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When Does A Researching Collector Become An "Expert"?

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 Posted 11/06/2022  5:40 pm Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I know this is a tough question, but at what point does someone become an expert in their field of study, particularly with specific series of coins? There is no absolute marker for who is an expert/professional and who isn't (besides getting paid), so I am wondering what other opinions are on this topic.
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 Posted 11/06/2022  6:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wallyb to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well the experts on experts say 10K hours is the magic line to cross. Of course, most are self proclaimed.
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 Posted 11/06/2022  6:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At a minimum, professional dealer credentials and published material or published references.
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 Posted 11/06/2022  7:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bobby131313 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Apparently as soon as they join a group on Facebook.
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 Posted 11/06/2022  7:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 11/06/2022  7:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think your question is both hard and easy. In the easy front, Once someone is published they are IMO an expert.

But the question is also hard. As one can be an expert on certain types of coins for example and still not be considered an expert in the field. Many of the error collectors on here know more about modern errors but they aren't published and many would have a hard time telling a IHC proof from a non proof.
Só the question of being an expert is loaded. An expert in what?
Edited by hfjacinto
11/06/2022 7:42 pm
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 Posted 11/06/2022  8:36 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the comments so far, I like to hear what everyone thinks. Let's dive a bit deeper...


Quote:
professional dealer credentials

My rebuttal to this would be that someone can do this as a hobby outside of a profession. A professional has to make a living, so an expert isn't necessarily a professional.

Being published is a good bar to set. That clearly shows they have information willing to share and can be held accountable for what they say. If someone publishes material on about clashes on Capped Bust half dollars, does this mean they are an expert on the entire series? Or if someone reads every piece of literature on a single series without publishing something for themselves, does this make them an expert because of all of the information they've read and retained?


Quote:
An expert in what?

Let's keep the Capped Bust half dollar example. How would someone earn the title of "expert" in the bust half series as a whole?
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 Posted 11/06/2022  8:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"Expert" is in the eye of the beholder.
Ever since a colleague of mine has found out I collect coins, she now - once in a while - asks me for advice. Mainly related to the fact that they've inherited a large Morgan dollar coin collection and have no clue about it.
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 Posted 11/06/2022  9:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm getting a head ache...
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 Posted 11/06/2022  9:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To me, the difference between "being an expert" and "being well researched and knowledgeable" is that proven capacity to share that knowledge. But "getting published" is a somewhat 20th century standard; nobody publishes books these days, and "publishing" online is perhaps a bit too easy; the reason why disinformation is so prevalent is because there's no "universal panel of experts" moderating the entire Internet and deleting wrong or outdated information.

So to me, the key to "being an expert" is not just "knowledge sharing", but recognition by others that what you share is correct and beneficial. That might be through old-fashioned book publishing or research collaboration, it might be going onto a bunch of Internet forums, it might be by other means.

Do people come to you for help? Do people buy your books because those books have your name on them? Do people ask for you, by name, at coin clubs, or on Internet forums, or at the academic level, for your assistance in checking over certain coins? Do lawyers ask to you testify in court as an "expert witness"? Then congratulations, you're an "expert".

An expert, ideally, will have both the humility, and sufficient self-awareness, to know their own limitations and to not pretend to be an expert in areas where they know their knowledge is deficient. Unfortunately, experts are all human. "Expert over-reach" is a considerable problem in modern society. We even have a word for when somebody speaks confidently as an expert, when their actual expertise is lacking: "hubris".
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 11/06/2022  11:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hokiefan_82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In pretty much any broad field of study, you will have experts who are widely recognized by their peers and the community at large as a valuable resource of reliable, exhaustive and up-to-date information in a particular area, but that area may be quite narrowly defined.

This is in contrast to the generalist who will have a wealth of knowledge across the field of study, but may not be an actual expert in ANY area. The generalist is one who can provide a lot of reliable basic information in many areas within the field, but who will rely on the experts for more in-depth analyses within a particular area of study.

True experts and generalists fully realize their own limitations, and will have no problem in saying "I'm sorry, I don't know the answer but will direct you to someone who does".
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 Posted 11/07/2022  02:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ttkoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
True experts and generalists fully realize their own limitations, and will have no problem in saying "I'm sorry, I don't know the answer but will direct you to someone who does".


Great summation.
The Ox moves slowly, but the Earth is patient.
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 Posted 11/07/2022  04:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think after reading all of that that I am an expert
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 11/07/2022  05:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add newguy22 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One issue with becoming an expert in coins I've found is how challenging it is to find published books, especially regarding world coins. There are many books out there that previous collectors or experts have written where there just aren't many copies available. Perhaps 1-2 copies come up for sale every few months or per year, and some books might have been written in a foreign language. It's extremely frustrating, as good knowledge creates appropriate valuations.

Another issue with world coins that I've noticed is that two experts might describe a particular coin or series in ways that contradict each other. I've noticed Stack's and Heritage have different descriptions for the same coin in their catalog descriptions over the years. It's very important to do the right homework.

I can understand why big time collectors and investors would want to keep information private though. It pays to look for information and do the research, which in the long run will help to tell me if a coin I find is overvalued or undervalued, especially if I come across something truly special that no one else sees. Any time invested should in the long run pay off. Hunting for those hidden gems is the fun part of the hobby.

My big question though regarding expertise in numismatics is whether someone can claim to be an expert if they haven't actually held or seen the coin in person. Is handling only one coin good enough, or do collectors have to see many different examples to be qualified in being called an expert? Unfortunately, for some series, there just aren't many examples left to study, or they can be quite expensive or challenging to acquire.



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 Posted 11/07/2022  05:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Go read any of the posts our CCF member commems has published here - then you'll see for yourself what a true expert looks like.
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
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 Posted 11/07/2022  06:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This thread has been an interesting read for me. My brain went the publishing route as well.


Quote:
But "getting published" is a somewhat 20th century standard; nobody publishes books these days, and "publishing" online is perhaps a bit too easy; the reason why disinformation is so prevalent is because there's no "universal panel of experts" moderating the entire Internet and deleting wrong or outdated information.


I'd like to propose a middle ground here—publishing in a peer-reviewed journal.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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