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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

Goldberg's auctions-- Big Numismatic Thrill

It's been a while... Yes, it has been a while since I felt the higher energy level from coin collecting. Lately it's been lower dollar coins ( around or under $100) or empty searches for the higher grade sets I'm trying to build.... Last night was quite different ! Not only did I get home from work and find out that my internet bids had been enough to land me 2 additions to my Walker collection--- I also sat down and enjoyed the live bidding since I was registered. Watching coin after co

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Slim Pickings

collectors are holding back? I haven't been buying many top quality coins for a while. The simple truth is that for the sets I'm building, there just haven't been that many "stand out" coins for sale. I have built on some smaller sets and picked up a few odds and ends here and there....... First, I just sent a submission with my limited edition 1935-2010 Canada proof commem set. Secondly, I purchased the regular issue 2010 Canada proof set and when those arrive I'll send in the 10c, $2 and b

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The Hunt Is On !!

successfully bagged my prize !! Hi everyone... It's been a bit slow for me in coin collecting. Besides one horrible submission and continuing with my raw Barber half album, not a lot of upgrades or additions for my registry sets have been available. So to cut to the chase, I don't collect any modern series except for the Canadian proof dimes with the Bluenose Schooner Sailing ship on them. This gives me some peace because I don't have to worry about release dates, first strikes, early rele

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A Couple of Recent Weird Happenings....

2-first time events.... I am still active in my collecting, for those wondering where IU've gotten to...just working on my Barber Half raw set and keeping my eyes open for any additions to my Walker Mid-date set (really nice 1936-S CBC, by the way). Nothing has really come up for auction that has jumped out at me so I am being patient. I did find a 1945-S MS66 that was really nice so now my entire 20 coin set from 1941 through 1947 is now MS66 or MS67..... Okay, enough of the boring stuff...

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Stars or Plusses?

taking away the collector's role I've been thinking about the new + designation by NGC for a few days. I had an initial knee-jerk response when I saw several of my sets dropping registry points..however I wanted to consider a list of positives and negatives before I jumped the gun and/or made any journal posts about my sentiments..... Let's do some negatives first--and I'm sure others will have different ones I've missed-- 1. Coin costs..all new coins with the + will probably now sell for

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A Crying Shame....

but an old story I was talking with a patient of mine about a month ago ( who has since been discharged so no ethical issues involved) and the subject of coin collecting came up. As has happened to me dozens of times, he mentioned that he had a bunch of old coins. I told him that once he was no longer in my care that I'd love to take a look and let him know what he had. So he pops into the office a few days ago with a shoebox. We sat and talked a bit and then I perused the contents..... As

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Caught in a Conundrum

to unslab or leave slabbed? Since I finished up my Walker Short Set I've decided to take a break from higher priced coins and registry hunting. Instead I've started 2 albums and am really enjoying working on them. A little insight into how I'm building my Barber Half Set........ I really, really like the look of a Barber in the VG8-10 grade to VF30 range. The reason I'm not hunting for higher grades is for several reasons. One is obviously the money involved. Barber halves are a relatively

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A "Pocket Coin"

for a raw set In my journals I usually talk about my Walking Liberty collecting, sometimes I talk about my High Seas sailing ship themed set/s, and since I finished my Mercury dimes..not so much on them anymore. I don't seem to write about some of my "sideline" collections very much. One of these collections is Barber Halves in F-VF quality. I collect these raw, although one or two have been crackouts when the price is about even to that of a raw coin. I'm not super picky with these. I bel

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Finished A Set !!

finally broke down and filled the last slot.. I remember reading some advice in a book once. It was written by a highly respected, giant of our hobby. He wrote in his book, "buy the key dates of a series you're building first. They are the coins that will continue to gain or hold in price, while the easier dates rise much slower or often go up AND down." At the time I thought this was a no-brainer. I was sure that I would have figured that bit of logic out on my own, after all, it doesn't ta

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How the Fires of Collecting Rekindled

I owe all of my friends here a real journal A quick apology to everyone who likes to read my entries. I broke one of my standards and subverted NGC's journal intent with my last post--it won't happen again. So in response-- a special journal with a little about me and how I got back into collecting coins. Like many, my fascination with coin collecting started early in life with the "thumbuster" albums. Collecting pennies and nickels from change and if I had a little money from lawn mowing or

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Ignorance Is Bliss

almost 3,000 ebay transactions, never a negative experience Far be it from me to defend ebay. I was not pleased with their paypal only stance and definitely not with the blind eye they turn to Powersellers who live by a different set of rules. However, if you're gonna complain, at least complain about the right things... First, ....99c listings. Are you aware that it costs extra money for varying increments, once a start bid is above $1 for a seller? The 99c start bid is very easy to expla

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A Month in the Waiting

at least it kept my impulse buying in check Well it's official-I finally won another addition to my set of mid-range Walkers. As my collecting has evolved I have become more like my friends LowBudget, Yevrah and Izzysdad...I'm buying fewer and fewer coins but not really spending less annually. What has happened is that I'm more focused on just a few sets and buying only upper/top grade coins. So several weeks ago I saw a couple of nice MS67's that would be auctioned off on Feb. 12th at a Sco

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A Different Perspective

trade silver and gold for paper dollars? I have read at least 4 or 5 recent journals where posters have talked about selling off their silver and gold bullion and coins while the price is "high". For the sake of a different perspective and so that visitors to our site don't think that we're all of like mind on this... I'm of the opinion that you haven't seen anything yet. I thought it might be of interest to some who read these journals to at least get a little balanced viewpoints ( and a

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Nice Coins Heading For the Melting Pot?

as silver value inches towards numismatic value... Like many of you here I have my little silver hoard stash. My hoard is not in the thousands of ounces where a $5 jump in silver prices would be a nice increase in my assets. With a hundred or more ounces, a hugely significant jump of $5 per ounce would not affect me positively financially--especially when that jump would probably indicate some downturns in other areas of investments. What is of interest to me about potential rising silver is

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Coin Construction Project

way too much stuff Well this morning I embarked on a project that was way overdue. I went to the hardware store and bought a few 2" lag bolts, and a 1/2" steel bit to bolt my safe to the floor. I know that I've been acting on faith that my safe wouldn't be stolen. Although it weighs a lot and wouldn't be able to be picked up by a single individual and carried out of my home-- a properly prepared team of thieves could have done it together with a dolly. So I opened it up ( the bolts go thro

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Forced to 'Settle"

it's all about the coins I'm sure that I'm not the only one who does this, however since the journals are supposed to be about our personal collecting experience-- this is my story..and my personal quirk. When building a set, especially a set of classic coinage, I decide what grade/s I'd like to assemble the set in according to my price range. Most classic sets will have a key-date or two that either have to be purchased in a lower grade or money needs to be saved to purchase them in my t

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Celebrating Holidays, Numismatist Style

a new ornament for the tree Our family is big on tradition. Since I was a little kid we have had certain family traditions that even now I still hold onto and have tried to pass to my kids. For example, on Thanksgiving, all of us adults are required to find a Bible verse that mentions thanksgiving or gratitude..we then take turns reading them before the family prayer and the feasting begins. Another long-held tradition is buying a Christmas tree the Friday after Thanksgiving. I know it see

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I don't Understand Teletrade

is it an auction site or a sales site? I have been confused about this for a while and have found through chat and forums, so are many others. If you'll excuse what must sound like a rant, a couple of confused questions and some things that I know have happened. Maybe someone can PM me with some insight. Facts: 1) I have been high bidder at the close of certain auctions and not won the item. 2) The opening bid does not appear to be the "reserve" price, in fact a reserve is not posted. 3)

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Fantastic Addition to a Neglected Set

haven't bought a sailing ship coin in 6 months ! No I haven't abandoned my "HIGH SEAS" signature collection. To many who read the journals and are members of various boards that chat about coins..I'll probably always be known as " the ship coin guy." It's just that I've been so focused on getting some key Walker upgrades while it seems that many higher grade- nicer coins have hit the market. I don't know why so many upper grade Halves have hit the market, maybe people having tough times are

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The Unending Quest

still one final slot to fill Recently I wrote a journal about a coin that "jumped out at me". Well I woke up this morning to find out great news. My willingness to pay a bit extra landed me the coin that had enchanted me. I quickly paid and now only have to wait a few days for it to arrive. I can only hope that it looks as nice in-hand as it does in the images...or dare I hope, maybe even better? This brings me back to the topic. For almost 2 full years now I have needed the final Walker h

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"Jump Out At You" coins

sometimes you have to pay a little extra.. A friend of mine, who works for an auction house, recently said something that must have planted itself in my brain. I didn't give it much thought at the time but it must have germinated until the proper time and then his offhand remark blossomed up into an enlighting bit of advice. His comment? He was discussing some coin images that someone had posted and he said " oh yes, I remember that coin. I had that in my collection for almost 10 years."

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A Registry Milestone For Everyone

collections are soaring A recent posting by NGC got me surfing through some of the dark recesses of this site. The comment I read was about the new record number of registry participants this year. Maybe the economic recession is not as bad as thought?..or maybe investors see the track record of coins as a long-term investment and have looked for other options besides stocks to invest in?..or maybe there are just more people discovering just how much fun and satisfaction there is in collecting

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Right Coin--Wrong Time

bad timing It never ceases to happen to me. When I have some money saved in my coin budget there just don't seem to be any "really special" coins available for the sets that I focus on. Being a bit of a coin addict, it is hard for me to be patient and wait with that extra money sitting in the coin account. Even as a kid if I had $10 from cutting a neighbor's lawn or shoveling some snow that money was just dying to be spent. I'd like to say that I saved up those funds for coins to fill holes in

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A Wild Ebay Ride

cleaned out my "impulse buys" At least once a year I try and take the time to go through my various cubbies, drawers, safe and SDB and pull out all of my impulse buys. It is amazing how many random coins I acquire each year that don't even come close to fitting into any of the sets that I am "actively building." Not just my impulse buys but also doubles from coins in my real sets that I've upgraded, coins I purchased to help a friend out, ones I've been holding until bullion values rose etc.

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Busy Coin Week

I actually added a registry coin !! I'll keep this short..it's been a bit of a busy coin week for me. I sent away 8 of my Walkers for photoing by a friend who is very professional and skilled at coin photography. I have to laugh because although I have seen evidence of his talents by looking at some of his other work, he explained to me that he didn't have a lot of experience with this series. What makes it funny is that even someone with his skill level, could still run into the same issues

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