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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 8, February 19, 2006, Article 23

HOMO NUMISMATUS: FORBES ARTICLE ON THE NEW YORK NUMISMATIC CLUB

Forbes magazine published a nice article on Valentine's Day
about a meeting of the New York Numismatic Club:

"On a blustery Thursday night this February, the members
of one such society convened in a historical clubhouse in
downtown Manhattan. They were united in their passion for
money, but these were no ordinary financiers. They were
coin collectors.

The New York Numismatic Club was founded in December 1908,
and its members meet once a month for dinner. They've never
yet missed a meeting--not for the declarations of war in 1917
or 1941. Not for Sept. 11, 2001."

"Coin collectors are a nervous set of people. Theft is
foremost on their minds, and they are fanatical about
maintaining their privacy. None of the club members I spoke
with would consent to let me print his name. Most refused
to reveal how much his collection was worth, let alone where
it was stored."

"Coin collectors are often highly educated, well versed in
both history and literature... They often start collecting
at a very early age. And they are passionate about their
collections--even a bit obsessive."

"And while large-scale robberies are relatively rare, nearly
every nickel-and-dime dealer has a story to tell about small-time
thugs who make off with a couple thousand dollars' worth of
merchandise. At the Numismatic Club dinner, news of a theft
at the New York International Numismatic Convention, held in
January, spread quickly. One collector, it seems, was held
up as he walked back to his car and robbed of the coins he
had purchased just that day.

In a safe environment, however, most coin collectors will
happily trot out specimens from their collections. The
Numismatic Club dinner concluded with a lively show-and-tell
where members laid out some of their rarest and most interesting
coins. Each was then given a strict three minutes to describe
what he had brought. After everyone had spoken, the collectors
drifted around the room and examined the coins more closely,
offering admiration, praise and numismatic advice."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Executive Director of the
American Numismatic Society also saw the article and pointed
it out to me.  I often wonder what a reporter from say, the
1860s, would have written about a group of collectors of the
day.  Some things never change, and I'll bet a long-ago meeting
would seem very similar to us today in many ways. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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