Name: Tracey Cunningham
Owned Trackables: 621
Hello Tracey! Welcome to the Geocoins museum.
Tracey, first of all I’ll ask you an introduction of Quingdao Geocacher.
I was introduced to geocaching by my boyfriend TDFThom1975, and have now been caching for 2 and a half years. I visited a couple with him prior to getting my own account. I choose my name because my brother and his wife were living in Qingdao in China at the time. TDFThom actually set the account up for me, and misspelt the name!
Do you do geocaching alone or do you have a team?
Occasionally I geocache alone, but mostly with TDFThom, other cachers or my children. On Saturday we climbed Schiehallion as part of a group of 10. Weather conditions weren't great to begin with so it was great to have a group of people all keeping each other going!
How was your first contact with geocaching and which factors where determinant so that you could continue as a geocacher?
As I said my initial contact was through my boyfriend. However, when I was younger I used to love being out in the great outdoors. Life got busy with University & working etc and it had been many years since I had done much walking & cycling. I find geocaching takes me to some spectacular locations & helps me stay fitter then I have been in many years. We are also quite a social bunch in Scotland, and I have been to lots of great events, and met a lot of lovely people. We are attending a annual camping event this weekend. Always lots of geocaching stories, a few drinks and some great food to be shared around the camp fire.
Let’s talk about your geocoins. How has this passion for geocoins begun?
It very much snuck up on me. I had one, and suddenly I had many. It is very addictive! The UK is still in its infancy when it comes to geocoins. There really not many people producing unique coins, although definitely improving recently. I got involved with geocoin Facebook pages, and my coins were opened to all the spectacular geocoins available in Europe, USA & Canada. I have made lots of friends all over the world, who are only too willing to enable my habit and sell me amazing geocoins.
When have you started your collection? Do you remember of which one was your first geocoin?
My first coin was a Robert Burns, Red Rose, The Rose Geocoin which was sold to fund raise for they Ayr MEGA in 2014. It is a lovely coin. The next was the official event coin, and 1 celebrating my 1000th cache, then it spiralled.
Do you have a special geocoin? From your collection, which one is the apple of your eyes?
This is very hard to answer, like being asked to choose between your children LOL. I love my new Amazonia coin. CW88 celtic sword & shield, dragon egg, krakow geocoin, Aphrodite & King Tut. Steve Allens Titanic & War Horses. Love Christian Mackey, Avroayr, Jim Collins & Jon Paul designs So many, too many to list.
How many geocoins do you have currently?
Do you usually activate all your geocoins or are there some items that you keep inactive, strategically?
All my coins are activated, I like to share them at events. I also like to add as much detail as possible to the coin page. Who designed them, the story behind them etc. I have trackable tags in circulation, and some proxy coins, but have never sent out any of my actual coins.
Physically or materially speaking, how do you organize or dispose your collection?
I haven't ever got rid of any of my coins. If I swap, I tend to buy a coin to swap with. Normally copy of something I already have. The coins are all in display folder so I can take them to events. I hold an annual geocoin discovery event.
What are the criteria that you apply to add geocoins to your collection?
Mostly I just collect coins I like. I don't tend to collect the same coin in different finishes. However, if there is a series that I start to collect, then I like to try and get all of the series. I started collecting compass Roses soon after I began caching, and ended up having to own one form every year. I Have managed to get all of them apart from a crystal edition.
Do you have any favourite themes?
I like celtic coins, and animal related coins. Also like the suncacher coins. My collection is quite varied though.
Which was the most expensive geocoin that you acquire and what motivated that “investment”?
I don't spent that much on coins. Always less tha, £30, and rarely that much. However, many of the coins I own have sold for £100+
Where do you usually acquire your geocoins?
Contact on Facebook. I also source coins in online shops if something I particularly like.
Have you ever had the chance to take your collection to a geocaching event?
I don't tend to take to other peoples event's as there are just too many. I ran 2 events last year that I took them to.
If other geocoins collectors (or not) want to see your collection can they do it? If they can, in what way can they do it?
Yes, I would take coins to event if requested.
Do you usually talk with other geocoins collectors? What kind of thoughts do you usually share?
Mostly on Facebook. Chat about coins and what is available, thoughts on value etc. People look out for things I like, and vice versa.
Besides geocoins, do you do other kind of collecting?
Of all geocoins that you know or that you had the chance of take in, which is the “special item” that you dream to add to your collection, some day?
I have 3 of Avroayr's Astro clocks and would like the 4th. Would really love a rainbow bridge geocoin ( I love dogs and understand the loss of them). The Angel Baby geocoin (I was a midwife and looked after many families that lost babies).
And to who is tempted to join the geocoins world, what advice would you give him/her?
Beware! It very addictive & expensive, but you do meet some great people.
Thank you so much for everything Tracey!