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Take Tip from Eleanor
June 02, 2009

One of the best and worst parts of being active in coin collecting, whether as a hobbyist or as a writer about the hobby is that there is always something going on.

The flip side of that is that no matter what you do, you are never really done. There will always be more to do.

To counter any sense of frustration that might arise from always having one more thing to do is the create your own mileposts along the way to show what you have accomplished.

These mileposts might even be used in these hard times as family budgets are stressed and noncollecting spouses look with a jaundiced eye on any expenditures that don't directly contribute to the basics of food and shelter.

Rather than becoming a source of marital stress, coin collecting can become a source of inner family strength. Coins are assets. They have monetary value. Some coins are so liquid in the financial sense that they are like money in the bank. Any collector who owns silver or gold coins can smile about them in light of the declines in IRA and 401(k) values.

Some coins are not liquid. They are like art, but value can be realized over the long term.

Coin knowledge is a greater asset. You can always turn it into monetary value by dabbling on eBay or jumping into vest pocket dealing in a major way.

I happen to be reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, "No Ordinary Time," about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the American home front during the stressful times of World War II.

It is an interesting book, and right on Page 374 the author notes that in later life, one of the great regrets that Eleanor had was she did not take an interest in the President's stamp collecting. She felt it was a bond that could have been shared, but she missed out.

In time's of stress, collecting is a good relaxer. If you don't share it with your spouse, in the present economic environment, now might be the time.

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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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