Share vital information about your collection with spouse

Published : 11/11/11
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Your funeral services are over, with many flowers and heartfelt condolences.

Your family and friends spoke highly of you. Many applauded your commitment to family, your fine work ethic and your devotion to God. Some spoke about your enjoyment of coin collecting.

A few weeks have gone by and now your spouse has started to get calls from your coin collecting friends and acquaintances, as well as auction houses.

Gee, she (not meant to assume that only men collect coins) is a little uncertain. Just what were you collecting?

What made people inquire about how they could help her sell them?


She thinks she knows where “they” are kept. All of them? Maybe?

But what to do with them?

She isn’t sure if you had plans. But then you didn’t think that you would need to do something right now. You weren’t ready to leave yet.

The terminology is so foreign to her: coppers, half cents, large cents, half eagles, Shield nickels, Standing Liberty, and “Grey Sheet.”

Why are the callers so interested?

To whom should she turn for advice?

She is still grieving and the callers always mention, “Perhaps I can be of assistance.”

Isn’t it time for you to share with your spouse the important information regarding your collection?

Where is it stored?

Where are the keys to the safety deposit box? She is a signer, isn’t she?

Is it insured?

Have you prepared an inventory list with description, grade, price paid, when purchased and today’s value?

Perhaps you wanted it to be appraised professionally and then divided among your heirs.

Which friend, dealer, or auction house should she contact? And which should she stay clear of?

If it goes to auction, what is the procedure and what should she expect to be paid?

Please encourage your spouse to attend coin conventions with you. When there are classes on topics such as “Introduction to Coin Collecting” or “Grading,” encourage her to attend.

I was the only woman in the room of 50 people at a recent “Intro to Grading Coppers” seminar” conducted by Doug Bird and Steve Carr.

Where were the other spouses?

I couldn’t be the only spouse interested in the assets of one’s household.

Coin conventions are usually planned in a city that allows for site seeing, shopping and other enjoyable activities, which are great fun. However, one also needs to encourage your spouse to attend conventions, lectures, ask questions, and learn. It’s not all about the shopping.

It is time! Start now!

Carol M. Consolo lives in greater Cleveland, Ohio, with her coin dealer husband, David. Her primary numismatic interest is half cents and she is a member of the Early American Coppers club. She is an educator who enjoys watercolor art and gardening in her leisure time.

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