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Seasons Still Come
April 09, 2008

I had to shovel snow this morning. We had an inch or two of heavy slushy snow overnight. It was far worse to the north and east, so I won't complain.

I will use the snow as a timely reminder of the seasonality of the coin hobby. Sooner or later it will truly warm up and stay warmed up. Then collectors, being only human, will embark on their summertime activities. Whether it is gardening or water skiing, I don't know, but their attention will shift away from the hobby and to other things that have to be done in the seasonal moment.

This means coin collecting will slow down a tad. Most years it does. The truly hot years override the seasonal pattern, but even with bullion as high as it is, conditions don't seem to me to be such that the seasonal pattern will be overruled.

The question in my mind is will hobbyist choose to take time away from the hobby in the weeks of summer prior to the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money at the end of July in Baltimore, or will they choose the weeks afterwards?

Or will the law of averages work out to evenly spread the downtime among all collectors?

This question is too deep for me. Suffice it to say that if there is a noticeable slowdown this summer, that is an ordinary event. It won't be the end of the hobby as we know it. It will be more like the hobby as old-timers have always known it.

The same thing is true with this snow. It doesn't snow every April 9 in Iola, but it happens often enough to keep the idea alive in my memory.

As Chet Krause told me once, the only month he hasn't seen snow in Iola is August. That's a scary thought.

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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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