Standing strong together FIRST thing’s first—I hope you are all well and that this current crisis hasn’t impacted on you too much. I am aware that many of our readers are over 70 and I hope that you will be taking whatever precautions you feel necessary to stay safe. We are, in a way, amongst the more fortunate members of society at the moment, yes I know the average age of us collectors means we might be seen as “higher risk” but there is a silver lining. As collectors we are already used to spending large amounts of time on our own with our collections so being forced to do exactly that is coming as something of a bonus! No longer can our partners or families (or that little voice in our heads, you know the one) nag us to get out and about when we’d rather be cataloguing or even just idly admiring the contents of our cabinets. Now we can simply turn round and insist we are following government advice to self-isolate, and that we happen to be doing it with our coins is purely a coincidence Of course I’m not trying to make light of the seriousness of the situation, but rather I am pointing out that, assuming we all stay safe and healthy, a period “stuck at home” doesn’t have to be as boring as it might seem. Now really is a perfect time to put your collection in order, to catalogue, to maybe rehome or even sell on a few bits—or indeed buy more. As it seems that none of us are going on holiday for a while, or indeed heading out to pubs or restaurants, you may find you have a little spare cash to spend, so, as you’ve nothing else to spend it on (assuming the toilet paper and pasta is securely purchased), why not use that money to add to your collection? In the main our hobby shouldn’t suffer too much in this crisis—those auction houses that can are going on-line only (or if you don’t want to bid on-line you can always just pick up the phone or leave a bid on the books) and many dealers are perfectly able to carry on their businesses without impacting on anyone else—and that means buying as well as selling. If you’re feeling the pinch a bit financially you’ll find plenty of dealers are looking for new stock and assuming you can get to a post office to send your bits and pieces on via special delivery (Post Offices are open) you can easily make a bit of spare cash if you need to. One of the main areas where we will be impacted is, of course, the shows and we already know that Eddie Smith’s next few fairs won’t take place in Wakefield, nor will Bloomsbury, Harrogate, the next couple of Midland shows or the London Coin Fair in June (don’t be too hard on the organisers—some of those dates may well be a long way away and you may feel they should have waited until later before calling them off but often it’s the venue not the organiser who is cancelling bookings). But in this day and age that’s not as much of an issue as once it might have been, not really. Fairs are great and I am an absolute champion of them but they are no longer the only place you can buy coins with most dealers having a web presence and those who don’t are more than happy to chat to you on the phone. It’s very easy just to call a dealer who you might otherwise have seen at a show and ask them if they have anything that’s of interest. Yes, losing the shows for a bit is a pain but we will still be able to buy coins, and on-line forums and chat rooms can, for a while, take the place of those societies and clubs that may postpone meetings—so no, overall our hobby shouldn’t be impacted too much by this pandemic, and it should, really, carry on as usual, but only if you let it. The key thing now is to realise that when this is over, and it will be, we will all want to get back to normal as quickly as possible so please, if you can, don’t panic, don’t hideaway in worry but rather treat this enforced period of confinement not as a threat to liberty and the end of normality but as an opportunity to get some serious reading, cataloguing and collecting done. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say that they stopped collecting because they just didn’t have the time to devout to it, well now there’s no excuse—if we all have to stay in then let’s use the time productively and please, don’t stop buying just because the shows aren’t all running; the dealers, the auctions, the hobby needs your support—let’s make sure that when this is all over our hobby is as strong as ever. As I hope we all will be—stay safe please and remember we at COIN NEWS are still about and are always here if you need us, even if just for a chat.