Handling with care

Last year I saw an old Perry Mason episode where rare coins were involved. All of the principals handled the subject coin, purportedly worth $50,000 (in 1962 dollars), while smoking and passed it around with bare hands. This included the "highly respected" dealer who owned the coin. Seems to me it was an 1861-O something or other which I looked up at the time and seems to run about $850,000 nowadays. My wife remembered my gasps while watching this and asked me when did mishandling a rare coin become such a no-no. I've only been into coins less than 20 years and I don't have an answer. Any of you long-time collectors know?

The difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence is limited...don't ask me how I know

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