I am an optimist by nature. That does not mean I am a grinning idiot at all times in all circumstances. Far from it.
There are moments of disappointment and sadness, too, but I bounce back to my native optimism.
Never is my optimism more apparent than at the start of the year.
I think 2017 will be a good year unless I can find evidence to prove otherwise.
Some years I find contrary evidence.
Bad news was very clear when 2008 began in the midst of our worst financial crisis since the Depression.
There was little to be optimistic about then. But that is now nine years in the past.
Now that 2017 has begun, the first place I physically will begin to look for signs of a better future is at the Florida United Numismatists convention tomorrow.
I attend the convention almost every year.
What I will find this year, I cannot say.
In 1983 I came roaring back to the office from Florida with the sense that we were on the edge of a new boom time.
At that point, gold and silver peak prices were three years in the past, as were the prices of many rarities.
The bullion decline had given the numismatic market a long hangover.
But in January 1983 at FUN I saw evidence of our future numismatic prosperity.
I put together an issue of Coins Magazine that went to press with forecasts of better times.
As soon as it went on newsstands, the market seemed to hit the pause button and it looked like the boom I saw at the beginning of the year was not going to happen.
It was delayed, but numismatic prosperity did arrive.
Coin collectors and dealers were given banner year after banner year from essentially that point until 1989 courtesy of the Morgan silver dollar.
We collectors went crazy for the silver dollar.
Guess which coin dominates the cover of that long ago issue?
You guessed it, a Morgan silver dollar.
It turned out, I was accurate about what was going to happen to the numismatic market. I was just off a few months in my timing.
Perhaps my native optimism got the better of me.
Or perhaps I spotted the next trend early.
I would like to think this latter possibility was the case.
It is about time for another numismatic boom.
Will we get it? I think so, but I need to find some more evidence.
I hope to encounter it at the FUN show.
If I am over-optimistic about it, you'll understand, won't you?
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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