When it comes to giving gifts to friends and family, sometimes
itís wiser and more meaningful to give something other than the latest gadget
on the high street, or the toy every kid is asking for but will likely discard
only a few weeks later. And thatís why something with a little more longevity
and a bit of history can make the perfect gift.
If you think giving coins is an unusual thing to do, think againÖ.because, as
legend has it, it all began one
Christmas Eve. The story goes that three
daughters who were too poor to marry, and whose dad wouldnít accept any
charity were dealt a lucky card when St Nicholas took pity on them and flung
gold coins down their chimney. The coins flew down the chimney and into three
stockings which had been pinned up in front of the fireplace to dry. And
thatís how the tradition of giving coins at Christmas began. These days, itís
more often than not chocolate coins that are given, but thereís no reason not
to return to the original gift of choice that St Nicholas favored.
Itís up to you whether you decide to give vintage or new coins and opting for
which you choose could probably be helped along by thinking about the person
youíre giving the coin or coins to. For instance, is there a special date in
that personís life that could be commemorated with a certain coin?
Perhaps they got married in 1947, or this year is their golden wedding
anniversary. If you can tie in events that occurred in the life of the person
youíre giving the coin to with the actual coin then the meaning of the gift
will be all the more poignant. And when you think of giving coins in this
capacity, you neednít worry about finding the most expensive coin available to
give Ė as the value is more sentimental than monetary in this circumstance.
If youíre giving coins as a gift to children, you may want to consider buying
new coins in a presentation pack. This way, when the child is all grown up, he
or she will be able to look at the coins and think back to the time when you
gave them to him or her. In this respect, the coins age with them.
Itís easy to kick-start a childís coin collection Ė you could start with the
presidential $1 coins (four of which are issued each year), or if youíre
giving to a young girl, you could give the First Spouse collection which are
issued in half-ounce 24 karat pure gold coins or cheaper-value bronze
The First Spouse series was first released in 2007 with initially 40,000
strikings per release, however the US Mint has now cut this down to 15,000 per
release Ė making it even more collectable and therefore harder to get your
However, maybe youíre looking for a coin or coins to give to a child
particularly interested in history. If this is the case, he or she might
relish the opportunity to have a handful of coins from a particular time in
the past Ė say, during the war for instance. Coins which may have no real
significant monetary value neednít be discarded as worthless - as a childís
imagination has the potential for creating worth from almost anything. And
thatís the joy of children!
At the other end of the spectrum, and if youíre lucky enough to have
discovered one, there are coins that are extremely expensive in value.
In these instances, it is probably best to give these coins to older friends
and relatives who can make sure they stay safe. But why give a high-value coin
as a gift as opposed to something that has more use?
Unlike a top of the range food mixer or a flat screen TV, the important thing
about coins is they not only keep their value (if youíve got a good one), they
also make a great keepsake gift.
These days, so many houses are filled with things that soon become unused and
unloved and end up cluttering up the place - this can hardly be said of a coin
or two. And thatís why coins not only make great gifts for the person who
seemingly has everything!
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