I started coin collecting back in late 2019 after finding a foreign coin in my till at work. I had to get help online to identify it. Then I started keeping any foreign coins I found. I like to think about how any particular coin ended up on the other side of the planet, in my cash register. The oldest foreign coin I found was an 1881 Austrian coin, found in my till's penny cup.
I then started collecting circulating US coins, filling out checklists of dates/mint marks. I replace coins with higher quality ones as I find them. I enjoyed it, and it's the only reason I stayed at my wageslave job for another year; I'd 'buy' coin rolls from the store's change fund and take them home. This is "coin roll hunting" and has the same excitement as opening a booster pack of Pokemon cards as a kid. I'd meticulously examine the rolls, remove what I wanted to keep, replaced the removed coins, and return the rolls to work, where I'd trade for new rolls or just cash.
I also collect slightly older bank notes and any notes with "fancy" serial numbers.
God it was so much fun. One time I found three silver quarters in one roll! Usually I'd only find one every few months or so…
I remember the first time I found a silver quarter "in the wild": A customer paid for some candy in exact change. I was focused on something else, but as he dropped coins on the counter, I heard a familiar high-pitched ringing sound, leading my eyes to a noticeably whiter quarter. I elatedly switched out the silver coin to take home later.
I quit my job back in January (just couldn't handle the forced socializing anymore) and haven't hunted any coin rolls ever since. Most hobbyists just buy boxes of coins directly from banks, but I've read that getting tellers to cooperate can prove difficult, especially if you want to order a box of half dollars or something.
That's just a kind of social interaction I can't do. I just can't do it. I quit my job because it was getting harder and harder to deal with social interaction. I can't make myself talk to anybody who doesn't talk to me first, and I can't even look people in the eyes. There's no way I'd be able to persuade a bank teller to give me hundreds of dollars in coins. I wish I could do that but I just can't.
Picture is the coin (not mine) from 2019 that sparked my interest in numismatics. Soon after identifying the coin, I learned that Thai baht coins are some of the more common foreign coins to find Post too long. Click here to view the full text.