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In love with silver

This week’s poll question is proving that collectors prefer coins of silver to any other composition.

Did we need proof to reach that conclusion?

It is not a scientific poll, it is just a handful of collectors who expressed themselves online.

Are they representative?

Some collectors might put up the Lincoln cent as a candidate to disprove silver coins as the most preferred. But are they right?

I grew up in an era a half century ago when the Lincoln cent was king among collectors. Many of us still have the sets. We are emotionally attached to them. Our stock of Lincoln cent memories is huge. But how active are Lincolns really?

Much collector interest in Lincolns seems to be expressed in hoarding the coins that are made of 95 percent copper. That was the lesson I took from from my “663 'pennies' for my thoughts" blog.

With the silver poll question, even a few collectors outside the United States were moved to respond.

I had one email from the United States that summarized feelings about silver coins particularly well.

Do you see yourself in his words?

He wrote:

“I would love to buy coins in silver. I don’t buy bullion. I am retired and my wife and I are raising 3 grandchildren. I cannot afford gold or the high premiums that the Mint adds.

“I wait for a year or two and buy after market and buy below what the Mint sells it for in most instances. I have bought almost all the proof silver sets in packaging at pricing far below Mint prices.

“Of course there are some that I have wanted that I have bought from the Mint that I really wanted like the March of Dimes. The Mercury dime would be a great buy for me in silver but way out of what I could pay in gold. Sometime I buy American Eagles if I can find then under 17.50.”

The writer is clearly a committed collector. He has a plan. He sticks to it. That plan focuses on silver.

His straightforward approach and matter of fact way expressing himself is refreshing. He represents the kind of collectors I meet at coin shows.

Having a preference for silver does not in any way devalue copper or gold coins. I would bet that many silver coin collectors also collect coins of the other two of the big three coinage metals.

We collectors are not restricted to just one thing even if there clearly is a greater love for silver in our hearts.

In growing up in the shadow of the Coinage Act of 1965, which gave us clad coins, it is perhaps logical that this generation craves most what it was told it could not have.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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