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Will 2012 Be a Treat?
February 14, 2012

Here we are in the middle of the second month of 2012. For Iola, hints of spring are just around the corner. In fact, tomorrow it might be 40 degrees here. At the moment, it is snowing lightly.

No question that by April things will be starting to green up around here.

What happens to numismatics if the hints of spring in the American economy actually blossom into a new growth season?

What if unemployment continues to decline? What if economic growth accelerates? What if price increases stay tame?

One thing for sure is that readers of Numismatic News will relax and feel more at liberty to spend money on their collections.

An awful lot of attention (and spending) has been paid to bullion and bullion coins in the last five years. That improves dealer cash flow, but it is distracting for someone trying to put together a set of Lincoln cents, or even Morgan dollars.

After all, how do you justify it to a noncollecting spouse that an XF or AU 1909-S VDB cent or 1893-S Morgan dollar is a good buy if you are worried about being laid off, paying the mortgage, or you worry that inflation will get out of hand and you might need the funds for living expenses?

Collectors, too, were hedging bets and buying silver and gold bullion coins. While it is smart to have insurance against an unknown future, it can get kind of boring if that is all you think about.

It is much more fun to finish sets and start new ones.

So what happens to this aspect of numismatics if 2012 turns into a tolerably improving year?

We just might see the collector impulse taking full charge again. That would be a treat to see.

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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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