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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 45, October 29, 2000, Article 6

COLLECTING COIN ALBUMS 

   In response to last week's "Gee honey, it's not as bad as 
   collecting <fill in the blank here>", David Lange writes: 

   "Here's my "blank." I collect any and all coin albums and 
   folders, excepting those made entirely or mostly of plastic. 
   When asked why I do this (and I get that question a lot), 
   I simply say, "because no one else does." 

   While this is not enough to satisfy my girlfriend, who 
   derisively refers to my treasured archive as "dust collectors," 
   it does usually prompt most coin people to pause for a moment 
   and reflect on what is being lost.  Dealers routinely buy 
   collections in albums, pop out the coins (damaging the albums 
   in the process) and then discard the albums as just so much 
   junk. Those that are saved for resale are usually marred further 
   by the dealer writing what he paid for each piece below the 
   holes or applying some irremovable price sticker on the 
   album's front cover. 

   My attempt to preserve these relics of our hobby's past has 
   proved to be a fascinating treasure hunt.  Many dealers know 
   of my interest and simply hand me any albums they can't sell. 
   While some brands, particularly the Library of Coins series, 
   are still sought by collectors for the storing of coins (why 
   would someone do that?), most old albums and folders have 
   little secondary value.  The most obscure brands are usually 
   the least valued, and I can acquire very rare items for a dollar 
   or so. I've amassed a large collection of boards, folders and 
   albums, saving them by title, edition, printing variants, and so 
   on. Nothing has been published on this subject, other than my 
   own articles, and only the most prominent brands ran 
   advertisements that help me to reconstruct their history. For all 
   the others, all that is known is what may be gleaned from the 
   albums themselves. 

   There seems to be no area of numismatics remaining in which 
   one can still be a pioneer, so I'm enjoying this opportunity to 
   collect and catalog items that are otherwise disregarded by 
   the numismatic community.  I hope it remains that way for 
   many years. I don't want to be priced out of yet another 
   collecting field!" 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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