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Go Outside and Play
May 06, 2009

In my younger and more impatient days, I used to think writing about the weather's effects on numismatics as a waste of space. I didn't care about the weather and I wasn't interested in what others thought about the weather or how it affected them.

But now that I am middle-aged, I have personally experienced the cabin fever aspect of late winter and the urge to ditch the indoors for some activity outside. I am much more closely attuned to the seasonal pattern in coin collecting.

I find myself writing about it every year.

We are approaching summer. Collectors have lives beyond their sets and the summertime is when many of them throttle back and plan summer vacations.

If you are already thinking about your summer plans, join the club. You are a part of the seasonal hobby pattern.

Commercial activity slows down. Dealers decide they can safely leave their businesses untended for a week or two to go off and recharge their batteries.

In the years that the market is booming, the human tendency to want to get away is overruled by another very human tendency to take advantage of profitable opportunities that are easier to find in booms.

This year the market is not booming. It seems to me that the human need to get away for awhile will have ample time this summer to express itself.

After Memorial Day this trend will begin to kick in, but more likely, it will be after the June Baltimore show for coin collectors and the Memphis paper money show in late June that those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, to borrow Nat King Cole's words, kick in.

When the Los Angeles American Numismatic Association convention gets going at the beginning of August, I will start looking for the seasonal upturn to begin.

So if you find yourself wondering what might be happening in July, perhaps it is time to plan your own getaway to refresh yourself and come back vigorous and ready to commence playing the great numismatic game.

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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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