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New trends bury old favorites

There is no question that autographed slabs have taken the hobby by storm.


Who would have thought so many coin collectors would have placed so much value on the signatures of people who are basically famous only within the confines of numismatics.

But I guess we collectors can get starry eyed as much as any Hollywood movie fan.

However, there is only so much attention and money that coin collectors can give.

Some coins go out of fashion. Collectors stop buying.

I mentioned Washington quarters as an example of a sleepy series on Wednesday.

But what about tokens?

They seem to be sinking without a trace lately.

Perhaps a few irate letters from collectors of Hard Times tokens and Civil War tokens will set me straight on this point.

Perhaps they are not fading at all, just not getting the headlines they used to.

I decided to write on this topic this morning because the Florida Token Society has announced that it plans to dissolve soon.

That is a shame.

Tokens are worthy of our attention as much as they have ever been.

But they cannot currently compete with slabbed modern coins with special labels and autographs.

After all, who would autograph a slabbed Civil War token?

Perhaps descendants of famous generals can be persuaded to lend their famous names to slabbed numismatic items.

For Hard Times tokens, I cannot even think of how to make the connection.

I am sure there is one.

That is why I am looking forward to the day that intrepid third-party grading services will find a way to put new autographed life into old favorites like tokens.

Will it happen?

I don’t know when, but I expect it will after we run out of the current crop of artists and Mint directors.

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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