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Christmas Shopping for the Collector
November 26, 2007

Christmas Shopping for the Collector

Given that it's Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping begins big time in just a few days, I thought it would be nice to offer some comments on shopping for the collector.

First off, it is fair to say that most collectors probably would prefer to buy items for their collection themselves. This being said, I suggest you limit your shopping scope to supplemental items, gift certificates and primary market items that can be precisely describer by your collector. This may sound limiting, but really there are plenty options within this realm that can satisfy your giving urge and your collectors needs.

We'll take the coin collector as an example. All coin collectors need references. Find out what references are already in your collector's library and which ones they are craving, but have not yet acquired. We produce some of the biggest and most widely used ones here at Krause Publications and we have an easy to use book ordering website where you can see the items of interest and get an idea of their coverage, edition numbers and such. For more esoteric reference books, you may need some help from your collector. Ask for specific descriptions and retail sources from which to purchase the items.

Other items that are used by all coin collectors include, tools for magnification, lighting and proper storage. This equipment can be obtained through supply dealers, many of whom have websites or catalogs. You can also find some supplies at coin shops. Locate your local coin dealer's shop through the yellow pages and give them a call.

As for buying coins for your collector, proceed with caution. This is an area of personal preference, so it is best to get some ideas from your collector before you spend any money. If there are new, primary market items your collector would like, you may be able to order from a mint, or purchase new items direct from a world or U.S. coin dealer online or in a shop. For older, circulated items, it is always best to buy the highest affordable grade. If the term grade is unfamiliar to you, abandon this track all together, or enlist the aide of your collector.

When in doubt, you can always seek out an appropriate gift certificate. Most any retailer can offer some form of gift certificate, which will allow your collector to enjoy post Christmas buying.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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