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How many new collectors will we attract?

News of rare pennies from 1982 and 1983 continues to go round the Internet.

That pleases me.

It has been a good year for Numismatic News.

We were the first to report the discovery of the first copper 1983-D cent, as well as the first copper 1982-D small date cent, thanks to Ken Potter.

It is hard to believe that such modern errors exist at all.

Even harder is it to believe that it took almost 35 years to find them.

But this year, as the weeks have passed, word filters out.

First it was noticed by collectors.

Then it reached non-collectors.

I am now getting more emails from the non-collectors than collectors.

Naturally, their grasp of numismatic detail is not firm.

I had an email this morning that shows this in a nutshell.

The sentences in the email are not complete, but I think you can understand it:

“Are weighed and separated 3.1 from the 2.5 and from the p and I don’t how to read the date for small and lg or dd error I believe the last pic is a 1969s dd error strongly believe let me know your input thanks in advance.”

That is not an excerpt. That is the whole email.

Along with these words came five images.

One had seven cents arranged on a card.

Handwritten was the notation on three lines:

“1982 no mintmark / All weigh between 2.97 - 3.23 grams / ?Sm or Lg date?"

Another image had six cents on another card with similar notations.

Three images were devoted to a 1969-S cent that was hoped to be a doubled-die.

It isn’t.

Naturally, I responded by sending the link to the story and images showing large and small date 1982 cents.

I hope it helps.

I hope the writer becomes a collector. I hope many others do, too.

It will all depend on how much fun people have in looking at their cents.

If it has the elements of fulfilling curiosity, there will be new collectors to come out of this present interest.

Even those who look at coins for purely financial gain can be converted into collectors.

I should know. That motive was among my earliest coin-related thoughts.

Can this wave of interest continue to grow?

I hope so.

This is the future of our hobby.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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