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True, because of rising prices we may well have suddenly found that we have less disposable income than we once had and those collectors on fixed pensions will, I’m sure, be feeling the pinch, but even in their case the current economic downturn doesn’t have to be a disaster and whilst you may not realise it there may be some real plus points in all this for us numismatists.
The first plus point comes from the simple fact that if we collect silver or gold our collections have gone up in value—the rise in precious metal prices mean that should we wish to dispose of our beloved coins we may well get more for them than we would have twelve months ago (back in July last year gold hovered around $670 an ounce, at the time of writing it is a shade below $900; silver dipped to below $12 an ounce last summer, today it’s nearer $17). Of course most of us wouldn’t dream of selling, but then we weren’t planning on selling our houses either and yet still felt richer when their prices were going up and seem to feel poorer now—so what’s the difference?
The second plus point is that one of the biggest problems in recent years has been the lack of stock availability. In the last decade more and more people have been interested in coins but often they aren’t “collectors” but investors, folk who got stung when the dotcom bubble burst and looked to put their money elsewhere—coins, banknotes, et al, were an attractive option. Now, perhaps, as money is less readily available, we may see some of those coins coming back onto the market as assets are liquidated. Now there’s nothing wrong with investing in coins per se—we would all be gutted if our collections actually lost money, but we can’t help thinking that the place for some of these coins isn’t hidden away in a vault somewhere, but rather in a collectors cabinet, to be treasured by a true numismatist rather than seen as just another part of a portfolio.
The third advantage to be taken of this current situation is one that might not be obvious at first and to many it will actually seem a disadvantage—but bear with me. Perhaps now is the time to get back to basics and remember once again why we started collecting coins in the first place. Do you remember when you were so much younger and had less money? Maybe pocket money or the proceeds from your first job? Do you remember when you saved some of that meagre pittance to buy the coin you’d had your eye on for ages? Didn’t the acquisition seem so much sweeter than it does today when your ability to purchase the coins of your choice has got so much easier? Of course it did—the fact that you went out there and found the exact coin that you wanted to spend your money on and then scrimped and saved