When you are in the news business, the first thing you have to do is get people to notice you. In a world of ever cruder language, ever racier online stories, photos and videos, what chance does a numismatic publication have?
Well, this week, it is easy. It is hard to miss the new size of Numismatic News. It does sort of grab your attention, doesn’t it? What we do with it once we have your attention is what counts.
Superficial change only works once. It is the guts of the paper that count and those will not change. Numismatic News was founded in 1952 by Chet Krause. He was a collector. He felt isolated living in a small town in central Wisconsin. Numismatic News became the vehicle for connecting him to the wider world of hobbyists.
It turns out many others felt that way, too, and became loyal subscribers. I jumped aboard with my first subscription in 1969. I joined the staff in 1978.
I am still here as are many loyal readers. Numismatic News still remains a vehicle for reaching out to hobbyists.
For even after 58 years, hobbyists are still isolated. There are too few of us in any one place, so as in 1952, we have to reach out. We want to see what other collectors are thinking and doing and then join in.
The purpose of Numismatic News going forward is to continue to keep collectors connected. As the late dealer Art Kagin used to say, collectors can’t afford to buy a coin every day, but they can read about one every day.
I have always looked at the contents of the paper as a weekly Presidential briefing. You are busy. You have priorities. When you can squeeze in a little quality hobby time, you want to know what’s what and get on with your life.
You want to know what’s out there for you, what it costs and how to buy it.
This mission will still be fulfilled for you each week.
Once before I grabbed your attention with a new column called “Class of ’63.” At first most people think it is a high school graduation date. That’s what gets their attention. It actually means the year I started collecting coins. I have been at it now 47 years.
I had a couple of conversations with hobbyists down in Fort Worth at the American Numismatic Association convention on this very topic. It is a great ice breaker. But we then went on to other things of importance.
It isn’t the name of this column that keeps you reading it from week to week. If you don’t find it interesting or useful, that’s it. If I turn into a blowhard or gas bag, you’re outta here.
As long as you hold me to account, rap my knuckles if required and tell me what you are thinking, I know my column and this paper will be important parts of your hobby. Thank you. It’s been great so far.