This is the time of year when collectors like to join the rest of the population to peer into the future to try to make out what might happen.
Wading in with a handy forecast is John Kamin of the Forecaster Moneyletter. I have been reading Kamin’s work on and off since 1969.
He says the population of the United States will double from the current 300 million people to 600 million by 2058, a half century from now. What are the implications? Twice the current number of Americans will affect everything from farming to home building, but where it especially interests me is the impact on coin collecting. There will likely be more of us in 50 years, probably twice as many.
Kamin doesn’t delve into the specifics, so allow me to fill in with my own thoughts. We know coin collecting has a long and deeply rooted history. Numismatics dates back to Renaissance princes, 500-year-old German references, more than 200-year-old, mass-produced British Conder tokens to over a century-old approach to collecting American coins by date and mintmark.
This great age doesn’t tell me what people will collect in 50 years, but it does tell me of the long-term stability of numismatics. Our hobby descendents will be here and be very active.
Proportions might change. There are more coin collectors in the United States than paper money collectors. Paper money collectors will probably increase their share going forward.
But there probably will be even more emphasis on coins of precious metal than even now as inflation and coin substitutes continue to devalue those coins that actually circulate.
It will be an interesting half century ahead of us. Let’s plan on sticking around as it unfolds.