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Biyernes, Oktubre 4, 2013

Compilation of Famous Coin Collectors

Coin collecting can be vast as it could be. From Kings and Queens up to famous celebrities, coin collecting is indeed a lucrative hobby to rich and famous but for some can be good source of profitable income.

Throughout history, many famous people from ancient or contemporary periods have been collecting coins. And the coins once they owned nowadays valued for millions of dollars. Indeed, coin collecting is a fascinating and often very lucrative hobby shared by millions around the globe.
Image: (© mahendra ) 

Contemporary coin collecting has its roots in ancient Rome around the 14th century and in the dawn of the Renaissance.
Coin collecting is more than likely began as a hobby for kings and rulers of ancient and wealthy dynasties and history proves that they have put together some astonishing collections. Throughout history, kings and influential families gathered impressive collections and set the standards for what numismatics is today.

  • Although Augustus Caesar, the emperor and founder of the Roman Empire, showed a collection of exotic coins at certain occasions and festivities, there is no real evidence that he was indeed a collector.
  • Francesco Petrarch, who is considered the father of coin collecting, laid the foundation of numismatics and modern coin collecting. Petrarch, as one of the earliest humanists, was an Italian scholar and poet who lived between 1304 and 1374. He is considered to be the first Renaissance collector and the father of numismatics. His passion began when vine diggers began asking him to identify and possibly buy the various coins they found while digging. This is how he began studying coins, by trying to identify the rulers, years, and values. The methods he used back then are very similar to the ones collectors use today. In 1355, he presented a collection of coins to Emperor Charles III, the Holy Roman Emperor, which is the most significant evidence of his collection.
  • The Medici family was one of the most influential and powerful families on the political scene in the 15th and 16th centuries in Florence. Using their wits and merciless tactics, they went from being a simple family of farmers to one of the richest families in Italy. They soon became famous for their exorbitant wealth, prestige, and unsurpassed collections. In the 16th century, the Grand Duke Cosimo I began collecting works of art, armor, and coins. The Medici Dynasty continued to expand its notorious coin collections and added valuable specimens from ancient Rome.
  • Alessandro Farnese, the grandson of Pope Paul III, was an Italian cardinal who lived between 1520 and 1589. He was a great diplomat and one of the greatest collectors and patrons of art. He gathered the largest collection of Roman sculptures and was a patron of living artists of his time. He also collected ancient coins just like his grandfather, Pope Paul III. The Farnese Collection is the most complete collection of artistic items from the Greco-Roman period and includes some of the most valuable ancient coins in the world.
  • King George III of England, deserves a special place among famous coin collectors, as he is the founder of the numismatic section of the Glasgow Museum. He used his own collection, plus that of his personal surgeon, William Hunter, to establish the first ancient coin exhibition in England. The grandson of George II ruled England between 1760 and 1820. His coins are divided in two subgroups, between 1760 and 1815 and between 1816 and 1820. This is a time when the British Empire went through a series of drastic changes, and this is reflected in the coinage of the period. The coins minted under George III have become an attraction for modern collectors.
  • King Victor Emmanuel III ruled Italy between 1900 and 1946. He is considered to be one of the greatest coin collectors in history, having gathered around 100,000 coins. His collection contains specimens from the fall of the Roman Empire up to the Italian Unification in the 19th century. His passion was fueled by his tutor, Edigio Osio, who collected coins as a hobby and saw them as a means of gaining his pupil's attention when teaching history. The young Victor Emmanuel started his own collection, originally comprised of 75 pieces. By the time Osio left, Victor Emmanuel already had 3,000 specimens.
  • French King Louis XIV possessed a collection that he carefully watched over and attended to each and every day.
World leaders are also known to be enthusiastic coin collectors, not the least of which were three of America’s former presidents.
  • John Quincy Adams is reputed to have been one of our country’s most renowned coin collectors during the colonial era. Adams’ face would of course be positioned on the one dollar Presidential Coin in the year 2008.
  • Thomas Jefferson was in possession of a collection that encompassed both ancient and contemporary coins from all over the world.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man whose face adorns the dime was also a coin enthusiast, and led the fight to eradicate polio. Because of this effort, his crusade became what is called the March of Dimes in honor of his dedication to the cause.
In the world of sports, there are two notable personalities that were not only icons in the category of their chosen field of expertise, but were also known to the coin collecting arena as well.
  • Wayne Gretzky, called The Great One by his fans, and one of the best athletes in the history of professional hockey, was also a devoted collector of both rare and valuable coins, though with an eye toward monetary rather than historical value. 
  • Andre Dawson, the recent Hall of Fame inductee and world renowned baseball player is also a collector of note. His collection was considered one of the finest, though he recently decided to auction it off for quite a lucrative sum. 
Even a few recognizable names from Hollywood share common admiration for coin collecting. 
  • Buddy Ebsen who played Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies, shows devotion to his collection certainly proves otherwise.
  • There are also a few unverified rumors concerning Nicole Kidman, one of filmdom’s biggest mega-stars. She is reputed to have a fascination for coins and also in collecting them.
And last but not the least the music industry also claim a coin collecting enthusiast among its members.

Though Paul McCartney is not considered a qualified nor passionate numismatist, his interest is said to have its origins in the early days of the Beatles’ performances on stage. 

When the band was ‘pelted’ with pennies at the close of their shows, they would scoop them all up off the stage, and so began the coin collecting career one of Britain’s most honored musicians and composers.

Collecting continues to grow and fascinate people from every walk of life. Coin collecting not only shares a hobby but also puts everyone who is drawn to its allure and historical significance among very good company indeed.


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