This issue celebrates the compilation of our eighth year of service to collectors. It was a year of continued growth for us, and an eventful year for the hobby in general. We've witnessed the passing of some old faces, and the arrival of some new, but the attraction of ancient numismatics seems as strong as ever. There even seems to be a resurgence of antiquarian interest among the younger generations- of course there's more than one younger generation for us these days.
One theme which often echoes in this column is the statement of purpose which drives us. That is, of course, to provide a forum through which antiquarians may share their love of the hobby. We are especially proud of the progress made this year toward fulfilling that goal. This year the "Letters'· department regularly included running dialogues, often involving several commentators. At least three new collector organizations have used The Celator as a springboard to solicit members, and several collectors have published their names and addresses in "Collector Correspondence" to contact others with similar interests.
Without doubt, the most rewarding example of increased collector involvement is to be found in our backlog of articles awaiting publication. We are seeing more and more collectors who are willing to put pen to paper and share the insights or observations, perhaps even discoveries, that the hobby has revealed to them. This forum has in the past been very limited for non-academics. Writing is the most fitting form of expression because it, like its subject, is enduring and it requires genuine forethought. It also stimulates research that inevitably broadens one's own horizons.
In this issue we offer an article by F. Martin Post which epitomizes the collector/author relationship. Mr. Post's article focusses on coins in his collection which were struck with a variety of errors or imperfections. It is not the kind of artic le that one would likely cite in a footnote or bibliography, but it is stimulating in the respect that it causes the reader to think rather intently about ancient coins as physical artifacts. The broad appeal of ancient coins stems from the fact that there are so many different ways to appreciate them. We have published many articles about coins and their artistic or historical significance. This article, by a collector sharing his love of the hobby, shows us another way to look at them.
Aside from the self-satisfaction that comes from see in g one's own work in print, there is little to induce the collector to write these articles. Recognizing this, we feel that a little peer recognition might be appropriate. Therefore, we are enclosing with this issue a ballot form for The Celator Readers' Choice Award. This is your opportunity to say thank you to the author who most inspired or enlightened you over the past year. Details will he found on the protective wrap for U.S. subscribers, and on a special insert for others. We hope for a significant response to assure integrity of the process (subscribers only and one vote per).
One problem(?) generated by the attainment of our goal is that the length of time an article rests in publisher's limbo necessarily increases. It normally takes about three months for us to convert a manuscript into a published article. There have been cases, however, where that window stretched significantly. If you have had an article accepted for publication, please be patient, we'll get to it as fast as we can. If the anticipation is simply more than you can bear, give us a call and we'll try to give you a more-or-less firm publication date.
Another aspect of the communication forum that we, as a publication, have impacted is the relationship between dealers and collectors. On the whole, the typical Celator reader has a much broader exposure to the market today than he or she did eight years ago. Not only are dealers more visible (witness 110 advertisers in last month's issue), but they also somehow seem less mysterious. Partly, this is a product of the regular columns which dealers have written, but it is also due in part to dealer participation in the continuing dialogue which we alluded to earlier. Because we are supported primarily by advertising revenue, we are very sensitive to the dealer's point of view. Therefore. we have tri ed editorially to affect a consideration of the realities of the ancient coin market. Perhaps some would view this as dealer advocacy, but we prefer to think of it as effective communication which better serves the whole hobby.
Although the market has its ups and downs, we are optimistic about the future of ancient coin collecting. It is a hobby which attracts people of unusual diversity, above average intellect, and unbounded enthusiasm. In our travels we constantly meet collectors from around the globe. and have found them to be an extraordinarily friendly and interesting group of people. It is a fraternity of which we are very pleased to be a member.
It seems impossible that the holidays arc upon us again so quickly, but the beautiful gold and crimson leaves of autumn have been stripped away by blustery storms that always remind us snow is on the way. We wish you the very best for a happy holiday season and a rewarding new year. If you will, take just a moment of that break to give us your point of view!