Monday Morning Brief for Feb. 8, 2021: Pandemic, Year 2 begins

February 08, 2021 2 min read

Monday Morning Brief for Feb. 8, 2021: Pandemic, Year 2 begins

By William T. Gibbs ,Published: Feb 8, 2021, 7 AM

A full year has now passed since the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 began spreading throughout the United States and the rest of the world after surfacing in China.

More than 2 million people have died worldwide, with the toll in the United States approaching a half million. All of us have had to make adjustments to our personal interactions, and mask wearing is now at least widespread, if not yet universal.

The numismatic community has been struck as hard as any specialized community, and yet here we are, still doing well despite the challenges.

March 2020 saw the first cancellations of coin shows and public auctions in the United States. The hobby has not experienced a major convention anywhere in a year, now, though some smaller shows have gamely gone on as usual, albeit with Centers for Disease Control recommendations in place.

As we enter the second month of 2021, long-planned events continue to be canceled, including conventions sponsored by collector organizations like the American Numismatic Association and Central States Numismatic Society, and commercial operations like those conducting the Long Beach Expo and Baltimore Expo.

Nonetheless, the hobby is coping as well as it can. The past year was strong for the high-end numismatic markets, and collectors at the lower end of the price spectrum continue to buy as well, even if much of their buying is by phone or online. Traditional public auctions have given way to virtual events with barely a blip in the action, likely at a cost savings to the auction firms, which can conduct sales from their headquarters without the expenses of travel to distant locales.

Sill, concerns remain, especially with no “normal” yet in sight. Will the ANA, which has had to cancel the Summer Seminar the second year in a row, be able to hold the popular event in 2022? Will big conventions start resurfacing in the summer of 2021, or will we still be on local lockdowns until the end of the year?

We can get through this together; just keep hanging on.


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