Q. David Bowers: Start certification effort for dealers, complete with code of ethics

The Joys of Collecting: And increase your knowledge, with a library and a specialty club membership
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 02/13/17
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The Joys of Collecting column from the Feb. 27, 2017, weekly issue of Coin World:

In previous columns, I contributed the first two key ingredients on my Wish List for 2017 — actions I recommend to maximize the enjoyment and success of numismatics.

➤ No. 1: Key people and companies in numismatics need to work to fix the coin grading system.

Grading is no more understandable today in 2017 than it was 25 years ago, and certified grading is less consistent than it was back then.

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How do you define Mint State 62? MS-65+?

➤ No. 2. Truth in advertising is a huge problem. Ditto for ethics. Anything goes, or so it seems.

The Professional Numismatists Guild and American Numismatic Association should do something about that.

Encourage them to do so! We will all benefit.

Now, more to add this week:

➤ No. 3. Perhaps an education and certification program could be set up for dealers.

With few exceptions, if you take your accounting business to a certified public accountant you are in good hands.

If you are ill and you go to a member of the American Medical Association you will likely be in good hands as well.

Wouldn’t it be great to have Certified Professional Numismatists with a strictly enforced code of ethics?

➤ No. 4. Start a library or add to one you already have. Resolve to spend $500 to $1,000 for books in 2017.

Books are the key to knowledge. Knowledge is the key to success. Success is the key to happiness and a lifetime of enjoying numismatics. I guarantee it!

 ➤ No. 5. Go on the Internet and investigate the sites of these specialized groups: Barber Coin Collectors Society, Civil War Token Society, Colonial Coin Collectors Club, Early American Coppers, Fly-In Club, John Reich Collectors Society (mainly silver coins from 1794 through the late 1830s), Liberty Seated Collectors Club (silver coins 1836 to 1891), Medal Collectors of America, Society of Paper Money Collectors, and Token and Medal Society.

For ones of interest, request a sample copy of their newsletter or magazine. Most of these are like belonging to a private club. There is lots of camaraderie and friendly interchange. Most have fewer than a thousand members. I belong to all of them!

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Older Comments (2)
Amen. Collecters should take same classes as dealers.
Lofty goals for sure Mr. Bowers! Especially No 2 - coin dealer ethics. The PNG still allows convicted felons to be members & the ANA actually gave one convicted coin dealer felon a top award & put his photo on the cover of their journal "The Numismatist"! As long as this "good ole boy club" mentality continues, there will be no such thing as a certified professional numismatist - & coin dealers are not pushing for such a designation.