Are You a Numismaddict? The 4 Stages of Coin Addiction

Research shows there are four distinct stages of coin addiction, each progressively more enjoyable. Unlike other forms of addiction, coin addiction doesn’t result in health issues or permanent financial problems. In the long run, coins can always be sold for equal or more value than their original purchases.

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The 4 stages of Coin Addiction:

1. Accumulation Stage: At first, there is an appreciation for and attraction to bullion coins, commemorative coins, and common date, mint state Morgan silver dollars. At this point the accumulator is just picking up everything available and getting great satisfaction out of each acquisition.

2. Early Collector Stage: The accumulator begins to see the possibility for a collection. They realize that they have amassed what is starting to resemble coin collections. They realize, if they start filling in the holes, there could be a whole assembly of coins with a common theme. It certainly seems innocent enough, but this almost always progresses to the next, increasingly more expensive stage.

3. Late Collector Stage: It’s starting to take more coin purchases and more expensive coins to get the euphoric thrill of acquiring the right specimen for their collection. They start to lie about how much money they’re spending on those little beauties. The credit cards are getting maxed out and they’re looking for other ways to finance their purchases. It’s starting to get out of control.

4. Obsessive Interest Stage: This is the full blown numismaddict stage. They’re risking coin overdose now. They’re spending way too much money on their “habit”. They’ve lost balance in their life and relationships. Their lifestyle is being outwardly eroded. They would rather spend time with their coins than loved ones. They are starting to buy coins rather than pay bills. They are no longer staying within their coin buying budget. They need grander, more rare and expensive coins to satisfy an almost insatiable desire. Denial Rules the Day!

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The Treatment Plan:

Stage 1 and 2 participants should be encouraged to learn more about their interests in collecting and to pursue those avenues. Understand that each new purchase provides a sense of euphoria accompanied by a feeling of immense satisfaction.

Stage 3 requires more tolerance and understanding from family members. Remember, it’s like CHRISTMAS every time the collector gets a new coin. Gently remind the collector about maintaining a balance in life and sticking to a budget that allows for other things besides coins. Have the person keep track of monthly coin purchases to shock the offender back into reality.

Stage 4 starts with family members understanding the nature of this disease. The family must appreciate the numismaddict value of rare, beautiful and expensive coins. Develop a plan for their acquisition. At the same time, try to engage the numismaddict in other interests in life. Also realize that if everything else fails, an intervention with family and a qualified, professional, numismaddict counselor is required. This train has momentum and will be difficult to stop.


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