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Can coins become an addiction?

I remember reading somewhere that auctions can be physically addictive because of a chemical that’s released in the brain during the process of competing for a win. If I remember correctly, this is the same chemical that’s partially responsible for our sex drives! I wish I could remember the reference... Anyway, I wonder how many people worry that coin collecting, or the process of pursuing and eventually attaining the desired coin, will become an addiction. I personally would know I had a problem if I used my retirement savings for a coin that I just HAD to have. I might tell myself “this might be my only chance to buy an early $10 gold piece... I can save for retirement any time,” or some nonsense like that. I hope that someone stops me if I get to that point! Does anyone out there have to struggle not to let their hobby become an addiction? Just curious.

Dan
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Comments

  • LanLordLanLord Posts: 11,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    my answer to your thread topic: is the pope catholic?

  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    not "can they become"........

    they ARE! image
    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • RussRuss Posts: 48,515 ✭✭✭
    Do bears (sorry Bear) crap in the woods?

    Russ, NCNE
  • DrizztDrizzt Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭
    Maybe less addicting--did someone just get 2 1971
    Ikes in MS-65 on teletrade for $110.00 each, or did nobody
    bid on them?
  • Since I show the wife (CFO) all my purchases and discuss any large ones before hand I know that there
    could be a 'higher price' attached to any purchase. This keeps me under control.

    Scott M
    Scott M

    Everything is linear if plotted log-log with a fat magic marker
  • BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    Russ - It just so happens that we bears prefere to use gas station rest facilities when we can. Were not all totally uncivilized you know. Bearimage
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
  • Well, I wonder if coin collectors are more prone than the average person to gambling problems, alcohol problems, etc. Maybe certain people for whatever reason are predisposed to addictive behavior. Again, I’m just curious - I don’t want to get too far off topic, but I do find this kind of thing interesting!

    Dan
  • MrLeeMrLee Posts: 1,847 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Can coins become an addiction? >>


    Are you kidding? I'm Jonesing right now. Yes there have been times when I've spent too much on a coin (or coins). I had to become more selective and just slow down. Staying away from eBay and restricting by buying to shows helps. The "rush' from competing on ebay is addicting but like any addiction, it can be broken. I just have to remind myself that I have house payments to make and kids to feed. The "coin" will be there tomorrow.
  • They took over my life for a few weeks. everyday when i woke up i would go on ebay and bid on almost every coin that didn't have a bid on it. Got a kick out of it why??? never won any of it but it was fun to see the total of all the max bid's on my e-bay. Now that school started i can't do that anymore.
  • So what is the recommended way to stop collecting: to stop cold-turkey or to gradually wean yourself off? Is there a patch that I can wear that will help with the withdrawals? Or do I need to go to the Numismatic House treatment center?



    My Barbers
  • RussRuss Posts: 48,515 ✭✭✭
    Hehe, I'll give you an example from today. There was nothing in my snipe list for my regular series so, as I'm surfing around eBay getting antsy for a fix, I come across a commemorative half with a couple minutes to go in the auction. Don't even collect them, but I sniped it at the four second mark anyway.image

    Russ, NCNE
  • MrLeeMrLee Posts: 1,847 ✭✭✭
    Am I a Numisholic?
  • RUSS,
    Whas it a modern commem if so what is it???
  • Dave99BDave99B Posts: 8,313 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would say it's more pure "insanity", that an addiction of some sort.

    I often question myself after sending $800 on a quarter ounce of silver, all the while children as starving somewhere. Go figure.

    Dave
    Always looking for original, better date VF20-VF35 Barber quarters and halves, and a quality beer.
  • It just occurred to me that if I ever get married, I’ll have to be honest with her up front that she might not be #1 in my life... I wonder what kind of response that would get? I’m just being silly - it’s late...
  • RussRuss Posts: 48,515 ✭✭✭
    mbbiker,

    Yep, modern. The '82 Washington.

    Russ, NCNE
  • BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    In answer to the question, yes coins can become an addiction. A chemical high is obtained thru bidding and winning at an auction, or of obtaining an expensive key coin. Will the need to achieve ownership of a coin, compleation of a set or an auction win, cause a collector to exceed all reason in economic terms, the answer is yes.

    The body produces adrenalin,seratonin, endorphins, cortosol and a host of chemicals that act as stimulants, narcotics and sedatives within the human body. While I do not believe that the psychological urges are as strong as with alcohol or drugs, or even sex (satyriasis or nymphomania) they can be dangerous. The big difference is that money spent on other vices is a total loss, money spent on coins may in fact turn a profit . Thus with the use of intellegence and care, a vice can be turned into an asset.

    The great danger with any compulsive act, is that it disrupts any orderly planning for balance in ones life. These can include college for the kids, retirement planning, purchase of a home and funds for other social and recreational pursuits. Coins, depending on the particular placement in the industry investment cycle, can be lacking in liquidity at any given time, or if sold can be at a substantial loss.

    While most collectors are able to manage compulsive tendencies in this area, I am sure that a small number of us will have a serious problem with this type of compulsive activity. It would be helpful if one of our Forum psychologists or psychiatrists would enter into this discussion with their medical insight. Bear
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
  • stmanstman Posts: 11,352 ✭✭✭✭✭
    First of all, If you have to ask this question you are one of us.image

    Myself I have no other addictions. Could not afford it now.

    I figure I could be doing worse things, and have.

    But I have no problem, I've mentioned this here before.

    But the next time you see the guy on the freeway on-ramp with the cardboard sign, That might be me.image

    Hopefully with some coins left in safe box.

    stman
    Please... Save The Stories, Just Answer My Questions, And Tell Me How Much!!!!!
  • braddickbraddick Posts: 22,824 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My coins all sing to me when I'm in the shower. (My favorite is, "Three Coins In A Fountain".)

    So, I'm not addicted to the coins but I am to their singing.
    Such sweet voices.
    I can close my eyes and hear them all now.
    (That toned Ike is a bit off key though. . .)

    peacockcoins

  • BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    I believe this is a serious thread and worthy of serious response by some of the Forums wise wizards, as well as the rest of us every day folks. Obsession and compulsion can be as as powerful a force as anxiety and depression to the human condition. Bear
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
  • braddickbraddick Posts: 22,824 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I believe this is a serious thread and worthy of serious response by some of the Forums wise wizards, as well as the rest of us every day folks. Obsession and compulsion can be as as powerful a force as anxiety and depression to the human condition. Bear >>


    For a Bear, you're one smart critter. image

    peacockcoins

  • Bear - It looks like you’re pretty knowledgeable in the area of psychology/chemistry. I wonder if the auction houses have people trained to recognize a compulsive bidder. Hopefully they would have a policy of somehow helping such a person, and not taking advantage of them. I know that they can restrict a person from bidding if they have a history of canceling bids or not paying. Maybe that protects some people from their addiction.

  • Oh oh! I can see it now:

    So and So Coins supports responsible collecting. If you or someone you know has a problem, call 1-800-A-MORGAN for immediate help (and for some special offers if you don't quit!)

    JJacks

    Always buying music cards of artists I like! PSA or raw! Esp want PSA 10s 1991 Musicards Marx, Elton, Bryan Adams, etc. And 92/93 Country Gold AJ, Clint Black, Tim McGraw PSA 10s
  • Well there is a 12 step program for this. Of course the first step is to rid yourself of all those addictive coins.

    I'm here to help, friendsimage

    Coyn
  • BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    JJ - I can give you a simple example of addiction. Indeviduals can become addicted to the high obtained from running or even from strenuous workouts in the gym. This activity causes the release of natural narcotics called endorphins into the blood stream. It releaves stress and gives a feeling of well being to the indevidual.

    We have all seen runners out in a pouring rain , getting their daily fix. In this particular case the addiction is beneficial to the body, with little harm except perhaps some long term damage to the knees and ankles after many years of running on hard pavement. Bear
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
  • RussRuss Posts: 48,515 ✭✭✭


    << <i>can become addicted to the high obtained from running or even from strenuous workouts in the gym. >>



    While I certainly have my share of addictions, that ain't one of them.image The only regular workout I get is lifting my coffee cup a couple hundred times a day (oh yeah, caffeine is one of my addictions).

    Russ, NCNE
  • Bear, If I may ask - are you a biochemist? Do you do research? Teach?

    Dan
  • EVillageProwlerEVillageProwler Posts: 5,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have two responses, one serious and one to lighten things up...

    SERIOUS:

    I think the pursuit of anything can be addictive. I can't really explain it; I have no professional training in such matters. But, I am currently at a difficult place. I absolutely cannot spend money on coins right now. Yet, I want to blow a sizable chunk on the upcoming pre-LB and LB auctions. I feel like I have to negotiate with my friends, some of whom also spend big money on coins, to decide how foolish they'll allow me to become.

    image

    NON-SERIOUS:

    It's kind of a joke around my friends that I roll around au naturelle over my coins. I don't really, but I tell them I do. I think my non-collector friends sort of believe that I do that! I explain to them that the biggest drawback of slabs is that they hurt when I roll around...

    A coin buddy of mine thinks it's sexy to get his wife to speak dirty to him: ``Ooh, baby! That coin has lovely frosted devices surrounded by such polished fields.''

    image

    EVP

    How does one get a hater to stop hating?

    I can be reached at [email protected]

  • Bear's right,

    I'm sorry to poke fun at a serious topic.

    There is probably a fine line between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and just being plain focused on a task. I have always wanted to put together a really great collection of something, once its done I will probably not tackle another set like it. I feel that if someone is suffering from OCD or addictive behavior, many of the really important aspects of life start taking second place, ie., ones family, friends, finances, etc. Coin collecting should be put in perspective. It should never become all encompassing.

    Coin collecting at the same time can be therapuetic. One of the questions a physician uses to evaluate depression is "Have you recently lost interest in any hobbies or activities?" I have enjoyed this hobby for many years; I figure if this is one of the indicators that I'm probably not suffering from depression.

    Anyway, I am no expert in psychology but I have sold a heckofalot of prozac in my day.
  • 66Tbird66Tbird Posts: 2,857 ✭✭✭
    I agree with the Bear on this one for sure. This is something I have thought about and put a little time into learning about my compulsive behavior. For me I set a limit with my collecting goals that minimize the dollar loss(I hope) and still give the ownership rush. Sometimes I just have to turn away and do something else, but I always come back to coins because I believe there value will stay, while the computer I bought last year has fallen %30. It gets even more difficult because the coins I need(want) to fill the rush are now edging the four figure range, and quite frankly that's a coin a year pace for me. It hurts, it's confusing, and has the potential for heart ache. But when the right choice is made with a coin that makes a smile each time it's viewed, and is worth possibly more as time marches on, the need is fulfilled temporarily.
    Need something designed and 3D printed?
  • BearBear Posts: 18,954 ✭✭
    Dan - Actually I am a retired pharmacist. But I had 27 years as a union bussiness agent ,dealing with members problems as well as 4 years in the Medical Service Corp US Army.. In addition , I tend to read a lot of scientific and medical journals. In between my usual humerous trivia, I like to throw out some serious and heavy stuff from time to time. Regards Bear
    There once was a place called
    Camelotimage
  • stmanstman Posts: 11,352 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bear, I understand this can be very serious. And I have studied addiction both in college and from life experience.

    Please know, what I wrote earlier isn't all a joke. If a person doesn't watch it you can get in the same situations from these coins as any other addiction.

    I'm self employed and had to grab hold a while back. Was spending too much time with the coin thing and not paying enough attention to my business. I was in no way in any trouble, but can see how it could happen. Now if I would have had any other addictions also than I see how a person could be doomed.

    stman
    Please... Save The Stories, Just Answer My Questions, And Tell Me How Much!!!!!
  • oldcameoproofsguy--
    I think what you said is well stated. You have saved me from having to try to express myself on the subject. You did it just right.

    Brevity is the soul of wit. --William Shakespeare
  • WalkerloverWalkerlover Posts: 663 ✭✭✭✭

    @coynclecter said:
    Well there is a 12 step program for this. Of course the first step is to rid yourself of all those addictive coins.

    I'm here to help, friends

    Coyn

    The answer and it’s a big problem for me is to stop adding new coins. I have OCD and for me staying with my small type collection stops me from looking for new coins on EBay and GC etc. Coin acquisition becomes addictive and can take over much of your waking hours tempting you too keep looking for and purchasing coins. So I stopped with the coins I have and will attempt not to buy or sell anymore and just relax and enjoy what I have. That’s my solution.

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm beginning to think coin forums are the real addiction.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,827 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12, 2024 5:56AM

    Highly addictive, but unlike other addictions, you have something to show for it when you’re done. Finally got control of mine after all these years.

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set:

    https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/16292/

  • NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 850 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am not addicted. I have not bought a coin all year!

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,796 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just read this whole thread about the addiction of collecting coins, so I am quitting.

    No more reading for me!

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

    BST transactions: dbldie55, jayPem, 78saen, UltraHighRelief, nibanny, liefgold, FallGuy, lkeigwin, mbogoman, Sandman70gt, keets, joeykoins, ianrussell (@GC), EagleEye, ThePennyLady, GRANDAM, Ilikecolor, Gluggo, okiedude, Voyageur, LJenkins11, fastfreddie, ms70, pursuitofliberty, ZoidMeister,...
  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 507 ✭✭✭✭

    Lets see what else is addictive or highly addictive and and not necessarily in any order :smile:
    sex, drugs, rocknroll, food, exercise, sports, sleep, bumming, living with your folks, working, not working, computer, phone, intrusive thoughts, addiction, smoking, drinking, overly thinking, picking one's nose, bad habits good habits, masterbation, itching, shopping, and the list goes on.
    Abetter question to start this thread would hav been what isn't addictive?
    Just my lousy morning humor, couldn't resist

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,189 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RobertScotLover said:
    Abetter question to start this thread would hav been what isn't addictive?

    >
    Stamps! ;)

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 507 ✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @RobertScotLover said:
    Abetter question to start this thread would hav been what isn't addictive?

    >
    Stamps! ;)

    Agreed, at least maybe not initially, probably happened when stamp collectors finally figured out there was not mint stamp records that recorded their numbers ;)

  • clarkbar04clarkbar04 Posts: 4,916 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How about an "obsession"?

    MS66 taste on an MS63 budget.
  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 2,961 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can quit anytime I want. I've done it dozens of times.

  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,796 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @RobertScotLover said:
    Abetter question to start this thread would hav been what isn't addictive?

    >
    Stamps! ;)

    If you can't lick 'em...collect something else.

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

    BST transactions: dbldie55, jayPem, 78saen, UltraHighRelief, nibanny, liefgold, FallGuy, lkeigwin, mbogoman, Sandman70gt, keets, joeykoins, ianrussell (@GC), EagleEye, ThePennyLady, GRANDAM, Ilikecolor, Gluggo, okiedude, Voyageur, LJenkins11, fastfreddie, ms70, pursuitofliberty, ZoidMeister,...
  • Morgan13Morgan13 Posts: 690 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am not addicted. I started collecting Morgan's ywo years ago. I buy 1-4 PL or DMPL coins a week. I can stop anytime I want to. I just don't want to.
    Is that what's called denial?
    In all seriousness I did get carried away in the beginning. I purchased over 100 raw and graded Morgan's and then because of the good advice given to me on this forum to purchase only slabbed coins I have collected/purchased close to 200 slabbed pl or dmpl Morgan's. I tried Bust Halves but Morgans are really my weakness.

    Student of numismatics and collector of Morgan dollars

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