[1984 with the brilliant and late John hurt - image reblogged from www.bustle.com]
For the past few years, our national papers have been full of articles about ‘valuable’ coins. It has now become so widespread, you will find several pieces written in tabloids every single week (even if it is most of the same over and over and over…..). In one way this is great, simply because so many people are now becoming so genuinely interested in collecting coins. Yet in other ways, it is also quite damaging.
Perverting a Pastime
Fact. Most ordinary folk in this country are brassic. The cost of living is absurdly high and thousands of people are wracking their brains, desperately trying to come up with ways of generating some extra income. So when the media are drip feeding them with tales of everyday, common old garden coins being worth oodles more than their face value, peeps are going to listen.
To put it in a nutshell, the papers are turning what was a hobby into just another way of making money. And this is eagerly gobbled up by families who are in a desperate situation. This isn’t anything new, as precisely the same thing has happened with other things as well.
It is kind of sad though. Does everything in life have to become profit orientated?????
Whilst most experienced coin collectors will sit and chuckle at the drivel being pumped out by many of our biggest national papers, newbies will react very differently. Many of these will believe what they read, regardless of how absurd it is, simply because they don’t know any better. So ultimately this isn’t their fault.
When prices are quoted in the press, most will be entirely wrong and some are so ludicrously inaccurate they aren’t even worthy of discussion. I do honestly believe that many reporters will simply make up figures as they go along, rather than spending a few hours doing some research.
One of the most important facets in this circus of misinformation is the way that quoted prices are obtained. It appears that most papers will base the ‘value’ of a coin on how much people have listed it for online. Which is, of course, completely and utterly bonkers.
If I were to list a bog standard circulated 1997 fifty pence for fifty pounds on eBay I would have very high hopes indeed. It would in no way indicate its true value (which is simply 50p) – that would only occur if I were to actually sell it. Many people seem to get so caught up in the hysteria of it all, they will forget about this obvious fact altogether.
If nothing else, these observations show us just how easy we are to control. And the media are well aware of this. We are steered and cajoled into thinking and doing all manner of things, all thanks to the power of the media. Coins are not an isolated area whatsoever. They hold sway over many areas of our lives.
Ask George Orwell, he’ll tell you.
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019