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NGC Journals

The Awards & Honors for My LGF Collection Keep Piling Up

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! Nothing I collect has drawn more attention from outside interests than my Laura Gardin Fraser collection of coins and medals. For instance, my set entitled “The Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser” won NGC’s “2016 Most Creative Custom Set” award. Additionally, I’ve had numerous requests relating to this set, from permission to publish my pictures to a request to repatriate an awarded medal back to the recipient’s family. I’ve also had solicitation


coinsbygary in Award Medals

“Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme Uncirculated”

For a bit of relevant context, years ago when Ben was young, we used to watch some episodes of “Toddlers and Tiaras” on Hulu for stupid, white trash, entertainment while we were stuck at home being broke parents to a young kid. We used to make fun of the titles the girls would win like "Grand Supreme" and "Ultimate Grand Supreme," and "Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme." Years later we still joke about those titles and joke about "Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme [whatever]." In the course of loo


Revenant in Random Nonsense

I’m going to have to rethink this… find a better way… Or Maybe Just MORE…

I found a seller offering some old, Franklin Mint, “Coin Sets of the World” cards for Zimbabwe that had the coins from 1C to $1. Some of them were made in the 1990s and some of them had less-appealing coins with some spotting, but they had a couple – at a slightly higher price, but still only about $11 for a coin set - that had only coins from 1980-1983, that were clean, pretty, and spot-free per the listing and “nearly perfect.” I saw these and decided to snap them up, initially thin

Curious, Jealous, and Annoyed

I think it's getting up to 2 years since I've added a coin / filled a hole in the 10G set and the set is still sitting at 72% with 3 slots open. But the low hanging fruit is all gone and all that's left are 3 coins that don't always show up. The last couple of years I’ve been adding other types of world gold coins to my collection and not finished this set largely just because I haven’t seen any attractive opportunities come up. Mine is one of the oldest sets in that category. It was one of


Revenant in Random Nonsense

New photos to share

I continue to work and getting better at taking my own coin photos and slowly am getting better.   But when I want some really good photos, like the kind I want for the coins in my three first place registry sets; I go to the professional Mark Goodman.   I have used three or four pro photographers in the past and a couple others were very good, but I have always felt that Mark was the very best of all those I have tried.   Anyway here are a couple of compilation photos of some of my registry coi

The Patina Collection - what, where and how many

The Patina collection of 'fantasy' coins was auctioned by Spink, London in July 2001. Not sure as to what to designate these pieces however they do look most lovey.  Not much is written or recorded in depth of these fantasy coins and obtaining a copy of the Spink catalog is almost near impossible.  Discussions on several numismatic web forums reveal only a small amount of information pertaining to the Patina collection.  If you do not own a catalog it is somehow hard to verify inf

If only I found this a bit earlier!

When typing out the write-ups for the Soho medals, I always do my best to include images of supporting items I own; however, that is not always possible. For instance, when writing up the Boydell Shakespeare medal (you can read about it here), I used the frontispiece to Boydell's 1797 edition of Shakespeare's Works, but this was an open-source image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Despite searching for a genuine period example for my collection of antique paper, I could not locate an exampl

The 500 Lire Redux - Ti amerò per sempre

Last time I talked about seeing that post about the old, early 20th Century 20 Centesimi Italian coins and going shopping for some raw Italian coins. While doing this I got the idea to look to see if there were any nice, pretty, NGC-graded Italian coins that I could get for good prices. I thought she might like that – some cool MS coin if they were out there to be had. I did a bit of eBaying and found a couple of sellers with MS66 to MS68 Italian coins from the 1980s and 1990s – mostly


Revenant in Italian Coins

I received my invite

Yesterday I received my invitation from NGC to attend the members only event at the upcoming Jan FUN show.   I wish it was economically feasible to attend that show and this event but sadly it is not given the costs to fly across country, lodging, and food.   Hope that some of you are able to attend the show and this event.


Coinbuf in Coinbufs journal

Liberty in Flight

In early November I caught a post on reddit about the "Flying Nude" 20C Italian coins that were made until about 1924, that are more accurately called "Liberty in Flight." Also apparently called “Liberta Librata” (“Hovering Freedom”) according to Numista. The original post was joking about the fact that the type 1 SLQ wasn't the only "scandalous" coin from the era / “The US didn’t have a monopoly on ‘scandalous’ designs.’ I find this a little funny as a claim when you actually look at the c


Revenant in European Pocket Change

Another year has come and gone

Greetings all: My 1940-1944 mint sets are all #1 in the NGC-only registry; while the 1940 and 1943 sets are #2 in the combined registry behind my worthy competitors Coinbuf and ChancyMS60+, respectively. It's been a good year.     My lead for the 1943 set in the NGC-only registry increased after the judging for 2021 was over; it so happened that I just purchased a 1943-S steelie in the grade of NGC MS67+ CAC...  


Legionary1 in U.S Coins

Yet another positive NGC experience!

With submission turnaround times increasing by the day, it is often easy to focus on the bad while taking the good for granted. That said, I would like to share a recent positive experience with NGC customer service. I submitted a proof 1775 Irish Halfpenny in February of last year, but I did not find the time to inspect the coins until early last month. I know it is ridiculous that it took me that long to enjoy my coins, but I have very little time to kill. Now that things are starting to slow

Like a Box of Chocolates

To paraphrase Forest Gump, coin collecting is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna find.  I find this especially true of the Heritage weekly world coin auctions.  Sorting out all of the consignments that Heritage gets into their various auction formats must take quite a bit of time and when it comes to world coins, I doubt if all the people involved are experts in all coins across all of coin minting history.  Still, I am surprised to find the occasional scarce variety pop


jgenn in 1684 ducato of Naples

And, I think we’ve picked the winners. Together. :)

Shandy and I have picked (from amongst the coins I have so far) the ones we think are the best and these will be among the ones I send in a few months from now. I am looking to make a couple more purchases of raw Zimbabwean coins between now and when these go out to NGC to try to get examples of the last few types I will need and maybe get better examples of some of these, so some of these may get bumped out of the submission if I find better – more on that in a couple of weeks probably.

Finally made it to Rome

During the Napoleonic period Italy was not the single country we know today and as such had multiple, sometimes, short-lived territories each with their own coinage. The gold 20 and 40 Lire issues were only struck at Milan (mint mark M) with the smaller denominations also being issued by the mints at Bologna and Venice (mint marks B and V), the Italians seem to have had a much greater need than the French for small change - Napoleon only had a single copper issue struck for the French, the 18

Top ten goal made, is top five possible or not

This year I have been slowly adding Lincoln memorial coins to my collection and was able to move the memorial set into the top ten slot.   I think I could over the next few years move up a few slots but I do not know if a top five set is in the cards for me.   Anyway here is a snapshot just for posterity sake as I could just as easily be pushed out of the top ten soon too.  


Coinbuf in Coinbufs journal

A much-needed break!

As some of you may know, I am a Ph.D. student. Graduate school often entails a mind-numbing amount of work on very short deadlines, which continue to escalate as you get closer to finishing your degree. Earlier this month, I defended my dissertation prospectus without changing my experimental design, which gave me the green light to start data collection. After finishing all the paperwork, I started collecting data the same day. So far, it is going way faster than I anticipated, and I am already

Two more invoices were shipped!

Recap: I submitted a very complex order to NGC that spanned several invoices and numerous special requests. You can read about it here. Due to a clerical error, I received the grades back on one of the submissions early, which I detail here. Almost immediately after posting my last journal, I checked my email to find another shipment notification from NGC. I was somewhat confused as I thought I got this worked out when I talked with NGC yesterday, but I assume that these were already in the

World economy submission – The grades are in!

Recap: I submitted a very complex order to NGC that spanned six invoices and several special requests. You can read about it here. Much to my surprise, the world economy submission is already on its way back to me, but this was not by design. When I submitted these coins, I requested combined shipping to save on the return shipping charge. For whatever reason, NGC accidentally mailed out the world economy submission on 11-19.  I didn’t notice until I received the shipment notification from

Another registry year comes to a close

Wow hard to believe that the registry cutoff is just a week away, this year has certainly gone by quickly.   As I look back I had no specific goals other than to try and add or upgrade to my existing sets in order to hold onto as many of my first place awards as possible.    Looking at my sets now it seems like I have actually lost some ground in that regard and will have fewer awards for 2021 than I did in 2020.   Partly because I spent some time and money adding some memorial and shield Lincol


Coinbuf in Coinbufs journal