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Give the Power of Knowledge
October 23, 2007

Retail stores aren't the only places where it is already Christmas. Here we are preparing our holiday gift guide that will be inserted in futures issues of Numismatic News, World Coin News and Bank Note Reporter.

The difference is what we are doing here in the office is known to just a few of us while the retail business is known to virtually everyone. We are simply planning ahead for issues that carry the December cover dates.

Now that I have you thinking about the holidays, do you dare give a hobby-related gift? It is a challenge. Even when it involves one collector giving something to a collecting child or grandchild, there can be false steps. Noncollectors may think we collectors are all the same, but we know better.

That means finding something that can have the widest possible appeal. Let me suggest books. We all know that many collectors are reluctant to spend money on books when it seems it could be better used buying coins. Take that seductive thought out of the equation. Give a book. The recipient will be grateful and he or she will never have had to go through the agony of thinking the book somehow took the place of a more desirable coin.

Yes, this is a backdoor way of achieving a goal that shouldn't have to be undertaken indirectly. But books are like vegetables. Those who consume them are better off for it.

Never has knowledge been more important. The Internet offers so many collectors more numerous opportunities to make mistakes. Books can help shorten the learning curve.

You may know that the 1804 dollar offered online can't possibly be real, but the less educated with the question of how you can know can be answered pre-emptively without that potential for making the questioner feel silly or awkward.

Knowledge is power. Consider sharing yours with someone by giving them a book.

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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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