Collectible coins and other numismatic items are very much in the news these days.
With the nation as a whole experiencing economic hard times, many people have turned to the rare coin market and precious metals coins to retain a store of value and even increase their assets.
Astute numismatic historians note that at the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the coin market was vibrant and very strong. They point to a repeat of history as the United States and other industrialized nations attempt to climb out of the Great Recession of the 2009 to 2010 period, without falling back into a “double-dip” by the end of 2011.
Auction prices and the volume of business conducted at major coin shows and business transacted daily via the Internet during the 2009 to 2011 time frame confirm the strength of the current numismatic collectibles marketplace.
The difference between the 1930s rare coin market and today’s market is the volume (number of participants) of transactions and the volume and speed at which news about these markets travels. While a coin in the 1930s may have attracted a handful of knowledgeable bidders, today (thanks to the Internet and modern marketing) bidders from all over the world can vie for a particular coin. Consequently, today’s auctions and big coin shows routinely attract thousands of buyers, with information about rarity and market values available instantaneously at their finger tips.
The importance of and the need for information also impacts numismatic publications such as Coin World. During the past year Coin World has revamped its website in order to be able to report major breaking news on a daily basis. For example, Coin World was the only news organization to have reporters daily in the courtrooms of two federal trials of great interest to the numismatic community this year: the Liberty Dollar trial in March and the Langbord 1933 double eagle trial in July. Our veteran journalists posted daily accounts of the trials, providing the drama of the testimony and helping the world outside the courtroom understand what the juries were hearing. Coin World’s coverage was much more than the verdicts. Coin World’s daily postings were also available via the iPad, the new and expanding tablet technology.
Beginning with this issue, Coin World subscribers receiving our print version (who also have free access to the digital version) will find a new section in our Table of Contents on Page 3. It’s titled “Exclusive Online Content.”
As its title implies, the stories listed there will be posted to the Articles section of our Coin World website (www.coinworld.com/articles) and will be available on the iPad, but they will not be published in the print version of Coin World. This change is necessitated by the sheer volume of news. Print publications are limited by the space allocated for editorial content — news, features, columns and announcements.
The exclusive online content will be limited to news. Coin World’s regular columnists and historical features will continue to be published in the print versions, which means they will also be available in the digital version as well as online. Those reading the digital version will be able to click on the headline in the Table of Contents and immediately go to the website to read the online-only news stories.
Like the rest of the world, numismatics and numismatic publications must adapt to the needs of the marketplace and customers (readers). The need for timely information continues to grow and Coin World will move forward with ways to serve an increasingly diverse readership. ■