Fighting City Hall

You can't fight City Hall. That's the battlecry of the Great Unwashed; Urban Legend has it that the 800 pound gorilla always wins. Don't believe it for a minute. That's the point of the David & Goliath story in the Bible. Sometimes the Little Guy has a chance. In the case of coin collecting, the chance for the little guy is so close to zero as to be almost unnoticeable. My method of collecting goes against the very fibre of Popular Wisdom -- an oxymoron if ever there was one.

In my own peculiar world, coins are not all the same, they're different; this directly offends anyone who has the obsession to find the "perfect" coin, meaning MS-71 of every issue. Gosh, I don't want to offend the billion or so OCD coin collectors out there who want to examine a coin under an electron microscope before they accept it.

I can't justify plunking down anyone's total net worth for a Capped Liberty Bust half dollar, but some folks would gladly pay to be able to say they had a #1 registry coin or two.

Heck-darn, that's just party talk.

I not only don't go to parties at the age of 71, I never did. Hootnannies and folk-fests, yes -- but parties, no. I can watch folks get hooked up anywhere.

So I fight City Hall. I swim against the stream. When they zig, I zag.

"Look for the hole in the market." That's what my dress-manufacturing grampa said to me when I graduated First Grade.

There's always some hole, some highly specialized, highly localized niche or sub-niche into which you can fit your marketing ass, like an old comfortable stuffed chair or a slick new La-Z-Boy.

So instead of searching for bright, shiny almost mint coins amongst the many thousands of unsearched pennies before me, I deliberately dive right for the gnarly, the weird, the strange and the stunningly beautiful natural accident. I look, in short, for the runts of the litter, like I buy my Aussie shepherds and rat terriers, and I've never been wrong.

Of course, for the runt of the litter to do well, beyond mere survival, it requires retraining from loser-submissive to cattle driver or rat finder, depending on what the dog was bred for, but enough -- back to coinology:

When I search for my Rainbows and Other Marvels, my eyes are peeled for interesting coloration, opalization, iridescence, odd marks or dings, a small amount of zinc oxide making a strange shape or impinging oddly into the coin, etc.

I then give the coin a name that reflects what I saw in it, thus directing the viewer to the salient point or points. The process creates a coin that isn't a coin -- it has risen to a level of Objective Art.

The paper-framed coin is then signed, dated, scanned and sent to eBay just for you!