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

A Look Backwards and a Look Forward

2013 has been a very good year for my collection. In 2014, I plan more of the same with the exception that I will have to scale back my new purchases significantly. 2013 has been a phenomenal year of upgrades to my Netherlands eleven-coin Queen Wilhelmina 10 Gulden set. In comparison to other years, 2013 has also been the best year for upgrades since starting this set in 2009. I began 2013 with three coins below my target grade of MS-65 and now there is only one MS-64 left to upgrade. At the e

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys December Coin of the Month

I know my December piece is a little early, but Ive been working feverishly on my owner comments for The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics custom set. I just finished the owner comments for this token last night and its history is so interesting to me that I had to post it. Ill post the other supporting pictures on the chat boards. NY 1863 NEW YORK F-630AM-1a CHRISTOPH KARL: There are coins in this set that are difficult to describe, and this 1863 store card is one of them. That said, I w

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys November Coin of the Month

Novembers Coin of the Month (Volume 3 Number 3) column features an NGC PFUC-69, 1994 Canadian $200 gold coin (KM# 250) commemorating the Literary Legacy of Canadian Lucy Maud Montgomerys 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables. This coin featuring a bust of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a young girl seated underneath a gazebo on the reverse is 29mm in diameter and weighs 17.135 grams. The mintage of this coin is 10,655 and the serial number on the certificate of authenticity that accompanies

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

I Finally Found What I Was Looking For

A long search finally yields for me the 1838 Hard-Times, Am I Not A Woman And A Sister Token. Ive been on the prowl for the Hard-Times, Am I Not A Woman And A Sister token for some time. After looking through numerous E-Bay listings over time, Ive finally bought an example I am happy with. Most of the tokens I rejected were problem tokens or had a weakly struck date on the reverse. Many more were of a lower grade than I was seeking, and all were raw until now. This token is problem free with w

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys October Coin of the Month

Garys Coin of the Month (Volume 3, Number 2) features a coin commemorating the 25th wedding anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Elizabeth of Bavaria. The obverse of this coin portrays an image of their conjoined busts and the reverse features a seated image of the goddess Fortuna. This coin (KM#X5) grading MS-63 by NGC resides in my newest custom set entitled, The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics. In 1879, the Austro-Hungarian Empire issued a 2 gulden commemorative coin to

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

ARRRRGH! Imaging Coins can be Really Frustrating

Have you ever held a coin in your hand and just admired the intricate details and the spectacular kaleidoscope of colors? Then you try to image your coin just to find that the image looks nothing like the coin. Well I just bought this beautiful Conder Token for my seated images set and for the life of me I could not get the color in the picture to look like the token in my hand. I tried different lighting and angles to no avail. I tried different edits in my raw format editor, nothing doing. M

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

An Olive Oil Bath Anyone?

An article in this weeks Coin World, a coin I collected 35 years ago in New Caledonia, and my new custom set, The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics gave me an idea for a little experiment. I normally do not advocate the cleaning of coins, but in the case of PVC residue there is little you can do for a coin to return it to its natural finish without first removing the residue. This week in Coin World, I read of a man who had cherry-picked an 1841-O, Small O, Closed Bud, Seated Liberty Dime o

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys September Coin of the Month

Garys September Coin of the Month (Volume 3, Number 1) is a continuation of Augusts column and features an NGC AU-53 Spanish Provisional Government 1870(74) DEM, 2 Peseta (KM# 654). Last month I examined this coins link to the ancient Roman Empire. In this month's column, I intend to investigate the coins technical aspects and historical context. The Spanish Provisional Government 2 Peseta is 27mm in diameter and weighs 10 grams. This coin has a silver fineness of .8349 and an ASW of .2684 oun

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My Day at the ANA Show with Yankeejose

A day at my third ANA show yields four treasures (five, if you include the complimentary PCGS luncheon Lincoln Cent) and the opportunity to meet and spend the day with fellow coin enthusiast Yankeejose (Dave). Greetings all, Ive been to the ANAs Worlds Fair of Money three times and have found each show unique and enjoyable in different ways. This years show marks the first time I have attended a show with a fellow coin enthusiast. It also represents the first time I have personally met someone

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys August Coin of the Month

Garys Coin of Month article for August 2013 (Volume 2 Number 12) features an NGC AU-53 Spanish provisional government 1870(74) DEM, 2 Peseta. Divided into two parts, this article will examine the link between the 1870(74) 2 Peseta and Hadrian's empire some 1,700 years earlier. Part 2 will be more focused on the technical aspects of the 2 Peseta coin and its historical context following the ouster of Queen Isabella II from the Spanish throne. The use of persons on coins to represent a place or

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Re:Working on my CLAD DIMES and MINT SETS

To fully grasp this post, please read the recent thread posted by Six Mile Rick The following is only my opinion to two points MV has made. One, that third party graders have done harm to the hobby, and two that he enters this discussion as a dealer making his living through a brick and mortar coin shop. First, I do not begrudge a person who makes a living by selling coins to profit from them. Second, I have been a collector for more than 40 years and have witnessed the evolution of the market

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys July Coin of the Month the Denmark Mermaid Coin

This months column is a companion piece to last months, and features a Denmark NGC MS-64 1890-CS 20 Kroner gold coin. The 1890 20 Kroner with a mintage of 102,000 was minted in Copenhagen as signified by the heart to the left of the date. The initials CS to the right of the date represent mint official Diderik Christian Andreas Svendsen. The coin struck in .900 fine gold weighs 8.9605 grams and has an AGW of .2593oz. The obverse of this coin features a right facing bust of King Christian out

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Why had I not seen this before?

For the most part, I am not an error coin collector except that I think coins displaying clashed dies are rather cool. In numismatic circles, I understand that there is discussion as to whether a clashed die is an error coin or not. My opinion lies somewhere in between and I think that the error occurred to the dies when they clashed together without a planchet. Subsequently, every coin thereafter correctly struck with that die pair carries the image of that one error. A clashed die occurs w

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Before and After

Ive sent many coins to NCS for conservation over the years with mixed results. Sometimes conservation brings out different surface conditions that were hidden before, both the good and the bad. However this time, I hit the conservation jackpot! A few months ago a person on another forum posted an 1870 Spanish Provisional 2 Peseta coin that he had just acquired. Upon viewing the coin, it immediately became a must have coin for my seated collection. I looked on E-Bay for a suitable coin for my c

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys June Coin of the Month

Featured in this months edition (Volume 2 Number 10) of The Coin of the Month is an NGC MS-65, 1903 Danish 2 Kroner coin (KM-802) commemorating the 40th anniversary of the reign of Christian outside-affiliatelinksnotallowed This coin is 31 mm in diameter and weighs 15 grams with a mintage of 103,392. It has a silver fineness of .8000 and an actual silver weight of .3858 oz. The obverse of this coin features a right facing bust of Christian IX, King of Denmark. The dates of his reign, 15 Novemb

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Happy Mothers Day, A Numismatic Tribute to Motherhood

Garys May coin of the month features a 2008 Latvian 20-Lats gold coin commemorating the 15th anniversary of the renewal of the Lats currency following Latvian independence from the old Soviet Union.   Though this coin commemorates Latvian Independence, it also celebrates motherhood by utilizing a 1922 design conceived by sculptor Teodors Zalkalns, but never used. Additionally, this coin has the distinction of being named the Coin of the Year in 2010 by Krause Publications. Krause Publications

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My day at the Central States Numismatic Society Show

A wonderful day with my with my wife culminated with the addition of an 1834 Bust Dime to my 7070 type set. Going to a major coin show is a treat that occurs all too infrequently for me. The last time I went to a major show was the August 2011 ANA show, so I was particularly eager to attend the Central States Numismatic Society show on Thursday April 25. Typically, I like to attend major shows on either a Thursday or Friday because I find that the crowds are much smaller, and the selection of

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Liberty to return to US coinage?

As a lover of classic coins this news gives me something to cheer about! I know that a lot of collectors are partial to collecting our currently circulating coins which feature busts of Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Washington, and Kennedy. However, with the exception of type coins, I am not among them. I have often bemoaned the the passing of what I think were fabulously artistic coins featuring various renditions of Lady Liberty. Now for people like me there is a glimmer of hope

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys April Coin of the Month

Aprils Coin of the Month (Volume 2 Number 8) is an NGC MS-63 1896/5 Guatemala Peso (KM #210) The 1896/5 Guatemalan Peso is 37 mm in diameter and weighs 25 grams. The silver fineness as engraved on the coins reverse is .900 and the ASW is .7234 oz. The mintage of this coin is 1,403,000. The obverse design is engraved by Jean Lagrange who was the chief engraver at the Paris Mint from 1880-1896. The reverse depicts a representation of the Guatemalan Coat of Arms designed by Swiss artist and engra

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys March Coin of the Month

This months featured coin (Volume 2 Number 7) is a silver proof-like 1970 Netherlands 10 Gulden coin commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Netherlands liberation from Nazi Germany in 1945. In more than 100 years, the Netherlands has not had a male monarch on the throne. As a result, this Netherlands 1970 silver 10 gulden coin commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of liberation features the two reigning queens of the middle twentieth century. On the reverse of the coin is a lef

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Unbelievable, or Rather Should I Say, BELIEVABLE!

It is not often that I talk about my Christian faith on a coin forum, but in this instance, the two are intricately entwined and inseparable. So follow along with me as I chronicle an improbable journey culminating with three new coins for my collection. Oftentimes the lines between the important and the most important things in life become blurred and the important overtakes the most important. Moreover, that transition can be so subtle that we are often not aware of it. Every Year in the m

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys February Coin of the Month

My Coin of the Month for February (Volume 2 Number 6) is an NGC graded MS-64, 1930-B 20 Francs gold coin from Switzerland (KM #35.1). Due to an array of interesting events occurring in Switzerlands history, I have found it especially difficult to write this months edition of the Coin of the Month. Therefore, I have decided to focus specifically on the coins allegorical and historical context rather than writing a narrative on Swiss history. This Swiss 1930-B, 20 Francs gold coin was minted in

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Turning Disappointment into Satisfaction

The following is my response to the thread, Last Straw, by SPHanson. I too was a little disappointed when my Wilhelmina set made of up of the best coins available to me didnt win an award for best world. After all I poured my heart into this set to make it the best I could complete with photos, upgrade history, and great coin descriptions. When I looked at the winning sets to see what I could possibly do to take my set to the next level, I found four of the five sets without full descriptions

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Garys January 2013 Coin of the Month

Garys Coin of the Month (Volume 2 Number 5) for January 2013 features an NGC PFUC-68 French 100 franc coin (KM#1096) commemorating the 100th anniversary of cinema and the actress, Audrey Hepburn. Knowing that my daughter is a fan of Audrey Hepburn, I gave her a boxed set of three Audrey Hepburn movies in 2005 for Christmas. The titles of those movies were Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffanys, and Sabrina. Of those three movies, Audrey Hepburn went on to win an Academy Award for best actress fo

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Guilty as Charged

I was snared by my own desire to populate a registry set by buying the plastic rather than the coin. I work in an industry where companies compete for what is called market share and since I work in the cell phone industry, the pool of potential new customers without cell phones is small and dwindling. Therefore, if you look at the cell phone market as a pie, the only way for my company to grow is if it can take a bite out of another's piece of the pie. For the most part, AT&T and Verizon

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

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