Complete Disclosure, Complete Nonsense?
June 02, 2011
If a doctor told you about your condition in nothing but technical medical terminology, would you understand?
Same for the dentist?
If you are like me, you know some things and rely on others to navigate the fields you know little or nothing about.
How about coin collecting?
I don’t worry about genuine collectors. They learn and they thrive. Sure, they make mistakes, but these mistakes are more than amply repaid by greater success in the long run.
Currently, though, the coin hobby has lot of visitors in it who will never actually collect. They are simply following the recent trend to use bullion coins as vehicles for investment in precious metals.
Their actions can be well thought out and productive for them. Or they can be disasters.
They don’t understand grading. They don’t understand pricing and they don’t understand the basic plumbing that connects one coin dealer to another.
But some of them do get full disclosure statements before they buy something.
The statements are less intended to provide sound explanations to novices than serve as a legal shield for the seller to claim that it’s all the novice coin buyer’s fault if he didn’t understand what he was doing.
I have people who telephone me who don’t even know that a price guide is read from left to right with lower grades rising to higher ones. This doesn’t even include the many who don’t understand what all the numerals in grade heads are for.
How much of an informed decision can they make no matter how many booklets they get?
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