Greysheet: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
This week we feature a few recent messages recently received from readers. We’d love to hear from you. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.
Tradition and Innovation
Gentlemen and Ladies (where applicable), When I’m cut, I bleed tradition. When I perspire, I exude convention. Put simply, I venerate formality, ceremony and ritual. For some years now I havef been a subscriber to the Gray Sheet and have profited from having been so quite handsomely. As such when I read about the change in ownership of the CDN it was with much trepidation. Such apprehension was VASTLY misplaced, utterly and completely. Quite simply I LOVE, whole heartedly support and am enormously GRATIFIED by the changes your new ownership have implemented. The new fonts are magnificent and lend themselves to ease of reading. The re-organized layout of coins (ex. Peace dollars no longer being mashed under modern dollars etc. but beneath Silver and Gold classic commemoratives) both logical and orderly, is MARVELOUS! The table of contents on the cover is STUPENDOUS! The bi-fold delivery unspeakably SUPERIOR! The entire renovation is SPECTACULAR! You have my most profound thanks for improving one of the most intrepid institutions of numismatics without denuding it of one scintilla of it’s practicality or value. You’ve done yeoman’s work gentlemen and ladies and are to be profoundly thanked and appreciated. Cordially and appreciatively,
James E. Ripley Jr.
ed: Thank you! We are
genuinely (for once)
Your comments in the February Supplement provided a lot of insight into the current coin
market and where its headed. Thank you for these. One thing you did not mention affecting
future trends for the hobby is simple demographics. Maybe I only speak for my part of the
country (east coast mid-Atlantic region), but my view is that “young people” (under age 40) are largely disinterested in numismatics. Not absolutely, of course, but certainly as a percentage of their age cohort versus that same cohort 30 years ago. In my opinion, for every young person that enters the hobby, 20 lifetime collectors pass away. The effects on collecting and what this suggests for the future are dramatic. I teach economics at the University of Delaware full-time, but I also handle numismatics for Dutch Country Auctions here in northern Delaware. My opinions are based on my observations serving in both capacities. Most of my students glaze over anytime I raise a point regarding monetary history in my classes, and the average retail customer for DCA is probably between the ages of 65 and 70. Its also a bit puzzling to me that despite my intense interest in this hobby, none of my “young” relatives shares that interest (and we are a close family.) There is no “heir” to the collection I have put together, and my collecting friends have related to me that they are in the same situation. What does all of this suggest? I truly believe that if we cannot get young people to look away from Facebook and other cell-phone based activities, this hobby’s days are numbered.
Dept of Economics, University of Delaware
ed: You make a great point. Demographics are not on our side — as with many hobbies and activities these days. However, we might still do a better job with the 40-50 year-old segment than we are now. That’s the group we should be going after, don’t you think?