“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”– Immanuel Kant
There’s smart, and then there’s wise. Ron Guth is both.
Negotiating the field of German Numismatics is extraordinarily tricky. German coins are a complex group. Guth uses his wisdom to navigate the complexity of the coins, their history, and their buyers, with the skill of a seasoned master.
Wisdom: This Week’s Interfanatic Virtue
Kant’s quote is so perfect. It’s just too good! First of all, he’s Prussian (as are many of Ron’s coins). He’s a philosopher of the enlightenment, who expressed rich and complex thought, so much so, it’s still debated. He’s from the German States period of coinage, perhaps the most complex of a country with a rich and incredibly detailed numismatic history.
And it fits coin collecting so well. The science of numismatics consists of organized knowledge of coins: their design, their make-up, their art. Making a life of trading in these beautiful historical metal disks – that takes wisdom.
Ron Guth: The Esteemed Numismatic Author Who Would Take on The Germans (Coins)
Look, the study of United States coins isn’t easy. It very easily to overwhelms. And it’s very easy to know just enough to get yourself in a lot of trouble.
That’s why you need a trustworthy dealer as an ally as you explore “the hobby of Kings.”
But US Coins are child’s play compared to the complexity of German Coins. Coins from the hundreds of German States, to the Empire, to the Weimar Republic, to the Third Reich, to Germany broken into West and East, and Germany Unified, each period has it’s own rich complexity.
Debate About The Wisdom of Some Who Collect
Some insist that the despicable history of Nazi Germany must die insist we should forget. They’re not wrong. Some insist the despicable history should live so that we will never forget the terrible lessons we learned. They’re not wrong either. Surely, some people collect German coins of this period because they’re not right in the head. Surely, some just have interest in the history. For some, those “just interested in the history” use an excuse. But for others, preserving history – all history, good and bad – is their hobby. And, for some, it’s just about having one of each kind.
It’s an incredibly controversial debate to wade into. It takes the even hand of a wise master like Ron Guth to deal with this level of complexity.
And he does it deftly. Guth wrote wrote (and is writing) some of the most-read numismatic books of our time. He’s loved coins of all coins almost all his life. And he gladly shares that knowledge passionately with the good people with whom he surrounds himself.
GermanCoins.com, by Ron Guth
That’s why it was our great pleasure to take on GermanCoins.com. No doubt, some of the things there make us feel icky and queasy, but to focus only on that is to ignore the rich history that surrounded that time. There are thousands of coin types – not hundreds, or as in US coins, around fifty made for circulation. Thousands of coin types covering dozens of denominations from all through and over Germany’s rich numismatic history. Undoubtedly, there are some of the ugliest coins you would never want to see – but there are many more that are among the most beautiful and fascinating you could ever know.
Thousands of coin types cover dozens of denominations from all through and over Germany’s rich numismatic history.
It’s such an honor to work with Ron Guth.
German Coins: You Might Try Them
If it piques your interest to wad into this deep, difficult, complex and nuanced numismatic history, my advice is: buy what you like. Buy what you think is interesting. Buy what you think is pretty. But whatever you do, talk to Ron Guth about it first.
There are many wise characters in the worldwide traveling circus that is the world of numismatics. Ron Guth is one of our wisest American greats.