This issue closes out four years of The Celator and gives us cause to reflect upon the events of these past years. We have grown in many ways, due largely to consistent help from our many friends, but we still have improvements to make and procedures to refine. We are poised for significant t growth in 1991 and look forward to challenges, especially in the area of distribution. which will be new to us.
As readers, you can look forward to some major editorial enhancements in the first quarter of the coming year. We are looking at the strongest lineup of articles that The Celator has ever enjoyed and will be continuing the outstanding features that we all look for each month. We will also be presenting an index of past articles with abstracts for those who might have points to research.
During the past year, for better or worse. we have been asked on an increasingly frequent basis to mediate or arbitrate disputes or disagreements between subscribers and advertising dealers. We have been "expected" to boycott and condemn individua ls because of their policies, or lack thereof, or because they did not act "fairly"' in a transaction. For reasons which are difficult to fully understand, we have been perceived as some sort of judge or policeman for the hobby.
We recognize the need to assure that material advertised in The Celator is fairly presented and that the potential buyer is protected from fraud. Accepting an ad, however. does not make us the advertiser's keeper and il is not our responsibility to "ride herd" on any individual just because they at one time or another advertised in The Celator.
We have a policy of denying advertising space to any firm or individual if we have on file three written complaints which are unresolved. We have exercised that policy on two occasions in the past year. In both cases, the disputes were resolved, and subsequent advertising was accepted. Considering that we have. on average, about 75 advertisers per month, this is not a serious problem. It is an inconvenience, however, for the customer and it is our intention to continue this policy for our readers' protection. With this in mind, we will become involved when necessary, however we hope that this is a last resort option.
There is another aspect to this issue which deals with our responsibilities in respect to non-advertisers. If we witness an action detrimental to the welfare of our readers, is it our responsibility, or even our right, to intervene? This is a really tacky area because it is impossible to draw a line beyond which point, we become involved. All we can really do is warn our readers about potential dangers. And this we do quite often in our editorials, letters, features and articles. This month you will see a somewhat more direct warning in the form of a full-page announcement. We have observed recent offerings, circulated to some of our readers, which feature extremely rare coins at prices and in quantities that are absolutely impossible. We have to believe that there is a clear and present danger in these offerings and implore those who might be tempted by an incredible bargain to get a second or third opinion from any other dealers advertising on our pages before putting any cash on the line.
The beginning of this month was dominated by the activity surrounding the New York International Numismatic Convention. We have related a few of the exciting highlights in this issue, but there is one element that did not set well with many of those in attendance. The show was held at the New York Hilton, which would seem to suggest excellence of accommodations, but in reality, the facility is more suitable to stabling horses. In addition, the show was split into two levels. with the "veterans" on the lower level and others literally hidden upstairs. It is our opinion that a continuation of this policy will result in the serious degradation of this show if not in its demise.
With the holidays now behind us we should be able to relax a bit and catch up on our pile of correspondence (which I 'm sure many of you are patiently awaiting). You 've probably noticed that Steve is assuming more responsibility these days, and we have recognized that expanded role with a promotion to Associate Editor.
We will be in Orlando for the FUN show in early January and in Long Beach the first week in February - who says the market is dormant over the winter? We look forward to seeing some of you there.
This was a good month for reader response (some of it not too favorable). Keep those letters coming so we can benefit from your point of view!