Tagged: Free advice
August 17, 2021 at 5:39 pm #67517KevinBeyerParticipant
I attended the 2021 Convention in OMSA and one thing that really struck me was the lack of younger collectors. At 52 years of age, I think I was one of the youngest people at the event. I would say that of the people I met, many, if not all, were fairly advanced in their collecting. A lot of these people had been around the block more than a few times!
The question I want to ask the community is this: If you were talking to someone who was thinking about starting in the field of medal collecting, what would you suggest they collect?
I have given this some thought. Some areas of collecting are no longer stratified with entry level, mid-level, and high level items. There is no ground floor for someone to step on. There seem to be few areas where someone could start out and then, over time, become the area expert.
With that in mind, if I were to meet someone just starting out, I would suggest the following areas of collecting where I don’t feel a lot of attention has been given.
1. VFW or American Legion convention badges. National, or individual state level.
2. Military Order of the Cootie membership badges and bars. (Especially bars!)
3. Civil War monument dedication souvenirs
4. Victory Loan / War Bond medals
5. Patriotism medals
I think each of these areas is under appreciated, or under researched, at this time. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure the cost of entry is rather low for someone who wanted to specialize, rather than be a generalist.
What does everyone else think?
OMSA #7096August 23, 2021 at 12:25 pm #67548fred j borgmannParticipant
Good question. I tell beginners to look around at everything including other collectibles like coins and other small size items. Read some history including family history. Soon they will find that their interests tend to cluster around certain areas. Over the years expect refinements in your interests. That is a life time process and then just follow your heart and your collector instincts. As interests change you will find that you have items to sell which will teach you the basics of hobby economics and in time you may also become a vest pocket dealer.August 24, 2021 at 8:18 am #67552DaveParticipant
I know this is kind of a “general” direction, but I started with ribbon bars. Something like that could lead to ribbon racks, then eventually the medals themselves to define the racks. My first true collected medal was an Iron Cross 2nd class, 1914, purchased for $15 (in 1983). But I continued to focus on ribbon bars, assisted by my handy book Ribbons of Decorations and Medals by Guido Rosignoli, that I read through, page for page, about 50 times before I even turned 18. The book, published in 1977, is still all over the web in eBay and Amazon.January 26, 2022 at 3:18 pm #68338jb floydModerator
I started with US medals, moved to British medals and refined all of that to Anglo-American groups. Not an easy place to start, however.
I always tried to keep an inexpensive sideline throughout my collecting life. For many years, I accumulated city and state medals for war service. I still find them interesting and very collectable . Lots of variety, lots of ways to collect, usually inexpensive, and you’ll probably never “complete” the whole run.
Any statement that starts off “You should collect…” should probably be ignored. If it starts “You could collect…”, then it might be worth considering. Collect what calls to you; collect what you can afford, collect what you can find. Don’t collect a checklist unless you know what you are doing. If you’re here, you’re probably a collector, so start collecting. You are the only one you have to please.
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