I have known Daniel Malone since around the same time I created thecoinblog.net. He has created an informative numismatic website and a supportive and factual coin collecting group on Facebook (links to both below).
Can you give us a summary of your time as a numismatist?
I don't remember when I wasn't involved in numismatics. My dad and grandpa both were long time dealers well before I was born. My first memory of holding a Morgan Dollar was at the age of three; my dad showed me how to hold it by the edge. I have always been fascinated with coins and collectibles because of growing up in the business.
How did CoinHELP! begin?
I started selling at Ebay in 2002 and from then until 2007 I realized there was a lot of fraud and scams. I also remember the shyster, fast talking dealers when I was growing up as well, so I thought it would be great for an "insider" to inform and educate coin collectors on how to avoid unscrupulous deals. So I started CoinHELP! in May of 2007 with articles on the subject.
How many people take part in the day to day administration of CoinHELP! and how did they become involved?
I have two active admins on the forum but I alone administrate the content, coding, updates, and backups. I have some help with content creation but that is an exception rather than the rule.
Does the information on the site come from users or admins?
I have had guest writers but most of the content comes from my experiences and research, but mostly research, since I demand factual information. We should always be double-checking ourselves.
Where would you like to see CoinHELP! go in the future? Do you see it becoming something like PCGS Coin Facts? Or maybe more like a Reddit for collectors?
It is still growing. My goal is for it to become more educational based with quizzes, videos and the use of social media. I am not trying to be a market "shaker and maker".
The Coin Collecting Help Facebook group is something special. It's the only coin related group I have seen that expressly forbids selling. How did it come about?
I had the idea to start a group to promote my website and to find other methods of reaching collectors. I joined other groups and realized some members were as bad as certain ebay sellers. So I started the Coin Collecting Help group to gain honest and accurate facts only. I did not want sharks swooping in and trying to buy and sell when people are just wanting to learn about coins.
Fair and Square Coin Auction is more like the other FB groups out there, as far as coin auctions go. What do you think sets it apart?
We demand that sellers use full disclosure on their coins condition, decent images, honest transactions and no unsearched lots or rolls. We also require disclosure on grading companies that are known to be scams.
What do you see as the most serious problem(s) facing collectors today? Also, how do you think they could be solved?
Counterfeits, unscrupulous and uneducated sellers and coin grading in general. We can only educate collectors about counterfeits and unscrupulous coin sellers, but we need to institute an actual grading standard that all parties must adhere to.
We can't have a so-called standard that allows different grades with re-submissions of the same coins. For some coins that is a substantial value difference. This has happened to me. It is unacceptable.
Is CoinHELP! a full-time gig, or do you have another occupation as well?
It use to be and I hope it is again one day. Life got in the way so I had to get a Customer Service Representative job at a local Home Medical Company. I run their website and help customers.
How do you see technology influencing numismatics in the coming years?
I think we will continue to see growth in the social media arena as more and more people see a free and easy way to sell coins in the Facebook groups. Also an easier and more private method of scamming coin collectors. It is already happening.
I can see improvements in technology to combat counterfeit coin holders and detecting counterfeit coins, as well as, AI (Artificial Intelligence) coin grading that backs a well defined standard is badly needed for hobby.
I also think we will see some convincing fake and counterfeit coins printed, by a 3D printer, in the exact alloy of their original. If the computer scientist can figure how to print striking characteristics I can see this coming about in the near future.
Coin Collecting Help on Facebook