There was a time, in the not-too-distant past, when collectors would gather at the local coin shop to swap stories, to look at coins and generally consume time immersed in the culture of coin collecting. The shop would often be small, somewhat dingy, crowded , often located in a rundown strip mall, with stacks of magazines and catalogs strewn in piles resembling small geological formations, with old copies of Coin World in another pile, rows of Whitman coin folders on back shelves, half consumed cups of coffee, and cases covered in a decent layer of dust, mostly obscuring their contents. Apart from the local coin show, another endangered species, the local coin shop was the place for collectors and non-collectors to congregate on a daily basis. This was a good part of the world of coin collecting that I experienced in San Jose, when I "got serious" about collecting starting in the early 1980's. My local coin shop was on Bascom Avenue, located next door to a bar. By any measure the shop's location would not qualify it as a Forbes 500 corporation. But it was a wonderful place! It was virtually the size of an overgrown phone booth, and it had all sorts of coins, besides the usual US coins: talers from Germany, talleros and ductatos from Italy, 8 reales from Mexico and Potosi, ancient coins, in all metals, from Greece, Rome, the Byzantine Empire and beyond, sycee and cash from China, and books of all sorts. It was a place to swap knowledge, and gain enlightenment from collective experience. That shop closed decades ago. The owner moved to a fancier shop in a more up-scale part of San Jose. I visit from time to time, but it does not have the magic of the old shop. I don't know if that shop is still in business. The owner was approaching 80, a wonderful Sicilian, second generation, but his son has little interest in continuing with shop, so I imagine that it too will close, sooner probably than later. The online world of retailing has given us rapid access to information as well as the buying and selling of coins, but something has been lost in the transition, to be sure.