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is coin collecting a dying hobby?

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  • ShaunBC5ShaunBC5 Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nope. Seems to be quite healthy. Might ebb and flow along with the general economy, but not dying at all.
    Do you have thoughts that led you to ask the question?

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,679 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No, not dying.

    I consider it vulnerable to decreased buyer interest because many buyers of the more expensive coinage place a higher emphasis on financial considerations and won't have the same interest if the price level consistently declines. By "more expensive", I'm referring to a relatively nominal cut-off like $300, as a collection of a large number of $300+ coins can add up to a significant "investment" quick.

    It also depends upon how you measure it. It's apparently healthy by the price level which is the most common way to do it.

  • Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No it’s holding it’s own. Why do you ask if you don’t mind me asking 😁

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

  • erscoloerscolo Posts: 481 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No. The same thing was being said in the 1970s, when I first started collecting. The hobby is here, I am here. Rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 1,641 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No. The same thing was being said in the 1970s
    _
    I agree - I've been hearing that since they took silver out of the circulating coins in the 1960s. Still here today.

    Member ANA, SPMC, SCNA, FUN, CONECA

  • semikeycollectorsemikeycollector Posts: 931 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Collecting is very alive! Some less participation in local coin clubs, but online message boards are alive and well. (If you're seeing this.)

  • but for now until gen Z is running this country, our deaths where as @erscolo said "greatly exaggerated"

  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Look at the recent Bass auction results.

    Have a nice day
  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @streeter said:
    Look at the recent Bass auction results.

    That's not representative. Those coins are out of financial reach of the vast majority of the collector base, including most on this forum.

  • ChrisH821ChrisH821 Posts: 6,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Anyone who's paid attention to demand and prices the last few years will confirm the hobby has a very strong pulse.
    "Junk" will never be in strong demand, however.

    Collector, occasional seller

  • JonBrand83JonBrand83 Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The hobby is well in my opinion and there are many new kids in the hobby...

    That said, coin shows look like grave yards to me. My other hobby is collecting custom handmade knives and there is a stark contrast regarding the show. The knife shows are packed with both men and women of all ages and there is tons of enthusiasm and energy. Huge lines to get it. The few coin shows I have attended have been very depressing and dont even come close.

    Jbknifeandcoin.com
    IG: jb_rarities

  • :) we can also contribute to the hobby by gifting our relatives coins from time to time (Birthdays, Wedding, Christmas, boxing-day, etc).

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SilverPlatinum said:
    :) we can also contribute to the hobby by gifting our relatives coins from time to time (Birthdays, Wedding, Christmas, boxing-day, etc).

    This rarely works unless the people receiving the gift are already inclined to collect coins. If someone gave you something as a gift that you weren't interested in, would that encourage you to buy more?

  • @MasonG said:

    @SilverPlatinum said:
    :) we can also contribute to the hobby by gifting our relatives coins from time to time (Birthdays, Wedding, Christmas, boxing-day, etc).

    This rarely works unless the people receiving the gift are already inclined to collect coins. If someone gave you something as a gift that you weren't interested in, would that encourage you to buy more?

    :) I got my nieces and nephews interested in coins after I gifted them silver coins throughout the past years.......

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SilverPlatinum said:

    @MasonG said:

    @SilverPlatinum said:
    :) we can also contribute to the hobby by gifting our relatives coins from time to time (Birthdays, Wedding, Christmas, boxing-day, etc).

    This rarely works unless the people receiving the gift are already inclined to collect coins. If someone gave you something as a gift that you weren't interested in, would that encourage you to buy more?

    :) I got my nieces and nephews interested in coins after I gifted them silver coins throughout the past years.......

    To be fair, I did say rarely. If your niece got you dolls as gifts, would you start collecting them?

  • @MasonG said:

    @SilverPlatinum said:

    @MasonG said:

    @SilverPlatinum said:
    :) we can also contribute to the hobby by gifting our relatives coins from time to time (Birthdays, Wedding, Christmas, boxing-day, etc).

    This rarely works unless the people receiving the gift are already inclined to collect coins. If someone gave you something as a gift that you weren't interested in, would that encourage you to buy more?

    :) I got my nieces and nephews interested in coins after I gifted them silver coins throughout the past years.......

    To be fair, I did say rarely. If your niece got you dolls as gifts, would you start collecting them?

    :) You are comparing apples to oranges here! You cannot compare dolls or any other gifts to real money......Everyone likes real money......

  • OmegaraptorOmegaraptor Posts: 527 ✭✭✭✭✭

    People have literally been asking this since the 1800s. No, interest in history and collecting historical items is not dying and likely never will.

    In what I collect (better date and semi key Seated coinage) the market is burning red hot right now.

    "You can't get just one gun." "You can't get just one tattoo." "You can't get just one 1796 Draped Bust Large Cent."

  • c0injunkyc0injunky Posts: 50 ✭✭✭

    I’m in the “no” camp.
    If anything, thanks to the internet and the recent surge in roll searchers it seems that coin collecting is growing in popularity.
    Now, we just need a major error to be found that will really get mainstream media attention, like the 1995 doubled-die cents did.

  • santinidollarsantinidollar Posts: 1,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No. The hobby is quite healthy. Did one of those click bait “news” sites do this “dying hobby” story yet again?

  • JWPJWP Posts: 17,529 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the problem with the younger generation is they don't use change. The use plastic, and now crypto currency. I've tried to educate my grandkids on the different types of coins (cent/nickels/quarter/half dollars) and they just aren't interested. Throw a kid a SBA and and they think it is funny money (a lot of adults too). I'm working on 2 of my 5 granskids with Lincoln cent folders and it is still kinda luke warm. I will not give up though. Every time I get a new coin i try to show it to them and it kinda is a real moment, but it lasts for just a nano second. We just have remember to not give up. I just love collecting coins and hopefully 1 of my grandkids will too. B)

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
    Successful Transactions with more than 100 Members

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SilverPlatinum said:
    :) You are comparing apples to oranges here! You cannot compare dolls or any other gifts to real money......Everyone likes real money......

    You do realize that a very significant quantity of the coins collected worldwide are no longer real money, right? ;)

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @c0injunky said:
    Now, we just need a major error to be found that will really get mainstream media attention, like the 1995 doubled-die cents did.

    That's not going to make any lasting difference. The modern media is too fragmented where it would have anything close to the same impact it did decades ago. I also don't believe hardly any non-collector ever heard of the 95DDO in 1995. It's an obscure coin. Forum members seem to think that because some collection or coin received temporary media attention for a flashing moment (and that's all it is literally) that they remember. They don't and don't care, as it's not relevant to them.

    The biggest difference to me with US collecting since I started in the 70's are these two:

    First, the vastly reduced geographical footprint. Collecting is more accessible than ever, but this presumes awareness and interest. Far fewer B&M and book shops for the non-collecting public.

    Second, financialization. Initially with the widespread buying of coins as "investments in the 70's and later with TPG starting in the late 80's.

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,805 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I say no.

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,598 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 13, 2022 5:37PM

    Seems the auction houses are doing well, particularly Great Collections and Heritage selling coins at all levels weekly. Seems that would be a leading indicator of a set back if volume and pricing diminished. Just the opposite at present.

    Edit to add to include Heritage.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you ask questions, you'll get answers. Maybe not the ones you want, but that's kind of how it works.

  • QCCoinGuyQCCoinGuy Posts: 325 ✭✭✭✭

    Don’t let anybody here prevent you from asking questions, and don’t be put off by the negativity. You only learn by asking. No such thing as a dumb question.

    Thankfully, the coin collecting hobby seems to be pretty strong, especially online, and Gen Z folks like you will keep it going for a long time to come.

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,598 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Many numismatic Zoomers are active on Instagram @AkJackster

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • EstilEstil Posts: 6,915 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm far more concerned about baseball cards being a dying hobby...I mean do kids even collect baseball cards anymore? NO I don't mean Pokemon or Magic the Gathering or whatnot but good ol' fashioned baseball cards.

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,997 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 13, 2022 6:55PM

    Coin collecting is "dying" only in the sense that coins themselves, as a functional class of objects, are "dying".

    A few hundred years ago, "coins" and "money" were synonyms - there literally was no other form of money. But by last century, coins had become just one part of a broader monetary system. Now, in the 21st century, most people see coins as an anachronistic inconvenience, a relic of ancient times when money needed to have physical form. Nobody really "needs" coins for use as money any more, the other forms of money are more convenient.

    In this sense, coins and postage stamps share a common fate. Because postage stamps are likewise an anachronistic inconvenience, functionally obsolete - you have to go out of your way to buy and use postage stamps on mail, and in many countries for many classes of mail, postage stamps aren't even allowed any more. Most of what comes into your mailbox these days, doesn't have stamps on it. And the decline in everyday use of postage stamps has seen a corresponding decline in the percentage of the population that have become interested in stamp collecting.

    As coins become less frequently seen, so to the percentage of new coin collectors will decline.

    Now, the absolute numbers of coin collectors may well stay the same, or even increase, because the population as a whole is still increasing. But the sheer weight of numbers will mean that coin collecting will continue to become more and more a "fringe" hobby, understood and supported by those within it but arcane and mysterious to mainstream society.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,014 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @QCCoinGuy said:
    Don’t let anybody here prevent you from asking questions, and don’t be put off by the negativity. You only learn by asking. No such thing as a dumb question.

    Thankfully, the coin collecting hobby seems to be pretty strong, especially online, and Gen Z folks like you will keep it going for a long time to come.

    I didn’t see any “negativity”, just numerous posts (including your own) that answered the OP’s question with a “no” and some explanations as to why.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • JMoo100JMoo100 Posts: 112 ✭✭

    Someone above commented about how people use less change in circulation today. I do wonder if our moving to a cashless society - probably more credit cards and digital wallets (vs cryptocurrency) will have an impact on the hobby similar to what we’ve seen in stamps. That said, money and economics plays such a central role in society / history that it’s hard to imagine it ever being not of serious historical interest, whereas stamps seem a bit more idiosyncratic.

  • TimNHTimNH Posts: 127 ✭✭✭

    The hobby is red hot at the moment, and will only be enriched if physical currency goes away in favor of electronic/crypto, makes old coins all the more desirable relics.

    But it faces a singular existential threat, which is fakes, getting better and better by the day and starting to sneak past the experts into TPG slabs. That one scares me.

  • JMoo100JMoo100 Posts: 112 ✭✭

    @TimNH — That’s not working out real well for the stamp collectors. I feel a sense of connection with the past when I hold an old coin; I wonder if future generations will feel that when/if coins become an anachronism.

  • skier07skier07 Posts: 3,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No.

    Was at a smaller show in Buena Park, Ca. (Orange County). Lots of youngsters and lots of people speaking Spanish.

    Coin collecting IMHO will still remain popular and I’m very optimistic about the future.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMoo100 said:
    Someone above commented about how people use less change in circulation today. I do wonder if our moving to a cashless society - probably more credit cards and digital wallets (vs cryptocurrency) will have an impact on the hobby similar to what we’ve seen in stamps. That said, money and economics plays such a central role in society / history that it’s hard to imagine it ever being not of serious historical interest, whereas stamps seem a bit more idiosyncratic.

    True, but there is a difference between "of historical interest" and what is likely the intent of the OP.

    When I see this type of question, it's always about the price level. That's the implied context of this question, every time I read it. Notice how there is hardly a single reply in another context. One mentioned coin clubs but nothing on other metrics.

    Most who are interested in the answer to this question really want to know whether they will be able to sell their collection at a future date at a price they consider acceptable. They won't admit it but don't really care about the answer in any other context.

    As for your comparison to stamps, I think it matters, both for hobbyist collecting and the future price level. Reduced collecting out of circulating coinage means it's predominantly dependent upon marketing, whether by national mints or the "industry", presumably auction firms and bullion dealers. A lower future collector base eventually almost certainly means fewer collectors spending the funds to buy the coins most collectors buy now at the same or higher prices, including those bought by those on this forum.

    Collectors who start with bullion don't seem to buy the same coins the general collector population does in equal proportion. They seem to focus on specific series like gold and classic crown sized coins. In the US, that's generic pre-1933 gold and Morgan dollars.

  • JerseyBJerseyB Posts: 73 ✭✭✭

    Not anytime soon but there is concern. I'm in my late 30s and have only started getting into the hobby over the past few years. But whenever I go to shows it's like 50%+ guys who are retirement age. And Very few people younger than myself.

  • JMoo100JMoo100 Posts: 112 ✭✭
    edited October 13, 2022 7:41PM

    @wcc — one of my early mentors in the hobby used to say ‘at the end of the day, demand is comprised of three things — is it cool (significant)? Is it pretty (aesthetic)? And is it rare (scarcity)?’

    And so when I say historical interest, I’m using that as a proxy for answering whether it’s cool or not… which drives the demand side of the equation, and therefore the price level. I don’t necessarily see the other questions (is it pretty? Or is it rare?) changing materially over time.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMoo100 said:
    @wcc — one of my early mentors in the hobby used to say ‘at the end of the day, demand is comprised of three things — is it cool (significant)? Is it pretty (aesthetic)? And is it rare (scarcity)?’

    And so when I say historical interest, I’m using that as a proxy for answering whether it’s cool or not… which drives the demand side of the occasion, and therefore the price level. I don’t necessarily see the other questions (is it pretty? Or is it rare?) changing materially over time.

    Thanks.

    Now that you added this, I don't think that many coins are actually collected due to any actual historical interest. Most coins are too generic, and this factor doesn't usually have anything to do with most higher priced coins. Usually, if someone is interested in "history" (which I consider to be mostly imaginary), they can buy a common circulated grade at fraction of the price of a key date or (very) high grade.

  • JMoo100JMoo100 Posts: 112 ✭✭

    @wcc I don’t think that the 1933 $20 has the market cornered on historical interest, significance, etc. I can hold a 100 year old piece of junk silver and that feels like a piece of history to me.

    There’s another thread on this forum where someone talks about collecting banana stickers. Do you think it’s a coincidence that people (at scale) collect coins and not bananas stickers?

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMoo100 said:
    @wcc I don’t think that the 1933 $20 has the market cornered on historical interest, significance, etc. I can hold a 100 year old piece of junk silver and that feels like a piece of history to me.

    I agree that's how most see it.

    @JMoo100 said:
    There’s another thread on this forum where someone talks about collecting banana stickers. Do you think it’s a coincidence that people (at scale) collect coins and not bananas stickers?

    No, it's not a coincidence. I just don't think it has much to do with historical interest either.

    Many coins are bought as a combination collectible-"investment".

    If you look at collecting more broadly, traditionally, most collectible segments served some functional purpose. Coins were used as money, a lot more than now due to purchasing power. Most others (such as furniture, paintings, and jewelry) are/were used decoratively, in some form.

    Banana stickers or anything like it don't fit this traditional pattern. It's in more recent times that collecting has (mostly temporarily IMO) expanded to all kinds of areas which either weren't collected in the past or have been created specifically to be collected.

  • JMoo100JMoo100 Posts: 112 ✭✭

    The question of whether it’s a good investment is simply will it be as significant, culturally relevant tomorrow (more or less) relative to today. Holding all else equal i.e., aesthetics and scarcity.

    I like how you introduced the concept of the items ‘purpose’ to society, perhaps historical interest was too narrow a definition

  • vplite99vplite99 Posts: 1,180 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChrisH821 said:
    Anyone who's paid attention to demand and prices the last few years will confirm the hobby has a very strong pulse.
    "Junk" will never be in strong demand, however.

    I beg to differ. Last weekend I sold several lots of junk 90% pre 1965 for 21 - 24 times face on eBay. Melt was 14.5, so that was a substantial premium. A generation ago (20 years) you could buy it for about melt.

    You were maybe referring to a different type of junk?

    Vplite99
  • What also happens, is that people inherit a coin collection then fall in love with the hobby, bringing new people into the world (like myself :)

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