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Real treasure in our hands

Did you hear me whistle late yesterday afternoon?

It was then that I read the total prices realized by Heritage from its American Numismatic Association World’s Fair auction.

Over $46 million was realized by all categories of numismatic items from paper money and world coins to U.S. coins.

The U.S. coin part alone fetched $35 million.

This is not a record result.

Heritage has had higher totals in other sales, but what put these results in stark contrast was another tidbit of news that came in.

There was another Spanish treasure find off the coast of Florida.

The value of the gold coins found was $4.5 million.

Now I am a fan of treasure stories as much as the next person and I expect I will continue to eagerly read details every time a new find is made.

However, think about it.

The Heritage auction generated 10 times the value as the treasure find.

This auction result to me is the real treasure.

Heritage is approaching a billion dollars a year in sales.

It would take 22 treasure finds of similar value to reach the Heritage number, and we all know that what makes treasure finds so interesting is that they are not that frequent.

It is at that moment that thought struck me to whistle.

I didn’t do it. It would disturb the office, but I thought it. You should, too.

The biggest treasures in numismatics are not at the bottom of the sea, but in the hands of hundreds of thousands of collectors across America and the world.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

• If you enjoy reading about what inspires coin collectors, you’ll want to check out Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths about U.S. Coins