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Who Has a Better Idea?
December 19, 2007



The energy bill passed yesterday. It will be signed by President George W. Bush today with all the pomp and fanfare the White House can muster.

While much of the attention will be focused on automobile economy standards, the coin hobby needs to focus on what it does to the lowly light bulb.

The incandescent bulb is on its way out. Why should we care? It is a little matter of our grading standards. They assume hobbyists use incandescent light because fluorescent light can conceal problems rather than reveal them.

I am not advocating trashing the planet, but the hobby needs to plan how to go about its business as the new realities of the 21st century take hold.

How will bourses be conducted if our current light bulbs become as rare as phonographs or videotapes? It might be easy for those of us of a certain age to simply shrug and figure it will be dealt with someday down the road by collectors who don't happen to be us. The 2020 deadline seems a long way off.

Change might be disruptive. It might be virtually painless. It would be nice, though, to define it ahead of time. The last time I wrote about this topic I received no response. Perhaps this time, some hobbyists might begin to think about it.

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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, Bank Note Reporter 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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