Coins and mankind are here to stay

By Michael S. Turrini

Club meetings, shows and other gatherings cancelled … Gold and silver prices irrational … Mints halting production and closing gift shops … Panic buying … Stock market chaotic … Jobs curtailed … Layoffs … Fear.

We are all witnessing conditions and circumstances completely unknown – not just to our “world of money” hobby, but to modern civilization itself. Uncertainty and worry are now the agonies of daily life.

This agony threatens our world of money, from the local coin clubs in Canada, the United States and elsewhere being forced to postpone and cancel events, all the way to our national associations, whose services are restricted or reduced.

Yet, into this gloom and darkness with no end in sight, our world of money offers comfort and serenity. It gives us a foundation for stability in a troubling world.

Thankfully, our world of money can be enjoyed and shared by other means. There are emails, telephone calls, texts, old-fashion letter correspondence and even video conferencing. Also, our world of money can be enjoyed among very small groups with distance ordained and hygiene enforced. Equally, at times like these, there is endless reading from the voluminous literature that serves as the education of our world of money. There also remains, and shall always remain, the personal touch of relaxing alone with one’s albums, 2x2s and collection – complete with a handy magnifier.

Yes, meetings and shows are terminated (hopefully only for a short time), and yes, this pandemic continues and may worsen.

So what is our recourse? Fear?

More than six decades ago, the great numismatic scholar and philosopher Rear Admiral Oscar Henry Dodson reminded us of something important.

“Today we grope in the fog of uncertainty, searching for a glimmer of what lies ahead. In searching our hearts and minds in an effort to resolve the problems today, we eventually are forced to turn back to the study of the past ….”

To the rear admiral, who authored the 1962 book Money Tells the Story, the past meant numismatics.

Numismatics, to him, can whisper hope.

He ended his admonishment with this provocative thought: “In these faces of majesty, carved in tiny metallic memorials, we pick up an ageless echo: have faith – have patience – we, too, faced problems – we solved problems – mankind is here to stay.”

– Michael Turrini, of Vallejo, Calif., describes himself as an ‘intense and devoted advocate for the coin hobby.’ He was slated as the keynote speaker at the now-cancelled Royal Canadian Numismatic Association Club Delegates Breakfast in Halifax this July.

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