The Joys of Collecting column from the Nov. 21, 2016, issue of
The real reason to become involved in numismatics at all is to have
an enjoyable experience. Immerse yourself in the lure and lore of rare
coins, tokens, medals, or paper money and you will experience a world
Although there are no guarantees, a carefully formed collection
held for the long term will, when sold, yield a nice profit.
Serious collectors of fame who have seen their holdings appreciate
greatly over the years include Harry W. Bass Jr., Emery May Holden
Norweb, and D. Brent Pogue — to mention just three of thousands of
clients. Each paid no less than the current market price and in many
instances set new records by outbidding all competition.
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Any high quality collection, large or small, is usually built by
paying at least the current market price. Don’t be a bargain-hunter or
bottom feeder. Cheap coins usually are of cheap quality.
I have just finished reading the October issue of Penny-Wise,
the official publication of Early American Coppers. Dr. Harry Salyards,
editor, is one of the most gifted writers in numismatics today. Among
the features is a file of letters that John W. Adams wrote and
received years ago when building his memorable collection of early
large copper cents with emphasis on the year 1794.
I was delighted to read his “review,” dated Nov. 19, 1979, of my
just-published book, The History of American Numismatics as
Illustrated by the Garrett Collection, stating in part:
“As for congratulations, it is easy to run out of superlatives. Your
book captures, as nothing before has come close to doing, the
quintessential spirit of our hobby. The work will prove a beacon to
budding collectors who, while they may be harboring a spark of
enthusiasm, lack the perspective and knowledge necessary to enjoy
numismatics to its fullest extent. You have opened the door to a whole
new world, and thousands will come crowding through.”
As it has been out of print for many years, if you want to read one,
check with sellers of antiquarian books, or if you are a member of the
American Numismatic Association, you can borrow one for free (plus
round trip postage).
I will check with Whitman Publishing, with which I have been
associated for many years, to see if I should revise this classic.