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A Rigorous Analysis of Our Hobby

by Blaine Buckman

If this has not been proposed before, I would offer we all consider together to perform a rigorous analysis of our hobby.  Would we as members be able to pool information that we know or be able to obtain, analyze it using formal statistical and/or other analysis, and share that information in this publication? The goal would be to better understand how our hobby works and the relevance of it in a changing world. The possibilities are almost endless. Variables such as demographics, economy (unemployment, inflation, etc.), and geography to name a few. Perhaps even more interesting trends with the weather and the seasons, political climate, coin aesthetics, metallurgical properties, error rates, the rise of other hobbies and/or interest and demand in collecting anything in general. Who is most likely to collect a particular series?  Price does not have to be the main focus.   

Do the younger generations even think in terms of collecting any items at all, let alone coins? The interaction with collectors and the mint alone could be a huge study. Other than simply saying a committee is doing something in a process, is there a way to get a better idea of how they think?  At the core, are there arbitrary choices?   

We would not only be able to determine averages and correlations but variances as well.  Do we have an accurate measure of how the volatility of the market and hobby is affected by the factors mentioned above or others?  If we have a way to measure certification resubmission rates, how is that actually “degrading” the aesthetics in quantitative terms and how quickly is that degradation rate changing? We could show actual pictures of a certified coin in its original and resubmitted grade(s).  How are rare coins damaged slowly over time through handling?  Will the annual attrition rate of common coins eventually cause them to be almost as rare as the current “rare” dates?  I really think it could be possible to sum up findings of significance in simple terms.  For example, we may find millennials are not interested in collecting ANYTHING, not simply coins.

If this were possible, could we do a survey of the general population?  Is there data we could interpret that is already available?

Just putting forth several considerations to appropriate to a more useful form.

 

This “Viewpoint” was written by Blaine Buckman, a devoted hobbyist.

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to Editor, Numismatic News, 5225 Joerns Drive, Stevens Point WI, 54481. Email submissions can be sent to numismatics@fwmedia.com.

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