The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 44, October 29, 2006, Article 25


Dan Gosling writes: "I copied this item from an issue of Mehl’s
Numismatic Monthly (page 35) when I was in the ANA Library during
Member's Appreciation this past summer. But I forgot to note the
volume and issue number.  Are you aware of an index to Mehl's
Numismatic Monthly?"

[I don't know of a MNM index, but one would be welcomed.  It's
an underrated periodical.  I was unable to locate the reference
in my own incomplete set.  Can anyone fill us in on which issue
this piece came from?  -Editor]

Mr. Mehl:
Dear Sir:
No doubt you will be astonished to receive this letter from me,
but I should like you to know that my husband is not a millionaire
and really he cannot afford to invest so much money in old coins as
he has been doing of late. I simply think he is crazy to buy so many
coins. I call it throwing his money away and goodness knows he has
to work hard enough for it. You may wonder why I should write to
you instead of telling him what I think. I have talked to him until
I am sick and tired of doing so and its no use my trying to reason
with him so I am writing to you. He is simply throwing his money
and has nothing, but a few old coins to show for it. I suppose you
are not the only one selling coins in this country but you seem to
be about the only one he buys any amount from. He receives other
catalogues but just glances over them and throws them aside, but
after one of yours comes he sits reading it evening after evening
and marks it all over with figures of how much he intends to bid.

When he is not looking at your catalogues or paper he is pottering
about his old coins brushing them up and putting into envelopes and
packing them away in boxes, or putting them in little drawers he
has in his cabinet. He is too busy to go out with me to make a visit
or to go to a concert or the movies. In olden times when a man got
married during the ceremony he said to the bride, "This gold and
silver I thee give. With all my worldly goods I thee endow." But
today he does not include his old coins in these gifts and endowments,
he draws a line at them, and is as jealous of me seeing or touching
them as our dog is of a bone he has buried in the back garden.

Things might not be so had if Dad would only handle me differently,
the least he might do is to tell me a little about what he is doing
and why. But I expect he thinks I would make a big kick if I knew
how much his coins cost him, so he treats me as if I were not
capable of understanding his old coins—as if I were only a child.

He is a good man, kind and generous to a fault—especially if it is
his own, but he is too much wrapped up in the old coins. Why can't
he collect old postage stamps, goodness knows there are much cheaper.
My little son buys a whole thousand for a quarter and it takes him
weeks to find out where to paste them in a book. But just because
stamps are so cheap dad doesn't value them, he must have coins.
I'd like to tell you what I think about that article in your January
number. Any man who could make a joke about trading his wife off
for a coin is no man, only an excuse for one. I don't think that
Uncle George ever had a wife. If he had he would show more respect
for womanhood than he did. You should not have printed such a thing.
Perhaps you are surprised at my reading your paper but sometimes
wives read them on the side just to see what it is that interests
their men so much. Dad gets two papers all about coins, but yours
is the only one he reads. He says the other is too highbrow for
him and mostly full of reports of meetings that men go to just
to see their name in print afterwards.

I am writing to you to ask you not to send dad any more coins for
some time, but if you cannot do this only send him a few of what
he asks for. I expect he would be fine and mad if he knew I had
written to you.

It seems to us there is some misunderstanding on both sides here.
It might be better if the husband explained how interesting he found
his collection, and the pleasure he took it it. We fancy he would
gain the sympathy of his wife--she shows this in her letter and is
simply a little jealous of his interest in coins. At the same time
we wish to say, the money spent in coins is not money wasted. The
collector who has paid good money for good coins can always rely
on getting the greater part of it back if for any reason he wishes
to turn his collection into cash again. In many cases he would get
even more than he paid for certain coins, as many increase in value
during the years of collecting. The money spent cannot be a total
loss. We are sure that "Uncle George" had no desire or intention
of insulting womanhood in the letter referred to. His remark about
 the value of his wife proves that.—Editor.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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