Stick to Six “NEVERS” When Buying a Coin

27 Feb

Try to say please and try to say thank you.  It is amazing how far you can get with a person by just being polite.  “May I please look at your coin…and thank you for letting me look at your coin;” it’s very easy.  If you already mirror the follow through acts of recommendations below then you will love this article and just be agreeing with me during the already in process three and a half minute read.  Or maybe I am speaking directly to you when I suggest practicing a few or all of these common courtesies; I have derived the following list of six NEVERS that I recommend to you when buying your next coin (these can really apply to buying anything):

  1. Unless you are a seasoned veteran dealer/collector, NEVER buy on impulse without thinking through a transaction first. It can be better to cross reference prices realized or wholesale and retail price guides before making a purchasing commitment.
  2. NEVER tell a coin dealer that you are going to buy a coin from them and not follow through. It is better to say that you are going to continue looking at other options and will further consider the coin you spent so much time looking at.
  3. NEVER buy a coin without looking at it under a good light source (lamp).  A good light source will be at the discretion of the user (type of bulb).
  4. Grading a coin is subjective.  NEVER start negotiating the grade of a coin.  Negotiating condition is a common practice that sometimes serves its purpose; I don’t recommend it.  Many buyers try to talk down the quality of a coin in order to get a better price and doing this can cause unnecessary tension in the middle of getting a deal done.  Just negotiate the price if you are interested in buying it.  Owners and third party grading services determine the grades of coins; buyers can determine their grade once they own it. 
  5. NEVER take a coin out of the protective holder it is in without asking the owner first.  This is just a thoughtful practice.
  6. NEVER hold a coin by the obverse or reverse sides; hold the piece by its third side and put your oily fingerprints on the rims if you must. If you respect the history being held at your fingertips, then just do this!

You shouldn’t think to yourself that these are the only NEVERS when buying a coin.  In fact there are more NEVERS that you and I could shake a stick at.  We could discuss NEVERS for hours over an ice cold beer or a bold French Roast coffee and a croissant (depending on your preference, I’d chat with the complement of either).  Even better, there are an infinite amount of ALWAYS to act out when you buy coins (coming soon to a post near you).

The beauty of the NEVER suggestions in a numismatic sense are that they are only strong opinions that I hold and feel would likely help the numismatic culture in interaction; by no means are they mandates for business conduct or even proven facts that assist a transaction.  But with my experience of more than ten years collecting and going to coins shows and coin shops, these NEVERS are what I have been moved to share with you. You can take them seriously or disregard them but the people that I would like to talk to adhere mostly to ideas like the NEVERS that I’ve mentioned.

Write to me if you have personal experience with NEVERS like we’ve discussed here. I would also really appreciate comments from rude people as well as the polite!


2 Responses to “Stick to Six “NEVERS” When Buying a Coin”

  1. 02/28/2012 at 18:33 #

    Great thoughts, and they can be applied to most all situations – as well as they should. Thanks for sharing.

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