Are coin collectors out of touch? Are we so isolated from the mainstream that our views should be dismissed out of hand by noncollectors?
I sometimes wonder.
I happened upon a story this morning posted by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was about people lining up at shopping malls to get the new iPhone 6.
“At Lenox Square, Atlanta police were called in just before 5:30 a.m. to assist with crowd control,” the story said.
When average Americans read this, they will think, “Wow, Apple really has a popular new product.”
When police were involved in controlling the crowd lined up in Rosemont, Ill., in August for the new proof gold Kennedy half dollar, collectors were tut-tutting as if the whole hobby was somehow embarrassed and made a shambles.
There was little thought that the Mint had found a popular new product.
Today the financial markets are going wild for Alibaba, the Chinese version of eBay/Amazon.
The initial stock price is supposed to pop higher from its $68 issue price, enriching individuals who were able to get an allocation of shares from their brokers.
Some potential buyers were denied the shares.
Profits could be huge for the selected buyers.
This is capitalism at work.
When some individuals made vast profits on the new Kennedy issue, this was called inherently unfair by collectors.
This is perhaps an oversimplification, but coin collectors who proclaim themselves true coin collectors as opposed to those crass coin dealers sound like the British upper class in Downton Abbey talking about the middle class.
How vulgar coin dealers are.
The implication seems to be that true collectors should be given concierge service to the head of every Mint line without any waiting whatsoever.
Dealers should immediately fall all over themselves to hand these true collectors an immediate $2,000 profit.
That way the profits go into the right pockets.
How can the Mint not know who the right sort of people are so as not to sell to the wrong sort?
Perhaps we collectors should ring for tea and continue this discussion.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."