• December 14, 2018

Numismatics, it's worth some coin - The Trail Blazer: Life & Arts

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Numismatics, it's worth some coin

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Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2018 10:13 am | Updated: 3:41 pm, Sat Dec 1, 2018.

Lianna Spurrier has the tooth fairy to thank for a hobby that transformed into sudden job opportunities. 

The convergent media major at Morehead State and coin collector was recently featured in Coin Week after she produced a short documentary on the first coins in America, which led to a series of other job offers. 

“The tooth fairy would bring me foreign coins instead of just money,” said Spurrier. “So, I always called myself a coin collector. I would look at them and think they were cool and then shove them in a little bank.” 

She collected coins heavily throughout middle school, but she set the hobby aside during her time at Ballard High school. Over the summer of 2018, she decided to catalogue her collection.

That was all it took to reignite her passion. 

“I think it adds a tangibility to history that most things don’t and it’s a way to own parts of history that you don’t really get with other items,” said Spurrier, who is from Louisville, Kentucky.  

Spurrier has a collection consisting of an estimated 200 foreign coins and well-over 1,000 domestic. 

Lianna Spurrier
Lianna Spurrier displays a series of Jefferson Nickels in her collection on Friday November 30, 2018 in Morehead, Ky. Photo by Julianna Leach Julianna Leach

Her favorite denomination of coins is pennies because she prefers the idea of collecting and paying for the coin verses paying for the metal they are made of. 

“For me I try not to focus to much on the monetary value because that’s where the fun gets sucked out of it for me,” said Spurrier. “So, I tend to look more at the historical value.”

One of her favorite coins is a replica of the Plan Obverse Quint, which is the first coin that was minted under the U.S. Government. She won the replica through an Instagram contest ran by David McCarthy, who identified the Plan Obverse Quint’s title.

“I started doing some research and that one single coin led to producing a video that led to accidently getting jobs,” said Spurrier.

Publishing isn’t new for the 21-year-old, who has a self-published novel titled, “Life in Polaroids,” but these articles and videos were centered around something much older, The Nova Constellatio coin series.

Spurrier said that it all happened very suddenly and “snowballed” into getting hired on as a freelance creator by two other publications, the Newman Numismatic Portal and the Colonial Coin Collectors Club. 

The publications have requested six videos a piece, over a variety of coin related topics from collecting tips for those on a budget, non-circular foreign coins and the history of the penny. 

Spurrier said that another interesting part of collecting coins is understanding the history behind them and how they are the origins of modern symbols, like the dollar sign. 

“The Spanish dollar that I have, that particular coin is cleaned and worn down,” said Spurrier. “But, it’s one of my favorite things that I have because that’s where our dollar sign came from.” 

Lianna Spurrier
Lianna Spurrier displays a spanish coin in her collection on Friday November 30, 2018 in Morehead, Ky. Photo by Julianna Leach Julianna Leach

With graduation quickly approaching in May 2019, her original plan was to go into graphic design but, she hopes that more will come from her coin related documentaries.  

“I am hoping that the random coin media turns into a job that would be more varied and interesting than just doing graphic design for a specific company,” added Spurrier. “But, we will see where life goes.”