Maintaining hobbies while aging may help keep cognitive abilities sharp. Hobbies promote social and active lifestyles, which may delay the progression of age-related diseases like Alzheimer's.

"Older people may enjoy the camaraderie of a club," Texan coin dealer Mike Fuljenz told the Chicago Tribune. "I'm a former coin club president, and many older members enjoyed sharing experiences and stories at those monthly meetings."

Coin collecting increases appreciation and knowledge of history, politics, and geography while strengthening organizational skills and providing social opportunities. Each coin says a lot about the time period from which it hails. Ancient coins, for example, may indicate who was in power at the time and whether or not the country was at war.

"I collect coins because the hobby informs me about history, military history, government, political regimes, economies and religion," David Gantz, a New York City attorney, told the news source. "You can learn about how civilizations begin, expand, become empires and decline . . . It's been the hobby of a lifetime."

Acquiring rare coins can give enthusiasts a sense of accomplishment and pride, and for those interested in selling, can yield significant profits. There has been increased interest in coin collecting over the past few years because of the rising price of precious metals, but most experts say that the metal isn't what makes the coin expensive.

This Christmas, consider giving a loved one a gift that will keep him active and engaged by starting off his coin collection with a few rare coins. It's a gift that he can enjoy for the rest of his life.