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Say Thanks at the Next Show
April 03, 2008



It occurred to me one night as I drove into the parking lot at the public golf course in Iola what coin collectors must look like to the outside world of noncollectors.

I pulled into the lot, which had a dozen or so arrivals ahead of me for a Monday night Lions Club meeting. I was struck by the visual sight. Most of the vehicles were different from one another. There were SUV's, vans, pickups and a sedan or two. But they were all a shade of gray. There was not a single red or blue shade to be found.

Then here I am pulling in with my white car. I stuck out like a sore thumb, at least until some other vehicle of a nongray color pulled into the lot.

Well, that's how it can feel being a coin collector in a world of noncollectors and why so many of us are sensitive for our own security. Some dealers don't like to have their photographs taken or give quotes at shows because they feel it compromises their security.

Some readers write an e-mail or letter to share their opinion, but they do not want their identities known.

They want to be a part of the hobby. They want their opinions to be shared, but they feel that they might stand out a bit too much if they go too far.

I can understand that. In some sense, we are all white vehicles in a gray world and we do our best to not gratuitously call attention to who we are or what we do.

That's why I am grateful for the job done by the security officers that make every show the safest it can be. When was the last time you said thanks to one of those individuals?

That's a good question for me, too.

Fortunately for us all, these security officers do their jobs and we benefit. Add in elementary precautions for ourselves and that is generally sufficient. But the warning of the white car in a gray-car world is don't get careless.

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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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