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

INSANE!

This current sudden rise in value of high-grade common date dollars is insane and shows no sign of letting up. Several months ago, I began a collection of what I felt were affordable MS-65 & 66 Morgan Dollars. Now my collection of 22 MS-65 & 66 Morgan Dollars is complete and resides as a custom set in ?Gary?s MS-65 & 66 Morgan Gems?. I started this set based on the hope that I could complete it at an average cost of $200/coin. For a while, I was doing pretty well until the value of

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Heart of the Matter

Investor, collector, or both? There is nothing like a robust conversation to get the juices going. One of the things I love about collecting coins is that there is no right or wrong coin to collect. There is only what the individual collector enjoys collecting. This effectually brings diversity and variety to our hobby. I am also heartened by the fact that the king?s hobby is no longer just the king?s hobby. Anyone of any financial means can collect coins. I still enjoy finding coins in circul

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My Day at the CSNS Coin Show in Chicago

My day at the Central States Numismatic Society nets two new coins for my collection and a whole lot of fun. It is a rare treat for me to attend a major coin show, so when the opportunity arises, I usually try to make the most of it. Since I live a little less than 3 hours? drive from Chicago, my latest opportunity presented itself a couple of weeks ago Friday at the annual Central States Numismatic Society coin show. With every show I attend, the experience of the previous show helps me to

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Silver Dollars may be Taking the Oxygen out of Most Everything Else

If you were to represent the pool of money available to buy coins as a pie, silver dollars are currently taking a much bigger piece of the pie. No one can deny the sudden surge in value of high-grade common date silver dollars. Conversely, there is evidence showing that the inverse is true concerning copper and smaller silver coins thus proving that with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, for the savvy collector there are some good deals in the marketplace.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

1885 Was A Very Good Year

1885 was a very good year for my Morgan Dollar collection, but not so for the Carson City Mint. A number of significant events occurred in 1885; among them were the births of World War II Admiral Chester Nimitz and General George Patton. In 1885, the magazine ?Good Housekeeping? hit the newsstands and Mark Twain?s ?Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? was on the way to become a best seller. In 1885, we saw significant advances in medicine with the first surgical appendectomy and an effective vaccin

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Perfect Timing and the High Price of Silver

I could not have chosen a better time to start a high-grade Morgan Dollar collection than now. In addition, there is evidence to show that the value of low-grade, common date Morgan Dollars and the value of silver are joined at the hip. There has never been a better time for me to start a high-grade Morgan Dollar collection than now. Since I started collecting MS-65 and 66 Morgan Dollars in January, I have seen a monthly rise in the value of my collection, and more specifically my MS-66 coins.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Why I Collect Coins and use the Registry

Simply put, I love coin collecting and I use the registry to catalog, organize, and display my collection. I have enjoyed the healthy debate these past few days concerning the registry and the reasons' people participate in it. Many good and valid points have been made, but in the end, what matters is that you are happy with why you participate. For me this debate has caused me to re-evaluate my position and that is a good thing because it keeps me focused and on track. It is said that you

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Good Progress

My reflections and observations on the progress of ?Gary?s High-Grade Morgans? and ?Gary?s MS-65 & 66?s?. Greetings all, three months ago I started a new collection based on MS-65 & 66 Morgan Dollars at an average cost of $200/coin. My research showed that approximately 22 coins or 20% of all the dates and mints met my criteria. Now that my custom set, ?Gary?s High-Grade Morgans? is 64% complete, it?s a good time to reflect on the progress and quality of the coins I have acquired to da

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

How Bout that for Customer Service!

A short one this time. A few hours ago I sent an e-mail to NGC's customer service asking them to add the 2011 slot for silver uncirculated British Britannias. So when I opened my CS page a few minutes ago, I found that the slot had been added! Now how's that for customer service! Thanks NGC! Gary To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Too Good to Let Pass Up

Rarely does the opportunity to own a coin with a population of one and none higher realistically come my way. When it does, even though the coin goes beyond my established goals, I must seize upon that opportunity because it may never present itself again. Last week I received an E-mail notice for a 1932 MS-66 Netherlands 10 Gulden gold coin up for auction on E-Bay. I immediately placed the coin on my watch list with the original intention of monitoring it for the closing price. I do this quit

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

This One Didn?t Get Away!

Taking a lesson from the one that got away, I snagged a great coin at a good price. About a month ago, I opined about a very nice coin that slipped through my fingers because I hesitated. While I cannot take back the actions of the past, I can take the lessons learned from the past and apply them to future opportunities. One of the lessons I learned when buying coins is to try and buy the hard ones first. For example, I am working to assemble a high grade Morgan Dollar collection of MS-65 &

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Other Side of the Aisle

Make no mistake, I am a coin collector through and through, but occasionally I get interested in collecting paper currency. The definition of numismatics according to Wikipedia is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. However, when I typically think of the term, I rarely associate it with anything other than coins. Occasionally though, for various reasons, there is paper currency on ?The Other Side of the Aisle? that catches my eye.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Feast or Famine

Searching for coins rarely offered for sale can be like a feast or a famine. In my previous journal, I wrote about obsessions. One of my obsessions having more to do with my personality than it does with the topic of coin collecting is football. As a proud owner of an NFL football team by virtue of owning one share of Green Bay Packers stock, I found myself on the edge of my seat as the Chicago Bears made the NFC championship game interesting. However, in the end, the Packers prevailed, and no

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Obsessed!

Why do my obsessions have to cost so much? It seems that forever and a day I have been obsessing over coin photography. I absolutely must have high quality photographs of my coins to display in my registry sets. For years I have been trying to take just the right picture, but only with mixed results. To say that this has been an obsession with me is an understatement. To add to my obsession is the realization that with each coin being different, there is no such thing as a cookie cutter appr

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The One That Got Away

A popular fishing metaphor describes the coin that got away from me. As collector?s we all naturally desire to acquire coins with spectacular eye-appeal for our collections. Each of us having an idea of what spectacular eye appeal should look like; we spend countless hours perusing hundreds of auction listings to find the proverbial ?needle in a haystack?. For many of us those countless hours turn into years until finally our meticulous searching pays off. However, there are those times when f

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Another Year, Another Set

With the coming of a new year comes a new set of Morgan Dollars! Happy New Year everyone, this time of the year is a good time for contemplation and planning; contemplation of the past year?s highlights and low lights, and planning for the new year. Overall, last year was a good year for me as measured by the goals I set for myself. I have upgraded and/or added coins to my 19th Century type, first-spouse, Inspirational Ladies, and Britannia sets. A few of my goals, however, are longer term goa

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Milestones & Competition

Reaching an important milestone for my collection and the coin that put me over the top. Greetings all, just three short months ago I wrote about possibly discontinuing my first-spouse collection. Now three months later I have a new perspective even though the price of gold has not significantly changed. First, I have a lot invested in this series already, and if I have the money to continue, I should. Next, I want to continue to add gold to my portfolio and these coins are a great way of doin

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Numismatic Tribute to My Son on his Graduation

The end of a long journey and the beginning of an even longer one Greetings again, seven months ago I wrote a numismatic tribute to my daughter as she earned her master?s degree. Now in little less than a week on December 19, 2010 my son will graduate college with a bachelor?s degree. The road has been long and hard, but now in the words of my son Jeffrey, ?I want to see what life has for me?. The coin I have chosen to commemorate my son?s graduation is a 2009 French 10 Euro coin commemorat

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

An Amazing Sequence of Events!

Starting with my journal post of two days ago, follow the amazing events leading to the completion of ?Born on the Bayou?. Greetings all, it?s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here as I woke up to several inches of fresh snow! Not in any hurry to shovel snow, this cold winter morning offers me a great opportunity to sit with a hot cup of coffee and reminisce on the events of the past week. Two days ago in a journal post, I wrote about the difficulty I had in buying a MS-61 1892-

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

One More to Go

25 coins after I started ?Born on the Bayou? on August 29, 2010, I have one more coin to go. Greetings everyone, three months ago, on a whim, I started a complete set of Morgan Dollars based on the New Orleans Mint, and now I stand within one coin of completing my set. With a strict budget of $200/coin, the last coin, the 1892-O, is proving to be quite a challenge to obtain in MS condition. Since I only get three points for an AU example, I am targeting this coin for MS-61 and 265 points. Curr

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

It?s All About Passion!

The definition of passion is, ?The object of somebody?s intense interest or enthusiasm?, and suitably applies to my love for coin collecting among other things. Greetings all, my father always told me, ?If something is worth doing, to do it right the first time.? Consequently, whenever I put my mind to do something, I do it with passion. This applies to all areas of my life, up to, and including coin collecting. How else can I explain the expenditures and time I spend on this hobby? As an extr

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Mintage vs. Survivability

The difference between a coins mintage and the number that have survived through the years can be immense. Greetings everyone, when I was young collector, I relied heavily on mintage figures to determine whether a coin had the potential to rise in value. I thought that lower mintages correlated to a faster rise in value. Now years later, I have learned there are many more factors that combined with mintage figures contribute to a coin?s potential to increase in value. The first thing to consid

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Walking a Tight Rope

Purchasing coins on a strict budget and the balance between registry points, grade, and eye appeal. Greetings all, buying coins for my New Orleans, Morgan Dollar registry set, ?Born on the Bayou? has been a challenge. In the past, whether I could reasonably afford a particular coin or not, if I liked the coin, I bought it. All too often, to buy the coin I wanted, I pushed back other priorities. The problem with pushing back other priorities though is that they eventually come back to nip you i

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

All?s Well That Ends Well

A disappointing purchase made over a year ago that in the end turned out well. Have you ever purchased a coin that you have come to regret buying? I?m sure that at one time or another we have all purchased coins that afterwards have us scratching our head and wondering what in the world we were thinking. While there is no way short of a buying freeze to prevent the time-to-time aberrant purchase, well-defined collecting goals do help to minimize the chances. It is always in our best interest t

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Eye Candy on Morgan Dollars

Toning on Morgan Dollars can serve a very good purpose. Greetings all, I have long admired the 2009 grand prize winning ?Chappell Collection? of proof Morgan Dollars. Frosty devices on unmarked, mirrored fields combine to make this collection of Morgan Dollars a beauty to behold. Morgan Dollars of this quality are extremely rare though, since most have some degree of contact marks. Proofs aside, freshly minted Morgan Dollars were harshly handled. Fresh off the dies these dollars were thrown in

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

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