Skip to main content

Everything stops?

Though the shutdown of the federal government does not affect the U.S. Mint operations or anything that goes on in the private hobby sector, you would think the political standoff is a numismatic nonevent.

But is it?

There has been a noticeable decline in my email correspondence in the last few days.

Coincidence, or are collectors somehow being mesmerized by what is going on in Washington, D.C.?

I have no way of knowing at this point or at any point in the future. I can only guess. Nobody is going to write me that they were meaning to contact me but instead they sat glued to their television as the shutdown unfolded.

There has been speculation by pundits that consumers might tighten their purse strings as a precautionary, “you never know” response to the news.

If that is true, numismatic activity certainly falls under the heading of consumer discretionary purchases.

On the other hand, it is not yet a crisis if we look at sales of American Eagles and the price of gold as I did yesterday.

So what is the shutdown?

Perhaps it is some sort hypnotic event.

Perhaps we cannot help but watch the news of it at the expense of everything else we do.

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."