The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 40, September 18, 2005, Article 19


Steve Pellegrini writes: "I was happy to read that Mike Marotta
has started a forum for serious numismatic postings. I truly
hope that the site lives up to its' name and does not degenerate
into a 'chatroom'. When I began using a PC in my collecting
activities in 1998 there were already some coin collector
chatrooms. But oh, where they ever tiresome and for the most
part useless. For every informative posting by the Job-like
'Answer Man' (Allen Herbert) there were a thousand
teenybopper postings about....what would you call it? Gripes
and personal snipes at fellow collectors, dealers, eBay auctions
& endless discussions about how much they knew and how little
everybody else knew. One day I checked in at one of them and
the discussion being carried on was all about this poor young
girl, a novice collector who had asked a few beginner questions.
Her questions were not stupid or dumb as they were telling her
but were simply the FAQ's of every beginner. I literally got
almost teary-eyed at the treatment she was getting. I first
posted a message to her answering her questions and apologizing
for the other jerks. This was not an isolated instance - I found
this sort of thing at every coin collector discussion site. In the
intervening years I have, on the urging of friends, visited some
more recent groups. I have to tell you that very little has changed.

The reason I mention any of this is that I have admired
Michael Marotta's numismatic writing for years. I especially
like him when he is on his own dime and can write openly
about his personal conclusions about conjecture born of
newly observed facets of a coin, a medal or an entire series.
His writing about whatever subject that happens to be
under his glass is always entertaining and is often an eye-
opener. I know that his conjecture and unorthodox conclusions
sometimes give some old-timers fits. They consider him
controversial. No matter, he has never been afraid to draw his
own conclusions from his own research. His writing is lively,
well researched and refreshingly original. In my opinion his
writing is as enjoyable, original and sometimes startling as
many of Walter Breen’s writings a generation ago.. So I really
hope that Michael's much needed forum is a success. I hope
it attracts collectors who love their coins, tokens and medals
for the stories they can tell rather than for the holes they can
fill or their current status in CoinWorld’s Price Trends. There
are enough sites that attract and cater to the type of collector
mentioned above. Let us keep just this one numismatic writing
site to ourselves. As for me, I went and registered immediately
after reading about it in my E-Sylum."

[The evils of the free-form, anything-goes format of a chat list
are why The E-Sylum exists. That is exactly why we have an
Editor and a regular publishing schedule, which I felt combine
the best features of the print and electronic worlds. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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