February 9, 2009

A Typical Day for a Filipino Numismatist

There were times in the life of a typical Filipino numismatist that he is about to give-up with his collection due to several reasons. Much of it because of the pressure from people dearly close to himself, and sometimes from the complicated system that seems to be in an endless entanglement from the ego and politics among hobbyists.

Ridiculed and frustrated he turns to his collections for divine answers and comfort, as he carefully hold each and every coin for inspection. He usually spend his pastimes looking at them and scrutinizing every details using his jewelry loupe in search of that particular characteristic that would usually help him identify each coin from others.

Luster, relief, toning, grade, and others are the aesthetic points he is familiar with and appreciate the dates and mintmarks more if that correspond to scarce varieties, low population, or mintage. He is usually quiet, isolated, and eccentric as he is regularly seen travelling on foot in the busy streets of Manila, in search of his own version of treasures.

He like the scenes of clutter, antiquity, dustiness, and imperfection as it represents opportunity, adventure, and excitement. The sidewalks, flea markets, and pawnshops are his turf and not the usual coin shops which, he considers as only for neophytes.

He usually walk alone and in most times in a hurry as he anticipate the principle of “timing” as his key to rare opportunities. He races against dealers, jewelers, and sometimes, fellow collectors in a hope to snatch some few bargains before somebody attempts to bid for a higher price.

At the end of the day, after the heart pounding dash and crafty haggling, he would usually settle for the leftovers, for reason that he either failed to compete or someone was early at the scene.

Yet despite of that never-ending frustration, he would still consider himself as passionate and committed in his quest of assembling that “Greatest Collection” one-day---the day that everybody will be envious, he told himself.

He sits in a corner at one of his favorite places in the Metro, making some quick glances at the pieces he gathered for the day before heading home. As he lift the coins one by one, his mind is already at work visualizing his next step, carefully planning the preservation and protection of his newly acquired treasures.

The planned itinerary rewarded him of a safe and early arrival. He quickly walked to that particular place in the house where he hides his collection. There he met his wife dusting the cabinets, and seems at the stage of putting the finishing touch as she smiled back, her feet on the newly waxed floor.

Then he asked for that box, “Where is it?” His wife answered “I threw it in the garbage!”

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