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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

When The Going Gets Tough

the tough get going? Times are tough, no doubt, and with encouraging news about the economic turnaround like "Job Loss Rate is Slower this Month"..or "Banks Report Smaller Loss than Expected", it is no small wonder that I have read many posts about fellow collectors selling their collections or leaving the hobby... Chat boards are slower, less journals posted, fewer bids on items at the weekly auctions..... Well you may have noticed that I have been absent (mostly) for a few months. Part o

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The Hoard...Part 2

fun and frustrating.. When I last left off, I had sat down with B** and we were discussing what to do with the 5 toolboxes of coins. He has decided to leave them all to K***'s 15 year-old daughter for her college fund. My part is to separate out the coins that will potentially get more money if certified..and to sort/catalog the remainder...here are some of the finds in the first 4 boxes: --700 silver dollars--most BU of common dates ( $25-50 each in 62/63) and the semi-key and keys are al

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Massive Coin Hoard

not mine, but I get to catalog it.. Yes it is true..I am lucky enough to be the first person to go through this stash/hoard in around 20 years. If I may, a little background first...... One of my fishing buddies K*** is independently wealthy, I've never asked what he did for a living or where it came from, but he is nearing 50 and has been "retired" for as long as I've known him. One of our long-time friends is B**, an older gentleman who used to teach sailing classes and navigation using as

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In Defense of NGC

A picture is worth 1000 words Let me say first of all that I have had my issues with NGC. In a hobby where a subjective opinion (eye appeal is 1/4th of grade consideration) can mean the difference in a one point grade change and hence THOUSANDS of dollars, it can be quite frustrating when my taste or what appeals to my eye seems to differ from the graders. My coin comes back MS66 worth $400 and it looks like an MS67 $4000 coin to me. After a day of shrugging off the disappointment, I just live

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My New Rarest Coin?

certainly a low-mintage One topic that I've talked about and thought about, more than a few times since I returned to this hobby roughly 10 years ago is rarity. I know that certain set scales exist ( sheldon scale for example) where the rarity of a coin is set by pure numbers of that date/type/variety believed to exist. And I'll stay off my soapbox about the term "rare" being used indiscriminately by about 2/3rds of ebay listings and hobby publication ads... My feeling has turned more toward

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A Milestone Reached

and a few in sight... It's a rainy day here in Maryland..which means that my "summer hobbies" of sailing, fishing, and vegetable gardening are postponed for the day. So this is a perfect day to enjoy my collection. Often when I visit my coins it is simply to browse through the sets here at CS..however it sure is nice to pull out a few slab boxes and look at them in hand. I'm getting off track here..what I wanted to record in my journal is that I recently reached a milestone. My High Seas

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Frustrations of Coin Photography

each coin is different I had read recently of someone who was not happy with a coin's "in hand" appearance as compared to auction photos. Personally I tend to give a bit of leeway as to whether the auction company intentionaly "doctors" photos to make a coin look better. On occasion I get a coin that has a spot or hairline that was not visible when photoed at a certain angle but shows up if the coin is tilted or turned when holding it. I also sometimes get a coin that thrills me to no end wh

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Major Miscalculation?

coins are not easily liquid I am foremost a collector.... Having said that, I also try and buy with a respect to the idea that coins, unlike my other major hobbies of fishing, boating and vegetable gardening, have a definite monetary return potential. Well I don't have to tell most of you that we as a country are going through some tough economic times. I have seen many mentions here in the journals and also on the chat boards of people who have hit rough times and have had to sell some or

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Coin Fun With The Kids

nothing like young numismatists and a big bag of treasure !! I recently had one of the most fun coin experiences that I've had in a while...and it was from giving and not adding to my collection. First of all, I must give credit where it is due.. a friend of mine from the NGC Chat Boards ( and also another coin website of friends) named "Antthe" has been buying large amounts of world coins "by the pound" and has been enjoying picking through them for interesting finds. I believe that his f

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Patience Pays Off

a wonderful upgrade Unlike my Mercury dime short set which I considered done when all of the "slots" were filled with MS67 coins, my Walking Liberty Half Set may never get completed. I have been wating for a truly special 1941-S to fill the last blank slot, however this won't "finish" the set in my eyes. I'm not sure what criteria it would take for me to be perfectly contented with the set. I also had 2 MS64's still in the set...I've passed up several chances to upgrade because I've

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Post-Set Completion Melancholy

time for something new It took almost 3 weeks to arrive but I finally got my 1943 Mercury Dime in the mail today. It seems almost anti-climatic. Usually I get 3 seperate thrills from a new acquisition...the first comes at the moment of winning the auction or finding the coin that fits the criteria for my set. The second (smaller) thrill comes when I enter the coin into that blank registry slot, or upgrade the slot. I enjoy watching the points and/or ranking increase. The third thrill is when

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A Strange Find

got what I deserved I have a funny story to relate of something that happened to me recently. I am a full fledged coin nut..I always check my change and recently I checked some change that wasn't even mine. I was at a convenience store, and you know those little plastic trays or cups at the check out counter? You may have seen one with a little sign..." Take a Penny or Leave a Penny". I assume they are there in case you purchase something whose total comes to $1.01 or $1.02....or conversely

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Pulled the Trigger

actually I "clicked the mouse" Some of my favorite journal entries are those of my fellow collectors that let me into their heads a bit. I really enjoy LowBudget's journals because I get to see how a fellow collector like him methodically hunts his "prey". An in depth education and knowledge comes first, followed by many hours studying coins on-line, at auction in hand, auction histories..varieties..it is just fun to see how others collect. However there are a myriad of "right" ways t

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Triplets !!

octomom better look out...... I haven't written a journal entry in about 6 weeks so this is overdue--and no, octomom has nothing to fear from me. In fact, my "triplets" consist of my recently added 1942-P Mercury dime that is a well matched coin for my 1942-D and 1942-S. For those who may have read my journal entry from a few months ago titled "twins"..I have been looking for a 1942 to match these other 2 coins with their handsome rim toning.(you really need to take a closer look at this coin

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MY Rank Jumped 150 places !!

and didn't buy any new coins !! I really love the direction that NGC is going--particularly in expanding their World Set Registry. For those who haven't noticed, NGC has been working hard at adding new sets to the registry and even taking suggestions in the Forums/Chat area to encourage people to make suggestions. Imagine my surprise today when I was browsing through the recesses of the back pages here and saw that they had a category for "France". Dare I hope that it coincidentally might b

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Coins Are The Cure

who needs a pill !! I'm not a big believer in all the syndromes that are constantly being invented to sell drugs to us. "Twitchy Eyelids?"...."this could be a symptom of a syndrome that some independent laboratory has determined may kill you if left untreated !!" Fortunately for us, they usually have discovered the pill or treatment to cure it before the syndrome was identified. As cynical as I may sound about other peoples restless legs and irritable bowels...I actually do have one of these

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My Priceless Coin

family heirlooms... Last night I was trying to catch up on reading all of the new year's journal entries. This helps to keep me involved in the hobby even when my funds don't allow me to be in "purchasing mode." One series of journals was discussing the NGC submission coupon and the struggle of deciding on which coins to submit. I had almost forgotten that I still have my 5 free submission voucher, so I immediately pulled out my raw coins and found myself in the same conundrum. I finally set

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My Goals For 2009

should be an interesting year I always enjoy setting my yearly goals and writing them into a journal entry. It is especially interesting to look back in November and December and see how many I have attained and how my goals may have changed or morphed. So here they are, in no particular order of importance: 1. For 2 years I have made it a goal to finish my Walker Short Set--hopefully this year I'll find that 1941-S in MS66 with a nice strike at a time when I also have the discretionary

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Twins !!!

almost did a double-take I'm pretty excited at the moment..I just won an ebay auction I had been watching for 10 days. When this coin first appeared I put in a small, cursory bid so that it would be on my Bidding list. It just ended and I won by my exact high bid..by 51 cents above the second place bidder !! It's a nice 1942-S Mercury dime..graded as an MS67, it will make a wonderful addition to my merc short set. I have to admit to being tempted to stray from my original goal. That goal was

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Good News !!!

heard from a missing friend Well it has been a tough year in many ways for some in our little community. Economics has been tough on many-- Several have had to pause in their collecting while others have had to sell part or all of their collections to pay for more pressing issues. Some of us have had medical issues and some have had to deal with the hardest things one could face--death of loved ones. I did get good news from 2 people, I know that a couple of the people that I send messages t

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Christmas Numismatic Wish List

please...no coins I love the holidays...I love giving gifts and yes, I love getting them also...I love Christmas eve candlelight services, I love spiral sliced honey-baked ham, I love another excuse to fill the candy trays with chocolates, I love when friends come over with plates of baked goodies, I like decorating my mantle and front window..and even putting a single string of lights outside along the gutters. Our house is always open to un announced friends dropping by and my two teenaged d

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A Busy Coin Day

21 "new" coins It has been a busy day with my collection...I love it !! I got back my NGC submission today and now it's time for the other parts of the hobby I enjoy. It is definitely about the coins, however I really get a lot of enjoyment out of taking the pictures for the sets & listings...also I really enjoy learning new stuff, so researching info for the desciption is a lot of relaxed enjoyment also. For pictures, I still have my Sony Mavica 10x zoom. This camera is so out of da

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My First 70 on a Submission !!

but I'm getting old and my memory is not what it was An exciting day in the hobby for me. The grades of my coins submission were posted and they are on their way home !! It always feels like they are brand new purchases to me when they arrive back. They never quite feel like part of my set/collection when they are still raw and sitting in my coin cabinet drawer--waiting for encapsulation. Not that I'm knocking raw coin collectors, I am usually always casually working on some album/series of ra

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Waited Too Long

coins will be late for the registry deadline Well it seems as if my impatience has turned to resignation. I finally got around to making a submission to NGC on Nov. 6th...and my coins were received on the 10th....The current turnaround for World Coins in my tier is listed at 10 days so I figured I'd have plenty of time to get them back, take photos and add them to my listings before the Dec. 10th, year-end cut off. Well Monday will be December 1st and my coins are still stuck at "Scheduled For

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The Waiting is Tough

never been known for my patience I'm going away for a 4/3 day weekend today. For me this always involves more than just packing clothes. I always have a few slabs and raw coins lying around that haven't made it to the bank box yet. This means I must come up with a very clever "stashing place" or take time to pack them up and head to the bank. This break from the grind comes at a great time. I usually undergo a bit of a bluesy feeling this time of year....grey and cold, no sailing, no fishing

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