coinsbygary's Blog

26 Feb 2021

Numismatics and Social Media

Collecting Tips | coinsbygary

I wrote the following on 2/3/21 in response to a collector who lives a fair distance from his nearest coin shop. In his blog, he talks about social media and its effect on the coin market. The author of the blog wrote it in response to an article by Jeff Garrett. The link to Jeff's article and the blog are posted below. In my edited answers to him below, I will make references to some of you. Please know that I am not talking directly to you. But I am referring to my perceived knowledge of you in this response to him. I am also posting a proof version of a French coin commemorating medical research that I wrote about in a previous blog. All I can say about that is stunning!

I live in a town where there are several dealers within a short drive. In an imperfect world, we are primarily influenced by our local experiences. We adapt as we must to enjoy the hobby we love. Older people are less likely to embrace new technology because they don't understand it and therefore don't trust it. Now retired, I worked in technology my entire life. I have welcomed the electronic marketplace. I have also embraced NGC's registry. Subsequently, I have won 5 major NGC awards for my registry sets and 7 for my journal posts. I have also bought and sold coins on eBay. Ebay has done more in my estimation to make the world a marketplace for collectors than any other forum. This has been good for the hobby and me in particular because my collection literally exploded. Heritage Auctions has also done a lot to open things up to dealers and collectors alike. Often I have bought coins from dealers, only to find they bought them through Heritage. I also enjoy the dealer from Old Pueblo Coin in Tucson, Arizona, that does YouTube videos. I have been watching his videos every day. To date, I've managed to adapt very well.

Because I was burned, I have a massive mistrust of social media. In fact, as I get older, I cherish my privacy all the more. I don't need social media, and I don't want it. I tried Instagram not long ago but had trouble trying to figure it out and quickly lost interest. Fortunately, I can access the technology I currently use and remain somewhat anonymous. Another reason I feel comfortable is the high level of character I see displayed by most coin collectors.

Over the last year in the era of COVID, I have worked very hard in my church to modernize how we do church. With a church comprised mainly of older congregants, I've had a very challenging time trying to get them used to ZOOM for our Sunday morning worship services. Many have older computers or none at all. Thankfully, one of our older congregants doesn't mind connecting to ZOOM over their phone.

All this to say that my coin club is comprised of a significant number of retirees. They are more likely to get in their cars and drive to regional coin shows. We even charter a bus to the yearly Central States show in Schaumberg, Illinois! Presently, we have a 100+ person membership in our club and currently have our club meetings via ZOOM. Sadly, only about half the people that attended our in-person meetings before COVID now attend our ZOOM meetings. I wish more people would avail themselves of ZOOM as it has opened the door to many things we would have never done before. For instance, we watched an ANA video on grading coins over ZOOM at our last meeting via screen sharing. In fact, I am doing a presentation on editing photographs through a shared screen at our next meeting.

It is the younger people that both like and use social media, and I in no way want to discourage them. I just don't want to be a part of it. I frequent the ANA's member blog, where several YN's are seemingly all in on social media. One of them is starting a newsletter they'd like me to critique. However, as I get more involved with helping them get established in the hobby, the higher my risk of identity theft becomes. In my estimation, and because of their enthusiasm, I fear that they may be less wise about privacy and identity theft issues. Hopefully, over time, I pray that I'm a positive influence on them. In fact, truth be known, we all need each other to grow the hobby!

I totally get that you live in a rural area and that electronic media has opened up the world to you. Though more difficult, I also understand how to develop trust over electronic media. I have met both dealers and collectors on the internet, whom I eventually met in person that I trust. My only caution over social media is that some people might get left behind. This is the main reason I fear my club will eventually shut down their webpage in favor of Facebook. Since I am a member, I will most certainly vote against that. That said, because I mistrust Facebook, I am unable to access my club's Facebook page. However, for me, that is a price I am willing to pay to preserve my privacy. In fact, there is a person in my church that puts tape over her computer camera because she mistrusts Zuckerberg and the internet! In the end, I am not against change, but I am for people using technology at a level that they both trust and understand. I am, however, concerned about sacrificing the more senior collectors on the alter of change because they either don't understand or want to change.

To put things in perspective, when I graduated high school, there was no internet or, for that matter, cell phones. (Funny how most of my life, I worked for a cell phone company with technology that didn't exist when I graduated high school. No 5G, in fact, no "G"). There were, however, numismatic magazines. These magazines had dealer advertisements and mail-order coins for sale. Mail-order is how I developed my collection when I was in high school. Now hardly anyone uses mail-order through magazines. Fifty years from now, coin collecting will continue to evolve, and I won't mind! Gary






Level 5

I resemble the remarks made above. Adaptation is a necessary thing sometimes; unless you're a Luddite! :-)) Great post Gary and thanks for sharing !

Long Beard

Level 5

A perfect blog. As one who falls into the "older" range, still preferring a face to face transaction, the advancement of technology hasn't hindered me as much in my buying. Like yourself, I do the EBAY and a few of the big auction houses. What I will not do is the social media transactions, or the very mention of collecting, as these are easily targeted by those looking to do you harm. Think about it, "I'm shopping at Walmart right now.", posted on Facebook. Your name and address are exposed to the world and you just posted that you're not home. Brilliant!


Level 6

I'm not a "social media" person... I still use a "flip-phone"... haha Enjoyed your blog very much! ; )


Level 6

Very well said Gary. I have nothing to add. I feel very much the same way. Thank You.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Caveat Emptor. I think wherever you get your info, that's fine. I am not into social media but more power to the people who use social media to find improved ways of learning and teaching about numismatics. Social media is not without its problems and that is why I said let the buyer beware BTW, nice EURO. We see the lovely Marianne looking down on genetics.


Level 7

I am very comfortable without social media. I don't like it.. Even the blogs you wrote here go to the net. Once it's out there you can't get it back. Some use social media as a way to get known. I have so many followers. I'm not into that. Some on you tube are self proclaimed experts. I like it here . I enjoy my friends here you can take social media and pull the plug for all I care. My friend went to social media came back two months later. He got burned. Every three seconds someone is hacked . I don't need that. I did well without it . I'm an older man I don't need this social media. You want to be famous that's what it's there for. You want awards that's why it's there. You want to collect coins learn and enjoy yourself this is it. Now to those in social media .This is my opiion. My own. If you enjoy it please continue with it. I'm not lucky to have stores or dealers anywhere near me No clubs. Collecting for 26 years I have had a great run. I particularly like my friends here. This site is safe for me. I tried once and got of as fast as I got in. So each collector does what he or she likes. . I like this community that's what it is.Thanks Gary. I appreciate your work again a wonderful blog and story..I enjoy your blogs very much.


Level 6

I like your view on the subject/ Thanks for the blog.


Level 5

Sadly, I entered this hobby about the time covid reared it's ugly head, as such I don't think we will ever see face to face meetings like yesteryear. This virus will touch and change every aspect of our lives, including how we meet, communicate, etc. I also distrust social media, however, it is and will continue to be the prime avenue for communication in this digital world, I'm just not sure where that leaves me down the road, adapt or fall to the way side. Well said my friend!


Level 5

Yes, i used to read coin magazines and mail order through the mail. Based on the prices in a magazine. How things have changed ! Nice post.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I guess I am a bit different in my outlook, I have embraced instagram, use Facebook daily (I have become a moderator on the ANA Members Only Facebook page), and generally feel comfortable with the level of anonymity that I am able to maintain on the web. But I fully appreciate the concerns of others and do have concerns when a strange Follow or Friend request shows up. That's why I don't have hundreds of FB friends, only a few dozen. My home coin club, the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society has dwindled in numbers and nowadays only attracts a maximum of 16 or so members to the monthly meetings. I think our actual numbers are in the 30's. Very sad as I really enjoy sitting with my fellow collectors and I see us dwindling away..

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