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Put Silver Out of Your Mind
July 12, 2011

Forget silver. Now is a good time to consider base metals.

Am I crazy?

Perhaps, but crazy like a numismatist.

Now is a great time to consider beginning collections of Indian Head cents, 2-cent pieces nickel 3-cent pieces, Shield nickels and even Liberty Head nickels.

With all the attention being given to precious metals, these areas of coinage with base metal alloys have been out of the limelight. Some have been out of the limelight for many years.

However, if you believe as I do that coin collecting will be an active and vibrant field in 30 years time, you can take advantage of prices that will look like bargains to the next generation of collectors.

Prices of coins tend to rise with collector incomes. These base metal coins will benefit.

If you happen to have some profits from the 10-year silver upswing, channeling some of that into out-of-favor coins is a smart thing to do.

It might seem strange to think this way. The gyrations of precious metals due to one financial or political crisis after another makes 30 days from now seem far off. Yet those years will pass and I hope you will have something to show for it.

Silver, and I had better not forget to take a bow to gold, will be important 30 years from now, but so will Indian Head cents, 2-cent pieces, nickel 3-cent pieces and the early 5-cent coins.

There will be no crowds urging you on to do this, but that’s a good thing. They won’t be bidding up the price of what you want either. Let that happen naturally over a long period of time – long enough to be after you have made your purchases.

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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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