Is it time for a little reverse psychology in numismatics?
Instead of inviting people in, should we try to keep them out and thereby induce an “I’ll show you who can be a coin collector” reaction?
Recent experience and an old memory provide the motivation for this blog.
When I was a budding coin collector in my youth, I remember the pitied looks and tone of voice of my aunts when they found out I was “still a coin collector.”
Apparently they expected a phase I would somehow grow out of.
I redoubled my efforts to make my time in numismatics worthwhile.
This “I’ll show them” reaction in me can be incredibly productive.
In a sense, I’ve been showing them for half a century.
You can even earn a living in coins. Imagine that! I can envision my aunts thinking this even to this day.
My recent experience is one that just happened to be paired with another that occurred in recent months.
I received an email asking whether I could check a few coins from the sender.
I get these all the time.
A half dozen images were attached.
They were all fairly modern circulated Lincoln cents of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with mintages of hundreds of millions or billions.
I responded that there was nothing in the group worth noting.
I did not say they looked like the change I got back at lunch. They were that unremarkable.
Well, the sender got my reply and sent me another group of Lincoln cent photos, again asking if I would take a look at them.
I replied again that there was nothing in the group of modern Lincolns worth keeping.
Soon after, four more emails popped into my inbox within seconds of each other.
Each had another group of cents attached.
No additional questions were asked or information supplied.
These emails simply had the word “More” written.
I wrote back, “Please stop sending me emails.”
All four had the same common Lincolns.
The weekend passed.
On Monday morning, I saw I had another email from the sender.
It was one word: Idiot.
Should I have written an email referring him to a library or book store to get a coin guide where he could find the information for himself?
Perhaps, but I did not.
I simply ignored it.
I had recalled that a while back I had had a handwritten letter of inquiry.
To it I hand wrote a reply.
I suggested a book and also that the sender could probably find it at his local library.
Later, I received a handwritten letter of reply denouncing my letter as difficult to read and did I know how bad the local library was where he lived?
There you have the facts.
Are these two individuals now in an “I’ll show you” collecting mode?
I will never know.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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