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Community Voice Responses: Nov. 5, 2019

From the October 4 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter

Is attracting speculators good or bad for the hobby?

Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers

Some are good and some not so good. I've been collecting coins for a long time and like (some)other collectors, haven’t really thought much about grading if the coin looks good and it’s clean (not cleaned). I belong to several coin clubs & if I ask for some comments on grading, then I get lots of different comments. This is good because I am interested in all opinions, good or not so good.

The grading field is something I don’t know much about, but it’s a way of learning how to grade.

I hope I explained this correctly about my concerns for learning about coins that I don’t know.

Jim Casto
Address Withheld

I think now more than ever, for a short time, a little speculation would do our coin market some good. There has been very little interest and Coin values have taken a nosedive in the past five years!

Frank Canglelosi
Delray Beach, Fla.

I would say YES to attracting speculators. A better understanding of the Hobby may help sway some of those folks.

Or maybe speak in terms of Investments if they are not swaying. Rare Coins prove to be a solid investment.

Mark Fowler
Milford, N.H.

Speculators are ALWAYS BAD for the hobby. They do not care about any item except how much money they can wring out of a transaction.

Bob Fritsch
Nashua, N.H.

Speculators are terrible for the hobby. They hoard items causing the price to be overinflated. At least in the short term.

Charlotte, N.C.

I collect coins purely as a hobby and the relative value of the coins is not of primary concern to me. Collecting coins on what is basically a speculative basis seems to me to take all the enjoyment out of our hobby.

Nigel Reid
Middlesex, England

There’s a little bit of a speculator in all of us. We may be on the hunt to complete our collecting goals, but that may not deter us from keeping an eye out for a chance to gain financially in the future. Yes, it’s a good thing. Keeps the hobby active.

Horst Seeley
Address Withheld

Speculators are bad for the hobby and so is the U.S. Mint’s constant special issues of very limited, high-end (read, expensive!) one-time-only, or limited series, with “special” finish(es), such that only relatively rich people and dealers (with lots of paid “mules”) can afford to purchase. Also, online sales closing down within minutes because the very limited supply is exhausted, thus immediately driving up the prices for selling (by those having purchased them).

If you are talking about the “hobby” consisting of Average Joe collectors, these tactics tarnish the whole spirit of having an equal chance of collecting, and at a reasonable price too! If you are talking about the “hobby” consisting of the U.S. Mint churning out all kinds of profitable series (silver, gold, platinum and palladium bullion, extremely limited (past) Presidential dollars, etc.) and providing at least one national, online, retail company to charge $25 just for raw, first-week-of-issue 2019-W quartersand hundreds of dollars for slabbed State -69 and -70 2019-W quarters, then indeed, speculators (and GREED) are BAD for the hobby!

Greg Gonia
Franklin, Wis.

Having speculators enter the hobby is great, in the short run, for dealers with a large inventory or collectors/widows who want to sell, as this will increase prices. In the longterm, however, it is awful for the hobby. It will price out of the hobby, a number of current collectors, as well as, make the barrier to entry very high for new collectors. By supply and demand considerations, this will, over time, vastly decrease the worth of collectors holdings.A recent example was National Bank Currency collecting, where a single person through his massive bidding and buying was able to vastly increase the price of the good notes when he was a buyer and crash the market when he became a large seller. It will take years for this hobby to recover to its former self.

Bob Liddell
Cranberry Township, Pa.

In my opinion, speculators would do more bad for the hobby we all love.

Michel Pauze
Las Vegas, Nev.