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Fun and profit not always the same

One of the great advantages of working with a diverse groups of colleagues who work on a variety of publications here at the Krause Publications offices is the exposure it offers to other interests.

Yesterday I happened to obtain the next three installments of a British Broadcasting Corporation remake of Sherlock Holmes, which is updated to the 21st century.

I read many of the Arthur Conan Doyle Holmes stories as a kid. It was great fun then and it is great fun now seeing Holmes through 21st century eyes. It probably guarantees the world’s greatest fictional detective another century of appreciative audiences.

There are many similarities between Holmes and coin collecting.

What I did with coins as a kid was great fun. The conditions were unique. I learned a lot and I benefited greatly.

But those conditions are long gone. The collector impulse is the same, but the opportunities for today’s collectors are vastly different.

I put Nic-A-Date acid on dateless Buffalo nickels in the mid 1960s to see what they really were. Some would have been quite valuable had any collector cared to buy date-restored Buffalo nickels. But they didn’t. My fun did not lead to profit.

I learned a lesson. Just because I am interested in something does not necessarily make it important to the hobby as a whole.

To the degree that I want to be plugged into the possibility of getting the money I put into coins back out again, I have to not only be sensitive to what interests me, but also to what interests the numismatic hobby at large.

That is the challenge for us all.

And, oh yes, I still have those date-restored nickels. They are as unsalable now as they were 45 years ago, but I see there are still collectors out there who cannot resist the temptation to find out what dates those Buffalo nickels are.

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One Response to Fun and profit not always the same

  1. hrlaser says:

    If you want to hear the ORIGINAL radio version of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, the whole run is on archive.org.. it was entitled “The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, and pre-dated, or ran concurrently with their long series of movies.. far better than any modern-day remake.. I also read Sir A.C. Doyle’s entire Sherlock Holmes “canon” of stories decades ago.. and even subscribed to an odd little publication called “The Baker Street Irregulars” for a while, which dedicated itself to the minutae of the Holmes canon, and was also the name of the group of ragamuffins Holmes employed to run around London and get information for him, when he didn’t want to leave his lair, for one reason or another.. the Rathbone / Bruce OTR (Old Time Radio) shows are fabulous.. and archive.org has them all in .mp3 format for either online streaming, or downloading for FREE..

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