March 12th, 2010

The Golden Rule

Editor’s Note: This post is by Richard Stinchcomb, an amateur photographer who happens to be a coin collector, too. He continues to add photos and coins to his portfolio in Georgia.

An event at a major coin show in Atlanta a few years ago left me feeling very shocked and concerned. Since numismatic events of this magnitude rarely occur near my home, I attended this particular show with a desire to meet prominent numismatic dealers, authors and other collectors like myself?and obviously view rare coins that I had never seen. I brought a few of my coins, some cash and my camera, to take a few photos of the show and its events.

Most of my day was spent browsing the bourse floor for an occasional bargain and talking to dealers and collectors. Everyone was very friendly.

About half way into the day, I came upon a dealer’s table that had a display that would catch any collector’s eye. I was in awe when I observed this display of 20 1893-S Morgan Dollars surrounding the famed 1895 proof Morgan Dollar. As I approached the enclosed display to get a better look, the dealer yelled at me saying, “No cameras at my table! Only thieves carry cameras to a coin show, so that makes you a thief in my book!”

I simply responded, “Well, it sure was a pleasure doing no business with you!” and walked away. Other collectors who were browsing his table vacated it, too.

This show was overflowing with security and had no policy barring the use of cameras. Other people were carrying cameras including the honorable Q. David Bowers, arguably one of the most respected authors and dealers in the field. I seriously doubt anyone could consider this man a thief.

Only a few minutes later, I met dealers at another prominent table that also had possession of one of the finest known examples of that same 1895 proof Morgan Dollar. Their approach was warm and embracing. This dealer asked me which coin I wanted to see and actually allowed me to hold and examine this 1895 proof Morgan Dollar graded PF69 Ultra Cameo by NGC. Obviously, I could not afford the bargain price tag of $550,000. Their professionalism earned my business in high-quality, rare coins that were just a little less expensive.

Success in any business is based on reputation that has been gained from customer satisfaction. Follow the golden rule by learning how to treat people. It will help maintain and build a stronger collector base in this fabulous hobby.

Blog . Coin collecting . Shows and exhibitions