Skip to main content

Don't call it a New Year's resolution

Studies have shown that New Year’s resolutions do not last long, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing to re-evaluate things you are doing from time to time.

When silver was rocketing ahead to its 2011 peak I suggested collectors take a look at their modern commemorative silver dollars and use the opportunity to get rid of coins they no longer desired to own.

A loss of interest might have occurred because retail prices on the secondary market had fallen, or simply that a set that begins in 1983 with the Olympic commemoratives (1982 if you include silver half dollars) was growing too big.

It recognized that perhaps after three decades your interests have changed.

Those who took my advice unlocked value at an opportune time. Rising bullion bailed out bad buys. Whether sellers kept the money, or reinvested the proceeds, they at least had a choice.

Enthusiasm comes from making fresh choices. Don’t we all move a little quicker when we undertake something new?

Well, it is in that spirit that I suggest again that now is the time to take a serious look at your collection and dispose of those items or sets that no longer fit your interests.

Doing so will make it easier to find the funds to buy coins that fit your current plans.

Three years ago, my suggestion led to profits, or at least avoiding losses. But when I think about it, avoiding losses isn’t the point.

Even if coins you’ve lost interest in have to be sold at a loss, you are freeing up funds to use elsewhere.

We all have losses whether we’ve made mistakes, or simply because certain series have gone cold.

Keeping coins that have gone down in value that we are no longer interested in will not likely bring back the value we originally sank into them. A smart new purchase might.

So consider winnowing your collection during some of the free time you are likely to have during days off in the next couple of weeks.

Get the coins ready to sell at the next show you go to, on eBay or by whatever method you choose.

If you take your coins to a local coin shop, the dealer might even be willing to trade what you have at higher values for what he has in stock. Then both of you win. You get the coins you are more interested in and he gets a fresher inventory.

So, rather than make this a New Year’s resolution, consider the possibility now and you will have a better chance of sticking to your decision.

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."