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Funny or heartless?

I was reading my mail yesterday when I burst out laughing. It was loud enough that my co-workers looked up and wondered what the joke was.

I did seem to be having a merry time of it.

What I was reading was a reply card that said this: “Yes, I want to help American Numismatic Association instill the passion of numismatics for those less fortunate.”

Am I some sort of Scrooge? Do I say “Humbug” when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas?”

No that is not me.

What I found funny was the idea that any of us who are engaged in coin collecting can somehow be called the less fortunate. I have always considered collectors the most fortunate people.

The ANA mailing was seeking donations toward a worthy goal of providing more scholarships to Young Numismatists for the annual Summer Seminar. That is indeed a worthy goal, but I cannot get past the initial few words that I read.

Words matter in my business. I have been chewed out in letters about stories that call “proof” a grade rather than a method of manufacture.

I think I would respond better to an appeal that would ask for help in opening doors to greater opportunity to fulfill a drive for numismatic knowledge that we all share. Sure, that would imply that any collectors no matter what their circumstances already had opportunities, but I think that more closely fits the reality of collecting and our self image.

I may be out there on a limb all by myself in this view, but I wanted to ask, “What’s next? Taking up a collection so someone can buy a 1913 Liberty Head nickel he couldn’t otherwise afford?”

I’ll volunteer for that.