Coin collectors have built a wall of plastic.
They are cut off from the coins they love.
Scottsdale Mint has a remedy.
The firm knows we are mentally and physically attached to our coins, but we have a financial investment that we want to protect.
Many of us were introduced to collecting by searching change and bank rolls for coins to put in our Whitman albums.
That experience of touching, holding, examining and even smelling coins is very satisfying.
But in our present environment of plastic slabs, we can be physically cut off from our coins.
Slabs are necessary.
They protect coins from wear, damage and environmental contamination.
They protect us from unwittingly buying fakes.
They offer an easier way to keep a written inventory of what we own for insurance or other purposes.
So into this situation comes a five-ounce silver product from the Scottsdale Mint.
It is shaped like a small can rather than a coin. That is to say there is an obverse and reverse, but it is extraordinarily thick.
It is appealing.
When a five-ounce silver King Tut coin was put in my hand at the World Money Fair in Berlin, it felt surprisingly hefty.
Better yet, the finish employed by Scottsdale might be called the “no worry” finish.
The piece is not being devalued by handling it.
That is satisfying.
Can a collector who is completely cut off from physical contact with the objects he owns be satisfied?
This five-ounce coin, in addition to being an investment in bullion, is also an investment in the mental well-being of a collector.
You can touch it.
I liked very much the sensation of hefting and examining something without a wall of plastic in the way.
The special finish will not show smudges and fingerprints.
Heft it as many times as you want.
This is not a complaint about plastic slabs.
This is an “atta boy” for a company that has created something that I think many collectors will find fills the need to touch.
It is also something for newcomers.
They don’t need to practice how to correctly hold a coin to enjoy this piece.
If you want to take a look at it, here is the link.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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