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Chomping at the Bit
September 09, 2009



This has been a year where many in the hobby have wanted something or expected something to happen only to have to wait far longer to see it fulfilled.

In the Internet Age, patience is no longer a virtue or even acceptable. Rapid fulfillment is the expectation and anything less grates.

So, we have been waiting for gold to touch the inevitable $1,000, but have been teased relentlessly but not seen much fulfillment. We haven't had a close above $1,000 since February and yesterday disappointed yet again.

Then there are coin deliveries from the Mint. When the Ultra High Relief $20 went on sale in January, stated delivery times ballooned and then contracted. Some buyers were livid.

Many hobbyists waited for the release of the new Lincoln cent designs only to find that the banking system was broken and the usual pipeline from Mint to customer was going into reverse as people and businesses desperate for cash took fewer coins or even sent coins back to the Federal Reserve System. Only in the last few days have collectors in some parts of the country reported all three 2009 designs in their change.

The run on bullion American Eagle coins has kept the Mint to the production of just the one-ounce gold and silver version. The proof collector versions have been long awaited and are still expected in the fourth quarter.

I could cite other examples, but the pattern of 2009 has been clear. Waiting has been the name of the game. It does no good to report that collectors in the past waited far longer and the old hobby self-help efforts that used to kick in nowadays are viewed as either terrible impositions or part of some sinister plot to enrich dealers at the expense of the little guy.

Will collector patience ever return?

I guess we'll have to wait for that too.



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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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