NGC Journals

"Would you like to know more?"

Borrowing the title from that line in "Starship Troopers." Anyone else remember that movie? I hear it's 25 years old now? Anyway... I feel like I teased this concept months and months ago - probably close to a year ago now - but I never really delivered on it: I feel like I very much survive on a kind of "one step at a time" incrementalism some days. I got the coins back, I got them in the set. I uploaded new descriptions a while after that. Got new pictures posted a couple

Closing down my Colonial Registry later this month (8/22). it had been fun.

After a bunch of years collecting colonials I decided to liquidate my modest set through one of the upcoming Heritage Showcase auctions.  It has been fun to filling in those registry blanks spaces and having rack up several of those NGC awards along the way ... it give one a little feeling of accomplishment.  Colonials have been fun to collect with so much history and stories behind each of them  .I think NGC did a nice job in establishing their "US Colonial Basic Design Set, 1652-1796" registry

Upside down

Quite a while has passed since I added a coin to my collection - there are plenty to choose from out there but the prices being acheived at auction are now getting really silly, particularly for quality examples of almost anything. Despite this situation it will come as no surprise that the coin in question was Napoleonic  - a 1808 10 centimes from the Paris mint. Why would I do this when, it is the most common issue, and I already have a couple of high grade examples?? (details on my Regist

New Pictures are finally up for Zimbabwe and the 500L set.

I finally took some time and got new pictures taken and uploaded for the Zimbabwe and 500L sets that are at least consistent across the board even if I don't necessarily think these are in every case the best images I've gotten of each coin: Set Details | NGC Registry | NGC ( Set Details | NGC Registry | NGC ( Now that I have nice photos of the Zimbabwe bird in the yellow of the $2 coins I decided to use that to fill the gap in my banner image. I'

The wait is over - the grades are posted!

Before sharing the results of my NGC submission, I want to thank those who reached out to me during my hiatus. It meant a lot to me that so many not only noticed that I was absent but took the time to check in on me. As some of you know, our lives were temporarily derailed due to a sudden passing of a beloved family member. From there, life got super busy, and with everything going on, coins were the last thing on my mind. A few big things have happened since my journal entry in December: I fini

A lot can happen in 200 years

As mentioned in earlier Journal entries on Napoleonic coinage the impact of this period was not restricted to Europe, but global. Of particular interest is the collpase of the Spanish Empire in the America's with one country after another gaining their independence from Spain. For Guatemala this happened in 1821 when it became part of the new Central American Republic so my tiny Ferdinand VII silver 1/4 Real was an example of the last Spanish coinage struck. This period only lasted a f

But those die cracks...

I took a little time to try to get a few shots of one of these Venezuelan coin that I think is showing die cracks / die wear issues and see what everyone thinks, both using the Nikon with the Micro lens and the new Coin Microscope. Looking at this (50 Bolivar) in person, and looking at it in the photo with the macro lens and this lighting, that line along the back of the neck definitely looks raised above the design and not cut into it and so I'm thinking more and more that this is a die cr

The 1986 Italian Mint Set is going up...

Thursday of last week, when everything was going down with Sam, that MS68 1986 100L arrived in the mail and over the weekend I won an auction for an MS67 1986 20 Lire. That, with the MS68 1986 50L I got last year, gives me (or will soon give me) 3 of the 7 coins for an Italian 1986 Mint Set, so I've gone ahead and made a custom set for that and popped in what I have so far. 1986 Italian Circulation Strike Set - Custom Set ( The MS67 20 Lire is the highest graded

It comes to a head: The 2nd revision

To borrow phrasing from my wife, Somethings have been odd with Samuel for a while. After getting a fast MRI (which had been delayed by him getting sick the day before the scan) the doctor wasn’t convinced by those results but was concerned by our observations of his behavior and wanted a CT. After getting a CT this morning, they told us to turn back around and come to the ER. We suspect a clog / slow failure – all four ventricle spaces have enlarged; some have nearly doubled. But they’re just go


Revenant in Family

It is possible they did me a favor on this one.

Earlier in the week I'd been watching a 1983 Italian 500L graded Ms65 by NGC. The staring bid was $10 + $5 shipping and it had no bids. When it was about 12 hours out from ending I bid $20 hoping to win it for roughly the cost of grading and keep it until and unless something better came along - maybe one I graded myself. Then, about 15 minutes before bidding ended, someone bid $15, then $16, then $17, then $20, then something over $20... I don't know if this was a shill or someone tha

What's this then... Oh! I thought this was never coming!

So yesterday there's a knock at the door and I see it's the mail carrier, and he has a small package. As I'm walking up I'm wondering what this is and thinking I'm not really expecting anything. When he gives it to me it's the 2nd set of 2002-2004 Venezuela coins from Ukraine! I had completely forgotten about these things. I've been busy and I hadn't thought about them or thought to check the tracking in weeks. The last tracking update I'd seen had them in Kiev on April 6th. Then, whil

Constructing a Set and Narrative and Learning More as I go.

So, after many delays prompted by sickness and other things - in the 2nd half of this week is was my “turn” to be sick - and putting these on hold to look at 500 Lire coins, I’m finally starting to look at the Venezuelan coins to maybe pick out some for a submission and building out a registry set. But the thing that normally makes all the difference for me in building these sets is building a narrative around the set. Building out these descriptions, the research and the writing often cons

The 500L lots and wanting to look at the gold

The other day over the weekend I decided to finally pull those 500 Lire coins I'd ordered out and look at them to see if I'd gotten anything good / promising. I'd been wanting to look at these for a while knowing it would be kind of shot-in-the-dark and I might have something good or I might have gotten nothing. I thought I'd sit down and look while Shandy napped with Sam and Ben watched TV. But, somewhat to my surprise, Ben took notice and wanted to look at them with me and was asking if t

Best Attended Club Meeting Since COVID

On April 19, 2022, the Madison County Coin Club held its regular monthly meeting in Huntsville, Alabama. The MCCC is a smaller club than I am used to in Pennsylvania. I am used to meetings with 75-100 present at Red Rose of Lancaster, PA. Harrisburg and the Daniel Boone CC of Reading are closer in size to the Madison County Club.    The club returned to live meetings a little under a year ago, but getting back to pre-COVID attendance has been a struggle (or so I am told - I wasn’t there p


VKurtB in Coin clubs

So... She actually wants input on this?

So here's kind of a funny thing from the other day. I sent Shandy a message saying, "Hey, you care if I just go ahead and order these Italian sets?" and for me it's more, "do you care if I spend the money on this?" She's okay with it but she wants to know if she can look at the pictures first to see if she thinks it's a good one - generic pictures though so we aren't going to be able to make a quality judgement on individual coins like that, so just go ahead and we'll see. But aft

On to Venezuela?

The first of the packages of Venezuelan Coins from the Ukrainian dealer arrived. The box that came was the 2nd one shipped, containing the 2021 Digital Bolivar Coins. The first package is still showing it was last seen in Kiev. I guess we'll see on that one – but I’m mostly considering that one a lost cause after over a week with no updates. I’ll just be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong. But at least I already had some of those from a prior order and dollarwise what I got this weekend was the b

The coins arrived!

The box came with the Zimbabwe and Italian coins yesterday. With the kids in bed and the chores handled we sat down together to take them out of the box. She joked about me and my hoard and how pleased I was, but I was surprised by how quickly the 500 L coins were pulled away and how happy she was to get to handle them and look at those. I went at one point and got the other 500L coins, the previous submission of Zimbabwe coins and a couple of empty boxes I have. I gave


Revenant in Family

The 500 Lire Grade Results

So here is the 2nd post about 1 submission, splitting off the 500L coins to give them their due, befitting a group of 7 coins (decent sized group in their own right by my submission standards) and a group of coins that represent their own, very important project. And here are the results - Shandy and I picked the ones to send together when we had more than one of a certain date, but we didn't play “guess the grade” on these because we didn't have a big selection of graded coins in different

Zimbabwe Round 2 Grade Results are in!

TL:DR – The coins did great and I’m thrilled and freaking out a bit about some of these! XD So “Thank you, NGC” on the hard work and the much faster than expected turnaround.   I need to give major props to NGC, who have pulled off a major turnaround, brought turnaround times down and delivered me grades on these months sooner than I was thinking. It was only about 5-6 weeks ago that I was saying I might not have grades for another 4 months from now. I’m hoping this also means tha

Signs of life and rays of hope.

I placed that order for the Venezuelan Coins from the Ukranian dealer about 2 weeks ago and hadn't heard a peep since.  At this point I'd mostly written if off, thinking it increasingly unlikely that anything would come of it and just wishing the dealer well. Today though, to my surprise, I got a shipment notice for 1 part of the order - the older 2002-2004 coins, but not the newer 2021 coins. I'm happy to see a sign of life from the dealer. I'm glad to see something indicating th

The new Challenger has stepped up... and I think he's serious!

A few months ago I posted about a new set appearing in the Netherlands 10G set that had a coveted MS64 example of the 1879/7. This left me with a lot of questions and now they've just given me a lot more information and a lot to think about. The member has added 5 more coins to the set, including all the rarer dates, including the 1885 and the 1886 I've long looked for... and they all have the same invoice number... numbered -001 to -005. They almost certainly submitted these themselve


Revenant in Gold