Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing passed along this excerpt
from Ken Bressett's book about R.S. Yeoman, the Red Book founding editor.
Profit of the Mind—R.S. Yeoman on How to Run a Good Coin Show
Kenneth Bressett's memoir A Penny Saved: R.S. Yeoman and His Remarkable Red Book
celebrates the life of his mentor, hobby legend Richard S. Yeo (known as R.S. Yeoman), and
the longevity of the Guide Book of United States Coins (the
Red Book), first published in
1946. The 352-page hardcover volume is available from bookstores and hobby shops and
online (including at Whitman.com). This excerpt is from chapter 5, wherein Bressett shares
a number of Yeoman's writings. It was first published in the February–March 1964 issue of
the Whitman Coin Supply Merchandiser. Yeoman talks about the importance of coin shows,
the camaraderie they foster, and how to balance their objectives. He put these thoughts on
paper 60 years ago—but they could have been written with equal wisdom today.
Whatever observation we make about the trend of coin collecting, the desire to
assemble in large groups is clearly the most evident. Any week of the year, with a
few obvious exceptions, there are one to ten coin shows in as many communities
throughout the United States and Canada. It is a good trend, and those of us who
supply the necessary accessories for arranging, protecting, and pricing coins,
should encourage this kind of togetherness to the utmost.
The primary objective of the convention has been and probably will continue to
be the selling and buying of coins. These gatherings are basically bourses, and
most dealers derive an added benefit from making contacts with new and old
customers. The sale of a coin folder or Blue Book to a novice collector is often the
start of a long-term dealer-client association.
The future of the coin show or convention, however, rests on more than the
bourse, and it is encouraging to see how some local club sponsors are keeping a
happy balance between the dealer's bourse, the auction, and the educational
features. The show chairman is on the right track when he emphasizes exhibits
and announces well in advance that handsome trophies or plaques will go to the
winners. He knows that newcomers to the numismatic ranks are quickly brought
into the show when the local newspaper, radio, and TV announces a free exhibit
of rare coins.
We have noticed that the best attendance comes to those coin shows that have a
modest or free registration, accessible display room, cordial committee members
to answer questions, and a place to rest when the feet start to tire. One feature in
particular has been offered by only a few conventions, and that is a special
educational forum. Sometimes a panel of two to four well-informed individuals
can do more to further the hobby than all the coin investment plans ever devised.
There ought to be more of this kind of thing.
Our hobby can be torn apart very thoroughly if the profit motive continues to be
over-emphasized to the exclusion of educational features. Competitive displays, authoritative lectures, mind-stimulating forums, and displays of available
numismatic literature are convention attractions that can strengthen and
perpetuate the ranks of the coin collecting fraternity.
Let us have both school and marketplace, but in the right proportion. Perhaps we
can plan our conventions this year with more emphasis on profit of the mind.
Yep - solid advice.
A Penny Saved: R.S. Yeoman and His Remarkable Red Book
By Kenneth Bressett; foreword by Jeff Garrett.
ISBN 0794849016. Hardcover, 8.5 x 11 inches, 352 pages, full color.
Retail $39.95 U.S.
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NEW BOOK: A PENNY SAVED
R.S. YEOMAN AND HIS REMARKABLE RED BOOK
Wayne Homren, Editor
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