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Your Opinion Doesn't Count
June 10, 2011

Collectors like to think that they have a right to their opinions and the right to express them.

Who can argue with that?

Today, I will.

When you think about it, there is only one opinion that counts for any collector and that doesn’t happen to be his.

It belongs to someone else.

How un-American is that?

Who is entitled to hold that opinion?

It is the ultimate buyer of whatever coins the collector owns.

It doesn’t matter what you think of your coins. When push comes to shove, the only opinion that matters is that of the person who will buy them from you.

Collectors are not the permanent possessors of their collections. They are simply custodians who are part of a chain of custodians through time.

You might have a jewel of a 1909-S VDB cent. It could be your pride and joy.

However, at some point, you or your heirs are going to be exposed to the opinion of that ultimate buyer.

Only his opinion matters at that point because you can’t force him to buy your coin nor can you make him pay you more money than he is willing to spend.

Some collectors come up against this fact like they are hitting a brick wall.

They sputter and charge others with being thieves and crooks. Sometimes they might be right, but most of the time they are simply coming into contact with the person whose opinion is the only one that counts.

Keep that in mind the next time you buy something. When the time comes to sell, will there be anybody out there who agrees with you?

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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