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Big Lot of Nothin'
April 16, 2009

I have been commenting all week to colleagues in the office that my phone calls and e-mails have been a little bit on the odd side.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from an attorney in Chicago. How would you take this:

"I read your quote in the April 14, 2009 issue of the Chicago Sun Times about 'the sense of rarity' of the 2009 Lincoln cent. Little did I realize that the editor of Numismatic News was a world famous celebrity.

"Do you receive a fee for your words of wisdom, or is this noble task done free of charge?"

Would you respond to it, or wouldn't you?

While you are thinking, I will tell you a bit more.

I was telephoned by a USA Today reporter to talk about all the hullabaloo surrounding the first Lincoln cent design in 2009. Our conversation was boiled down into a one sentence quotation in the story.

A number of friends and acquaintances e-mailed me to tell me they had seen it.

Then the attorney's e-mail arrived.

Perhaps he is looking to round up celebrities whom he can represent as agent.

Let's see, 10 percent of nothing is nothing.

I did finally respond, but I had to think about it. I thanked him for his e-mail and told him I wasn't paid for it.

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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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