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ATTENDED A COIN SHOW THIS WEEK....

...And I Liked It!!! Last month, I wrote a journal entry about not liking coin shows- I get overwhelmed by the volume of coins. This week, I ventured to the Whitman Philadelphia Show, and was pleasantly surprised that I had a great time! I carried a list of 6 or 7 dealer locations to give me some focus vs. just wandering aimlessly around the hall. This was a wise move. So, this is what I did : -Stopped by the CRO table and told them how much I appreciate their road reports: even if I h

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

MY FIRST "POST-ANA SHOW" PRIZE IS ON THE WAY!

But Hurricane Irene... Is likely to delay the arrival. As soon as dealer inventories began to update, following the ANA Show, I started my frantic scanning for new "baubles" to thrill and delight. After viewing some nice treats; but nothing heart-stopping, I finally found it! - An 1885 Liberty 5 cent, PCGS MS-62. A quick call for description and some negotiating, and she's mine! The coin has a nice strike with strong frosty luster, and light gold toning. The mint frost is what grabbed m

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

ANA COIN SHOW JITTERS...

And I'm Not Even Attending. As show time approaches, I notice a building of anticipation and excited tension. Somewhat like the pre-game jitters in high school football. Although, my only action was pre-game calesthenics, and some excellent "bench-riding", but I digress. I've not attended an ANA since 2003, in Baltimore, but none the less, I experience this great anticipation every year. So, it's not the auction. (I don't generally bid with the "Big Boys"!) It's not the multitude of d

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

NOW THIS IS JUST TAUNTING!!!

Again, I'm Underbidder: Again, the Coin Pops Up... This time in a dealer's on-line inventory. On June 2, 2011, I bid on an 1844-O Half Dime, AU58 PCGS/CAC. I engaged a trusted dealer who viewed the coin in-hand. After his "thumbs up", we set our bidding limit. I placed my max bid and waited. I was outbid by one increment. I accepted my fate, since in this instance, I'd bid the max determined by my advisor and me. That's the way it goes. So today, I was flipping through the website of a

MY LOST OPPORTUNITY SHOWS UP IN ANOTHER'S REGISTRY SET

The Price I Must Pay For Being The Underbidder. Have you ever missed out on a "great" coin at auction? For most collectors, the answer is "Of course I have!". Have you ever had that same coin show up in another registry set? Well, I just did! I was browsing through another collector's Seated Liberty Half Dime Registry. As I brought up the picture of his 1840 WD specimen, I froze in disbelief. Staring back at me was a coin that I had drooled over, and bid for on April 4, 2007! Here is m

A CALL TO LIBERTY!

A Formerly Rejected Series Calls Me Back. I lost interest in Liberty Head Nickels, years ago. In fact, I even wrote about it in a journal article in 2005 (No Accounting For Taste). I sold the few examples that I owned, including a couple of rolls of well-worn coins. However, I've begun experiencing an all too familiar itch of late. NO, not athlete's foot! But that itch of growing interest in another coin series. In recent months, I've re-read Peters and Mohon's, Shield and Liberty Head Nic

HAPPY FATHERS DAY, HERMAN!!!

Break Out The Gold Coins As I've stated in previous journals, Dad was not a numismatist; nor did he have an interest in coins. Dad had an interest in MY coins. He would sit with me and view coins that I brought home, for hours on end. He was genuinely interested because his son was interested. Whenever I shared my gold coins with him, Dad's eyes would light up. He loved the look of gold. Being a child of the depression, Dad didn't have much contact with the precious metal. I could tell t

TO REVEAL, OR NOT TO REVEAL?

That Is The Question. Last year, I joined a bridge club at the local Senior Citizen Center. Over time, the group has dwindled to just 4 people. We play weekly, and have become friends. Our conversations are filled with talk of past careers, families, health issues, politics, and hobbies. Often, I've been asked, "What do you do for fun besides Bridge?". I mention an interest in golf, and various sports, but have always steered the conversation away from any mention of coins. I like thes

A FORGOTTEN BOX OF COINS PROVIDES A TRIP THROUGH ASIA

But, Where Did They Come From? Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a long forgotten box of non- US coins. There's nothing valuable here, but the box did contain a nice cross section of the world. They are primarily 20th century coins,1960's and 70's, with a few from the 1940-50 era. The coins, organized by country included: Hong Kong (maybe they will be valuable in the future since these are the obsolete British coinage), Maylasia, Singapore, and Vietnam. The kicker is, "I have absolute

DOES THE REGISTRY DRIVE YOUR COLLECTION, OR TRACK IT?

Just Curious Those who had reasonably developed collections prior to joining the registry had some pre-determined direction to their collecting endeavors. We enter our coins into various regisry categories, then admire or view sorrowfully the results. Those who are starting their collections as they join the registry have a greater challenge to select the "right" or most meaningful collecting categories for themselves: -What do I like? -What registry category can I complete quickly/ eas

GRANDMA'S WALKERS

"Clown" Soda Syrup Bottles In The Back Of The Closet. My mind is beginning to function in some strange ways as I flirt with old age! A few days ago, I suddenly awoke from a sound sleep, with a vivid recall of a childhood experience. I was having a flashback to around 8 or 9 years of age- THE ICE CREAM TRUCK!!! I was transported back to when that truck, and it's bell brought every kid running from every nook and cranny throughout the neighborhood. The cherry bomb pop was my target of choic

THE NUMISMATIC EMBERS ARE STARTING TO GLOW

The Second Purchase Of The Year Is A Rarity That Has Long Been On My Want List. After 18 months of numismatic abstinance, I've now made coin purchases in March and April. I found the right 1912-S Five Cent to fit my collection, after searching for a number of years. Typically, I stumble across either circulated examples or pricey MS65's, or problem coins. This is also my first CAC coin. It is an MS-63 with a great strike, minimal marks, and muted luster under gray/brown toning, which give

START OVER

The Eye Appeal said "You Can Do Better"! Sometime around 2000, I completed a 24 coin Peace Dollar collection, but just didn't like the "look". So, a couple of years later, I sold the set, keeping 5 coins. 2 of those five were purchased in 1976/77. The other 3 were added from 1996-98. The Peace Dollars were/are not an overwhelmingly popular set, and I was clearly not enthused about my collection of these large silver discs. However, I found myself constantly being drawn to these coins. By

DELAWARE COMMEMORATIVE- COME FORWARD!

Football and Coins Once More The University of Delaware is once again playing for the 1AA National Football Championship this year! Just as in 2007, I have placed my Delaware 50 Cent in a place of prominence on my desk. On January 7th, I'll be in front of the TV clutching my half dollar. Thank goodness for plastic encasement. Your holders are "sweaty palm proof", aren't they NGC? GO BLUE HENS!!! To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added belo

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

COLOR CODING COPPER COINAGE

When does BN become RB; become RED? Over the years, I've become fairly comfortable with my grading skills. This confidence has generally been confirmed by results from certification or sale. Reliance on TPG's has made me a bit lazy and my grading skills a bit "rusty". But, one issue that has always given me a degree of discomfort is assessing the color designation of copper coinage. Sure, solid BROWN and bright RED are easy, but when does BN transition to RB? And what is the demarcation

SPENDING THE DAY WITH HERMAN'S COIN

Happy Fathers Day, Dad!!! I've been struggling with a waning passion and enthusiasm for coin collecting for 2 years, now. I've only purchased 3 coins in the last 2 years. I still check dealer web sites, review auction listings, and bring coins home from the safe deposit box, occasionally. However, some of the excitement is missing. Today, in honor of the 10th Fathers Day that I don't have Dad with me, I brought out Dad's beat up old Morgan Dollar- "Herman's Coin". We watched the US Open

STATEHOOD QUARTER COLLECTING AND FAMILY TIME

Creating a "Family Heirloom" A few days ago, I was looking through the few rolls of Statehood Quarters that I put away before losing interest. Obviously,this is not a prime collecting area for me. I began thinking about how many rolls and partial sets of these coins are tucked away in households all over the country. What a shame- All of the government money and effort that has gone into promoting these coins, and it appears that we are not going to reach "escape velocity". My thoughts t

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

THE CHANGING PERSONALITY OF COINS

"Many Faces of Eve" Complex. All coins start their lives as discs of commerce- each one equal/ the same. Some are plucked from economic channels and begin their careers as numismatic objects. As a collectible, they are different than an "every day spending" coin. They join a collection as a new kid on the block. They receive our attention; are judged as to how well they will fit in. A few join as a Star of the collection immediately. They were acquired with that intention. They enter

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

WHAT IF......

You contacted a coin dealer about a coin that you purchased from him, and he said... Thursday, I called a dealer about a recently purchased coin. I first had to listen to a computer give me a list of options, as to why I was calling. I fell into the "all other " category. I was then transferred to a human where upon I explained the problem. A recently purchased silver coin has some very light spots appearing in the peripheral lettering, that I didn't notice when the coin first arrived. M

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

THIS COLLECTOR'S REGISTRY FANTASY!

Show Me The Truth. (Journal Entry Now Completed.)As I have stated in previous Journals, the Registry has provided me with tremendous fun and entertainment:-opening and closing sets; playing "what if".-comparing my sets to those of others.- stimulating ideas for new collecting areas to explore.-great entertainment value when not making new purchases or running down a new "acquisition target".From the competitive point of view,, looking to improve one's own rankings vs. others is always fun, espe

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

KEEP IT SIMPLE

"A Father's Advice" Given today is Fathers' Day, random thoughts of Dad have been in my head all day. While watching the U.S. Open on TV, I heard one of the "Talking Heads" say that Tiger Woods stated that when he is adjusting his golf swing, mid-round, various announcer's speculations about his thought processes are wrong. What he does is think about his father's advice: "Keep it simple". His comment brought a smile to my face, as I recalled many occasions sitting with my father asking his

NEW COLLECTOR'S STARTER KIT

What Would You Include? A friend recently announced that she was going to start collecting coins. She stated, "I don't know what I want to collect or how to go about it, but I'll start by going through a big change jar that we have at home." I gave her suggestions about getting coins from the bank to view, and she had heard about the "Red Book", so I told her I would give her one. Later, as I thought more about it, I decided to construct a "starter kit" for her. Here's what I included:

BEFORE I WAS A COLLECTOR....

"My Apologies, Mr. Lincoln." I recently spoke with an old college roommate. We've not seen or heard from each other for 40 years. It was a great phone call, and since then, I've found myself thinking more and more about the "good ole days". One such memory centers around the discovery of the 1972 DDO Cent. I was in the Air Force at the time, stationed at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. This was prior to my venture into numismatics. I can recall guys in the barracks rushing to the Base bank to b

OUT OF THE ATTIC

Two Families' Histories, World Travel, and World Coins My grandfather was the first of 3 generations of Merrill's to work for a wealthy family in the small mid-west city where I was born and raised. Grandpa served as a butler, chauffeur and a cook. Between his wages and the hand-me-downs (unwanted clothes, food, etc.) from Family "X", he provided well for his family. Grandma was the first in our family to attend college. She obtained a teaching degree from Pittsburg State College (Kansa

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

50 WAYS NOT TO LEAVE YOUR COLLECTION

Exploring your relationship.... The title is a bit of a parody on Paul Simon's hit song, but my thoughts about keeping the fun in your collecting activities may fit his song's format. I left active collecting once for about 8 years; on a number of ocassions, collecting has become "stale" with me. The passage of a bit of time usually cures my ills. Recently, I've felt a bit of the "dulls" coming on again, so I decided to make a list of activities to perk-up my collecting desires. Here goes

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

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