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Don't Get Carried Away
September 15, 2008

Sometimes it pays simply to wait as events unfold. The news this morning is that Lehman Brothers, a large Wall Street investment bank, is filing for bankruptcy.

Gold is up a bit on the news. The dollar is down a bit. The stock market is expected to get hammered.

What will happen in the coin market?

There are a lot of cross currents. If the economy continues to slide into recession, collectors who have lost their jobs or who are fearful of losing their jobs likely would cut back.

Sounds logical.

The paradox is that a golden age of coin collecting was during the Great Depression when unemployment reached a high of 25 percent of the work force. People gravitated toward it because it was a cheap form of entertainment and they viewed putting coins in die-punched pieces of cardboard as a means of saving money, with the added element of lottery thrown in if they found one of the scarcer dates.

Today seems to be one of those days where for most of us in the numismatic hobby it simply pays to stand back and wait. Why jump to conclusions? I have been a collector for 45 years. I don't intend to quit. I imagine most collectors feel the same way.

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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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