By Jeff Fournier
This is a very important column!
Today, I am asking you to take a good, hard look at your collection and ask yourself, “what will happen to it when I’m gone?”
You’re not immortal. None of us are. So the day will come, when you will no longer be around to take care of your ‘precious.’
At the recent RCNA convention held in Ottawa, Michael Turrini, one of the keynote speakers at the educational symposium, reminded us all of this when he stated, “You are going. PERIOD!”
How many of you reading this column today have an accurate record of what’s in your collection? If you do, that’s good. If you don’t… well, that’s not so good!
Even if you have catalogued your collection, has it been updated recently to include new acquisitions? Are all of the pieces accurately described, graded and priced?
Price….yes, that is another issue altogether.
If all of your numismatic pieces are priced, are those figures based on retail or wholesale values? And, how easy will it be for somebody else (especially if they have little or no numismatic knowledge) to dispose of it AND get a FAIR price?
You might be starting to realize that what I am getting at here is a little more complicated than first meets the eye.
Cataloguing your collection is one thing, but accurately describing it and pricing it is quite another.
Have you chosen a trusted individual, with some, and hopefully a lot, of numismatic knowledge (especially in your field), who can ensure that your collection will be properly distributed, transferred or sold for maximum gain and satisfaction for all parties involved to be the guardian of your precious cargo?
Is that trusted someone aware of what type of numismatic items are in demand, versus what type have only a limited appeal to a very limited collector base? And does this trusted someone know what might be the best way to dispose of your collection: would that be to another collector, to a dealer or by selling it via an auction?
Tricky stuff for sure.
What’s a collector to do?
Well, first things first. If you haven’t catalogued your collection, start doing it today. Ensure that you have accurately described each item and recorded its value accurately as well. Make sure that scarce pieces are catalogued as such.
To do this, you have to properly label your coins, since a listing will mean nothing unless the line-items can be matched easily to the coin itself.
And above all, let a trusted family member, friend, fellow collector or whomever you choose, in on what you have been doing all of these years. Tell them what have you been collecting and how have you been collecting it?
They must know what exactly you have got in your collection – any great rarities, exceptionally high-grade coins, particularly scarce pieces and precious metal pieces. That’s all important stuff.
Let your trusted someone know where you keep your collection. Ensure they have access to your safety deposit box or home safe if you have one.
State your wishes to them and put it in writing in a will.
What do you want to become of your collection? Would you like a family member to inherit it? What about the local museum?
There’s a lot to think about, but just remember that the most important thing is just to start thinking about it. Then start communicating with the significant people in your life about your collection.
And for heaven’s sake, get started today on cataloguing your collection and properly classifying and describing it.
Just remember……you are going. PERIOD!