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Time to walk like a penguin?

I didn’t want to look beyond the end of my nose this morning.

That almost sounds mean coming from someone who represents numismatics.

Coin collectors have wide-ranging interests.

There is not a place in the world that a coin collector has not studied.

Collectors are famous for looking well beyond their own neighborhoods.

But not always.

Sometimes, there are things that happen that require even coin collectors to put their attention on something right in front of their faces.

This morning it was ice, lots of it, in Iola, Wis.

We had a winter freezing rain/ice storm overnight.

The roads are glazed.

So are sidewalks.

Those of us who left the house this morning looked like penguins walking along.

As dangerous weather events go, this is not high on the list, but it does require your full attention to get through it safely.

Once in the office, it was back to normal.

Oh, maybe not quite normal.

Before I looked up prices on the Kitco website, I double-checked the local TV weather report.

At lunch I would rather walk like a penguin again than go into some sort of spontaneous free-style skating.

When I did reach the Kitco site, I saw that gold was down this morning to $1,339.40.

Silver was at $16.59, which was also lower.

Bitcoin was up to $11,522.

The outside world wasn’t missing a beat. That is reassuring.

My office email had more than the usual number of inquiries about copper 1982-D small date cents.

There is still only one confirmed example. That makes it rare and expensive.

Yet my morning email included those from several people claiming to have multiple examples of this rarity.

The odd thing was they were not even bothering to send along images.

Without images, I am blind.

This represents a change in behavior.

During the past year email writers were asking questions and seeking information about the rarity.

I was sending out links to helpful stories.

Now I have multiple emails insisting that the senders definitely have examples of this rarity.

Do I seem skeptical? Perhaps my mood is colored by walking like a penguin.

I replied to these imageless emails with advice that they submit their coins to a major third-party service for authentication and grading.

I will let you know if I ever hear of another confirmed find involving any of them.

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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