With proper planning, perseverance and by spending little money, you can form a credit card collection fit for a museum. This sounds like quite a claim until you consider what stage the hobby is in. Credit pieces are still affordable – and this is the secret to forming a museum quality collection on a budget.
Few companies save specimens of every card type
Most companies that have issued credit pieces over the years haven’t bothered to save any specimens. As Harry Rinker, editor of WARMAN’S AMERICANA & COLLECTIBLES wrote, “I am in the process of contacting many national, regional and local companies to find out the history of their credit programs. What I am finding so far is that few companies care about the evolution of their credit programs and that most of the information I would like has already been lost.”
The opportunity to form a company’s complete credit card history
Herein lies the opportunity for the collector who has time and patience, but a limited budget. You could form a complete credit history of a company, knowing the company you choose probably doesn’t have a complete set of their own credit pieces. The company probably doesn’t own any. Even more surprising is that most museums own very few credit pieces.
Take into consideration, one of the largest museums in the world, the Smithsonian Institute, has in its massive numismatic collection only 40 credit pieces. I can safely guess that other museums don’t have as many (probably closer to zero).
Specialize in a company when collecting credit cards
The way to form your museum-quality collection is to pick one company to specialize in. One way is to specialize with a company that issued charge coins and is still open.
Copyright 1987 Greg Tunks