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Can't ignore bullion swings but should

Sharp movements in the precious metals markets almost beg to be commented upon.

The twin drops of gold breaking sharply below $1,600 to close at $1,577.60 a troy ounce and silver falling to $28.615 a troy ounce yesterday I am sure have captured the attention of many.

As a coin collector, I wish that was not the case because dramatic price swings obscure the larger appeal of long-term coin collecting.

Who wants to talk about Federal Reserve quantitative easing?

Coin collectors don’t really, but many feel forced into it, especially when yesterday’s bullion drop is being called a reaction to release of minutes of the late January meeting of the Federal Reserve board of governors.

The discussion apparently has raised qualms in the minds of many that quantitative easing ultimately will end.

Gee, here I thought the Fed could buy $85 billion of debt securities every month forever.

Well, duh.

If you are a coin collector, it shouldn’t matter.

If you are putting a silver collection or a gold collection together over many years, the key is to do your buying when the coins that you need present themselves at a price you think is reasonable.

Some purchases will turn out to be incredible bargains when you look back on them. For others you will discover you might have done better.

The point, though, is over time your cost will be reasonable and when you go to sell the collection in 10 or 20 years nobody will likely remember bullion fluctuations on Feb. 20, 2013.

But if you buy nothing until bullion is soaring day by day and everybody else is buying, you will be paying far more than would otherwise be the case and your financial results at the end of your hobby career will not be as good as they might have been.

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