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February 06, 2012

I was walking the bourse floor with Albert Beck, founder of the World Money Fair in Berlin. It was Sunday afternoon, the final day of the show. The aisles were still fairly active.

We strolled up to the booth of Coburger Muenzenhandlung and Albert pointed to a small gold coin.

“Is that from Salt Lake City?” he asked.

He pointed to the small $5 gold piece right at the front of the dealer case.

I hesitated. I wasn’t sure. It was a U.S. issue, no doubt. I had seen it before. But was it Salt Lake City?

I told Albert I was not certain. Perhaps it could have been from an earlier Olympic issue.

Albert asked for the coin, examined it and then showed it to me.

It definitely was 2002 Salt Lake City.

How unsettling.

If I walk the floor of a coin show in Europe, does all my U.S. numismatic knowledge go into limbo?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is I had better get home and study up for my next walk down the bourse floor aisle with the founder of the World Money Fair.


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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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