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About this journal

I am now in my later 40's as I write this bio and finally have reached a point in life where I can set aside some money monthly for my "coin allowance."

It was not always this way.

My fascination with coins started at a very young age--although the exact age I am not sure. I would guess I was between 7 to 10 years of age when my mother showed me her silver coins. As a child in the mid 1970's, the sight of a mercury dime design, walker or franklin half and even the old buffalo nickels were somehow exciting and mysterious. Compared to the pictures of the busts of presidents, the older designs were fantastically beautiful in their art and sculpted design...I was hooked!
The only problem was that I was a kid and had no money. My mom and dad got me some thumb busters of Lincoln wheat cents and Jefferson nickels. Oh what a prize to find a wheatie in my dad's change of a date before 1940! Of course I could not just take the coin--I had to do some extra chore to earn that prize, this made the enjoyment all the more.

Later I would have the pleasure of trips to a local coin shop in Rockville (MD)-called Coins of the Realm--I don't even know if it still exists or not. As the holes in my thumb busters became harder to fill, I figured out that I could find many of them at the coin shop. I would cut the grass of the older families in the neighborhood during the summer and if we had a snow in the winter--me and the other kids in the neighborhood would be out early knocking on doors to make that $5 for shoveling a sidewalk and driveway.
The difference was, my friends would spend that money on candy, sports cards or slot cars--for me it was a trip with my mom to the coin shop.
Eventually my mom even gave me her old silver coins--circulated and common date, nonetheless, they were quite possibly the most exciting coins I ever received.
After many years of hiatus from numismatics--about 12 to 15 years ago I rediscovered my passion for the hobby of kings--and with the discovery of the Registry here at NGC--and the ability to hunt for treasures on the internet, I foresee coin collecting being a part of my earthly pleasures until the day when I will leave it. 

Entries in this journal

Still Plugging Holes

and a few nicer upgrades I've been quiet on the journal side of the hobby since the new year, and for the most part I've been quiet in the purchasing part also. I have kept my eyes open for the one Walker I want for my short set to upgrade to MS67--and then will be officially "done" with the set. I have no desire to pay double or more of the value of a coin so that my slab has a +plus or a *star so there is nowhere left to go to improve this set numerically. Also I am quite pleased with the

jackson64

jackson64

A Couple of Sticky Irksome Things

Stickers have no place near coins..... There are many things in this hobby that can get under our skin. I believe the reason that the small things irk us is because we truly love the hobby of numismatics. Some of the things that we are troubled by are more personal pet peeves and others are because of bigger trends in the hobby. I will admit--and I know it is a controversial subject but it is just my own personal feeling ( and for now Americans still retain at least the right to hold persona

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Not A Complete Whiff- Bagged a Buff

although several coins of long term seeking were missed or passed upon, I still managed one nice pick up. I must start by thanking and apologizing to Jason C. It seems he was perusing my sets and happened upon my MS67* Buffalo nickel. He and I were beginning to throw out some soft offers for a possible trade for the coin. I had not been overly attatched to the coin and really only bought it on impulse because I always wanted just a single attractive buffalo nickel as an example in my collectio

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Hunted and Hunted and Hunted--Then I Passed

Guess that is why it is called collecting and not assembling or gathering. I must start off by admitting that I'm hesitant with talking about specific dates that I'm searching for. In my paranoid and competetive little mind--if someone out there who is searching for the same coins that I am in the same grades, by them knowing that I also will be trying to acquire them-this gives them an advantage in sniping me or driving up the price at auction. Or worse yet, if a dealer knows that buyers have

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Unexpected Bonus

ordered 4 gold sovereigns and received 4 differing busts I admit that I buy a little gold "for a rainy day." I don't buy it at speculation or investment level-and I always buy physical gold over paper gold. I'm a firm believer in that old analysis..... "100 hundred years ago a man could buy a quality tailored suit for $20 currency or a single $20 gold piece. Today a man may buy a nice suit and have it tailored to size for $1500 currency, or roughly 1 $20 gold piece." Give or take a few bucks

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A Nice Little Bargain

small deals can be big thrills... One of the thrills I also get with the hobby is when I find the occasional bargain. Recently I was scanning through the lesser viewed pages of an on-line auction site that has been dying out. Listed at auction and ending in less than 1 hour was a 3-coin, graded PCGS Congress 1989 Commem set. Opening bid was at $280 for the half, silver dollar and $5 gold coin ( 1/4 ounce). I did some quick math in my head...15% fee would be 28 +14.... = $42..$322 total for

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Nearing Decision Time

can my compulsion for completion be quelled or do I just finish the set? When I started my Barber Half set it was with simple parameters and an understanding. First: I would build a "short set" of Barbers. No registry or even any album that I'm aware of has a barber half short set but it seems to me to provide the perfect series for a partial collection of a much larger series. The division I made was for the 1900 thru 1915 dates. This allows for a clear division by century and also allows f

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Sometimes Less is Better

Lesser grade and lesser cost, however all of the enjoyment. I don't know if others do this but I would guess that many of my fellow collectors do. As a classic coin collector I sometimes run through the slots of a budding set and try and figure out the maximum grade or cost I'll be able to afford for the slots. As an example--in my Walker short set I surmised early on that an MS66 1941-S would be the max grade I could obtain. A PQ 41-S goes for $1500 to $1700 however an MS67 may sell for $2

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My Free Submission Coupon Almost Expired

I got them in the mail on Saturday morning and the coupon stated "postmarked by July 1st." For years I have had both a PCGS and NGC membership. I do tend to side toward NGC/Collectors Society as my preferred Chat Boards, slabber of raw coins and registry however I join both sites for 1 primary reason. With a certain level of membership a collector can actually get a submission coupon ( 5 for NGC and 8 coins for PCGS) which makes the cost of membership essentially free when the coupon value is

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Cracked the Top Ten

A "distraction set" has turned into a registry top ten One thing I particularly enjoy about the Collectors Society Registry is the variety of ways that people assemble sets and that are included in the registry. There are type sets by denomination and by century...series short sets, one-per-dates and whole sets. Some sets are broken up according to design changes in the series or even a year or two special design. Of course if you care to assemble a set by topical or themed, a world set from

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jackson64

A Major Disconnect--Paper Silver Value vs Physical Silver

Does the Wall Street "spot price" even matter any more? It just gets weirder and weirder by the day. Silver value as reported on comex/wall street -etc keeps dropping down toward $20 an ounce--dipping toward $22 today. Yet strangely, physical silver sales are hard to come by and in order to grab some physical silver the costs are closer to $30 an ounce--which is about a 25 to 30% fee per ounce! I understand that the big bullion dealers are trying to cut losses by making up for the drop in

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jackson64

Our Community Members Are The Best

I've never had an issues when dealing with a CS member. Most of us who have been collecting for a while have been burned a time or two. Sometimes it is caused by our own desires to find a hidden treasure, an undiscovered prize or a coin of value at a nice price. Unfortunately some of the misfortune and bad dealings come from shady dealers or people who deal in the hobby for profit only or others who intentionally misrepresent or over-represent coins. As collectors we are bombarded by scamm

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Steady As She Goes

still searching and bidding- with an occasional buy It's hard to believe that it is mid-March and this is my first coin journal for 2013. I was tempted several times to jump in on trending posts but avoided the temptation in the spirit of true journaling instead of using this service as comment section, opinion area or chat board. Plus, I would have been in the vast minority with some of my opinions. I recall one gentleman-correctly using this area for its intended purpose-- which is to keep

jackson64

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Frustration of Cruddy Photo Skills

maybe it's time to expand my collecting parameters My coin collecting mostly consists of buying as beautiful and eye-appealing coins as I can. I usually do this in the confines of some over-arching goal like assembling a whole set, short set, year set, thematic set etc. I say usually because some of my coin purchases are not for any set but just because I love the design. Examples of this would be coins like my Dolly Madison commem with her wonderful bust on the obv and the willow tree and gar

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Battled Through the Storm and Landed a Big Fish

Power held out long enough to get in an auction bid. Our power at my house goes out for hours with a thunderstorm and has been out for a week or more 3 or 4 times in the past 3 or 4 years. We've had the 5 to 6 feet of snow 2 winters ago. A tornado hit Chesapeake beach 2 summers ago, hurricane Irene was pooh-poohed by many as a fizzle but we had no power for a week and many fallen trees here in Chesapeake country. We were down for 3 days during the "derecho" and have had numerous one or two day

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2012 San Fran Mint ASE 3-Coin Set Complete

got all three coins of the special 3-coin san francisco mint issued American silver eagles for 2012 Okay..the title is a teaser. There really are 3 ASE's issued by the San Fran mint this year and I have matching labels and First Strike designations for all 3--but they are not a "mint issued" 3 coin set--just a "Jackson assembled" 3 coin set. Overall, I think they sure do look like a set that was meant to be as one group, even if the 2 proofs were issued together and the MS coin minted at S w

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A Great Way to Finish a Vacation

coming home to a full PO Box and 3 coin packages takes some sting out of a relaxing vacation ending Due to some various circumstances my wife and I did not take our usual February vacation to break up the winter. We both have been at our current professions and companies long enough that we qualify for several weeks vacation per year. Our usual practice is a vacation in mid-winter to break up the doldrums and get away alone together, and then we also take a late summer trip which will include

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Grading is Subjective--But Also Done by Humans

Thought I had filled a slot with a key date except for one small detail There isn't a collector among us, who I'm sure owns at least one coin that they feel is undergraded. I feel the reason for this is due to one primary aspect of grading--that is Eye Appeal. Unfortunately grading-even by the 2 big TPG's- is always going to be subjective. All of us with any experience in the hobby understand the main criteria used in grading-contact marks, hairlines, luster, wear on circulated coins. Howeve

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Satin Can Be Nice Too

I wanted the toner, but this is far from "settling" Okay, so Stacks and Bowers continued in this recent Whitman Coin Expo in Baltimore to sell off the monstrous hoard of high grade, short set years, Walker Halves. The first 2 times they had parts of this hoard at auction I didn't see any of the 3 coins that can still be upgraded in my set. I did make the "lateral upgrade" of my 1942. I say lateral upgrade because, if you remeber, I purchased the same date in the same grade-I just switched for

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Are Precious Metals Values Being Manipulated?

3 recent whistleblowers have come out from Wall Street As I continue to see the gradual slide of gold and silver values from what were highs of $2000+ for gold and $50 for silver ( recently-not just 1979), I get filled with mixed thoughts. First is the feeling of anger that the precious metals I have stowed away have been intentionally manipulated out of their value. We all know that Wall Street is a bunch of crooks but when the occasional whistblower comes out--like Greg Smith from Goldman

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jackson64

First True Impulse Buy in Over a Year

the coin had the look and was only 50% of list--but there is no set fot it As I've matured and become more disciplined in my collecting my impulsive purchases have dropped considerably. Not that impulse buying is a sign of immaturity in general- but when I first started collecting seriously, I never saw a coin I didn't want. I lost a bit of money by building complete sets quickly-even #1 registry sets- and then selling the coins for less than I bought them. I don't even want to think of the mo

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jackson64

Sleepers

still here and still loving the hobby Hi all who enjoy the journals. I know that I'm not as active on the chat boards or journaling but I am still visiting auctions on-line, and am always on the hunt for deals and coins that have that look that I love. As many of you may remember, I get a special thrill out of roll hunting and lot buying. Not the typical "roll from the bank" hunting but mostly ebay roll hunting. I try and but rolls from the Walker half or mercury dime series as close to bull

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Do You Still Call it an Upgrade????

the grade's the same, the registry points are the same, BUT.... Well it seems as if there are more than 2 potential upgrades left for my set. Last I journaled about my Walking Liberty Half short set I was lamenting that there were only 2 possible coins left in the set that I could afford to upgrade- NUMERICALLY upgrade that is. It seems that I have found another way to spend silly amounts of money for a coin that I already own one of--and not even in a higher grade either. Perusing the perpl

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The Deed Is Done

I've been waiting to see..... Well NGC has gone ahead with their business scheme to banish the PCGS coins from the World Registry. First let me say that- of course it is NGC's site and of course they have full right to do anything they choose with their company and registry. I had held off with posting a journal with my reaction until they actually did the deed. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that they may change their minds and put the collectors ahead of the almighty dollar

jackson64

jackson64

A final ASE 25th Anniversary Journal

you won't believe this one........ I had casually mentioned on the Chat Boards that I had gotten my ASE 25th Anniversary order for 2 sets placed at around 6:00pm EST on the day of release ( 10/27/11). My order was immediately placed on backorder and every week or 2 I have gotten an email bumping it further down the road..EXAMPLE: your order is scheduled to ship appx 11/25..on 11/25 I'd get an email saying, " your order expected to ship 12/7..and on and on it went week after week..my latest

jackson64

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