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Measured progress or big surprise for numismatics?

This week’s shocking decline in the price of Facebook stock got me thinking about what kind of shocks might occur to the coin business.

Most of the time, day-to-day numismatic life is pretty routine.

The Mint issues new coins.

America’s vast network of dealers buy and sell, underpinning the secondary market for coins.

Gold rises and falls by a few dollars each day.

Silver fluctuates by a few cents.

Life goes on.

All’s right with the world.

But there are times when life shakes us up.

Remember the $200 fall in the price of gold in April 2013?

It happened. It was shocking. We survived it.

In fact, buyers clamored for as many gold American Eagle bullion coins as they could carry away.

Monthly one-ounce gold Eagle sales jumped from 54,000 in March 2013 to 187,500 in April 2013.

What would happen if gold drops by $200 in August 2018?

Would tickling $1,000 an ounce cause a sudden surge in gold Eagle demand this time, or would current gold owners be panicked into selling?

What if silver suddenly drops by $2 and threatens to slide below $13?

Would there be a surge in silver Eagle purchases, or would the current sales weakness get worse?

Money is presently tight in the commercial numismatic field.

What if there is a surprise bankruptcy?

Would there be a half price sale on key coins of popular series?

Perhaps the next generation of coin collectors would be treated to a once-in-lifetime entry point to coin collecting.

On the other hand, I can just as easily ask what would happen if gold jumped $200, or silver $2?

We have seen this movie before also.

The causes of the financial panic of 2008 have not been eliminated.

They are simply held at bay until the next sequence of surprise events turns them loose.

Reasons for gold and silver to soar are still out there as market newsletters tell us week by week.

But nothing dramatic is likely to happen today.

It is still July.

Summer is in full swing.

The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money is over two weeks away.

Then we will begin to see the outlines of the next numismatic season.

Let’s hope it will be a good one.

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."