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

Good Lighting and Cameras are only part of the Equation!

Good editing between photographing your coins and posting your coins is an important part of the process. With a fair degree of frequency, I have noticed a number of journal posts on the subject of coin photography. Most of the posts I have read seem to focus on lighting and cameras. These issues are very important, and I agree to be central to good coin photography. More often than not, I have had to take a picture up to a dozen times to get the effect I desire. Issues I contend with are hold

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Disparity between NGC and PCGS slabs

An interesting comparison between two population reports. Many of you are aware that I collect the Netherlands ?Queen Wilhelmina I? 10 Gulden gold coins issued between 1897 and 1933. This past week I upgraded my 1917 NGC MS-66 coin with a PCGS MS-67 coin. Naturally, since this coin is in the registry, I spend a significant amount of time studying the population reports and fortunately, PCGS allows free access to their world coin population report. While comparing the two reports, I found a dis

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Eating My Words

How other Society members help me to become a better collector and enjoy coin collecting all the more. In an April 4, 2009 post, I talked about the joys of building a signature set. Now six months later as my collecting interests are developing I am finding that I have to eat a few of my words from that post. It is not that I enjoy building signature sets any less, but it is more about expanding my horizons and discovering by experience the joys of collecting in other areas. Today I stand by

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Collecting small European gold coins!

My experience building a Netherlands 10 Gulden registry set. First, I wish to offer my thanks and kudos to NGC and Collector?s Society for introducing new registry sets featuring small European gold coins. Collecting small European gold coins can offer real value as the demand for these coins in contrast to their US counterparts is significantly lower. My interest in small European gold coins started when I added several examples of them to my ?Inspirational Ladies? signature set. Then early

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Recent Cross-Over Results

The results of an NTC experiment and ANACS & ICG cross-overs. This past spring, in a journal post (?My worst Numismatic Nightmare? 3/21/09) I put forth a plan for an experiment to cross over the coins in my collection certified by NTC (Numistrust Corp). In this experiment, I would submit half the coins in their holders and the other half cracked out of their holders. Now I can report with some finality the results of that experiment and show a clear trend. I suspected that many

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Numismatic Dog Days of Summer

Gearing up for an exciting fall season! Late August, or the dog days of summer, signify an upcoming change of season. This time of year finds many of us preparing for another year of school. Some of us have kindergartners getting ready for their first year of school, whilst I have a son entering his senior year of college and a daughter finishing graduate school. Summer with its long days keeps most of us busy outdoors either working around the yard or partaking in some form of outdoor recreat

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Rethinking the detail grading issue

After sleeping on it and reading other opinions on the issue of NGC detail grading, I can see the bigger picture. Thank you Society members for chiming in on the issue of details grading. After reading up on the issue and sleeping on it, I am thinking clearer on the subject. Our coins are national treasures and an important part of our nation?s history. As hobbyists, whether we realize it or not, we are entrusted with continuing a legacy for future generations by ensuring our coins are pres

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Coming changes at NGC

September 1, 2009 brings details grading to NGC September 1, 2009 NGC, will details grade all problem coins and allow 50% points in the registry. This news comes to me with mixed emotions. If my registry goal is to compete, then having problem coins in my set is not for me. However, if my goal is to complete my set, the picture changes dramatically for me. Now for the first time, all the expensive problem gold coins I own in ANACS holders will cross into NGC registry sets. For instance, I h

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

NGC Photo Proofs

My experience with a photo proof submission and a cool find in my change. I have recently had the pleasure to submit some of my coins to NGC for photo proofing. Using a five free deluxe photo proof certificate, I selected five coins from my ?Inspirational Ladies? signature set. At the deluxe level, this service is very limited. Coins eligible for submission are all US issues, Canadian coinage since 1858, and British coinage since 1662. The submission form is different also, with Amy having to

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

July 20th, 1969.....

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind and no commemorative from the US Mint. 40 years ago today seemed larger than life to me. As an eleven-year-old boy, I remember exactly where I was at the pinnacle of what was perhaps mankind?s greatest technological triumph. At a carnival picnic sponsored by my father?s employer on July 20, 1969, I heard an announcement over the loud speaker that we had landed on the moon. The reaction to the news on that warm summer afternoon was a rousing ch

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Why Coin Collecting is Never Boring!

My latest acquisition that takes my collection off in yet another direction. Most of you that know me and keep up with my journals know my love for signature sets, especially my ?Inspirational Ladies? set. At times, it must seem that I am a ?one? dimensional collector, yet the truth is my collecting interests are wide and varied. The main reason I love collecting are all the interesting and beautiful designs found on coinage. This is the primary reason for my love of type -collecting, to hav

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

"Liberty" woven into the fabric of our coinage!

The history of Liberty on our coins in a nutshell and remembering the meaning of the Fourth of July. The fourth of July is a perfect time to reflect on the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United States. The themes of freedom and liberty are an integral part of the designs of our coinage since their first minting in 1793. Our nation founded on western ideals has its origins in ancient Greek and Roman philosophies and religious freedom. To understand our coinage, we need to understand its or

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My First Teletrade!

Winning my first Teletrade lots and buying "certified" vs. buying "raw". Many of you may be surprised, but in 35+ years as a coin collector, I made my first purchase through Teletrade last Sunday. To be fair to myself, I have been a collector for longer than Teletrade has been in business, but barely, a mere 12 of 35 years. In fact, until I joined Collector?s Society, I had never heard of Teletrade and only heard of Heritage in passing. Because of your enthusiastic reviews of Teletrade, I thou

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

What a Difference a Year Makes!

My first year as a member of Collectors Society Many of us have heard the clich? ?what a difference a year makes.? This saying, though a clich?, has a lot of truth to it and my first anniversary on May 31, 2009 as a member of ?Collectors Society? is no exception. A year ago, I joined Collectors Society with the express purpose of directly submitting my raw gold coins to NGC for grading. Now a year later, my collection resembles nothing of what it once was. I have been a coin collector f

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Tale of Two Submissions

Collecting Britannia's part three and other joys and laments. On my April 28, 2009 post, I reported submitting three 2009 Britannia?s for grading with all three returning as MS-69?s. As of today, the NGC population report still only shows four coins graded at that level. That submission proved to be very profitable for me. The first of the three coins filled the 2009 slot in my Britannia registry set. The second, I traded to another collector one for one, giving me a coin I needed at no extra

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Never a Dull Moment!

How the diversity of collecting brings richness to our hobby! What is it in the mind and heart of the individual collector that causes them to collect one variety of coin over another? What is it that draws some people to this year?s Lincoln cents and others to choose First Spouse gold coins? Of course, value and cost have something to do with it, but I would argue that what motivates the individual collector most are their individual tastes regardless of cost. In my case, I?d go head over hee

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Collecting First Spouses

Building a top rated registry set is more difficult than I had anticipated. One of the most intriguing registry sets in my collection is the current First Spouse gold coins. Two features about this series captivate me. The first being, since the coins feature our nation?s First Ladies, they fit nicely into my ?Inspirational Ladies? signature set. The second is that they contain ? oz. of pure gold. Moreover, there is something appealing to me about that yellow metal. To say I have gold fever is

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Mint must be caught up on Back Orders

I have notice my coin is on the way after ordering it May 6! On May 6th I decided to order the Anna Harrison First Spouse gold coin from the Mint. Today I got my e-mail notice stating my purchase is on the way! When I ordered the coin I thought I'd be doing good if the mint got the coin to me next month, but eight days? That must be close to record time! Even at that it is a little odd because I ordered the Harrison dollar coin and medal set early last month and I am still waiting on that. Oh

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Re: Old Green Holder

A picture is worth a thousand words Old Green Holder or OGH refers to a previous generation PCGS holder. I am not sure of the dates these holders were used except that it seems the holder itself is a collector item and commands a premium in the market place. For the life of me it seems the holder is almost more important than what is in it, kind of backwards, isn't it. Rattler refers to the first generation PCGS holder. At any rate I am posting of a picture of a coin I bought for the coin that

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My Latest Acquisitions

Two beautiful coins that will grace my collection. I receive a free newsletter in my E-mail featuring numismatic news and information from numismaster.com. Periodically, they feature articles on foreign coin designs and provide links to foreign mints. Frequently, the Perth Mint buys advertising space on the newsletter. Many times, I have perused the Perth Mint?s website to see what?s cooking in Australia. One particular newsletter highlighted coin designs from France and provided the web li

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Collecting Britannias (Cont.) and encouragement for these tough times

My continuing journey to a top Britannia registry set and putting these tough times in perspective. Despite all the bad that is happening, there is some good too. I had this post on Britannia collecting ready Sunday, but because of all that is going on within the Society, I felt the timing was not right. For those going through adversity I have encouragement. In January I came across adversity of a different kind, while traveling in Brazil on a mission trip, I took seriously ill. I was hosp

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My Two Cents (for what its worth)

Chiming in on the hot issue of the day I am not judging the merits of what "namvette68" is proposing. Neither am I unsympathetic to the plight of other collectors forced to sell their collections to make ends meet. The economy is as it is and we are all in it together. All of us, if we are not selling coins to live, have at least thought about the circumstances that would force us to sell. What I am suggesting is that Collectors Society has other forums where this kind of thing should be taken

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Three out of Four Ain't too Bad

I'm getting better at predicting the grades I get on my submissions! I always enjoy preparing my raw coins for submission to NGC, especially my latest submission. Before sending my coins in, I usually take photographs of them and try to predict the grade each one will receive. Especially enjoyable, is predicting what grade my proof coins will receive, knowing that they will likely be either PFUC 69 or 70. Recently, I purchased four proof First Spouse gold coins, Martha Washington, Abigail A

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Coin Collecting Fun at an Inexpensive Price

Strategies for building inexpensive sets with key dates and having fun doing it. Not all my collections are contained within my registry or signature sets. For instance, I have a complete date and mint Mercury Dime set housed in an intercept shield folder (less the over dates). Most of the coins in this set grade good or very good, with higher grades in the later years. One coin in the set, the 1916-D, is NGC certified AG-3. The design for the Mercury dime is one of my favorites and plugging

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Joy of Assembling a Signature Set

Discover the hours of pure fun you will have assembling one of these sets! I thoroughly enjoy building registry sets. I have been collecting for more than 30 years and just ?discovered? registry sets less than a year ago when I joined Collectors Society. I started assembling competitive sets with a goal of completing a few of them with the best coins I can afford. Other sets I am targeting for healthy competition. Still others I use to store coins that buttress my overall points standing. Howe

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

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