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Chewed out, but times do change

I was chewed out by a Numismatic News reader the other day.

He was upset with an advertisement that appeared in the paper.

Specifically, there was an ad that offered to sell "Make America Great" coins.

The pieces in question are medals, not coins.

Virtually every collector knows the difference.

The reader said we should not have accepted the ad or we should have made the advertiser change the wording.

Had this been 30 years ago, I would have agreed.

However, the numismatic business has changed from the safe environment of two major coin newspapers being the only sources of coins for their readers.

Numismatic items are now available online and from many other sources, including inserts in your regular monthly bills sanctioned by firms that do not even sell coins.

My ability to gently nudge an advertiser to use one word or another was far stronger in the days when we actually typeset the ads for our clients.

Those days are gone.

We receive the ads all ready to go.

It's take it or leave it.

We took it.

I offered the email writer a spot in the letters section to make his point. He declined.

He was upset and said it is all about the buck. Indeed it is. We are a business.

Even though times have changed, I know that nearly all of my readers know the difference between a coin and a medal, thanks to our educational offerings in "Coin Clinic" and other popular columns.

One thing I do have control over is our educational mission. It never ends.

Whether it is in books, papers, online news stories, our belief in helping people become better collectors is a permanent goal.

What is not permanent is the rest of the world.

Time has marched on.

We all have to work hard to keep up.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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