How Numismatic of You

If you are not a schmillionaire or an autistic savant with an interest in coins then you are probably thinking, “what the fuck is Numismatics? ”

Numismatics is the sport of pissing money away on collectable coins. Numismatists literally piss and shit money right into one another’s pockets. Being that so few people have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on a single coin, the community is rather incestuous and business is circular. It is both strange and intriguing.

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This week I had the pleasure of being a lot shower at a coin auction. The job is simple. I show lots (aka coins) that will be up for auction to potential buyers. In contrast to my last position as a manager in the health care industry,  this job requires very little thinking and I love that about it!  What I’ve come to realize is that sometimes life requires you to take a step down before you can take a step up. This job is exactly what I need right now. It is healing my mind.

Most of the day I sit there in my $20 outfit and quietly listen to numismatists say things like,  “I only paid $14,000 for the Serbian lot. It was a great deal!” Oh, the things that I could do with $14,000. For starters,  I would pay off ONE of my student loans. This type of statement can be hard to swallow but, surprisingly enough,  I’m not bitter about their wealth. I am amused.

Numismatists are all wealthy. You have to  have money (alot of fucking money) to be a player in game. These people can afford many things in life. Cars, houses, butlers, etc. You name it, they can get it. However, they choose to spend their money on collecting more money. Not just collecting, but obsessing. This obsession has driven up the value of old, expired coins and counterfeits. A coin that would once only afford a slice of bread can now be traded for a house. Is it this obsession with currency that made these people rich in the first place? I don’t know,  but it is an interesting question to ponder.

There is no doubt that the world of coin collecting is a clear demonstration of the growing financial gap between the haves and the have-nots. While some of us are struggling to pay student loans, others are buying a million dollars worth of old coins. But deep beneath the bullshit of it all there is culture, beauty, and craftsmanship that even I, a daughter of Joe the plumber, can appreciate.

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