SOUTHGATE SNIPPETS - Come You Spirits That Tend on Mortal Thoughts- Learn the Lingo

This week, Somer uses Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, to tackle the characters of coin collecting.

Come You Spirits that Tend on Mortal Thoughts - Learn the Lingo

By Somer Athari

As many of you already know, I am an English Major at the University here in Reno; but my minor and my real passion is Theatre. Some of my favorite plays are those by Shakespeare. Experiencing a Shakespeare play is often like pulling teeth for many people, including myself at times, but I have to say that after the first hour of one of these plays, the Old English language is something that the audience just slowly starts to magically understand.

Appearing in my 3rd Shakespeare play, Macbeth, currently being staged at UNR with the Nevada Repertory Company, I understand that the Shakespearean language is never easy. Although like everything, it just takes a little time and before you know it, you understand every word as if there was a translator telling you exactly what was happening.

This is very very similar to the field of coin collecting. Evidenced by the fact that when all of us girls first started working here at Southgate Coins, the coin language made no sense, period. Krugerrand, silver round, fractional notes, large notes, proof set, mint set, mintmarks, 20-cent piece, double eagle, numismatist, etc. (Frightening!) It all sounded like a language from another world or time, like a Shakespearean language, a kind of English but not quite. (You can just picture the confused look on our faces in the beginning.)

Luckily for all of you great customers, us girls at Southgate Coins have just about learned the lingo of coin collecting. We are your very own numismatic translators, and all you have to do is call, email, or stop by and ask your questions.

With the newest member of our cast Bobbi rehearsing her parts, it reminds me how different the coin business can be from any other hobby in the world. It certainly does have it's own language and idiosyncrasies that are very perplexing and tedious to learn, but at the same time very intriguing.

So what is one of the first things that every new girl at Southgate needs to know before they help anyone, or answer a single phone call? Answer: To clean or not to clean, that is the question. I know that there are thousands and thousands of people out there with feelings similar to Lady Macbeth when she says her famous line, "Out damn spot, out I say!" These are the people who think that a stained or dirty coin needs to look like an expensive, polished silver dining set. But let me say this, cleaning a coin using just about any method can be far more damaging than any spot could ever be. So you may ask, what’s one of the most important things to know as an actor? The most important fact to know first and foremost is not to be upset if you didn't get the role you wanted, because every character in a play is important.

So, even though my role both in the Macbeth play and in the coin industry is somewhat limited; according to Shakespeare, there are no small roles, just like there are no small coin collectors. No matter where you are in your collecting pursuits, you are a collector, first and foremost, because you have an interest, to some degree or another, in the coins themselves. My character in Macbeth may not have as many lines as those in the lead roles, but I am still an actor. Just like my role at Southgate Coins might not be Chief Numismatist, but like Rusty and Marie encourage all of us, we play significant roles as supporting players. And whether you collect "CC" coins, Walkers, Standing Libertys, or statehood quarters, we here at Southgate Coins treat all collectors with the same courtesy and respect.

I'll end this week's Snippets with my own twist to a famous Shakespeare quote, "All the world's Southgate Coins, and all the men and women merely collectors."

On yee happy collectors, enjoy thine hobby!

Your Correspondent,