Tuesday 16 February 2010

Fascinating Text on Coin Collecting

It is not often I am moved to use the word "fascinating" when it comes to what is written by collectors of coins, but Reid Goldsborough is a good writer and always worth heeding - even when I think he is wrong. In a text he has published on Moneta-L last night he frankly discusses the period when he re-began collecting coins, and it is good reading. In fact (though the bottom bit is of more specialist interest and may not be to everyone's taste) it is an exceptionally good text, so much so that it appears to me that Mr G. should be snapped up by a numismatic publisher and asked to write a book. Let me pick out some quotable quotes the first not quite in the context the author intended, I admit):
Most dealers appear to adhere to the maxim that if asked, you disclose, if not, you don't. But some, it appears, don't even when asked. [...] some dealers, even those at the top of the profession, don't disclose what they should...
I particularly liked this paragraph on the appeal of collecting numismatic material.
But what most does it for me, with coins, is what I've described as the "glom." With the background information in your head that you've uncovered through your research, you seize upon a coin with your eyes, marveling at its physicality, the beauty or quirkiness of its design, strike, and state of preservation, following the coin's lines and curves, its raised devices and depressed fields, tilting the coin for different perspectives on the pristine or worn surfaces, awed by the light's aesthetic revelations of how the metal was shaped and how it has interacted with its environment over what's often a very long time.
Most of Goldsborough's text considers the
"dialectic of truth and falsity [which] plays itself out in numerous ways in ancient numismatics, but two are primal: 1) The dispersal of new finds of ancient coins (and artifacts) into collections, and 2) Forgeries.
Both of these areas are ones which interest me very much too, so Mr Goldsborough's comments are of great interest. He promises to discuss the first issue at more length elsewhere (he has done so on his website already and I've discussed this on this blog earlier) but the text on forgeries is also worth a read, though the bottom (with his wants list and discussion of strategies for dealing with eBay scammers) gets a bit specialist in scope. Moneta-L (unlike most collectors' forums which obviously feel they have something to hide) has an open archive. Excellent stuff.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.