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Ready, Set, Talk
July 27, 2009

I was on Harry Rinker's "Whatcha Got?" radio program yesterday morning. The reason was the recent release of the 2010 edition of U.S. Coin Digest.

It is always a pleasure to be on the show. It is also a bit of a challenge.

What do you say in two minutes to sum up what has gone on in the hobby over the past 12 months? And that two minutes includes questions from Harry.

I mentioned the active Lincoln cent market, though many dealers can probably now argue it the other way. Those who wanted coins to sell in this, the centennial year of the Lincoln cent, have probably already done their buying and will be in the process of lightening up so they can focus on gathering inventory for 2010. But the book reflects the last 12-month cycle, not the next one.

Gold is still strong, but it has essentially gone sideways since my appearance last year.

I mentioned that the gold uptrend that started in 2001 is still unbroken and this serves as a rising floor to numismatically valuable coins.

Prices in the 2010 book have been extensively revised. Collectors live and breathe prices. It is almost a personal thing.

You feel like you have had a good year if you see your favorite holdings have increased a bit in value. If what you own has not changed or gone down, you feel like you have somehow failed.

We spoke a lot about silver. Harry noted that a friend was currently paying 8.5 times face value for 90-percent silver coins. Silver has had a rip-roaring time while gold has gone sideways. It has fallen by half and recovered a bit. Now it is trading at $14.

Overall, when I finish, I think that no matter what I managed to say in the allotted time, it wasn't nearly enough.

But the old stage advice to leave people wanting more probably applies.

I can file these thoughts away until next year's program.

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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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