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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

And Then There Were Just 2

an arduous endeavor nears its end First of all, congratulations to all of the registry winners- each and every award is well-deserved and don't let anyone else's frustrated words detract from your moment of due recognition. Your passion for the hobby is evident in the sets assembled by some and the presentations done by others. I have had less fervor this past year myself and have taken a more subdued direction in my collecting. Maybe 12-15 coins added and half of those were upgrades to existi

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Including The Lower Point Registry Coin

sometimes the registry points don't reflect the better, rarer or higher value coin I'll keep this short as I know the excitement over the arrival of the ASE's sets and subsequent grading results has been the big focus of interest for the past month. After a self-imposed buying moratorium for the past 6+ weeks I had won 3 items at the Stacks/Bowers auction in Nov here in Maryland ( Baltimore). I finally upgraded my 1941 Walker to an MS67 - the MS66 that filled the slot is not going anywhere

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Great News Today From the Mint For Me

to be shipped on 11/28/11 I got my third email from the US Mint since that strange day that the ASE 25th Anniversary sets went on sale. The first email was the same day and simply stated that my order had been placed and I was on a waiting list/ backordered. Several days ago I got a second email from the mint which sent my hopes tumbling. In a nutshell the notice simply said that I had not been dropped from the list and would receive my 2 sets if there were any cancellations. Although others

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Running Out of Slots to Upgrade

my Walker Short Set odyssey is nearing its end...... It is so nice to finally be past my "post binge stupor." The last I wrote a journal, I had overdone it at a recent auction and my coin budget has been depleted for about a month. Fortunately I didn't spy any "can't pass up" hole fillers or upgrades during the past month. Actually, the number of slots that have any hope of upgrading in my Walker Short Set is running out. I'll never afford MS67 coins for the 1941S-1945-S dates. I could stil

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I Won What??-OOPS

oops... I received my invoice in the mail today from the recent auction. The auction that I mention was the pre-Long Beach auction by Goldbergs and it was held over several days. I watched the auction on the day that the US half dollars were auctioned and as I wrote in a prior journal-I was thrilled to find myself the winner of 2 of my 4 internet bids ( even though I missed my lots live bidding). Well the next day of the auction was paper money I believe and then the final day was world coin

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A Bid Finally Held Up for the Win

after 2 straight times of being sniped........ At 2 of the most recent big auctions I have gotten painfully sniped. In one of them, there was a gorgeous 1934-D for my mid-date Walker set. The coin had beautiful, distinctive toning and a full strike of the head area of Ms Liberty. For those familiar with the Walker series, you'll know how flat the 34-D head strike is and how prized a nice strike is. Well I had the high bid for a whole month prior to the sale. The night before the sale I even bu

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My Submission Curse Is Broken

Finally got a super return... I've been a member of Collectors Society and the registry here now for close to a decade I believe--at least 8 years or so. I've written in the journals occasionally for the past 5 or 6 years about my experiences with submissions. My submissions have gone three ways primarily........... 1.) I submit some coins for regrade that are at that " magic level". This is the point at which a $500 coin jumps to a $5000 coin if it could just get ONE MORE POINT on the slab

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The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

showing my age with a Tom Petty song reference... For years I have tried to become someone who strives to be a better person. One of the toughest and longest lasting of my character defects has always been my impatience..I struggle with it when driving in traffic, I struggle with it in grocery checkout lines, I struggle with it if I make the mistake of shopping with my wife ( good thing she doesn't read these)...and generally I struggle with it anytime people post or promise a specific time a

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Is It Twisted Thinking?

hoping my perspective is not skewed..... I'll keep this one short........ I visited the Stacks-Bowers webpage on Thursday evening when I got home to see if I had won a coin that I had put a healthy bid on. I see 1945-D Walker MS67's here and there, it is not a conditional rarity at MS67. This coin though is not your average 67 ( at least for the "look" that I like in a Walker). Bold strike, satiny luster which pops through some lavender and rose blush fields, and just a bit of rainbow around t

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An Unexpected Cha-ching !!

A nice little score with my ebay gambles... As I've mentioned before I am a bit of an ebay gambler. However now with the current high value of silver the risk is not as much.   For those unfamiliar with my practices--I like to add to my "bullion" holdings by purchasing silver rolls of circulated coins on ebay. Sometimes they are total junky, bent, corroded, heavily worn etc coins that look ready for the smelting pot. Then there are the lots which have some decent coins of album quality and

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Short Set of My Own Parameters

just added coins 25 and 26 to pass the halfway point !! As some of you may know I collect coins with Sailing Ships on them. Most of you who know me or read my journals know that my #1 love is Walker Halves. On a lessewr note I have a few other collections of which I have casually added here and there when I find a deal or get lucky and a low ball bid actually holds up for a win. One of those sets that I build for fun--and definitely not for points, which is obvious by all of the 3 point coin

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TRUTH about the 1941-S WALKER

the "facts" used as an example are not even close to the truth. I have only once ever replied to a journal entry, I try and keep the spirit of what the journal was intended for--A place for us as collectors to share our experience ( joys, frustrations and memories--thank you DM Merrill, simply awesome journal as always). I'm going to straddle the line here by clarifying some really bad misinformation, share an opinion and also share my most recent exciting addition to my collection. First,

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I'm Still Around

Other hobbies but there's always coins... Well I haven't gone anywhere. I know that I haven't journaled in quite a while but I have still been busy with the hobby and also reading the posts by others. Besides this time of year and the demands on my time by other hobbies--Stanley Cup Playoffs time, opening of Rockfish season in the Bay, getting my early spring veggies in the ground ( snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower etc)..add the stresses of work, family and my first grandbaby ( my beautiful

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Powerless Over Beautiful Coins

unintended purchases.... I have come to a self realization. The only way for me to go on a coin buying hiatus is for me to stop looking at them. I decided about 2 weeks ago that I was going to take a break from buying for a few reasons. First of all: I have season tickets to my favorite hockey team. I spent a bundle traveling to Pittsburgh for the New Years Day " Winter Classic" and on memorabelia..also the playoffs will be around the corner shortly, and even at face value, 2-3 seven game se

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I'm Lousy at Submitting

I'm going to have to face the facts... I believe that it was Albert Einstein who said, " The definition of insanity is making the same mistakes and expecting different results." ( often misquoted as "doing the same thing and expecting..."). Well I am either hardheaded beyond cure, thick as a brick or certifiable because for years I have been making the same mistakes and inevitably getting the same results. The last I journaled--before the new year I believe--I had my fingers crossed as I sen

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Swinging For The Fences

every once in a while you gotta go for the home run My most recent submission has reached quality control. Originally I was going to send a mix of things including my 2010 proof ASE's..but in the end I thought I'd take my 5 submission coupon and go for a long-shot with a potential big return. I sent 5 of my Walker MS66's in for regrade, hoping to get either an MS67, an MS66+ or an MS66*. You may ask what the big deal would be in getting an MS66+ from my MS66?..well I'll give you an example.

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Finished Another "Set"

just a year set, but still a complete set It happens so rarely that I couldn't let the accomplishment pass without at least a quick journal to record the event. I finally finished my 1944 year set !! Yesterday I was perusing ebay and came across the final coin I needed -a 1944-D Washington quarter. I had seen a few before in the MS67 grade I was looking for but they were either not as attractive as I wanted or else they were way over-priced sitting in a "Buy It Now" inventory on ebay. Has an

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Micro-S Walker Variety?

searching and then researching..... First I want to thank everyone who sent me messages and also commented in the coin forum concerning my last journal entry. It really is my friends and fellow collectors at this site that have added so much more to my collecting via the registry in recent years. So last I wrote I had purchased 100 circulated Walker halves. Well there were no major varieties as I studied them--in fact the Walker series actually has very few primary cherrypicks--the 1946 doub

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Nice Score !!

best "bullion" buy I've made in a long while I love to write at this time of year in my journal. I'm always hesitant to write too often during most of the year since I don't want to give the impression that I'm pushing for any award considerations. I remember a few years ago that one CS registry member actually wrote some kind of post every day for about the last 2 months before the awards. Most of the posts had nothing to do with coins and I don't even think the person bought a coin that whol

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Discovering the Fun of Circulated Coins

some trial and error Well I've reached an impasse in my Walker collecting. The remaining slots in my mid-date set cost 4 figures+ in the grades I want. I don't have the continual funds to be shelling out whenever a hole-filler arrives and at the same time I don't want to keep buying lower grades which eventually get replaced in the future. I've decided to take a more "relaxed" approach to my interests for a while. My Barber Half set is the perfect medium for this. You see, I actually like th

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An Old Favor Pays Off

sometimes even the good things you do come back to you.. We've all heard the old theme said in lots of different ways--"What you do comes back to you" or "what goes around comes around" or to borrow a verse from the Good Book, "As you sow, so shall you reap". No matter how it's said, I've found it true in life that the things that we do, do indeed come back around full circle. The good things as well as the bad. Coincidentally I had 3 events this week that came up. I've shared before that I'

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Mis-Adventures at the Baltimore Show

what a strange odyssey I hope that my collecting friend "Electric Peak" forgives my play on his title. I also attended the Baltimore Show this weekend (Saturday) yet my story starts a few days prior to that. You see, about a week ago, while browsing a few more of the obscure coin sites on my "Favorites" page--I came across a 1939-S Walker graded MS67 that really caught my eye. The price was substantial for my modest collecting habits so I thought I'd solicit some opinions from other collecto

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A Forgotten Bid--and won

low ball longshots sometimes pan out I know that this has probably happened to many of us at one time or another...the scenario--- ( and I'll keep it in the first person) I'll see a coin or a lot for auction at some site. The coin may pique my interest--yet it doesn't "wow" me for some reason. The reason can be from it not being the ideal grade I'm searching for, the "look" I'm hunting down or even that I expect that the cost may go higher than I'm willing to pay... So interest piqued but

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Taking a Shot

can't find a treasure without digging a few holes....... I'm an ebay peruser. I like to browse through and try and find bargains. First I look for specific dates for holes in my active sets--then I look at bulk and mixed lots. I have to humbly say that I've done very well over the years. Bulk lots have landed me a few treasures but there is risk involved. You see, I understand that if I buy a bulk lot from a dealer who specializes in coins or has a really high feedback--then it is almost 1

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Good Deal or Bad Deal?

would probably be a hung jury Well I pulled the trigger today on a deal I found a few days ago and have been hemming and hawing over. It's the classic coin collector dilemma--on one hand, I'm not sure I want to collect the series--yet on the other hand, if I ever change my mind then they may never be this cheap again. The series in question was the proof presidential dollars. In general I usually collect moderns in albums, I won't go into all of the reasons why I do this but 2 big reasons

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