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BellaOnline's Coin Collecting Editor


Ron Guth speaks out on his book

Guest Author - Raymond F. Hanisco

You have read the book review on “Coin Collecting for Dummies.” Here is your opportunity to read what the author has to say about his book, his motivation, his favorite coins and on coin collecting. This is the first part of a three part series, designed to give you a little insight into a numismatic scholar and his work. The interview was insightful, and I hope it will provide you with a real learning experience. Enjoy the interview – Part One.


Ron, first of all, I want you to know, I read your book “Coin Collecting for Dummies,” and I enjoyed it immensely. I found it to be a very easy read. I enjoyed the personal stories, the coin dos and don’ts, and it seem so to have just the right amount of humor in all the right places.


“I’m glad you enjoyed it.”


How would you describe what your book “Coin Collecting for Dummies” is about and why did you decide to write it?


“’Coin Collecting for Dummies’ is really aimed at getting people excited about collecting coins, and it is not just for the beginner, but some of it is aimed at the advanced collector (someone who has been collecting for a while). It really is about getting people excited about coin collecting and introducing them to the things they will be encountering when they first start. One of the problems with numismatics and coin collecting is that you pretty much get thrown into it, and either you swim or sink. I wanted to provide some helpful information for those people just starting out so they can avoid some of the mistakes that a lot of people make when they first start collecting.”


Who do you think could benefit from reading it [your book]?


“Really anybody, as there are tips in there for anybody, beginners to advanced collectors. … I go into selling your collection, which is a major decision. [When selling your collection], it is difficult to let go, and … it is easy to make a big mistake. So, I try to give some advice. Whether you go to auction, or whether you pursue other avenues, collectors have a feeling of a personal attachment to the coins in their collections.”


You have been in the field of Numismatics for quite some time. How many years has it been?


“I guess it has been 30 some years.”


Well then, let me ask you this. Since you have been in the [Coin] Industry for so long, and so much of the technical language becomes a part of every day life; what adjustments did you have to make when you wrote your book, so that anyone could read it, and how long did it take you to write?


“It actually didn’t take that long to write the book…about three months. The editing process is the big thing.

“…Writing a book about coins is one thing, but then adapting it to a particular style [of the Publishing Company] is a whole other. The parent company [of the “…for Dummies” series] was very helpful. I had great editors, and they made it very easy to conform. So, it was really more than just dumping the information I had in my brain, but learning how to write a book. It was my first book, and a tremendous experience….”


In the book you cover a lot of different coins. I am sure this was to show the reader that, no matter where their interest may lie, there is an area of coin collecting for them. Why is it important for a collector to choose a main focus to their collecting rather then collecting whatever [coins] they can get their hand on?


“Mainly, for value, not so much while you are collecting, but when you go to sell it. Clearly, there is a difference between an accumulation of coins and a collection of coins. A collection of coins usually has a focus and it concentrates on a certain area, or a theme, or [on a] particular coin, whereas an accumulation is a mish-mosh of things that are picked up here and there with no unifying theme, and therefore, nothing special to help sell them. The thing about coins that really helps sell them is a story, or a theme that I referred to. When you have that sort of attraction [a theme] it makes the coins more desirable, thus easier to sell. If it is just a collection of coins thrown into a cigar box they get treated as if they have no value when you go to sell them; for instance, if you go to a Coin Shop with ten coins thrown into a cigar box, they [the coin dealers] are not going to take the time to look through them to determine which ones are valuable for you. Whereas, if you take the time to do that beforehand, you will get more value back when you go to sell it.”

Ron Guth expanded on his thoughts regarding focus and theme of a collection. He told me that it was up to the collector to create the parameters of their collection, and how it didn’t necessarily have to contain the rarest coins to make a collection good.

We will continue this series of “Ron Guth speaks out ….” In the next edition, Ron will talk about: Coin Collecting, his favorite coins to collect, what motivates him, and what he sees as future trends in Coin Collecting. Watch for the next edition, and tell your friends.

To order Ron Guth’s book “Coin Collecting for Dummies” just copy and paste the following address into your browser:

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Content copyright © 2015 by Raymond F. Hanisco. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Raymond F. Hanisco. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Gary Eggleston for details.


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