For my daily purchases, I still use cash.
I pay cash for lunch. I pay cash at the gas station. I pay cash at the grocery store.
Whatever the expenses are for me day to day in Iola, I meet them the old-fashioned way.
I expect some would view me as a dinosaur.
I could be.
On the other hand, how can I continue to be an effective editor of Numismatic News week in and week out if I divorce myself from the very objects about which I write?
The only way to be an effective collector is to get your hands dirty. You might be passing up reward miles on your credit card, or you might have to make more trips to the bank or ATM to stay in touch with what is in circulation around the country, but it is a price worth paying.
Now if you have already gone through the learning stages of numismatics and you know what coins look like, coloration, toning, how to grade, etc., and you have picked your lifetime specialty of large cents or Seated Liberty dimes, you don’t need to keep a deep attachment to what is currently being used in circulation.
However, I am asked where the date is on dollars from 2009 to present because the writers don’t think to look on the edge of the coin they are holding in their hands.
Another writer asks why seals are way off on a certain Federal Reserve Note. The note could have been printed that way at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or some enterprising individual could have erased a seal and then relocated it with a photocopier. You have to examine and learn to know how to tell the difference.
The habit of how to look at coins is started by examining, really examining, what you get on a daily basis. Fortunately for me, every year there are many new collectors just starting out on this road.
Yesterday, I received a Series 1981 $5 Federal Reserve Note in change at the Crystal Cafe. It isn’t a scarce star replacement note. That’s another frequently asked question. (Yes, the serial number literally ends with a star.)
The $5 has seen better days. I won’t be able to sell it, but it is sure worth looking at. It is from the Cleveland Federal Reserve District.
How much longer will I keep this cash habit up?
Well, the Crystal Cafe began accepting credit cards in 2009 and now, I am told, about 40 percent of its receipts are credit card transactions.
I guess that means I have until that other 60 percent disappears.