The best advice is often timeless.
A colleague placed a copy of a 1986 compilation by the Chicago Coin
Club titled Perspectives in Numismatics on my desk
because it had an article on the intersection of art and numismatics
by Cory Gillilland.
Immediately following that essay was a piece by longtime hobby
publicist Donn Pearlman titled “B.U. or Beware!” He started the piece
asking, “Do you know any investor who would rush to an unfamiliar
stockbroker, hand over $10,000 and say, ‘Buy me some stocks?’ ”
What followed were some cautionary tales from investors who “would
have seen a better rate of return on their investments if they tossed
$100 bills from skyscraper windows.”
The essay was penned before the wide adoption of third-party grading
and “slabbing,” which have taken some of the subjectivity out of
grading and authenticating (while adding new layers of complexity).
He provides three maxims that remain true decades later.
The first he calls “The Pearlman Principle,” writing, “Numismatic
investment is like a sewer — you get out of it what you put into it.”
The second looks to a warning that Better Business Bureaus across
the country have shared with consumers: “If the deal seems too good to
be true, it probably is.”
Finally, he looks to hobby publisher Lee Hewitt’s famed statement,
“There is no Santa Claus in numismatics.”
It’s telling that, amid all the change in our hobby, some things
remain the same.
Pearlman advises collectors to make sure dealers are members of the
Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild. Both remain
important protectors of the hobby.
In the essay he recommends collectors read Scott Travers’ book
The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual. First published in
1984, the book is still relevant and Travers is hard at work on a new edition.
Finally, if there’s an over-arching theme in the essay, it’s that an
investment in learning coin grading will pay dividends many times over
in a collector’s lifetime.
Understanding what you are buying and choosing trustworthy sources
to buy from are both essential for coin investing.
More from CoinWorld.com:
Mint strikes silver American Eagle bullion coins for first time
since series' 1986 debut
Reagan to be recognized on Presidential dollar, Nancy Reagan on
First Spouse gold $10 coin in 2016
price paid for Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American $1
coin labeled 'Missing Edge Lettering'
to issue another Reverse Proof coin
U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy now sits on the board of a Bitcoin
to share your thoughts on this story.
with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by
signing up for our free eNewsletters
liking us on Facebook
following us on Twitter
. We're also on