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About this journal

This journal was originally to record my thoughts on collecting and building my Netherlands Wilhelm III Gold 10 Gulden Set and other projects like  my modern silver bullion NCLT sets. When it got started in the summer of 2007 I was single, in my early 20's, and working on my B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Starting in 2016, with my marriage and the birth of my first son, Benjamin, much of my writing has focused on raising my sons to have a love of collecting coins and exonumia and discussing how my collecting occurs in the context of my marriage and life overall.

Entries in this journal

Oh no… I have done the dumb.

It is only now, now that I’ve taken the coins from the submission and populated a competitive set that I realize I made a massive boo-boo when I sent these coins in: I had 5 examples each of the 10 Bolivar and 100 Bolivar Fuertes coins from 2016… but I forgot to look at them with Shandy, pick one of each out and include them with the submission. I should have submitted 24 Venezuelan coins, not 22. I think this happened 1) Because the number of coins and the number of different types wi

Now that I think on it more… this WILL start competitively

So, I’ve talked a fair bit about my plan to make a signature set / custom set around the Venezuelan coins I submitted and just got back… but I think I’m going to table that for now and focus instead on building out two competitive sets: Reform Coinage, Type Set, 1879-2005, Circulation Issue Sets | NGC Registry | NGC (ngccoin.com) Set Details | NGC Registry | NGC (ngccoin.com) Reform Coinage, Type Set, 2007-Date, Circulation Issue Sets | NGC Registry | NGC (ngccoin.com) Set De

USPS and FedEx both stink, but… Never mind that! I have coins! Time for Unboxing!

I have to lead into this with the fact that I’m just very displeased with both USPS and FedEx at the moment. First, I go to the mailbox this morning and see a slip of pink paper saying that there was a package requiring a signature – that I’m 90% sure is the coins Shandy ordered – that they “attempted delivery” on late last week. We were home all day that day. We have a Ring Doorbell that logs motion events and people ringing the door. They did not attempt to deliver that package. They

The Italian Grade Results.

So here we discuss the Italian coins – 6 coins that come in 2 sets of three: 3 coins to fill out the 1986 Italian Circulation Strike Birth Year Set and 3 coins to fill some of the remaining gaps in the 500L set she wanted. Though the 1986 500L actually fits in with both groups even though it was acquired primarily for the 500 Lire set / as part of that effort. Here are the grades: On the 1986 set front… With the 5 Lire and the 10 Lire, with MS66 and MS65 grades respectively,

Revenant

Revenant in Italian Coins

The Grades Posted!

My grades have finally posted! I checked early this morning and the submission listed as shipped! Yay! And the box is in the mail and so it will probably arrive at the house before we leave for a short vacation and won’t end up stuck in the Post Office until I get back – Double Yay! I also now feel especially smart for getting the last post out on Wednesday night because I don’t like to make too many posts on the same day or too clos together. I had a feeling these were about to drop.

A Slow Parade of Dancing Elephants

When I was starting to shop for the 50 & 500 Lire coins, I used to start my Italian project for Shandy in November of last year I noticed that the same seller had MS66RD and 1 MS67RD 1962 Rhodesian Penny. It’s an interesting coin – it features two dancing elephants. It got my attention for 2 reasons: 1)     As a Rhodesian coin it is closely associated with the work I’d been doing with my Zimbabwe type set. 2)     As I had been wrapping up / mostly wrapping up the Zi

Moving along and almost there maybe.

A couple of days ago my Venezuela & Italy submission finally hit grading / quality control. I'd said about a month ago I was hoping to have grades by yesterday or maybe sooner but it was not to be. I'm increasingly accepting that waiting longer than the advertised turnaround time is partially the price I pay for submitting things that are rarely submitted and which they probably have to put extra incremental effort into grading vs, say, a monster box of American Eagles. Like I said in a

Picking up more competition

In some new, interesting developments, it looks like the 50 Lire category picked up 2 new sets in a day and I'm bumped to #3 for now. I think this happened just yesterday. I kinda had a feeling this would happen and that that would be a 1-year win when I made the set but had no plans to heavily develop it thus year - opting instead to focus on the 500 Lire set. I'm not ruling out building that 50 L set some more and giving the newcomers a bit of a fight. But the 500 Lire has always bee

Revenant

Revenant in Italian Coins

A fun update

Work has had me crazy this week but I wanted to steal a few minutes and share something fun. My Venezuela submission took a few more days than I normally see as typical to go from just "Received" to being able to see the list of the coins. When the coins did come up I saw some variety information that I hadn't had had been entered in. Notably, one of the coins I sent in was the non-magnetic, non-steel, zinc-aluminum version (2001-2004) and not the steel version (2000-2002). I had

Making Progress and Hoping for Good News Soon.

I actually managed to get my box to the Post Office on 8/12 and, since I decided to chance it on a Priority Mail Flat Rate box and not pay for Registered Mail for such a low-value submission this time, NGC received the box on 8/15. The submission is still not showing in the system yet, but, based on currently advertised turnaround times, I'm hoping I'll have grades by around 09/09 or 09/16 (3 or 4 weeks from now to be generous on my expectations vs 13 business days).  We'll see. In any

"Would you like to know more?"

Borrowing the title from that line in "Starship Troopers." Anyone else remember that movie? I hear it's 25 years old now? Anyway... I feel like I teased this concept months and months ago - probably close to a year ago now - but I never really delivered on it: I feel like I very much survive on a kind of "one step at a time" incrementalism some days. I got the coins back, I got them in the set. I uploaded new descriptions a while after that. Got new pictures posted a couple

New Pictures are finally up for Zimbabwe and the 500L set.

I finally took some time and got new pictures taken and uploaded for the Zimbabwe and 500L sets that are at least consistent across the board even if I don't necessarily think these are in every case the best images I've gotten of each coin: Set Details | NGC Registry | NGC (ngccoin.com) Set Details | NGC Registry | NGC (ngccoin.com) Now that I have nice photos of the Zimbabwe bird in the yellow of the $2 coins I decided to use that to fill the gap in my banner image. I'

But those die cracks...

I took a little time to try to get a few shots of one of these Venezuelan coin that I think is showing die cracks / die wear issues and see what everyone thinks, both using the Nikon with the Micro lens and the new Coin Microscope. Looking at this (50 Bolivar) in person, and looking at it in the photo with the macro lens and this lighting, that line along the back of the neck definitely looks raised above the design and not cut into it and so I'm thinking more and more that this is a die cr

The 1986 Italian Mint Set is going up...

Thursday of last week, when everything was going down with Sam, that MS68 1986 100L arrived in the mail and over the weekend I won an auction for an MS67 1986 20 Lire. That, with the MS68 1986 50L I got last year, gives me (or will soon give me) 3 of the 7 coins for an Italian 1986 Mint Set, so I've gone ahead and made a custom set for that and popped in what I have so far. 1986 Italian Circulation Strike Set - Custom Set (collectors-society.com) The MS67 20 Lire is the highest graded

It comes to a head: The 2nd revision

To borrow phrasing from my wife, Somethings have been odd with Samuel for a while. After getting a fast MRI (which had been delayed by him getting sick the day before the scan) the doctor wasn’t convinced by those results but was concerned by our observations of his behavior and wanted a CT. After getting a CT this morning, they told us to turn back around and come to the ER. We suspect a clog / slow failure – all four ventricle spaces have enlarged; some have nearly doubled. But they’re just go

Revenant

Revenant in Family

It is possible they did me a favor on this one.

Earlier in the week I'd been watching a 1983 Italian 500L graded Ms65 by NGC. The staring bid was $10 + $5 shipping and it had no bids. When it was about 12 hours out from ending I bid $20 hoping to win it for roughly the cost of grading and keep it until and unless something better came along - maybe one I graded myself. Then, about 15 minutes before bidding ended, someone bid $15, then $16, then $17, then $20, then something over $20... I don't know if this was a shill or someone tha

What's this then... Oh! I thought this was never coming!

So yesterday there's a knock at the door and I see it's the mail carrier, and he has a small package. As I'm walking up I'm wondering what this is and thinking I'm not really expecting anything. When he gives it to me it's the 2nd set of 2002-2004 Venezuela coins from Ukraine! I had completely forgotten about these things. I've been busy and I hadn't thought about them or thought to check the tracking in weeks. The last tracking update I'd seen had them in Kiev on April 6th. Then, whil

Constructing a Set and Narrative and Learning More as I go.

So, after many delays prompted by sickness and other things - in the 2nd half of this week is was my “turn” to be sick - and putting these on hold to look at 500 Lire coins, I’m finally starting to look at the Venezuelan coins to maybe pick out some for a submission and building out a registry set. But the thing that normally makes all the difference for me in building these sets is building a narrative around the set. Building out these descriptions, the research and the writing often cons

The 500L lots and wanting to look at the gold

The other day over the weekend I decided to finally pull those 500 Lire coins I'd ordered out and look at them to see if I'd gotten anything good / promising. I'd been wanting to look at these for a while knowing it would be kind of shot-in-the-dark and I might have something good or I might have gotten nothing. I thought I'd sit down and look while Shandy napped with Sam and Ben watched TV. But, somewhat to my surprise, Ben took notice and wanted to look at them with me and was asking if t

So... She actually wants input on this?

So here's kind of a funny thing from the other day. I sent Shandy a message saying, "Hey, you care if I just go ahead and order these Italian sets?" and for me it's more, "do you care if I spend the money on this?" She's okay with it but she wants to know if she can look at the pictures first to see if she thinks it's a good one - generic pictures though so we aren't going to be able to make a quality judgement on individual coins like that, so just go ahead and we'll see. But aft

On to Venezuela?

The first of the packages of Venezuelan Coins from the Ukrainian dealer arrived. The box that came was the 2nd one shipped, containing the 2021 Digital Bolivar Coins. The first package is still showing it was last seen in Kiev. I guess we'll see on that one – but I’m mostly considering that one a lost cause after over a week with no updates. I’ll just be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong. But at least I already had some of those from a prior order and dollarwise what I got this weekend was the b

The coins arrived!

The box came with the Zimbabwe and Italian coins yesterday. With the kids in bed and the chores handled we sat down together to take them out of the box. She joked about me and my hoard and how pleased I was, but I was surprised by how quickly the 500 L coins were pulled away and how happy she was to get to handle them and look at those. I went at one point and got the other 500L coins, the previous submission of Zimbabwe coins and a couple of empty boxes I have. I gave

Revenant

Revenant in Family

The 500 Lire Grade Results

So here is the 2nd post about 1 submission, splitting off the 500L coins to give them their due, befitting a group of 7 coins (decent sized group in their own right by my submission standards) and a group of coins that represent their own, very important project. And here are the results - Shandy and I picked the ones to send together when we had more than one of a certain date, but we didn't play “guess the grade” on these because we didn't have a big selection of graded coins in different

Zimbabwe Round 2 Grade Results are in!

TL:DR – The coins did great and I’m thrilled and freaking out a bit about some of these! XD So “Thank you, NGC” on the hard work and the much faster than expected turnaround.   I need to give major props to NGC, who have pulled off a major turnaround, brought turnaround times down and delivered me grades on these months sooner than I was thinking. It was only about 5-6 weeks ago that I was saying I might not have grades for another 4 months from now. I’m hoping this also means tha

Signs of life and rays of hope.

I placed that order for the Venezuelan Coins from the Ukranian dealer about 2 weeks ago and hadn't heard a peep since.  At this point I'd mostly written if off, thinking it increasingly unlikely that anything would come of it and just wishing the dealer well. Today though, to my surprise, I got a shipment notice for 1 part of the order - the older 2002-2004 coins, but not the newer 2021 coins. I'm happy to see a sign of life from the dealer. I'm glad to see something indicating th
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