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No hot tips here

With my return to work and a full five days to do it in this week, my telephone has been ringing quite a bit. One person wanted to know if the sales figures on the "Mint Statistics" page of Numismatic News were accurate because some of the collector versions of the American Eagle coinage seemed kind of low to him. They are as of the week they were printed.

The ultimate question from the caller, of course, was should the caller invest in some of them? That’s not a question I can answer. I am not an investment advisor. I am a newspaper editor.

Taking a flier in this or that issue is part and parcel of being a coin collector, but it is not the fundamental aspect of coin collecting.

If I say, sure, go ahead and buy it, or don’t buy it, I give the caller grounds to come back at me if the price goes in the opposite direction. And even if I am right every time someone asks me that question, I am denying that person the opportunity to develop as a collector.

At its root, coin collecting is about making your own decisions. It is my job to put before collectors the many possibilities that exist in this hobby. It is the essential characteristic of being a coin collector to make one’s own decisions after reviewing those possibilities and matching them to personal taste, budget and time.

Chasing possible speculations might be fun and interesting, but it is overlooking the surest investment of all: collectors who assemble sets over time have the highest chance of gaining financially from their efforts and they have the satisfaction of knowing that they met the challenge on their own.