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Coins survey vast domain

It is a wonder to consider how large the top numismatic auction firms have grown and into what other fields they have expanded.

Yesterday, I received a press release about Heritage Auctions’ inaugural Domain Name & Intellectual Property Signature® Auction. (

It said bidding was already open and will remain so until the live and online auction Nov. 21.

The reason this needs to be brought to the attention of collectors is that some of the domain names apply to numismatics.

Heritage will be selling,,,, The, and the Canadian domain name

It will be interesting to see what these names are worth. Will the buyers actively engage in the numismatic business using these names online? We will see.

As important as we collectors think numismatics is, we know it is far from the only game in town as far as business is concerned.

But it is a fertile ground for learning how to operate a business and the lessons can be applied across many other fields.

Chet Krause might have founded Numismatic News in 1952, but he did not remain solely a publisher in the coin field. Even as he expanded his numismatic titles to five periodicals, he was expanding into collectible cars, sports cards, comic books, guns and antiques. He even took fliers on horses and stamps.

Some fields worked better than others, but the approach to each new business was guided by the template learned in numismatics.

It is no wonder Heritage has grown. It has learned well the lessons numismatics teaches and it has entered many other fields where it could apply them.

At some point I expect to be writing about its reaching a billion dollars in auction sales.

We’ve come a long way in my time in numismatics.

But the seeds of present success have been there all along for people smart enough to plant them. Reaching into other fields has been common even among the smallest numismatic businesses.

Over the years I have seen coin and stamp shops, coin and sports card shops, coin and comics shops, coin and diamond shops as well as coin and precious metals businesses.

Coins have opened the doors of opportunity to many people.

Where do you think those opportunities will take us next?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."