Hobby offers change of pace
BY Megan Schmidt
introduces youngsters to coin collecting
Few hobbies can teach as much history to
children -- or be as cheap for parents -- as
That's what Sid Boonstra thinks, and it's why he
led a coin collecting workshop for children ages
6 to 12 at The Holland Museum Saturday
Boonstra, who owns and operates Boonstra Coin
and Stamp, 130 E. Lakewood Blvd., said the time
children spend learning to clean and care for
their coin collections can become a valuable
"It's good to get kids interested in something
other than watching TV," he said. "There's a
history behind the coins and asking, 'Why is
(Thomas) Jefferson on this coin?'
"For a beginner, it's really not expensive
either, getting going on pennies or nickels," he
Boonstra began Saturday's workshop by giving
each child a bag of 50 wheat pennies -- pennies
produced from 1909 to 1958. He also instructed
them on how to clean them using a swab and a cup
of soapy water.
He had a few other tips for keeping old coins in
top shape: always store them at room temperature
-- never in the basement -- and keep moisture
For collector Joshua Orton, 10, keeping his
coins in good condition is a priority.
"I'm collecting all the ones with the different
backs," he said. "I'm missing a couple."
Delaney Cavanagh, 8, said she's on the hunt for
a specific coin to add to her collection, too.
"I'm looking for Sacagawea," she said, referring
to the Native American woman who accompanied
Lewis and Clark on their 19th-century
expedition. "She's on a quarter made during a
certain time. I'm still working on it."
Alex Hearn, 9, already has a piece of tender he
truly prizes, he said.
"I've got an Egyptian five dollar bill," he
said. "It's my favorite of all my coins from
around the world."