Again our attention is drawn to various comments, mostly in social media, about how the actions of dealers who exist online are destroying ‘the very fabric of numismatics and coin collecting’.
Coupled with this is a level of sniping at national and internationally known coin dealers and auction houses by people who have an obvious agenda to both disrupt a reasonable market place and to denigrate one or more sellers in favour of others or who are in fact endeavouring to set up business for themselves.
Recently two incidents were resolved satisfactorily by following due process.
- Involved a coin graded and attributed by one of the world’s largest coin grading companies was listed for sale by a major Indian auction house. A savant of this series remarked that it was a fake. The writer gave advice on procedure and the coin was swiftly withdrawn.
- A new Roman coin was listed by a major specialist international auction house. It was questioned by a number of senior experts. the writer incidentally remarked that coins of a similar style had been seen in a major museum display many years ago. The was withdrawn for further authentication. The coin is now back on the market having been fully authenticated.
Following a series of known and well advertised steps when there is a doubt by experts works because mistakes are made by even the very best.
So if you wish to listen to these continuing tales of foolishness and that are spread in a guise called a warning to those in the numismatics pursuit you, my friends, are being led astray by people with an unknown pedigree and unclear intentions. If you are of a silly disposition or believe in chasing rainbows then find something else to do. If you don’t want to do any research for yourself then find something else to do. If you are unable to take the steps of precaution that you take in any other transaction you do then don’t do the transaction.
The hobby/investment or whatever you wish to do with is peopled by wonderful folks from all around the world. Some are extremely secretive in what they do, some are gregarious and helpful. Others, just as in anything, will prey on the unwatchful and silly. There are many coin societies, great people, sellers and auction houses who are absolutely reputable and who have sound return policies.
If you personally wish to be helpful may we suggest:
- When someone cries fake demand that the weight and dimensions of the shown.
- When someone cries fake and points to a seller in the open marketplace demand that formal notification procedures are followed and people with some real expertise support the claim. Mistakes are made. This also goes for allegations of tooling, coin repair etc.
- Take note of what is being advised But ask yourself if you would have that carelessness in your actions when someone says they have been duped. Besides have read a few stories lately about this I am wondering what planet some people really live on.
- When buying coins check the way in which the coins are shown to you. If the are casually dumped in front of you without adequate protection then it is time for action. Put on your cotton gloves, bring out your scales and calipers and check coins one by one. If there is an objection from the dealer then the dealer needs to be educated.
Time to make a stand for the wonderful joy of coin collecting. Silence alloys the enemies a foothold.