US Coins

Letters page provides a democratic forum to share hobby

For more than 50 years, the Letters to the Editor page of Coin World and, for a shorter period of time, the Guest Commentary have been a place where collectors, dealers and hobby leaders alike can share what makes them tick, and what ticks them off.

Being in a battleground state like Ohio makes one highly aware of the charged nature of democracy in America. It is our hope that the letters page provides a place for all those who are interested in numismatics to sound off on what matters to them with regards to their collecting.

As President Obama said in his victory speech in Chicago after the 2012 election, “Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t.”

On Nov. 7, National Public Radio related the statement to a piece of writing by E.B. White: an editorial published in the July 1943 issue of The New Yorker.

White wrote: “Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is the letter to the editor.”

News organizations around the country have noticed a trend: that newspapers are getting fewer letters to the editor.

We have noticed the same thing here.

We get informal comments and “likes” on Facebook, the occasional anonymous comment on a posting to an article posted to our website,, but not as many actual letters (or better yet, emails) to the editor than we have received from readers in years past.

It’s not that people aren’t talking about coins.

On some online message boards people have spirited conversations about the hobby (although sometimes of a nature not quite suitable for print publications). At coin shops and coin shows around the country, a healthy discourse continues about coins.

Anyone who attends an American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar can attest to the fact that when you put a bunch of collectors together, the conversation on our hobby can be endless.

Of course, space limitations prohibit us from publishing every letter and we continue to not allow anonymous Letters to the Editor or unidentified Guest Commentaries. It’s our policy to publish the name of the writer and his or her city and state of residence.

We like for reader-submitted opinion pieces to keep things focused on coins and the coin hobby. Care is taken to select letters that reflect the diversity of opinion expressed and to offer a balance of interesting and handy information. Further, all forms of opinion are edited for grammar, punctuation, spelling, style and libel.

Do you have an opinion to share with fellow collectors? Share it in a Coin World Letter to the Editor or Guest Commentary.


Steve Roach

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