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Michael Shutty, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at James Madison University. He has published more than 40 research studies on a variety of clinical topis in peer-reviewed journals.
An avid coin collector, Shutty admits to being "addicted, genetically motivated and obsessive" about the hobby. His primary collecting interest is Early American coppers, Morgan dollars and Spanish colonial cobs.
A resident of Middlebrook, Va., he has articles on collecting published in The Numismatist and Numismatic News.
I am a collector and researcher. My goal is to look for unusual objects that were touched, used and loved by folks who are long gone. I connect with them by studying these fragments of the past. I hope my books tell this story while also helping you develop an interest in history. In particular, I find communion tokens fascinating. These bits of lead and tin tell stories about the church in an era when the church was at the center of community life. A recent review of this book in the November/December Journal of the Token and Medal Society has this to say: "Communion Tokens is good reading for anyone who's ever sat in a pew, and I would synagogues, too: the early history of the Christian Church is one of persecution, and the communion tokens were born of that stress." If you want to find out more, I have a blog at communiontokens.blogspot - you can find it by typing: collect communion tokens.
Let me make a disclaimer right off the bat. I have known Mike for about three years. I am not a coin collector but I have invested in coins for financial gain about 25 years ago. I did pay full price for my copy and I did ask Mike to autograph it for me.
This book covers three areas: 1) Mike's autobiography, It describes how he began collecting coins when he was a youngster in Japan. 2) How an interested neophyte might begin to collect coins, He describes a step by step approach that a beginner might use in order to save themselves from wasting time money and effort. 3) The mind set of coin collectors. Why they do it what is it that drives them to collect.
Mike intersperses these areas to move the book along and weaves the autobiographical with the beginning and the psychological together to give a sense of continuity.
The book opens up with Mike describing how he came to purchase a chain cent and the thought sand emotions that he felt when he was able to find one in what he felt was acceptable condition at a reasonable price. Later on in the book he describes how he began to collect coins when he found some nickels in his mother's winnings from a slot machine in Japan. He was intrigued by the differences in these coins and that sparked his interest in the whole area of coin collecting.
Attached to each chapter is a section titled "Getting started." In these Mike offers suggestions for the beginner. These include focusing on one particular era, or type of coin, Year of minting, or even one particular mint. He even suggests some ideas for collecting foreign coins based on a personal interest or connection you might have to that country. I believe that his suggestions are well thought out and explained.Read more ›
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I recommend every collector to buy it (you will recognize bits of yourself in it) and every non-collector to buy it also (you will understand how a collector thinks, recognize yourself and start collecting also maybe). Here and there sometimes a little bit overdone in reasoning, but overall an "easy readable" story.
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