In the late 1960s I became an acquaintance, then a friend, of Farny
Wurlitzer. Born in 1883, he was chairman emeritus of the Wurlitzer Co.
and had an office in North Tonawanda, N.Y.
“You are so lucky, Dave,” he said to me. “When my company used to
be the leader in selling pianos and theater organs we had many
satisfied customers. However, as delighted as they might have been,
they did not come back to buy another instrument. With coins, if a
customer is happy, he can keep buying for years!” How true!
Here is a little check list of nice things about rare coins for
you to contemplate in 2013:
➤ Coins can be described briefly and with certification tagging in
words that everyone finds easy to understand.
➤ Coins are an excellent store of value. Historically a carefully
acquired collection has nearly always generated a profit if held for a
period of time.
➤ Coins are small, easily shipped and easily stored.
➤ The market is truly international.
➤ The Internet is made to order for coin buying and selling. The
field will advance as technology advances.
➤ Coins need no registration nor to have information filed about them.
➤ Coins are not taxable when held.
➤ A collection can be kept as private as desired.
➤ At the same time a fine collection of different coins can be
built over a period of years.
➤ No special facility is required. Coins can be collected in a
condo on Fifth Avenue, at a ski cottage in Montana or on a farm in Kansas.
➤ The hobby has many market sources, no monopolies or oligopolies,
no market price fixing. It is competitive and open.
➤ Pleasure can be obtained by sharing a collection with others,
reading about it, belonging to societies and the thrill of the hunt in
➤ An interesting specialized collection can be formed for a few
thousand dollars or for millions. Value is in no way related to pride
of possession and enjoyment of rare coins.
➤ And now, perhaps the winner: Nearly all numismatists I have met
are really nice people. My best to you for a great 2013!
Q. David Bowers is chairman emeritus of Stack’s Bowers Galleries
and numismatic director of Whitman Publishing LLC. He can be reached
at his private email, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or at Q. David
Bowers LLC, Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.