Am I too harsh?
After my blog post on Wednesday about the 1976-D cent in the same photo with a copper-colored 1943-S cent, I received a reaction from the sender.
He said he saw my blog. He said he was insulted by it.
He wrote in part, “It’s my fault i sent such pics but for your information the 43 steel cent in the plastic holder is a genuine mint state coin (this is not even worth going into).”
But that was the point of the blog. It is something I hoped he would get into.
I accept that the photo was not the best, but was it so bad that the copper-colored 1943-S cent really was steel colored?
I have never received such a paired photo as that before.
That’s what fixed in my mind.
In future will I get photos of two coins together from another flea marketer that pairs, say a 1921 Morgan dollar with what looks like an 1804 dollar? Then the question accompanying it being something like is the 1921 date slightly doubled?
Will I get a photo of a 1907 Liberty Head nickel next to a 1913 with a question about the value of the 1907?
As a collector, I find this puzzling.
The writer’s follow-up email said two dealers advised him to take his 1976-D cent to the Long Beach show for further examination.
That is good advice, even if I did not see a reason to give it in the photos I received.
The second email ended with:
“I guess a bigwig like you, not a two to three year hobbyist like me, needs to be more mindful before jumping to conclusions.”
He asked my advice
I gave it.
I wrote about it.
An editor’s job is not simply to serve as some automatic advice dispenser, it is also to ask questions and to bring topics to the attention of others that they might benefit from. That’s what I did with the blog.
This could be a simple case of bad photograph gets bad answer.
But my editor’s instinct says there was something more there.
If I was harsh about it, I stand ready to be rebuked by readers.
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."