Welcome to the second installment of our series, “Lunch with. . .,” where we interview some of the most prolific authors and other noteworthy hobbyists in the field of numismatics — and satiate your appetite along with your hunger for knowledge! “Lunch with. . .” dives into the coinage-related aspects of some of the hobby’s most celebrated authors, and provides a closer look into their unique personalities and quirks. Let us know who your favorite author is in the comments, and they just might be the next for you to have lunch with!
Our second lunch is with dime enthusiast Barry Sunshine.
Q: What initially prompted your interest in the hobby of coin collecting and numismatics?
A: When in 7th grade (the early ‘70s) my next-door neighbor and my friend noticed that pre-1959 Lincoln cents were scarce in change to locate. So after school, every day we got $50 cent bags from the bank and sorted out all the Wheaties and sold them in Coin World for 75 cents a roll. It was amazing how many orders that we received. This got me hooked and the profit allowed me to secure those key dates and better type coins. After that, there was no looking back.
Q: What is your favorite coin and why (U.S. or international mint)?
A: My favorite coin is the 1804 silver dollar with the child pedigree. I was able to hold (not own) that coin on several occasions and each time, my heart rate raced with excitement. It has the look that I love and it’s an 1804 dollar!
Q: What’s your favorite meal to prepare (at home, if you cook)?
A: A lazy Sunday summer barbeque.
Q: Do you think we are headed toward a cashless society? If so, how do you think this will impact the hobby?
A: I really don’t know if we will have a cashless society in my lifetime, but cryptocurrencies are gaining greater acceptance in society and business and I believe it’s here to stay.
Q: If you had a chance to influence U.S. Mint policies or practices, what would you like to see change first?
A: I would like the U.S. Mint to start a “throwback” program. This program would include minting coins with the look of the early coins for circulation. For example, I would like the Mint to produce a dime that looks like the 1796 Draped Bust dime and a quarter that looks like the 1796 Draped Bust quarter. If they did that how cool would that be! This might introduce more folks to coin collecting.
Q: Do you have a favorite wine?
A: My favorite wine is a Malbec. I enjoy it with any meal that I have.
Q: What is the best advice that you could pass on to young collectors?
A: Make your coin collection your friends. Imagine if your coins could talk, then they would tell very interesting and fascinating stories. Because coins can’t talk, you need to discover the story behind your coin. Share those stories with others and if others enjoy your stories then your coins become more meaningful to you.