CoinsbyGary

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About this journal

When I was a young boy, my cousin introduced me to the hobby of coin collecting. Because I was also interested in photography, I used to frequent a local camera store. Along with camera supplies, this store had a rotating display case full of coins that I enjoyed scrolling through. My very first coin purchase was an 1881-S Morgan Dollar in BU PL condition; this coin was old, shiny, and inexpensive at just $12! Now 35 years later, I still own that 1881-S Morgan Dollar, even though it is still worth less than $100. I loved looking through the Red Book dreaming of the coins I would buy if I had the money, especially the coins in the back of the book where the gold listings are. As a teenager, I was beginning to show signs of gold fever.

Working through high school, I spent the bulk of the money I did not save on coin purchases. My first gold purchase as a teenager was an 1881 BU Half Eagle for $105 from a mail order ad in "Coins" magazine. Since then I have had this coin graded, and it resides in my Gold Liberty type collection graded at PCGS MS-62.

My next gold purchase as a youth stretched my resources. I purchased an 1858-C VF Half Eagle for $350, and my attraction to this coin was that it had a low mintage from an obscure branch mint. I also enjoy the comradely among fellow coin enthusiasts, and once I invited a kid to attend a coin show with me who was much younger than I was. As fate would have it, this kid happened to be the son of my mother’s boss. This boss always said to my mother how impressed he was with me taking his son to that show. As for me, I enjoy the company of fellow coin collectors, whoever they may be.

Two other purchases I made as a teen were an 1876 20-cent piece and an 1885-CC Morgan Dollar from the Lavere Redfield hoard. Since then my collecting has been sporadic, depending on my life situation. However, the passion has always been there. Gold has still not lost its luster with me, and today I am a very active collector. The cousin that introduced me to coin collecting years ago no longer collects. For a different twist on my collection, visit my website at: coinsbygary.com

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Entries in this journal

Journal Posting 101

I may not make any friends, but I feel this needs to be said. According to NGC, when they judge the journal posts for their annual awards, they judge them according to the following criteria: 1. Writing talent 2. Creativity 3. Enthusiasm 4. Numismatic Knowledge 5. ?..and most importantly, the sharing of a personal sense of the collecting journey. Of lately it seems that the journal postings have veered off from what NGC has intended for their use. The intention of NGC as described

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

What an Incredible Run!

Six consecutive First Spouse coins purchased from the mint, six PF-70 Ultra Cameos! As a series, the current First Spouse gold coins have a small, but committed following, of which I am one. There are many reasons few people collect these coins; the primary being the cost to assemble a complete set is prohibitive, especially with the current price of gold. In fact, if the price of gold continues to rise, I foresee the Mint discontinuing the series or continuing it with a different base metal.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Addendum to my last post

The US Mint has a website dedicated to the next generation of collectors, today's kids! The following is a link to the US Mint's kids webpage. From there you are linked to many fascinating pages. I linked to the 50 state quarter page and even found lesson plans for teachers to use in educating our children! I can see in this outstanding web site that the US Mint is doing everything they can to ensure coin collecting will go on well into the future! Yes there is a bright future ahead! http://

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My response:

Re:Buy coins for love, not as an investment The following is my line-by-line reply to Augustus, but first I wish to preface my response by saying that I buy coins because of my passion and love for the hobby and I only buy coins that fit into my collecting goals. I also recognize that coins as an investment are highly speculative. However, I am comforted to know that for the most part my collection is not a depreciating asset like my car. 1) Technically speaking coin collecting or for that m

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

FINISHED!

After nearly a year, and a significant investment of time and money, Gary?s 20th Century Type Set is complete. Just under a year ago, I embarked on a journey to complete a non-gold, circulation only, 20th century type set. There are several reasons I decided to assemble this set, the first is that I am a type collector. Secondly, from a practical perspective, the set has 39 coins, 30 of which I purchased in ?mint state? for under $100, many for under $50. Fueled by a competitive nature, I had

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Another view

As much as I sometimes hate to admit it, collectors with deep pockets are a necessary part of the registry. I have read all the recent postings on the issue of dealers and persons with deep pockets, and I understand where they are coming from. However, I feel that people with more money to spend have an integral and necessary part in the registry. I?m not sure what advantage a dealer has in maintaining a registry, unless he or she is a collector also. The title dealer by its very nature sugges

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

I Guess We?ve all had our Postal Moments

What I can do to ensure that people have fewer "Postal Moments"! I think we have all had our own ?postal moments? at one time or another, and I am no exception. Some time ago, I bought a Britannia on E-Bay and the parcel arrived at my house in a timely manner. The only problem is it arrived empty! Stamped on the empty packaging was the following, ?received unsealed and received empty?. Whether my parcel was damaged on the post offices? sorting machines or the coin was stolen, I could only conj

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

What Do You Do about those Must Have Coins in Your Collection?

Two coins I absolutely had to have at any price. What do you do when you have been hunting for a coin for over a year, and it finally comes up for sale on E-Bay? Does that coin become a ?must win? that you are willing to pay almost anything to acquire? This situation presented itself to me twice in the last month and in both cases, I paid whatever it took to acquire the coins. On the surface this may seem like lunacy, but when the coins are rarely available for sale, and fit perfectly into my

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My First Multi-coin Holder submission

Multi-coin holders are a great way to present coin sets that have sentimental meaning. Several years ago, I thought to buy proof sets to mark my children?s birth years. As a result, I purchased a 1984 set corresponding to my daughter?s birth year and a 1988 set for my son. As far as cost, I do not remember how much I spent for the sets, but it could not have been more than $15.00 each. However, to get them into the NGC registry, I would need to submit them for grading. When I started submit

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Type Collector at Heart

How did I change from one collecting goal to another? I remember the first registry set I established when I joined Collector?s Society about a year and a half ago. At that time, I wanted to start a complete collection of uncirculated Silver American Eagles because I liked the design and could acquire the coins for a reasonable amount of money. In other words, completing a set of primarily MS-69 coins was a very achievable goal. With that in mind, I created the set and began purchasing the coi

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

I Am Honored

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure this is not a dream! It is hard for me to find the right words with which to express how I feel after discovering that I won the award for number 2 ?Best Presented Set? and the ?Journal Award? for 2009. Just imagine that, a ?Journal Award? winner at a loss for words as I am now, preposterous! The only thing that I can say is that I am honored and humbled. I am honored that ?Gary?s 20th Century Type Set? is counted as one of the five ?Best Presen

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Reflections

Reviewing my journal entries of the past year showing how far I have come. Early this morning with everyone else quietly asleep, I took time to read many of my journal posts of the past year and reflect. January 1 is a good time for reflection, because it is the end of one year and the beginning of the next. For those of you contemplating journaling in 2010, journals are a wonderful way to chronicle your collecting journey. In them, you store your thoughts, feelings, accomplishments, and impre

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Absolutely Stunning!!!!!!!

See if you agree with me on this one! For much of my collecting life my focus has been on coinage issues of the 19th century. I so loved the various renditions of Liberty on 19th century coins that I often neglected those of the 20th century. That was until I started a 20th century typeset in the registry last summer. This is when I discovered anew the artistry, beauty, and symbolism of the ?American Renaissance coins? issued early in the century. Indeed, there are no coins like them anywhere,

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Looking Forward to 2010!

2009 in review and my goals for 2010. 2009 has been a banner year for my collection. I have spent more money on coins this year than during any other year prior. My first full year in the registry is part of the reason for my increased spending. After establishing the sets I wanted to collect, I feverishly went about populating them. With the focus of filling slots and my proclivity to compulsiveness, I very nearly completed a 20th century type set and completed a Wilhelmina 10 Gulden gold set

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

PCGS, NGC, or Both??????????

Should I play the population reports to get the highest grade on my coins? I have often wondered whether it would be in my best interest to be a member of both NGC?s Collectors Society and PCGS?s Collectors Club. With submission privileges for both services, I wonder if I could use the large samplings in both population reports to predict which service might give the highest grade on a particular coin. Case in point, I have written in the past of the tendency of PCGS to grade Queen Wilhelmina

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My most recent purchase

Just came in the mail today! I love collecting firsts and lasts, whether the first or last year of issue, a new composition or variety, or a new mint. Today I received my latest purchase, and a first to the newly opened Denver Mint; a UNC details 1906-D half-eagle. This coin is a nice addendum to WKF's recent journals concerning the Denver Mint. The coin has scratches that are apparent, but in my opinion, does not distract from the overall look of the coin. Enjoy my photo, and as always, happy

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Virtual Christmas Card for NGC and my Fellow Society Members

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year! Shortly before I graduated from high school in 1976, I bought an 1858-C Half Eagle through a mail order ad in Coins Magazine. Up until that time, this coin was the most expensive coin I had bought at $350.00. Today I still own this coin even though it is details graded VF-30 in an ANACS holder. That following Christmas the dealer with whom I purchased the coin from, sent me a Christmas card that I would like to share with you, my collecting communit

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Building a Registry Set I can be Proud of

With my "Magnum Opus" type set ready, let the judging begin! I have come a long way since April 3, 2009. On that day, I posted a journal about the joy of building a signature set and said that registry sets were ?mechanical and non-flexible?. That statement could not be any further from the truth, and it took building a registry set that I can be proud of to discover just how wrong I was. The big drawing card in signature sets for me is that I define the theme and the coins within the set ba

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Coin that Almost Was

A lot has happened at the US Mint since 1979 On my post, dated 11/14/09, I established how the ?Libertas Americana? medal influenced the ?Liberty Cap? design on our earliest coinage. However, the ?Liberty Cap? design very nearly found its way onto our circulating dollar coin in 1979. Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro, himself influenced by the ?Libertas Americana? had a ?Liberty Cap? dollar ready for minting in 1979 to replace the Eisenhower Dollar. However, due to political considerations, Pre

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Never taking collecting for granted

Thanksgiving and my most recent collecting experiences. Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays to stop and take stock of your life. Nobody can really say that they are self-made; each of us needs other people in our lives in order to prosper. The term thanksgiving implies that we give thanks TO the ones who have contributed so much to our lives. I give thanks to my parents for raising me, to my doctors for keeping me alive after a life threatening illness, to my employer for giving me a job

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Libertas Americana Medal and its Influence on our Earliest Coins

How our early coins show our passion to be free! The end of the Revolutionary War came about when the British Commons, weary of the war, voted in April of 1782 to end the war in America. On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the Revolutionary War. About that time, Benjamin Franklin with an idea for a medal, commissioned French Engraver Augustin Dupre to prepare the dies for the Paris Mint to strike the ?Libertas Americana? medal in 1783. The reverse design on

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Thank You Veterans

A Numismatic tribute to our veterans. On this Veterans Day, I want to take the opportunity to thank the men and women of our armed forces who have both served and are currently serving our nation. We all can be very proud of these fine Americans. I especially wish to thank those who have served in times of war. I am a veteran of the United States Navy and feel blessed that I never received the call to take up arms for our country. However, I was prepared, and in a position to go. Thank you

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Helpful and Interesting Books

Good books that enhance your coin collecting experience. As I wrote last week, the previous month was an active one for coin purchases. However, last month I made a few other numismatic purchases that often fall under the radar screen. The internet is an invaluable source of information with which to research your coins, and I have used it to find a wealth of information. Nevertheless, for some things there is no substitute for a good library as I still enjoy thumbing through my old Red Books.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Lots of Treats with a Few Tricks!

I made several good purchases in October, but absolutely need to get spending under control! October has been a banner month for me in terms of collecting, as I upgraded one coin, purchased three outright, and added the Lincoln Chronicles set to my collection. The funny thing is that I told myself two coins ago that I would temporarily freeze my purchases. Now throw in a new camera and October gets very expensive. I guess all this proves that I am addicted to this hobby. However, there is a ra

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Fond Memories

Getting back to my roots and remembering why it is I collect coins. The recent post ?HEY BUDS----- YA GOT ANY PICS?? by Six Mile Rick is refreshing in that Rick exhibits his true heart and passion for collecting coins. Part of what I find refreshing is Ricks collecting passion for Morgan Dollars. One thing I can always count on is Rick attaching a photograph of one of his Morgan Dollars to each of his posts. The aforementioned post, while short on information, is loaded with passion. It?s Rick

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

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