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Prosperity in our hands?

Running my errands over the weekend I was surprised to see so many signs at various business locations indicating the firms were hiring.

Springtime has finally returned to northeastern Wisconsin and the job market here.

An interesting coincidence was that I also received two 2014-D cents in my change. That was like frosting on the cake in way because I have maintained for years that the better the economy is, the sooner new coins reach all parts of the country, even banking backwaters like the area around Iola.

We have been making due since the financial crisis with cents that often look new but are two to three years old when I stop to examine the dates.

Getting 2014-D cents fairly early in the actual year of issue is a pleasant surprise. Usually, I have to be transiting through various airports to get new dates.

If the economy is improving, collectors will continue to boost their purchases and the cash will flow eventually throughout numismatics. This was dubbed the “money in the jeans effect” by Bob Wilhite, who edited the "Coin Market" price guide 1976-2000.

He believed that once people are working and confident about their future, the money they have in their jeans will start being spent on coins. And these are the coins that average buyers purchase, not the classic rarities that sell for millions of dollars.

These are Buffalo nickels and Barber quarters, Mercury dimes and silver proof sets. This is all material that is generally accessible to the middle-class collector. These are coins that most of us have fond memories of whether or not we collect them.

Even baseball commemorative coins qualify. Nothing gets the blood pumping more than what looks like a sure-thing speculation.

I know many people still wonder about the connection between reality and economic statistics, but I’ve seen the hiring signs and received the 2014-D cents in my change. These are not statistics, but personal observations.

With enough observations of this kind by enough collectors around the country, and we might have a pretty good year in numismatics in 2014.

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."