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It's not 2009, but is that good?

Perhaps the best news in 2010 is that it is not 2009. Collectors spent much of last year looking for coins in circulation that they could not find.

Their frustration was compounded by the fact that the coins they sought seem to appear on eBay with no problem at all.

This year the coins are out there. The 2010 Union Shield cent was finding its way into change in January and readers e-mailed me their reports of receiving them.

The Hot Springs, Ark., quarter was the first of the America the Beautiful coins to be struck and readers are reporting getting them.

Other readers are commenting about receiving 2009-dated coins that they could not find last year.

And even collector versions of bullion coins are soon to be coming, with the proof Buffalo gold piece arriving a week from Thursday.

What I notice, though, is that the general energy level among collectors has receded. The sense of urgency is gone.

I wonder if 2009 with its many frustrations will not prove over time to be the year that future collectors will recall with “I was there” relish that current collectors might say about finding 1960 small-date cents, 1972 doubled-die cents or even buying American Eagle coins in the mid 1990s when nobody else seemed to want them.

We might all be more mellow in 2010, but will that count for anything in the histories written in 2020 or 2030?