CoinsbyGary

0
  • entries
    291
  • comments
    164
  • views
    13,117

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

New Coin Collage copy.jpg

Entries in this journal

Sometimes it seems as if I am One-Dimensional

While I am currently concentrating on Morgan Dollars, I have not lost sight of my other goals. Greetings all, three of six of my last posts highlighted my latest rage, primarily New Orleans minted Morgan Dollars. With my enthusiasm focused singularly on one registry set, it seems that my other sets were overshadowed. However, it would be wrong to confuse overshadowing with inactivity. With an eye towards all my sets, whenever I have had the opportunity to add to my collection in accordance wit

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Recent Purchases and an Interesting Contrast

Two recent purchases and the quality of New Orleans Mint coins. Greetings collectors, these past two months have been an active period of acquiring coins for my collection. My New Orleans Morgan Dollar collection now stands at 14 coins, all acquired within the last two months and partially paid for by the sale of existing coins from my collection. My two most recent purchases made just this past week was an AU-55 1886-O and a MS-65 1900-O Morgan Dollar. With the 1886-O Morgan Dollar valued

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Words Can Not Adequately Describe?

It?s hard to describe the fun I am having assembling my latest registry set based on New Orleans Morgan Dollars called, ?Born on the Bayou?. Greetings all, a little more than a month ago I started a new registry set based on New Orleans minted Morgan Dollars. Little did I know at the time that what started as a whim has turned into a source of great enjoyment. Since then, I have learned much about coin collecting in general and the Morgan Dollar in particular. While I cannot adequately describ

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

It May Be Time to Get Out of the Golden Rat Race

I think I lost the desire to keep up with the First Spouse gold coins. Greetings all, many of you are aware that I have been collecting First Spouse gold coins. In the past, I have opined in my journals on strategies for collecting the entire series in PF-70 condition. The fact that these coins are gold, and they sprang out of a passion for my ?Inspirational Ladies? custom set has kept me buying these expensive coins. Although I did not buy these coins as an investment or hedge against inflati

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Blindsided by Improperly Cleaned!

Borrowing from a term in W.K.F?s recent post, there is no better way to describe learning that your coins have been ?improperly cleaned? than ?blindsided?. Greetings all, have you ever gotten your hopes up about a submission, only to discover your coin is ?not-gradable, improperly cleaned?? I?m sure that for many of you, myself included, this has happened on multiple occasions. I wish there were some way to take the risk out of submissions, but alas, there is none. To sum it all up in a famili

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Sentimental Journey

In a story that has all the elements of a good drama; follow the journey of my lowly 20-cent piece from the time I purchased it until its crowning glory! To lay a little groundwork to this story, misfit coins have always intrigued me. You know the type, the half-cent, two-cent, three-cent, and 20 cent pieces. Moreover, coins minted at out of date branch mints such as New Orleans, Charlotte, Dahlonega, and Carson City captivates my imagination. At my very first coin show as a youth in the mid

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Here I Go Again!

Is there any cure for this disease? I hope not! Just the other night, while I was reading the owner description on my 1907-O Barber Quarter, I thought (thinking can be dangerous) wouldn?t it be nice to start a complete set of Morgan Dollars based on the New Orleans Mint? There has always been an attraction for me in the New Orleans mint ever since I learned of its history. Discovering that the New Orleans Mint may not have reopened after the Civil War had it not been for the Bland-Allison Act

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Assembling a Nice Circulated Coin Registry Set

We?d all love to assemble mint-state classic coin sets, but realistically, it ain?t gonna happen for most of us. As far as I am concerned, there is no coin more beautiful than a large, 19th Century, high-grade cameo proof, add a touch of teal toning, and I?d think the coin came from heaven. Nonetheless, coins like the one I just described only come at a hefty price. For a good portion of us, including myself, to collect 19th century coins we have to settle for something less than proof and min

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Numismatic Potpourri

A number of collecting irons in my fire. Greetings everyone, I pray that summer is going well for you as you plug away at your collecting goals. For me the summer of 2010 is a decidedly slower one than 2009. For the fun of it, I applied several filters to my collecting spreadsheet to discover a few eye-opening statistics. From May 1, 2009 to August 15, 2009, I bought a whopping 36 coins. During the same period this year, I bought 6 coins spending 42% less than last year. Sticking with my 2010

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In a take-off from an old Clint Eastwood movie, my first impressions of the new Collector?s Society website. Before I get into the details of my first impressions of the new Collector?s Society website, let me say that I am generally impressed with all the new features. However, as with anything of this scale there are a few irksome quirks to go along with the bells and whistles, thus the title of this post. First the good; I love the new expanded collection manager and the ability to catal

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Tale of Two Auctions

Two very different E-Bay auctions. The purpose of this post is not to comment on the merits of E-Bay, but to describe two recent positive auction experiences. Many of you know of, and participate in the E-Bay Bucks program. With a fresh grant of E-Bay Bucks in July, I?m sure that many of you, like myself, went shopping for new coins. Two coins that caught my attention were an 1832 MS-61 Classic Head ? Cent and an 1837 XF-40 Capped Bust Half-Dollar. Both coins would have filled empty slots in ?

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Happy 4th of July!

The ideals of Freedom on our coinage. As a youthful 17-year-old collector in 1975, I remember my excitement over the Bi-centennial coins commemorating 200 years of independence. At that time in our history, these coins had raised quite a stir, since the only collector products available from the mint were the annual proof and uncirculated sets. As far as silver coins were concerned, the 40% silver clad proof and uncirculated Eisenhower Dollars were the only coins available to the collecting p

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

One Cool Coin

An 1860-O half-dollar with a fascinating pedigree. I have often wondered how coins minted decades ago found their way into my collection. I try to imagine who might have spent the coins in my collection and for what purpose the coins were used. I enjoy speculating on every place my coins may have been and the circumstances that caused them to be removed from circulation after many years of use. With coins directly purchased from the mint this sense of romantic charm is lacking. Not that I do

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

To Conserve or not?

Be careful what you ask for you might get it. A few years ago, I purchased a US Administration, 1903-S Philippines 1 Peso coin featuring the allegorical Lady Liberty for my ?Inspirational Ladies? signature set. The coin looked to be a nice AU grade with even gunmetal toning. However, the coin exhibited what appeared to be carbon deposits primarily on its reverse near the coin?s rim. Thinking the coin would return as a no-grade, I thought to submit it for conservation and grading. Highly grad

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

My Own Photography Experiments

Absolutely nothing takes the place of good pictures on the front end. First, I want to give kudos to W.K.F. on all his hard work in documenting his photographic experiences. Then I want to thank Bammer for the tip that will yield sharper, neater, more consistent coinage images in my registry sets. I have spent countless hours trying to take perfect pictures of my coins, getting somewhat better along the way, but never entirely satisfied. One of the things that annoy me most about my picture

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Collector?s Society members are the best! Many of you know that I collect Britannia?s, the United Kingdom?s version of the Silver American Eagle with a goal to collect the entire series in MS-69 or 70. The biggest problem I have in collecting this series is that Britannia?s in MS-69 are rare and almost unheard of in MS-70. Additionally, the United Kingdom limits the mintage to 100,000 Britannia?s annually, meaning the supply of coins is significantly lower than with ASE?s. Currently, I lack fi

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

That Special Time of Year

Spring and graduations are in the air with a numismatic tribute to my daughter. Spring is a special time of the year, as the cold of winter yields to the warmth of spring and new life blossoms up from the earth. Spring is also a time when young and old alike begin fresh chapters in their lives as they graduate from one phase of their life to another. This spring is especially significant to me, as a week from yesterday my daughter will graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University with a mast

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

My day at the Central States Numismatic Society convention. I had a wonderful time at the Central States Numismatic Society convention last Friday. I arrived with a 1908 Austrian 100 Corona gold coin in an old NCS holder to cross over to a purple holder and 2 coins with which to barter. The bartering coins were an uncirculated details 1906-D Half Eagle and a MS-69 1989 Russian Ballet 25 ruble palladium coin. The moment I got there, the first place I went was NGC?s table. I queried the repre

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Questionable Grade

Judge for yourselves, 70 or something less. NGC defines MS or PF-70 as having no post-production imperfections at 5-X magnification. I understand what imperfections at 5-X means, but I have always had a question as to what post-production means. By this definition, it seems that most any coin should be a 70 when it first comes off the dies and that imperfections come in the form of contact marks and hairlines as the coins are bagged and rolled. I also understand that collector coins receive sp

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Crazy EBayer's

What in the world are all these crazy people thinking? Many of you know that one of my goals is to assemble a collection of gold First Spouse coins in PF-70 condition. Over the last year, I have managed to keep the collection current only lacking Louisa Adams and Jackson?s Liberty in PF-70 condition. This past February, I was able acquire Louisa Adams in PF-70 directly from a coin dealer?s web site for a good price leaving Jackson?s Liberty left to upgrade. Unfortunately, I only saw one Jackso

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Disappointing Re-grade, but with a Silver Lining

What I wouldn't give to know the criteria by which my coins are graded. At least I have some solace knowing my coins are consistently graded. In December of 2009, I bought a MS-64 1917 Type 1 Full Head, Standing Liberty Quarter. I remember my glee when I reported the same in a post and suggested that I might submit it for a re-grade. My SLQ is blast-white and has good luster. Additionally, it has extremely sharp devices with very few contact marks. To go with a full head, are full toes and fin

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Breaking Up is Hard to Do!

To sell, not to sell, or trade is one of the toughest decisions a collector can make. For me, decisions about buying coins are relatively easy, since there are few coins I see that I do not want. However, financial constraints more often than not take those decisions out of my hands. The real decision comes when I have the resources, and I have to decide on whether a coin fits into my collection, and whether it is worth what the seller is asking. Furthermore, it is always exciting to add new c

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

A Good Coin at a Great Price!

If you settle for Proof 69, you can get our latest commemorative for a great price! Today I received a NGC PFUC-69, 2010-W Disabled Veterans Commemorative Dollar in the mail that I bought from a dealer for $50.00 postage paid. At $50.00, the cost was much less than I could expect to pay had I bought the coin from the mint and sent it to NGC. Let me explain, to buy the coin from the mint will cost you $44.90 with postage. Then to have the coin graded will cost you $12.50 for a total of $57.40.

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

Recent Purchases and Other Musings

Cool coins that enhance my collection! By limiting my coin collection to type collecting, themes, select series, and upgrades, I have found purchasing and selling coins to be systematic and focused. Conscience of my collecting goals, I made several purchases over the last couple of weeks. With one of my purchases I upgraded a 1913 Netherlands Queen Wilhelmina 10 Gulden gold coin from MS-63 to MS-64. Graded coins in this series are scarce, therefore even a meager step in my quest for a MS-65 or

coinsbygary

coinsbygary

0