Opportunities abound in our 'fierce' hobby

Our hobby is ripe for entrepreneurship for those willing to work. This 1958 cartoon features hobby legend Q. David Bowers as a teenager who “turned his hobby — collecting rare coins — into a business.” Image courtesy of Q. David Bowers.
Paul Gilkes, in his wonderful cover story in this month’s issue, writes that after 27 years working at Coin World, “I can’t help but notice the number of familiar faces of dealers that I encounter show after show, year after year.”

Coin collecting and numismatics as an industry is one in which one’s knowledge base grows deeper and broader with the passage of time. Each coin show introduces a collector to new coins and people; each addition to one’s collection helps educate the buyer and each passing year in our hobby brings us new people to meet and things to collect and discover.

The stories that Paul shares in this month’s issue, and in the coming weekly issues in April, have common threads throughout, including a love of the hobby and longevity in it.

Many, if not most of the stories involve an interest in coins that starts young, including for Q. David Bowers, who has been active in coins since he was a curious 13-year-old in 1952.

Another common thread is that each person has had help along the way, in the form of mentors who have helped them develop their skills as a numismatist. Some continued in a family business, others started working under a dealer, while others picked up the collecting bug from a family member.

The subjects of Paul’s story also share a love of the deal and of placing coins with collectors. As Heritage’s co-chairman Steve Ivy told Paul, the business of numismatics is “fierce,” but one that is ripe for entrepreneurship.

Our hobby rewards those who go after what they want, treat people with respect, and honor those who have helped them along the way.

As I reflect on what I’ve learned here at Coin World, I’m thankful for the lessons that former Editor-in-Chief Beth Deisher instilled and continues to share. I’m amazed at the mastery and tireless dedication to quality that news editor Bill Gibbs showcases every day.

Each member of our editorial staff teaches me something daily as they cover the world of numismatics in our pages and online, and our contributors and columnists continue to educate me alongside our readers.

It is always exciting to be part of such a dynamic and interesting hobby, and as the individual stories in our feature article show, the possibilities in our hobby are endless for those willing to learn and take chances.