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Entries in this journal

THE GIFT

Merry Christmas, Collectors! Virtually all children are born with the gift- inquisitiveness. Their "gift" can be a "curse" to nearby adults who are harangued with the constant "why, why, why". Some lose the gift, with time; some set it aside. And, some of these reacquire it later. In numismatics, I call these people "Collectors". We, collectors are blessed with the gift of looking at a coin and being able to see the beauty, rarity, oddity, history, uniqueness, and perhaps most important

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

YOU CAN HAVE THE COIN IF YOU PROMISE TO LOVE ME

New Acquisition Arrives! I can't imagine a dealer requiring the above condition for change of ownership, but that was a transaction requirement when this coin last changed hands. The coin in question is a "holed" 1922 Peace Dollar with VF-35 details. The offerer of the coin was my father, and my mother was the recipient, during their early dating years. Mom recently cleaned out a safe deposit box and sent me two coins; the 1922 and a more worn 1923-S dollar. Only the '22 comes with a stor

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

LOOKING PAST THE NUMBERS

"Appreciating the Coin vs. the Grade" Coins have taken a backburner in my life over the past few months, due to an extensive home renovation project. I've made no purchases for nearly 20 weeks, and visited the safe deposit box only once since mid-summer. So, last week, I decided to bring home a couple of collections to get reacquainted- Standing Liberty Quarters and Buffalo Nickels. I examined the quarters closely over the last couple of days and found myself thrilled with rediscovering the

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

EASTER "COIN" HUNT

Just a thought... My sister-in-law was talking about spending Easter with her kids who live out of state. We began waxing nostalgically about times gone past, and the Easter egg hunts we use to have for the kids in Grandma's backyard. That hasn't happened now for about twenty-five years. The "kids" are now in their forties with children of their own. As we talked about how family traditions so often seem to fade away and get lost, I began to think about how each generation and new "spri

CONFESSIONS OF A MASSOCHISTIC COLLECTOR

Self-inflicted Punishment Multiple Times Per Year. I have an extensive numismatic library, including auction catalogs and fixed price lists. This comes in quite handy when researching a particular coin or series, as well as just casual reading. Four or five times a year, I grab a stack of catalogs and lists from 9 or 10 years ago, and look through them for coins that interest me today. This activity invariably leads to woeful moans and outright cries of agony, as I stare at some great coin

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

ZERO-BASED "WANTING"

A Revised Approach to Creating My 2008: 15 Most Wanted List In the past, when creating my "List", I would start with the previous year's list and adjust/ remove existing items; then add any new coins that struck my fancy. While reviewing my coin inventory listings in November, I decided to take a different approach for 2008. A zero-based approach: -I ignored the 2007 list entirely. -I then reviewed each coin series and noted each coin that I would most like from that series. -I then pr

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

2007: COLLECTING YEAR IN REVIEW

A Review of the Year: purchases, sales, and goals. *Top 15 Most Wanted List: As in 2006, I was able to acquire only 3 coins on the list; however, in 2007, they were higher ranking coins (#1-2-4). The other difference is that I purchased #1 twice! I found the final coin needed to complete my Barber Quarter set (1900-S, MS-62) in January, and was lucky enough to spot a nice upgrade (MS-64) in October. I noticed a continuation of quality issues throughout the year. I rejected over 60% of

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

DELAWARE COMMEMORATIVE HALF MOVES FROM SAFE DEPOSIT TO MY DESK TOP

The "Blue Hens" Play for the National Football 1AA Championship!!! This season marries 2 of my favorite pastimes: -Numismatics and University of Delaware Football. I didn't think they would be invited to the tournament this year with an 8-3 record, but luck prevailed. And in the first three rounds, they've knocked off the number 10, 1, and 4 ranked teams successively. So next week, they get their shot at the National Championship! CONGRATULATIONS, Blue Hens!!! The Delaware Commemorativ

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

A TALE OF TWO COINS

"It was the BEST of coins; it was the WORST of coins." Recently, I consigned two coins from my collection to auction. In reflecting on the experience, I realized how emotional this hobby can be. For the act of selling these two coins elicited very different feelings on my part. The first coin is an 1872 Two Cent, AU-55 PCGS. This is a beautiful coin, one of my first 2 Cent purchases (Feb. 1997). I loved this coin and pulled it out for viewing, frequently. However, it was the only coin

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

Sometimes, it works for me, and some times it fights me. Though it is not one of my focal collecting areas, I keep an eye out for business strike 3 Cent Silvers dated 1863 and later. The earlier dates show up with reasonable frequency, but I don't often spot the later dates. Well, I got lucky in mid-October, and stumbled upon a very attractive 1867 AU-58 on a dealer's website. It arrived a week later and was just as pretty in hand. I was thrilled with the purchase, and feeling quite fortu

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

#1 COIN ON "15 MOST WANTED LIST" IS NOW IN CUSTODY!!!

3 Year Wait Is Over! This afternoon at 4:00 PM, an E-mail from a dealer about new listings arrived on my desk. Nothing exciting in the first group of coins; however, the second catagory contained my elusive target- an 1872 2 Cent MS-62 Brown: PCGS. I've been searching for an "affordable" uncirculated example of this coin for 3 years!! A quick call to verify availability and description, and it's now mine!!! I don't know what is more exciting: -Scratching this target off my list. I've o

YOU NEVER KNOW....

When That SPECIAL Coin Will Pop Up!!! I'm so excited that I can hardly sit still in front of the keyboard! Earlier this week, I called a favorite dealer about a couple of coins on his website. As we were talking, I casually asked about any new additions he might have to his Half Dime inventory. He paused for a second, and than said, "Do you need an 1853-0 N/A in AU? HELL YES, YOU GOT ONE?! (I yelled to myself) "I'd be interested." I calmly said to him. "We just got it, so it hasn'

FATHER MAY NOT ALWAYS KNOW BEST!!

U.S. Savings Bonds vs. Morgan Dollars. I didn't collect coins as a kid. In fact, I didn't start collecting until my mid-20's. However, I can recall, in my grade school years, having an old brass still bank with arabic scenes engraved on the sides- camels, pyramids, date trees, etc. And, it was filled with, what I now know, were Morgan Dollars. To this day, I have no idea as to where they came from. But, I can remember, from time to time, Dad would bring out the bank; and I would dump out

"KIDS, KOINS, AND GRANDPA"

"Poppy" is quite the Hero! A few years ago, one of my nephews showed some interest in coins. We looked through an album of world coins, and I allowed him to pick "one" for himself, on the condition that on his next visit, he must locate the country of origin on a map, and tell me one fact about that country. Then he can pick another coin and repeat the process. Unfortunately, we didn't see each other very often , and this never gained any momentum. Recently, I pulled about 100 world coin

REVERSE "BOX OF 20"

For me, a workable "twist" to a theoretical collecting concept. The "Box of 20" is a quality approach to collecting which is achieved and reinforced by limiting the collection size to 20 coins (or any limiting number that the collector chooses). Any additional coins may be added to the collection only by elimination of a previous "place-holder". I've observed a number of "chat room debates" re. the pros and cons of the concept, but never gave it much serious thought- that is, until my rece

JOY OF COMPLETION REVISITED

6 Year Effort Comes to Fruition.   "15 Most Wanted List" Has It's First Capture of 2007.On January 18,2007, I completed what I started in November, 2000.In 2000, I purchased an 1896-S Barber Quarter in AU-53. That purchase began a 6 year adventure in search of a complete set of these elusive coins. Today, the arrival of a 1900-S, MS-62, filled the last hole in my set.This coin was also #2 on my 15 Most Wanted List for 2007; making this the earliest capture (18 days into the new year) that I

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

2006: COLLECTING YEAR IN REVIEW

A look back at the year's purchases, sales, and goals. *Top 15 Most Wanted List: This was an interesting year regarding the list. I purchased only 3 coins; #5-10-15. All were Quarters. Fewer of my targeted coins were seen this year than in the past. Additionally, I rejected more of the candidates which I inspected. I'm not sure, yet just what this means; but my initial reaction is that the "good stuff" is being held by collectors and not being turned over for "investment" purposes.

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

COIN JOURNAL: A TOOL FOR CREATING LINKS WITH A NON-COLLECTOR

Mom is bored with "coin talk"/ loves journal entries!!! My mother lives quite a distance from me, so we talk on the phone regularly and get together only infrequently. When I turn the conversations to coins (As I invariably do), she feigns interest for awhile, but then develops that "glazed eye" look. She frequently asks why coins interest me so much, but no matter how I try to explain; she just doesn't get it. During one phone conversation, I mentioned the NGC coin journals and she said, "

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

HERMAN'S COIN

1900-P Morgan Dollar: Obverse polished; scratch accross cheek; average wear. -Eye Appeal: virtually none -Value: $10.00 -Memories: Priceless!!!!!Herman was my Dad. He passed on 6 years ago. Dad was never a coin collector, but he was a great encourager of his son to try anything that he really wanted to do. I have great memories of him teaching me to ride a bike; catch a baseball (that one got me a black eye); to fish.Through all these years, I can remember that Morgan Dollar on Dad's belt

1851 HALF DIME WITH DATE ON REVERSE

I can see "1851" coming and going!!! This afternoon, I received a new coin in the mail. Upon closer examination, I recognized it as V-1a, an interesting variety for its date placement "touching and slightly overlapping the rocks". This variety is known to have die clashing, and when I checked for this, I saw a form of clashing like no other in my collection. The date had beeen imbedded quite strongly on the reverse. Certainly not rare, but quite an interesting "impression"!

"LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE" DIME NOW HAS A HOME!!!

A quick peek at on-line inventory pays dividends. One evening last week, my "Better Half" informed me that it was time to empty all the waste baskets and take out the trash. As I dumped the bin in my office, I took a "Break", (afterall, dumping these wastebaskets is heavy work) and scanned a favorite dealer"s inventory on the PC. Now, I have been drooling over a nice 1844 SL Dime (MS-62) on his site for some time, but knew I wasn't going to bust the budget with a 5 figure purchase. So, a

VISION- IV: FINAL CHAPTER

Coin collecting has similarities to sculpture. Our vision sculpts our collection. In my case, there have been (with hindsight) clear transitions from "accumulation" to "collections" to "one collection". It has been only in recent years that I began to view my coins as one collecting entity, as opposed to a collection of Buffalos, Walkers, Barber Dimes, etc. Most of us collectors add and delete coins from our collections at various times. Over the years, I've sold a few coins, while buyin

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

"READ" THE BOOK; BEFORE YOU BUY THE COIN

"More Surprises With New Purchase: 1873-S Dime." A couple of new purchases arrived today. They are both Seated Liberty coinage, that I have been impatiently awaiting for 7 days. In the interim, I have been reading through some reference materials about varieties of Seated Dimes and Half-Dimes. One specific coin (1873-S Arrows Dime) has a couple of varieties that piqued my interest. Brian Greer details type 101: Obv-repunched "18"/ Rev- Small, thin "S". Type 102: Rev-Small, block "S" (Lar

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

VISION III

Beginning to see our coinage as links to the world. As my collecting continued, I gradually began to appreciate that our coins carry a significance greater than serving as a medium of exchange. They were "markers" of history- a reflection of what was happening at any point in time with our nation and our world as a whole. For example, a great number of our "errors" such as overdates seem to occur at times of world crisis, like wars. Low mintages, and even lack of mintage at all in the 1930's

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

15 MOST WANTED LIST: 2005 YEAR-END RESULTS

Some were captured; some escaped; one, never seen. Well, here we are at the end of another year. As I stated in a Journal Entry this past summer, I develop a list of my "15 Most Wanted Coins" at the beginning of each year, in an attempt to keep my coin search focused. As 2005 has come to a close, I reviewed my results against the list. I would have to declare them mixed, but satisfying. Here's the outcome: CAPTURED: Coins 1, 3, and 8 on the list were added to my collection. #1 had be

Wissahickon Collection

Wissahickon Collection

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