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Mints Want to Know Your Thoughts
February 06, 2008

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 370 points yesterday and 108 the day before. While I was in Europe, the markets rallied. As soon as I set foot on American soil again, the markets went into a deep funk. If they keep that up, they will hurt my feelings.

Even gold, which has been rallying counter to the trend for stocks fell under $900 per troy ounce.

Despite what the victorious candidates in yesterday's many primaries are saying, the future is a big question mark for many people, not the least of which are coin collectors and mints. The coin collecting hobby has a distinguished past. It has a bright future. It is not like hoola hoops, a popular fad that captures the country and then blows away like autumn leaves. It is permanent. It is strong.

But that doesn't mean there aren't market fluctuations and changing business conditions. Many of the world's mints are now intensely competitive. They are looking for the next big thing.

I think it is fair to say that none of them thinks they have yet found it.

Coin collectors in the United States, many of whom, if not most, are baby boomers, keep one eye on their coin purchases while the other eye is on their other assets and their jobs. Their spending depends on the jiggles and fluctuations of the economy. They may be watching their pennies.

I had a phone call yesterday from someone who was complaining about the $13 postage and insurance charges he had to incur to return something he had purchased. He didn't like not being indemnified for the return.

In free and easy times, I get fewer of those calls. In uncertain times, I get more.

It is good to be home after the trip in Berlin. It is good to be back in daily touch with my readers. The world's mints care about what collectors think and how they feel. Send me an e-mail at Let me know how you feel and I will publish them in Numismatic News. Together we can let the world's mints know what collectors are thinking.

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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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