OBITUARIES | Eric Newman, Whose Coins Told of America’s History, Dies at 106
I remember seeing this guy’s name in the coin magazines I was reading in the 60s. Kind of amazing – born in 1911, started collecting in 1918. Imagine what his pocket change looked like! The photo of him at the top of the article at 103 shows he must have been doing something right.
Those coin magazines really made an impression on me. Now I am in the business of selling an analog of coins – antique copper bowls. Just like in the old days I get to pick through stacks and get the best ones – except I’m somewhere around the Himalayan mountains while doing so. My ear has augmented my eye in terms of selecting value. Like back then I’m building my own personal collection and at the same time passing on lots of great ones.
I’ve adapted the style they used in those magazines to sell individual coins – a nice photo along with a story, possibly a little romance and the essential immutable facts. Being the web I have more space than a magazine and get to add multiple photos and sound clips along with lots more info out of my database.
I’ve even adapted one of the core values in numismatics – “condition” which I call “state of preservation” and use it to assess every singing bowl. No other singing bowl website seems to look at their bowls this way let alone judges them to a standard, record it and post it for each one. I’m even issuing certificates with photos, again something that harkens back to the coin world.
Coin collecting is not a part of the culture now. Just like Newman, I got started by a coin gift at age 7 and just like him I hung out at a coin store – and I was not the only kid who showed up there.