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Viewpoint: Coins and Mankind Are Here to Stay

By Michael S. Turrini

Coin meetings and shows canceled. Possible closure national assemblages. Gold and silver irrational. Mints closing gift shops. Panic buying. Stock market chaotic. Jobs curtailed. Layoffs. Fear.

We are all witnessing conditions and circumstances completely unknown, not just to our “world of money” hobby, but with modern civilization itself. Uncertainty and worry are now the agonies of daily life.

This agony threatens our world of money, from its local coin clubs across the United States, Canada, plus elsewhere. Meetings are being prevented, postponed, while regional and other large events are being canceled. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is affected also with hours and services being restricted or reduced, plus staff changes.

Yet, into this gloom and darkness, with no end in sight, our world of money offers confront and serenity. It gives a foundation for stability in a troubling world.

Our world of money can be enjoyed and shared by other means. There are emails, telephone calls, texting, video, Facetime, old-fashion letter correspondence and conferencing. Also, our world of money can be enjoyed among very small groups, with distance maintained and hygiene enforced. Equally, at times like these, there is reading from the voluminous literature that is the education of our world of money. Also, there remains, and shall always remain, that personal touch of relaxing alone with one’s albums, 2x2s, and collections with a handy magnifier.

Yes, meetings and shows are terminated (hopefully only for a short time) and yes, this pandemic continues and may worsen. So what is our recourse? Fear?

Over six decades ago, the great numismatic scholar and philosopher Rear Admiral O.H. Dodson reminded us that, “Today we grope in the fog of uncertainty, searching for a glimmer of what lies ahead. In searching, our hearts and minds in an effort to resolve the problems today, we eventually are forced to turn back to the study of the past ...”

To the Rear Admiral, that past meant numismatics. Numismatics, to him, can whisper hope.

He ended his admonishment with this provocative thought:

“In these faces of majesty, carved in tiny metallic memorials, we pick up an ageless echo – have faith – have patience – we too faced problems – we solved problems – mankind is here to stay.”