I am often asked what my opinion is by email writers.
A better question on any topic is what is your opinion?
Turning the question around that way on the sender might seem to be an evasion, but it isn’t, really.
The many aspects of numismatics are widely varied. They require different levels of knowledge and differing amounts of time. Some require skills in other languages.
I cannot tell you what interests you nor how much time you should spend on these areas, but if you share an opinion, I can get an idea.
Also, I can tell you that you should spend as much time on numismatics as you can and study up on the information you will need along the way. That way you will learn, grow and derive great enjoyment from numismatics.
Many hobbyists began with circulation finds.
I went through a circulation finds period when I was young that absorbed many hour of my time.
It was a wonderful way to encounter many coins in many grades quickly. By doing that, I soon understood what the writers of numismatic guide books were driving at.
I no longer spend any time on circulation finds.
But others do.
Sure, I keep looking at the coins I receive in change, but I do not acquire quantities from my bank or some other source of supply.
The last time I spent any length of time looking at coins in the manner of circulation finds was 20 years ago when a now retired co-worker, Bob Wilhite, bought an uncirculated bag of 1995 cents.
We went hunting for a 1995 doubled die one evening with the aid of another numismatic staff member, David Kranz.
By golly, one of the doubled dies was found in the course of the evening by Kranz.
Wilhite did not find one.
Neither did I.
But it was fun to relive something that I once did on a regular basis.
It brought back the reality of just how long it takes to search 5,000 cents.
It was also a reminder that my eyes are not what they had once been.
I am now 20 years older.
I still remember circulation finds fondly.
My opinion is that circulation finds as an activity a good thing to do. But I did not do it because the editor of Numismatic News thought it was a good thing to do.
I really liked to search coins.
It was what I was meant to do.
While a slap on the back at the time would have been appreciated, I might have been told I was wasting my time. That would not have stopped me.
I was guided in my actions by my own opinion.
In the end, it only your opinion that matters.
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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