Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Kentucky, May 25, 2019.
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I worked union my whole life.
So I keep everything .
Union ( pension ) pays my way in life .
Guess that means I am more of a collector than dealer...
This kind of thing has come up many times over the years. And when it does I find myself almost always pointing something out. Namely that before one can ask such questions I think it important that one first needs to define what a dealer is. And then, one also has to define what is a collector.
And I'm gonna predict, right now, what's going to happen because the same thing always happens - there's not going to be any consensus as to what defines a dealer, or a collector. Instead, there's going to be a whole gaggle of definitions ! And dang few of them are ever going to agree with each other. And some will be night and day different.
But I'll give ya mine, and defining a dealer is the easy one ! A dealer is somebody who makes his living selling coins - his primary source of income is derived from selling coins. That's it, plain and simple. If you don't meet that criteria - you're not a dealer.
So what defines a collector ? That's much more complicated, in my eyes anyway. And I say that because just acquiring coins, and putting them away in a jar or bowl or bags does not make one a collector. Nor does using a coin board like those for the State Quarters when they first came out. No, being a collector means much much more.
To be a collector one needs to acquire the coins because there is something specific about them that he likes, organize them in one way or another, study them, and learn about them - including how they are made, what they are made of, their specifics, their history, etc etc.
And I'll grant you there are a great many degrees to which that last line can be carried. But that last line is the defining criteria for a collector. And if you don't meet it, then you're not a collector.
And yeah, this is a classic example of something I say quite often. Very few people ever have the same definitions for anything !
Let me be the first to disagree with you on this definition.
A dealer is someone who buys coins with primary goal to sell at a profit.
Agreeded. You don't need to support yourself to be a dealer. You can support yourself in other ways and still be a dealer in coins.
I have to say no, it doesn't. And the examples are countless. Same thing applies to coins.
Fair enough. My initial thought was to get a feeling for the demographics of our little microcosm here. Selling one coin doesn't make you a dealer and keeping a lucky pocket piece doesn't make you a collector. I would define a dealer as a person who often buys coins with the express purpose of resale, AND who derives a significant (say >25%) of their income from their business. That would include all of the big guys and some of the "vest pocket" dealers. On the other hand, a collector doesn't have to study extensively (remember this is MY definition...others are welcome to disagree), but they acquire, arrange and study coins without much or any thought of resale.
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