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Use Cycle to Your Advantage
January 14, 2009

It is frigid in Iola, Wis. The temperature is below zero and the next couple of mornings will be worse.

We have no control over the weather. We who live in Wisconsin just have long experience of getting through it. We look forward to our beautiful spring and summer seasons and grit our teeth, shiver a bit and just get through it.

Reports coming out of the Florida United Numismatists Convention held this past weekend in Orlando, while not frigid, have a cold edge to them. The hot market we have been used to in the last few years has cooled.

Numismatics has a cyclicality to it. The cycles are not as regular as the seasons in Wisconsin, but they are distinct.

I began collecting just before the roll and bag boom crashed in early 1965 and began reading Coins Magazine and Numismatic News in 1967 and 1969, respectively.

The aftermath of the roll and bag boom was not pretty for those who got carried away in the wild speculations of the first half of the 1960s. However, for collectors who were focused on educating themselves and building their collections methodically, little changed. In fact, there were many opportunities that presented themselves to collect sets in areas that were out of the spotlight.

The lesson? Don't get caught up in what is being mentioned online. Find a quiet area, learn about it, collect it and when the cycle turns, you will not only have gotten through the present period, but you will probably be surprised at how well you do on the set's value.

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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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