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Facebook in the Mirror
May 18, 2012

Gold is up this morning. At $1,587.60 a troy ounce it has now bounced more $50 since the Wednesday market close.

Silver at $28.32 has recovered $1.15 since Wednesday’s close.

But who will be taking note of this as Facebook goes public?

Speculators today likely will discover that there are places other than precious metals to find excitement. Those old enough to remember the stock market boom of the 1990s might even feel a pang or two of nostalgia when they consider how different the world looks today compared to that time two decades ago.

In much of the 1990s the coin collecting hobby was deeply in the shadows. It took until 1995 for the numismatic market to even find a bottom after six long years following the silver dollar market peak in 1989.

A redesigned paper money in 1996 introducing big head portraits helped refocus attention on numismatics.

The last four or five years of the decade proved to be very interesting for the nation’s coin collectors, topped off as it was by the introduction of the state quarter program in 1999 and then the Sacagawea dollar in 2000.

Through it all, the most successful collectors were the ones who marched to their own drummer and collected what they were interested in and not something that was temporarily a new enthusiasm.

Gold was out of favor. I ran articles in Numismatic News at the beginning of the 21st century almost begging readers to buy gold coins because they were cheap. Nobody seemed to notice.

However, anybody who took the suggestion made out like a bandit in the following 10 years.

Now there is no question that today belongs to Facebook.

However, what are you doing in numismatics that will make the next 10 years yours?

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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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