds of collectors over the years, many of which have become close friends also. Over the years, I have often asked a dealer or collector friend what ‘got them hooked on rare coins’? The stories are often quite similar and many times involve a parent, grandparent, or mentor. How I got started cannot be traced to a specific incident, but many small acts of kindness or happenstance that encouraged my obsession with coins.
When I was a toddler-not quite 3 years old, I am told there was a very ‘telling’ incident involving coins which has been retold numerous times at family gatherings over the decades.
My baby brother Jeff (he’s 51 now) was asleep in the crib in the front bedroom of our small home in Warrensburg, MO that we shared. Like today, even as a toddler I was an extremely early riser. Just after dawn one weekday morning, I managed to crawl out of my baby bed. Stealthily, I crept into the living room and snatched 3 silver dollars from a small stack of coins that my dad had been ‘playing with’ the night before. I tucked the 3 silver dollars in my diaper, returned to my bedroom, pushed the screen out of the front window onto the porch, and crawled out the window.
With my ‘loot’ tucked into my diaper (yes, this is embarrassing), I hustled off the porch and proceeded down the street. Roughly an hour later (no one really knows), my mom came into my bedroom and discovered one of her children was missing and the screen was hanging loose on the front window. Frantic, of course, and close to panicking, Mom called the local police department and they immediately responded.
Where did they find me?
Fortunately it was Summer time. During warm weather, one of our favorite activities (as a family) on Friday night was to go for a ‘treat’. In Warrensburg, MO, there were basically two choices: Dog ‘n Suds for Root Beer or the local Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen was at the end of the block from our house. At roughly 8:00 a.m. that morning, the owner of the local Dairy Queen found me sitting with my back against the wall under the ‘serving’ window of his store waiting patiently for him to open. Even before having a conscious memory of the incident, I still KNEW you needed coins for ‘treats’.
Once I was returned home, my Mom found the 3 silver dollars tucked in my diapers. My dad dabbled in coins, but was forced to put the hobby on the backburner because of family responsibilities. I still own his original sets of Lincoln Cents and Mercury Dimes. In the decades since, I have bought and sold several sets of both for well into six figures each, but the value of these much nicer sets pale in comparison with the value that my father’s sets hold for me.
The funny thing about coins is that you don’t know when the seed is planted whether or not it will grow. Although I have had the pleasure of mentoring many over the years, there were those that just didn’t ‘get it’-HA! Aren’t we among the fortunate few that ‘get it’!
Thanks and Best Regards,
Vic Bozarth/The Rare Coin Road Warrior.
Bozarth Numismatics Inc and our website bozarthcoins.com stock and list hundreds of PCGS, NGC, and CAC certified U.S. Coins. We are constantly traveling to buy ‘fresh’ coins for our customers. Whether you are looking for one particular issue or need guidance in putting together a ‘meaningful set of U.S. Coins’ we can help you. Best Regards, Vic and Sherri Bozarth.
Awesome story Vic. You really paint a picture. I can believe that you’ll never hear the end of it from your relatives. I always enjoy reading Rare Coin Road Warrior. Please keep it up and may God continue to bless you and your family. I am the only one of seven kids in my family that “got it” and I feel fortunate. I still have my father’s Lincoln set as well and, although it is nearly worthless, I will always treasure it. He’s been gone 20 years and four days now. Thanks for writing about our hobby.