Skip to main content

Of billionaires, cents and memories

 You can find the latest Poll question each week on the home page of

You can find the latest Poll question each week on the home page of

I was trying to figure out what the Friday poll question should be this week. (You can find the current question on the home page of

The winner was, “Have you found a 2018-dated coin in your change yet?” Because I look at my change year in and year out, as I know many readers do, this question seems like a natural.

Initial reports of finds of 2018 cents appear here. I hope you will answer the poll question and let me know what 2018 coins you are finding in your change, as well as when and where.

Now that I have made my point about how much I enjoy searching my change, I need to confess that picking this as the poll question topic was a close call.

The alternative was “Does news of a billionaire buying rare coins give you confidence in the hobby?” I would have had to shorten it to make it fit, but I give you the long version to let you peer into my thinking.

The full story on which the question is based appears here. I hope you enjoy it. I know I enjoyed putting it there.

I am intrigued about billionaires buying coins. Perhaps you are as well, or perhaps not.

But in either case, I can safely say that it is not something that has happened every day in my 40-year career.

Anyone reaching the lofty status of billionaire probably has me beaten in intelligence, drive and ingenuity.

I have felt fortunate to have found a career that I have truly enjoyed, but I knew going in that I would not become a billionaire doing it. I also knew that if I wanted to make serious money in numismatics, I would have had to get behind a bourse table and work, work, work.

Instead, I much prefer writing about coin dealers working.

Because of my life’s choices, I am not at risk of becoming a billionaire. I am intrigued by one such person buying coins. This, in a way, is a big-time ratification of my original choice to collect coins.

Even in the 1960s, my choosing to be a coin collector meant I was something of the odd man out. Relatives wondered aloud about arrested development. Certainly, it couldn’t possibly lead to anything like a career, could it?

Well, I am glad I was able to march to the beat of the numismatic drummer and prove that it is a field worth a lifetime of involvement.

I hope other billionaires will see merit in coin purchases, but if they do not, the one who has entered the field makes me more pleased with the life choices I have made.

May he enjoy the fruits of his labor by going down the many highways and byways of our wonderful field. Now be glad I didn’t ask about billionaires in the poll question.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.