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Push Forward or Pause?
April 22, 2008

It is primary election day in Pennsylvania. This is a good time to bring up an election-related numismatic topic that was brought to my attention by David Sundman, president of Littleton, in a conversation we had at the Central States Numismatic Society convention this past week.

His firm is a direct marketing machine. It does what works and stops doing what doesn't.

Sundman made the observation that it is harder to sell coins to people during a presidential election year. Do his potential buyers become more skeptical? Are they more conservative with their money? Are they simply hanging back to see which way the political winds blow and evaluating how a change in direction might affect their personal budgets?

Any and all of these are plausible reasons to be a harder sell. This year we might add that a threatening recession might have something to do with it.

But on the other hand, the very factors that seem to make Sundman's collector clients less receptive to buying coins are also prompting other buyers to step forward to buy up 2008 American Eagle silver bullion coins and cause them to be in such short supply that the Mint is rationing them.

It is also causing other buyers to look at the great rarities as assets that will stand the test of time, weather the current bout of inflation and reward the owner with not only the satisfaction of possessing something few can ever own but also with a favorable return on investment.

So how is your mood? Are you buying coins in your usual fashion? Are you holding back? Are you aggressive and energized, or are you idling in neutral?

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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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