About This File
Without belaboring the point, we should add an epilogue to last month's "Point of View". It seems that a few readers mistook our comments as promoting a negative view toward the collecting of low grade or low-priced ancient coins. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have repeatedly stressed in editorials, features, articles, lectures, and countless personal conversations that the real joy of collecting has nothing at all to do with condition or value. What it has to do with is attaining satisfaction through learning. In fact, a previous installment of our feature "Just for Beginners" extolled the virtues of collecting budget priced coins and hosted a contest to reward the collector who assembled the most impressive collection with an investment of $200 or less. Dr. Warren Esty won that contest, and we published the entire collection on our front cover!
What our comments last month reflected was quite another consideration. If one wishes to measure the value of a collection in terms other than personal satisfaction, there are some fac tors that (most market observers will agree) come into play. Likewise, the term "better" in regard to one collecting method versus another is only appropriate once one establishes the ultimate objective- personal satisfaction or preservation of capital. Of course, there are many degrees between the two alternatives, and each collector finds his or her own way in this regard. Fortunately. the two sometimes converge. The only point we are trying to make is that we should not be blind to alternative points of view simply because they do not fit into our own collecting habits or interests.
The subject of ancient coin prices. condition, and sale venues is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the hobby for collectors to understand. We will continue in future issues to address these subjects. as we have in the past. The current series of informative and entertaining articles by Alan Walker, explaining the history and subtleties of the auction circuit, should be helpful to everyone contemplating auction participation.
Unfortunately, it seems time once again to say a word about distribution of The Celator. We mail your copy on or about the 20th day of each month. That is, the June issue will be mailed about May 20. U.S. and Canadian subscriptions are mailed by Second Class postage, which is a special category for publications. Service is "supposed" to be comparable to first class mail. In other words, you should receive your issue within seven 10 ten days. Practically, we know that delivery times vary from two days to 20 days. We have not missed a mailing deadline in the eight-plus years of publishing this journal, so you can rest assured that any delay is "in the mail ". Our overseas subscriptions are mailed via International Surface Airlift (ISAL), which is also a U.S.P.S. offering (notice we did not use the word "service"). Delivery by this mode is supposed to take 10 to 14 days worldwide. When it works, ISAL is quite satisfactory. Unfortunately, they have a tendency to lose an entire bag for a month or more. This means that one whole country (usually Great Britain. Switzerland, or Australia for some odd reason) is left without their Celator. This not only distresses us because you want, need, and deserve this great publication, but it leaves us in the horrifying position of having to replace all the lost copies- assuming we printed enough extras. Does the U.S.P.S. compensate us for them? Of course not! Do they ship the replacements free? Of course not! Do they allow us to ship the replacements by the cheaper lSAL rate? Of course, not-we don't have enough volume to a single country to meet the minimum requirement! Do we find their service disgusting? Absolutely! So. please be patient when we replace lost issues by enclosing them the following month with our normal ISAL mailing. It saves us further devastating costs from mailing. All the alternative delivery systems that we have explored would greatly increase your subscription costs, which are already more than we would like. We are definitely at the mercy of an unresponsive machine.
While we're on the subject of complaints, we should mention once again our policy regarding advertisements in The Celator. Fortunately, or perhaps we should say commendably, we receive very few complaints about service from advertisers in this publication. If you experience a serious problem that seems unresolvable, write to us and let us know what the problem is. We will forward the complaint to the advertiser and keep it in an open file until it is resolved or determined to be out of our field of concern. Any advertiser who has three unresolved complaints on file with us will have advertising rights suspended until the complaints are resolved to our satisfaction. We do not take legal action on behalf of any reader, and we do not intercede as a mediator or arbitrator, we simply monitor the status of open complaints. We accept only complaints which pertain to items or services advertised in The Celator.
As we watch the weather improve, and the promise of summer with its vacation opportunities approaches, we look forward to the ubiquitous outdoor markets and fairs where one can search for stray antiquarian treasures. It's amazing what you can find in junk boxes! Let us know if you find any - thing exciting. Meanwhile, remember that we all have a point of view, and we're happy to hear yours- even if we don't agree!