Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Whitman’s Coin Collecting Quantum Crossover

Question: What do you get when you cross a Red Book with a Whitman Folder?
Answer: A Search and Save book dedicated to the new collector.

Well known traditional support for collectors. 
Whitman Publishing is the leading producer of products for coin collectors. This year, they released a new entry in the marketplace, their Search and Save booklets.  They will open the doors to numismatics for another generation of numismatists – young and mature alike.  
New products for new generations.
 The median age in coin collecting is about 58, and has been for decades. These numismatists began as kids, often with paper routes.  If you could set aside a nickel worth eight cents you made a 60% profit from your knowledge. When inflation of the 1960s and 70s destroyed circulating coinage, the thrill of collecting from pocket change disappeared along with silver coins… and Buffalo Nickels, and Indianhead Cents.  But the rewards can be found again in two new series from the US Mint celebrating the 50 states (1999-2009) and their “America the Beautiful” national parks (2010-Present).  In addition, two series of dollar coins can be had: Presidents and Native Americans.  

Historical narratives that are richer than
the brief paragraphs in the Red Book
These Whitman products deliver the structure to collecting that can draw the new numismatist.

All federal money is legal tender.  A Jefferson nickel from 1938 is just as spendable as one from 2008. And you can find those 1938 5-cent coins in circulation if you look at your change. The new collector will eventually go to a coin store to find a silver 5-cent coin from 1942 to 1945.  But that decision can be made later.  In the mean time, five different Jefferson Nickels are easy to find in circulation, as are eight different Lincoln cents (four others will be inexpensive at a coin store).

How to hold (and not hold) a coin.
This illustration is in all Search and Save boo
Literature is the key to value. Collectors who think that they are smart will chase this coin or that, but their greed begs a question: How did they know that the coin was worth pursuing?  The fact is that they were told (often second-hand) by researchers who published articles in numismatic magazines.  A scant few aficiandos read those.  Then the facts made their way into books.  Some few more touts and buffs found out about the rarities and values. They hit on dealers to see who had what in stock. Eventually word got out.  We find it unusual today, but in the 1930s, a US $3 Gold sold for a margin over bullion spot: they were not regarded as rare. A hundred years ago, no one cared about mint marks.  In our lifetime, repunched dates and repunched mint marks have joined doubled dies as the rewards for searching your pocket change.

The 50 State Quarter book only has 11 spaces to fill,
one from each year of issue. Pick your favorite coin.
Now, these Whitman products combine the tree-top view of literature with an attainable goal for novice collectors.  You can find 50 State Quarter coins in change. You can fill this book with eleven of them: you do not need all 150 (50 states, 3 mints). Keep your eyes open because nice lightly circulated examples are still out there.  The same applies to Jefferson Nickels and Lincoln Cents.  

These tools support "type collecting." Rather than one coin from each Mint from each year of issue, you only need to find one of each type, regardless of year or Mint.

Former ANA President and former Krause Corporation president Clifford Mishler had a stump speech that he delivered at conventions.  Collectors are a type of person, he said.  He called it “a gene you do not inherit.” The children of collectors may not be collectors: it is a small tragedy that we know. The grandchildren just want the money from the coins: they do not care about the coins. But we do. And some of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren may well, also.  These Whitman products can open the doors to coin collecting, the most popular hobby in the world.


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