Coin News

Volume 57, Number 11, November 2020

Britannia Rules!

Volume 57, Number 11, November 2020

Whilst the iron is hot IT SEEMS I was a tad too optimistic with my Editorial comment last month when I spoke about the return of the Bloomsbury Fair that would herald a start to the “new season” and lead on to the other autumn shows. The continuing presence of the Coronavirus, at least in terms of case numbers, meant that Bloomsbury had to be cancelled and the London Coin Fair on November 7 is off too. At this stage the November Midland show is due to take place on Sunday, November 8, but in a different venue than normal (see “News and Views” on page 12) as the usual venue at the Motorcycle Museum is currently closed. The new, temporary, venue is apparently larger than even the Britannia Suite at the Museum, so getting decent numbers of visitors in whilst still allowing for social distancing will be easier. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) due to be held in January at the Hyatt Regency in the Big Apple; that too has fallen foul of the pandemic and has been cancelled. As we go to press, we also hear that the “old” York show will no longer go ahead at the racecourse as planned in late January, the venue has decided it is not practical at this time (however, the July show, planned for July 16–17, 2021, is very much still on the cards). At this stage the Berlin show at the end of January is on but, as we’ve found out, things can change very quickly. I’ve mentioned before how I’m missing the fairs, and I am, far more than I ever thought I would. I miss the banter, miss my friends in the hobby and most of all I miss just being able to do something different, go somewhere other than work and home. Don’t get me wrong, we are very, very fortunate to work in the beautiful city of Exeter and I am lucky enough to have a lovely home and recognise that I am better off than many and really shouldn’t moan, but that doesn’t stop me wanting a night out in London or dinner out in York, things I took for granted only a year ago. Taking things for granted is something we all do. We assume that if we don’t do something now we’ll be able to get to it next time around but, as we’ve seen recently, that isn’t always a given. I suppose the most obvious example for me of making the mistake of “I’ll get it next time” was in regard to New York. When I first attended the NYINC it was 1997 and I did all the touristy things: Central Park, the Empire State Building, a Broadway show, but I didn’t go to the World Trade Centre. I figured that I’d seen Manhattan from the Empire State Building and I could see it from the other angle next time I was in town. Well the “next time I was in town” was over a decade later and the Twin Towers were no longer there. That is, of course, a dramatic example and you may be asking yourself what it has to do with coin collecting—well quite simply this: how often have you been to a show or seen a coin on a website and thought to yourself “that’s nice, maybe I’ll get it later/next time/tomorrow/sometime soon”, only to find that it has gone and you’ve missed out? The way things are today we simply have no idea when the shows are coming back, no idea what’s around the corner and so I am beginning to realise that if I want something to add to my collection I have to get it now. There’s no point in waiting for “next time” or waiting until the next show so I can see it in real life, as we simply don’t know when that will be. Far too often I’ve put something off, whether a purchase or an experience, because there’s always next time. Sometimes there just isn’t and I really should just go ahead and buy it/do it whilst I can. If you need any more proof that striking whilst the iron is hot really is the best way I‘ll leave you with this thought—I started collecting the Queen’s Beasts bullion coins in silver when they first came out (I’ve just completed the series, and very nice they are too) but initially I also bought a couple in gold as well. Realising that this was quite ambitious (there are ten altogether) I reasoned that I could probably use what was going to be quite a lot of money by the time I’d finished, for something else, and besides, I could always buy them later. That was when I could pick them up at £960 each, with gold currently at £1,480 an ounce I’m kicking myself just a little!

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