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A Numismatist's Ten Commandments:

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 Posted 11/19/2021  12:32 am Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A Numismatist's Ten Commandments:

1. Become a Numismatist: If you have that interest and desire to collect coins, then become a real numismatist. Join a local coin club, to trade and meet friends interested in the same hobby. Become a member of the American Numismatic Association, and receive The Numismatist, monthly. It knows all and tells all.

2. Be a Numismatist: A numismatist is a specialist in the science of coins and medals. To be a specialist you must know something on the subject, and to know something you have to study. Read, study, get every available information on coins, so that you may know all about your coins, their history, data, statistics, values and prices, past, present and future. Then when the opportunity presents itself you will have something to say. When you are offered a coin at a price, you will know its true value.

3. Be a Practical Numismatist: At some moment you will decide which coins most interest you. Specialize in them. Complete their series in the best condition available. Those less desirable coins will be replaced in better condition at your first opportunity. When you have completed a series, start another. Many a collector has started with "cents." Don't be a junk collector, beware of stragglers, coins which do not fit into your collection. Remember you are a numismatist.

4. Respect Your Coins: Keep them properly in an album, or in cases, in an envelope, wrapped in cellophane or tarnish proof paper. Always handle a coin by its edge and not its surface. When you acquire a coin, put it in a new envelope, properly marked and catalogued. Save the old envelope for future reference. Never clean a Proof or Uncirculated coin. A circulated coin properly cleaned may fit better in your collection, and is sometimes permissible, but remember that you have fine old coins in your collection today, because the other fellow, a hundred years ago, properly took care of his, and you have a similar duty to perform.

5. Respect Your Collection: Don't envy the big collector. He was small once too, but has been at it a little longer than you have. Only the plutocrat can collect all the Proof sets. You may be getting more pleasure out of your circulated Indians than he is from his patterns. And besides, they are easier to get. Keep at it long enough and you will have a big collection.

6. Respect Your Hobby: Don't get excited, don't rush. You are in it from now on. Select your coins carefully and wisely. You need not fill that board overnight. When you bid on auction, don't bid them all low, in hopes of catching a sleeper, and end up with none at all. Get a coin as reasonable as possible, but respect the other fellow too. To acquire a good numismatic treatise, will give you as much pleasure as adding a new coin.

7. Respect Your Fellow Numismatist: Either have a good word for the other collector, or say nothing at all. Don't talk scandal, or knock the other man's collection, that only belittles you and gives him free publicity. He collects what he wants; you collect what you like.

8. Deal With a Numismatist: Become acquainted with reputable dealers through your club meetings, or by mail. By following the other club meetings throughout the country, found recorded monthly in The Numismatist, and in its advertising pages, you will learn the names of those prominent. Write them, know them. They may specialize in coins you are collecting, and can help you. You will find them fair.

9. Help Other Numismatists: Learn all you can about coins, so that you can talk intelligently about them to others. If you know something of value, tell your friends at the club. Write The Numismatist and give your views; they gladly express theirs. Any help you can give to a new or prospective collector will repay you many times in added pleasure. A kind word or deed pays compound interest. Bring new members into your club. Do everything you know will be an uplift to the honorable hobby of numismatics.

10. Be a Good Numismatist: Be fair, be honest, be patient. If you find yourself in the position of selling coins, do not take unfair advantage of your buyer. You're not trading horses. State truthfully what you know or believe about the condition of the coin. To overcharge may mean the loss of both a friend and customer. If you are buying, don't expect it for nothing, explaining that it isn't rare or worth much, only to find, after it becomes yours, that it's "exceedingly rare," "worth plenty," and soak it to the next one. If you are buying or selling from a dealer, bear in mind that he must have a certain, fair margin between buying and selling to work on, so be reasonable, fair, and considerate. What is still better, be wise as to the true value of the coin in question by knowledge. By knowing through study of facts, statistics, and prices exactly what a coin is and has been priced by dealers over a period of years, you are in a position to know its fair value. In short, be a numismatist.

Albert H. Wick, ANA #8946
Copyright 1943

Copied from the January 1948 Numismatist, page 53.
"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, C4, & NBS Member, 2 variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
Edited by westcoin
11/19/2021 12:35 am
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 Posted 11/19/2021  12:33 am  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thought I'd share this interesting bit I found while going through some of my older Numismatist magazines. It holds true today as it did back in 1943 when Albert H. Wick wrote it.

"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, C4, & NBS Member, 2 variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
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 Posted 11/19/2021  07:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great read!

But I didn't see anything about "Penny found in parking lot is not worth millions"
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 Posted 11/19/2021  08:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thou shalt not leap to conclusions...
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 Posted 11/19/2021  08:56 am  Show Profile   Check chafemasterj's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chafemasterj to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great read. This should be pinned on this page for posterities sake.

Edit: It's not called pinned here, it's a Sticky.
Check out my counterstamped Lincoln Cent collection:
http://goccf.com/t/303507
Edited by chafemasterj
11/19/2021 08:57 am
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 Posted 11/19/2021  09:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well you can start off that way but most of us would just be happy with our first Lincoln folder and blossom from there. Westcoin , not to knock your Ten Commandments of Numismatics it's just a little hard line for most of us . If you want to proceed that way then go right ahead break a leg .
My opinion is lay back and enjoy your new found hobby without committing yourself to everyone of those Commandments .
Again this is not to say your wrong or I'm right . We do as we like in life .

In Memory of Butch L.
and Jim U. rest in peace .
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 Posted 11/19/2021  5:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hokiefan_82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good read! I like it, and in a generalized form would be applicable to pretty much any collectible hobby, to be honest.
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 Posted 11/19/2021  8:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Only need one rule.
1. It's your collection, collect how you like. :)

Actually, I do like commandment #4.
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OFEC count = 237
Edited by triggersmob
11/19/2021 8:48 pm
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 Posted 11/20/2021  11:32 am  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Consider it's almost 80 years old now, this was written before all the spurious coins in the marketplace, blatant counterfeiting, the Internet, and online bidding, the excessive increase in the cost of coins, even common coinage compared with the cost of living 80 years ago.

Some of these points may not be perfect today, but they ring true for the most part.

I too think you should enjoy what you collect and collect what you enjoy, the rest stands, in my humble opinion. Thanks for all your individual opinions, I think we are mostly of a similar type of numismatist here at CCF. Thanks to Bobby and the mods that do a great job of keeping the site free from interference, and bad guys.
"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, C4, & NBS Member, 2 variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
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 Posted 11/20/2021  8:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@westcoin, Thank you for posting that. It's a great summary of what builds the hobby.
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 Posted 11/22/2021  6:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with them all (though number 4 is a little outdated these days), except for number 3. You do not need to specialize, if you don't want to. I've been a generalist collector for over 40 years now. I'd find trying to narrow down to just one field or series of collecting would be too restrictive. When you've been swimming in the entire ocean for so long, swimming in a pond just doesn't sound appealing.

By all means narrow down, if it keeps you focussed and motivated. But don't fall for the line that specialization is either necessary or a sign of maturity as a collector.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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 Posted 11/22/2021  9:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumismaticsFTW to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting read to say the least.

Updated version in the works?
Edited by NumismaticsFTW
11/22/2021 10:00 pm
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 Posted 11/23/2021  08:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sure wish this was posted at coin shows. So many irritating people there that could or should read this.
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 Posted 11/23/2021  09:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
By all means narrow down, if it keeps you focussed and motivated. But don't fall for the line that specialization is either necessary or a sign of maturity as a collector.
Well said.
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