If you are a collector of old coins or antiques then you will probably have been told by others in the community that you should be careful when picking up new items. When I first started collecting coins I had a chat with an old friend of mine, who is a creator at the Sadigh Gallery. As you can probably imagine, her first piece of advice to me was to always be sure that I knew what I was buying and where it was coming from.
To those of you who have been given this kind of advice, here is exactly why it is so important that you do have a firm grasp on what you are buying and where from.
Easy To Copy
There is big business in copying artwork and selling it off as an original. In fact this is something which is happening more and more in recent years. Now, as you can probably imagine, copying an original Picasso or Van Gogh is probably quite tricky and would require high level expertise and a great deal of time. A coin however is far easier and far cheaper to replicate. Another attractive feature to fraudsters is that old items like antiques and coins are much easier to copy, and far easier to pass on as the real thing.
Networks of Support
One of the saddest realizations that I have made has been the fact that there are networks out there which will seek to get you to buy something that isn’t real. This happens in some cases because people will get local ‘experts’ to check on the product to ensure that it is all above board. The ‘expert’ will then tell you that the piece is legitimate yet they are in fact working with the store, to hoodwink you. If then you are ever going to get an expert’s opinion be sure that it is someone who you have found yourself, and not someone who is recommended to you.
Lack of Knowledge
The reason why so many people will tell you of the importance of knowing your stuff is because of the fact that there are hundreds and thousands of collectors out there who simply do not know enough about the products. Take a coin for example, you should know what insignia to look for, what the weight should be, how corrosion should look and many more details about the coin. The fact that so many people get into this without knowing what they are looking for, is exactly why there are so many more people out there who are able to fool collectors.
Always be sure that once you get started with collecting, that you pay particular attention to all of the details. There is a wealth of resources out there which you can count on from books to forums, and it is a smart idea to use as many of them as possible.