This conversation actually happened

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kirispupis, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    This reminds me of several other conversations I had with either my sons' friends or nieces/nephews that stopped over. I was showing them my Athens owl tetradrachm, and the story I love to tell is that Socrates was most likely alive when the coin was minted.

    Me: So, do you know who Socrates was?
    Teens: blank stares

    [I move on to another group]
    Me: So, do you know who Socrates was?
    Teens: Yes. I think so.
    Me: In which city did he live?
    Teens: Blank stares and guesses

    Granted, as a teenager I couldn't have answered who Alexander the Great's father was, named any of the Diadochi, or more than 3 roman emperors, but I did know about Socrates, even before I watched Bill & Ted.

    FWIW, I actually got into ancient coins only recently. As a teenager, I collected stamps (still have them), space patches, US coins, and antique firecracker packs - the latter three I sold to fund my coins.

    I did enjoy reading the Greek classics, in particular Aristophanes and Plato. I had an English teacher in HS who insisted we only read American novels, to which I asked why give it such a heavy emphasis - as the US has a far shorter literary history compared to the rest of the world. We got along well...
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @kirispupis, I'm only going to go as far as your HS English teacher who was so chauvinistic about American novels. ...One could only wish that there could be more of us who appreciated them in relation to their place in the far broader and deeper Western canon. ...Can we even say 'canon' any more? Or is that yet another casualty of the ongoing, relentless cultural erosion that we're all witnessing?
    ...[Edit:] Along similar lines, America used to be about the irreplaceable glories of full-on cultural pluralism. If I comment on the present administration, I'll probably get busted for political content. Except that I'm looking at the mess it has to clean up, and have to say, 'well, Good Luck with That....'
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  4. Lueds

    Lueds Well-Known Member

    I also collected when younger, right through my Army days and only slowed down when I married and we had kids. Responsibilities first, no $$$ for a hobby when $50k comes in and $65k goes out...

    Now I'm in a better place, kids all grown, my wife of 5 years somewhat allows my coin addiction as I do make a few $$ here and there through FeeBay and FB sales.

    My old man was a Hoarder/Collector of many things and I got the bug when I was around 5-6 years old as Australia had switched from the old Pre-Decimal to Decimal Currency and the old coins were still somewhat in circulation.

    Coins, Tokens, Stamps, Football Cards, Rocks, Books, Critters (Lizards, ants lol) and pretty much anything that caught my fancy were my go to. We moved about a lot cos my old man was Navy and was posted here and there. I found comfort in reading and collecting.
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  5. Broucheion

    Broucheion Well-Known Member

    OK, I’ll digress.

    Hilarious video show 17 year old teenagers baffled by rotary phone

    Here’ how to do it
    1950 DIALING TIPS - How to use a rotary dial phone

    FWIW, I have never used a candle stick phone with a live operator handling the connections. I wouldn’t know what to do.

    - Broucheion
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  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Same here, missed the live operator but remember the rotary phone. It was a big deal to get the push buttons.
  7. Lueds

    Lueds Well-Known Member

    I loved my Rotary back in Australia. Used to win a LOT of Radio Station competitions with that phone.

    Saw 14 movies over 12 months at the cinemas, Got tickets to travelling Broadway shows in Sydney 'Cats', 'Nine' and 'Evita' and numerous free dinners at damn fine restaurants.

    When they changed to push button phones I could never get the timing right. My lucky streak petered out :(
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  8. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I look at my ancient coins as never an investment, lol I've some niche coins that I bought for nearly 100/200 dollars that I would never get back if I were try to sell it, but I wont, those coins are here for the long haul!
    In my case, it's my parents who couldn't care for my coins that are 1000s of years old, my mum just wouldn't believe that some of my coins were used around the time when Jesus roamed the Earth!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Broucheion, I watched all of the video for both of those. Which rarely happens from here. --Highly recommended, on both counts, for the entertainment value.
    Going all the way back to having been a teenager, once long ago, maybe the family's rotary phone (and how my sister would monopolize it) was part of what got me off the technology generally. To this day, all I have is a land line. Effectively for outgoing calls, since any land line is ipso facto a magnet for robocalls, and the only more occasional live phone solicitor. (I pity them, but in real time, that's the best they get from here.)
    ...Except that it's that easy for us old fogeys (and, yes, it is --Teacher, I Raise My Hand) to look down on people who never had this technology ...and, as @ancient coin hunter pointed out, are as fluent in their technology as they aren't in ours, never mind the minor detail that some of us will never catch up with theirs.
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  10. DiomedesofArgos

    DiomedesofArgos Well-Known Member

    Sure, everyone laughs at him now, but at the rate he's going, he'll be buying Dekadrachms, Kimon Tetras, and gold Eid Mars by his 50s. :pompous:
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  11. Broucheion

    Broucheion Well-Known Member

    Hi @+VGO.DVCKS,

    Guilty as charged. To this day the only video game I’ve ever played is ... Pong. At that time I was getting my EE degree so I was unimpressed with this newfangled primitive technology to want to play with it.

    - Broucheion
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  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Broucheion, I'm on your page, more than you know. All of the above, except, I didn't play Pong, which I occasionally had the privilege of watching while contemporaries were playing it ...while getting my degree in, Just Wait for it, English literature. To this day, part of my takeaway is, Dang, that's a Lot of money to spend on something Else that will inexorably rot your brain. ...If what I've seen of contemporary video games is Any clue, it's like, the same principle holds. Better graphics, while for content, the needle really doesn't budge.
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  13. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Thanks, great reply..
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  14. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    In our family my Ancient coin obsession is something that is not understood - and that is fine. They make a little fun of me - but love to see me enjoy my hobby.

    My youngest daughter - when she was 14 - (she is 18 now) had asked me the most perfect question.. I will never forget it - I was proud of her. It was thoughtful and concise:

    "So Dad, you actually spend money on money you cannot spend??"

    I kept my "but....but" to myself (that was for another day) .. I just took the moment to enjoy the mind that formed such a fine question.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
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  15. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I was about to type the same thing!

    Many of my friends are in their 20s or 30s and fully appreciate ancient history ... of course we are a nerdy clique!
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  16. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    Not all coins.
    And cryptos weren't intended to be an investment, they were intended to be a currency, like the dollar.
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I would grant you the first cryptos were, then they were shown they could not be that but could be a store of value.

    "Investment" coins still make me nervous. Sure, possibly a return could be generated, but its very dicey. Tons of people simply do not calculate it correctly. Let's talk about a coin you bought for $10,000 20 years ago.

    First, you could have very easily bought a coin now out of demand. Remember how hot early commems were a couple of decades ago? Ignoring that or you getting lucky and buying something skyrocketing like Cleo VII and choose a boring coin for $10,000. Let's say you sell it for $25,000 today. Fantastic right?

    1. You didn't make a return on that $10,000 for 20 years. At a 5% annualized return, (over the period this is fair, I know today its too high), that would be $26,533
    2. You do not GET $25,000 to sell, you have to pay buyer premium. Lets assume a low one, "only" 10%.
    3. You had the risk of loss of this asset for 20 years. Even if you sell insured and did not lose it, this was a real risk. The cheapest insurance I know of is 1% of value, so 1% of original price for 20 years is $2000.

    So basically your $10,000 great "investment" 20 years ago nets you ($25,000-2000-2500)=$20,500 versus making $26,533 in an investment if you needed to liquidate or pledge against a loan could be done in the matter of seconds. To sell a coin like this for full value takes a couple of months minimum.

    Coin and bullion collectors never fully appreciate and take into account the time value of their money or liquidity factors. They wax poetic about how great the "good old days" of 30 years ago were, not calculating the TVM effects on those decisions.
  18. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 65 years Supporter

    I collected marbles when I was a kid. I lost them many years ago.
  19. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    A few years ago I collected 90 years of (yearly) raw data on the S&P, starting in 1927 before the Great Depression. I have since updated the data to include every year up to the end of 2020. The raw data I collected is simply the starting value of the S&P at the beginning of the year, plus the dividends paid that year. With this data you can calculate the yearly total return as well as the compounded annual return for any period.

    I also collected yearly inflation data as well, although this information varies slightly depending on the source you choose for the data.

    There is a wealth of information in the spreadsheet I created to analyze this data, and one of the more interesting bits is that there is no 20-year period (including the Great Depression and our recent Great Recession) during which the S&P's compounded annual return was not at least 2.37%. Further, for any 20-year period starting after 1932, the minimum 20-year compounded annual return is 5.47%; this minimum would be for the period 1999 - 2018.

    If you had invested $10K in the S&P index in the beginning of 2001 (and reinvested dividends), that $10K was worth almost $41,000 at the end of 2020 -- and much more in 2021. Inflation during that period was 49.4% so you would need $14,940 at the end of 2020 to purchase what you could buy for $10,000 in 2001 [corrected from 1999].

    My conclusion is that if you want a long term investment, buy the S&P index fund. Collecting high-end ancient coins is an enjoyable hobby, not an investment.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  20. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Good data sir. I appreciate it. I was going out of my way to make the comparison as "fair" as possible simply to get the point across that even high end coins are not "investments". Sure, they may maintain values over time according to auction results, but there are many costs and compounding TVM collectors never really consider.

    Coming from someone who has more high end coins than most people I know, people should take your comments to heart sir.
  21. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    One thing of note here is how home life affected what we learned. My parents had no problem taking time to read to me, and they were readers. So I became one. We read to our son when he was young, and now he haunts the annual book sales. Yes, he went through the Beanie baby craze, attended Pokemon trading shows, and watched his favorite cartoons. But he also has a love of history and got a degree in it. I also think that's because I started getting into genealogy and relating family history to him.

    He has been attracted to the Peace dollars and Walking Liberty halves for their history. I hope he keeps it up.
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