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New club; bright future?

It has long been true that the number of active coin clubs in the United States is declining. It is also true that the number of members of clubs that still continue to exist is also declining.

That is why it was a bit of surprise to me as I read the November issue of the San Diego Numismatic Society Bulletin to learn that a new club has been founded in the area.

The San Diego Paper Money Club has begun meeting. Members plan to meet on the second Thursday of odd-numbered months 6:30-8 p.m. in the same room as the numismatic society does.

That room is in the North Park Adult Center, 2719 Howard St., in San Diego.

There are 11 members of the new club.

Another truism among club volunteers is that they do not seem to stop at just helping one club, but several. This seems to be true for this new club as well. The numismatic society treasurer is Ken Spindler and it is he who reported on the first meeting of the new paper money club.

A new club is a wonderful thing to become aware of. I wish it good luck. It will take some luck to thrive in the present harsh economic environment. American cultural shifts that have reduced membership in many volunteer civic associations will also dog a new paper money club.

But paper money collecting has a bright future. People of my generation and older still have a mental default setting that prompts us to think that collecting paper money is only for the rich. I know this is not true, but reflex thinking learned 50 years ago is hard to overcome.

To the younger generations of collectors, paper money is simply the money they are most used to just as my generation grew up using coins.

Memories of the past often guide collecting choices in the present.

Perhaps other collectors will be emboldened to found new clubs around the country when they see the example of San Diego.

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."