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Coins in shoppers’ sights?

I did my bit to stimulate the economy over the weekend. Shopping is not my favorite activity, but it does give me an occasional glimpse into the state of the economy.

Usually, too, I watch my change, but the only cash I expended was for a quick meal at McDonald’s and the change was not the least bit noteworthy.

When Bob Wilhite was the “Coin Market” price guide editor 1976-1999, he  was guided by his “money in the jeans” theory. He held that if collectors have money in their pocket, meaning they have jobs and the economy is not scaring them, they will spend some of those funds on coins. In short, it means good times for numismatics when the economy is moving ahead.

I thought of him over the weekend as I saw parking lots that were fairly full and stores that had attracted crowds. I expect they were using their credit cards more than cash as I was but that counts as money in the jeans.

If people in Wisconsin are starting to feel freer to spend, then perhaps other Americans around the country are, too, and numismatics will garner its share.

It is probably too soon to get enthusiastic about an improving coin market because readers are not flooding my email inbox with responses to  this week’s poll question.

The question is “Will the coin market improve now that the election is over?”

This, of course, was asked in reaction to a fashionable theory in the financial media that many people held back on their spending as they focused on the presidential election.

It probably pays not to inquire too closely into motives and instead simply observe behavior.

What I saw over the weekend was encouraging and perhaps this week’s show in Whitman coin show Baltimore will confirm that hobbyists are getting on with their lives in numismatics with a little more gusto.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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