This has been a year where many in the hobby have wanted something or expected something to happen only to have to wait far longer to see it fulfilled.
In the Internet Age, patience is no longer a virtue or even acceptable. Rapid fulfillment is the expectation and anything less grates.
So, we have been waiting for gold to touch the inevitable $1,000, but have been teased relentlessly but not seen much fulfillment. We haven’t had a close above $1,000 since February and yesterday disappointed yet again.
Then there are coin deliveries from the Mint. When the Ultra High Relief $20 went on sale in January, stated delivery times ballooned and then contracted. Some buyers were livid.
Many hobbyists waited for the release of the new Lincoln cent designs only to find that the banking system was broken and the usual pipeline from Mint to customer was going into reverse as people and businesses desperate for cash took fewer coins or even sent coins back to the Federal Reserve System. Only in the last few days have collectors in some parts of the country reported all three 2009 designs in their change.
The run on bullion American Eagle coins has kept the Mint to the production of just the one-ounce gold and silver version. The proof collector versions have been long awaited and are still expected in the fourth quarter.
I could cite other examples, but the pattern of 2009 has been clear. Waiting has been the name of the game. It does no good to report that collectors in the past waited far longer and the old hobby self-help efforts that used to kick in nowadays are viewed as either terrible impositions or part of some sinister plot to enrich dealers at the expense of the little guy.
Will collector patience ever return?
I guess we’ll have to wait for that too.