Steve Roach

The Art of Collecting

Steve Roach

Steve Roach, Coin World’s editor-at-large, has been deeply involved with numismatics for more than 20 years, starting as a young coin collector in Michigan. Two years spent as a coin grader, nearly three years at a major coin wholesaler and a stint as a paintings specialist at an international auction house have given Steve a rich understanding of the hobby, its market and the unique personalities and exceptional objects that make collecting meaningful. He joined Coin World in 2006 as a columnist, and has served as associate editor and editor-in-chief. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan, a juris doctorate from the Ohio State University and is a Certified Member of the International Society of Appraisers.

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Club journals and publications useful for collectors and hobby

Note: The following is S​teve Roach's Editorial Opinion from the Nov. 17 issue of Coin World, which pairs with Paul Gilkes' feature on the status of club journals in today's digital world

Surveys of membership organizations (both numismatic and otherwise) typically confirm one fact: that members view a publication as the primary tangible benefit of membership. 

Each week in Coin World’s offices, we get publications from organizations across the country, big and small. Some are excellent publications with a regional emphasis, such as The California Numismatist or the Central States Numismatic Society’s quarterly The Centinel

Others are specialty publications with in-depth research of the sort that is necessary for the growth of numismatics, but goes beyond what a mainstream publication like Coin World can publish. 

As publications — both commercial and nonprofit — move toward digital platforms, they must be careful not to alienate their print subscribers. 

Our own surveys confirm that a surprisingly high percentage of Coin World’s audience does not use computers for their collecting and that they view printed publications as providing a break from the normal day. Further, in removing the print publication, a club risks losing members. Member engagement and happiness need to be weighed against any cost savings when a move to discontinue a club’s publication is under consideration. 

There are ways to reach new audiences without alienating existing members, such as the Numismatic Bibliomania Society’s excellent (and free) weekly email E-Sylum, which complements its print journal The Asylum

It is sometimes forgotten that behind all of these publications are patient, dedicated editors and writers who often work solely in a volunteer capacity. The quality of research in many specialty publications has never been higher, and they provide a wonderful complement to more broad-ranging publications like Coin World.

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