Numismatists: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

12 Mar

Unfortunately there are thieves in this world.  On March 11, 2012, a Pennsylvania coin dealer had $150k in numismatic value stolen from inside of his car in, apparently, a matter of seconds.  A link to the story here:  Stealing coins is not a new thing, however.  In 2007, in conjunction with the summer FUN show a coin dealer was held up outside of the Peabody hotel near the convention center.  Dealers and collectors need to be aware of their surroundings at all times.

There are some measures that a dealer or collector can take in order to minimize risk of loss of property.  If you have a permit to carry a firearm, you might want to consider having it on your person every single time that you have inventory or other things of value with you; the element of surprise can be somewhat of a deterrent to a person or persons with bad intentions such as stealing.  A person should always be watchful of anyone that may be following them into, around or out of a convention center, coin store or other venues.

Try to never travel alone if you can help it; the more people the better.  Always look to see if a car is following you on the way home from a show.  Always take your coins inside with you in their unmarked wheeled or carrying cases.  Mail the high value items back home or hire private security to transport some of your things if necessary.  None of these procedures are full proof implementation processes, not even private security, but they can minimize risk.

Stories of burglaries, robberies and even homicides revolving around the industries of coins, bullion, diamonds, pawn and other related businesses have been transpiring since the beginning of all of the aforementioned professions.  Pony express stagecoaches were robbed constantly during the old west for crying out loud.  THIS IS NOT NEW!  Often times, situations are made too easy for thieves.  Leaving your things in your car while you go inside for dinner is one way of making things easy for a thief.  It is possible that had the $150k in coins been inside the restaurant with the dealer during his stopover for a meal, the coins may still be in the dealer’s possession today.  It is also possible the dealer would have just been robbed in the parking lot, heartwarming, I know.

The fact of the matter is that being a numismatic enthusiast can be a super fun pastime, but when thefts like this occur, it puts a bad taste in my mouth for so many things.  It makes people angry and sometimes helpless at the same time.  It is your job to always be familiar with your surroundings as well as others every moves and behaviors when you are managing value.  These occurrences are not new, they seem more prevalent than ever and they will happen in the future.  Do what you can to minimize the risk involved.

Please comment on this post however you feel moved to do so.  I would love to hear from you.


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