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New era dawns?

A wave of change is washing over numismatics.

Heritage Auctions launched its redesigned website this week.

I have not yet had a chance to explore the nooks and crannies of the redesigned site, but I plan to and I expect many other collectors will do the same.

It is interesting that in sleepy summertime July that two very large numismatic firms shake things up a little, or up their game, or however you want to describe their decisions to offer more to numismatics.

With values so important in guiding collectors in their buying decisions, there are over 3.5 million prices realized in the Heritage Permanent Auction archive.

Heritage says it has over 800,000 online bidder members and navigation will be easier with keyword searches. Personal functions such as MyBids, My TrackedLots and MyCollection prove once again that bidding is an online affair and I will see more virtually empty auction rooms at the shows I attend.

Crowds still come out to auction rooms at shows to participate in and watch an auction when something of maximum historical importance occurs, such as the sale of 1913 Liberty Head nickels, or the upcoming sale of the 1804 silver dollar.

Of course, looking at the Heritage website, you can see the many other businesses the firm engages in beside numismatics. You might find one that interests you. Collectors rarely seem to be content with just one area of interest.

It is also gratifying to know that the experiences we have all had in numismatics are useful in other areas of business.

We may be a hobby, but that does not mean we don’t take business seriously. The Heritage website is proof.

With all of these other businesses, Heritage says in the aggregate it generates more than $800 million in annual sales. Could its first billion dollar year be approaching?

We have come far in my time in numismatics and a website redesign indicates we have further to go. It proves Heritage is optimistic about the future.

We should follow the example of Heritage and other firms and invest in our own way in the future of numismatics.

Check out and see for yourself. It might just inspire you.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."