0
  • entries
    29
  • comments
    203
  • views
    4,940

Entries in this journal

The wait is over - the grades are posted!

Before sharing the results of my NGC submission, I want to thank those who reached out to me during my hiatus. It meant a lot to me that so many not only noticed that I was absent but took the time to check in on me. As some of you know, our lives were temporarily derailed due to a sudden passing of a beloved family member. From there, life got super busy, and with everything going on, coins were the last thing on my mind. A few big things have happened since my journal entry in December: I fini

If only I found this a bit earlier!

When typing out the write-ups for the Soho medals, I always do my best to include images of supporting items I own; however, that is not always possible. For instance, when writing up the Boydell Shakespeare medal (you can read about it here), I used the frontispiece to Boydell's 1797 edition of Shakespeare's Works, but this was an open-source image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Despite searching for a genuine period example for my collection of antique paper, I could not locate an exampl

Yet another positive NGC experience!

With submission turnaround times increasing by the day, it is often easy to focus on the bad while taking the good for granted. That said, I would like to share a recent positive experience with NGC customer service. I submitted a proof 1775 Irish Halfpenny in February of last year, but I did not find the time to inspect the coins until early last month. I know it is ridiculous that it took me that long to enjoy my coins, but I have very little time to kill. Now that things are starting to slow

A much-needed break!

As some of you may know, I am a Ph.D. student. Graduate school often entails a mind-numbing amount of work on very short deadlines, which continue to escalate as you get closer to finishing your degree. Earlier this month, I defended my dissertation prospectus without changing my experimental design, which gave me the green light to start data collection. After finishing all the paperwork, I started collecting data the same day. So far, it is going way faster than I anticipated, and I am already

Two more invoices were shipped!

Recap: I submitted a very complex order to NGC that spanned several invoices and numerous special requests. You can read about it here. Due to a clerical error, I received the grades back on one of the submissions early, which I detail here. Almost immediately after posting my last journal, I checked my email to find another shipment notification from NGC. I was somewhat confused as I thought I got this worked out when I talked with NGC yesterday, but I assume that these were already in the

World economy submission – The grades are in!

Recap: I submitted a very complex order to NGC that spanned six invoices and several special requests. You can read about it here. Much to my surprise, the world economy submission is already on its way back to me, but this was not by design. When I submitted these coins, I requested combined shipping to save on the return shipping charge. For whatever reason, NGC accidentally mailed out the world economy submission on 11-19.  I didn’t notice until I received the shipment notification from

The medals of Soho near Birmingham - The assassination of King Gustavus III of Sweden

Here is another sneak peek of a new NGC custom registry set that I am working on. Please feel free to share anything related! This is one of the more interesting medals in my collection. In my opinion, the medal itself is rather attractive, and the reverse design is nothing short of stunning when considering the immense amount of detail throughout. As is usually the case, the historical context that gave rise to its existence also makes for a great story, but unlike the other pieces I have

The medals of Soho near Birmingham - Boydell's Shakespeare Medal

Here is another sneak peek of a new NGC custom registry set that I am working on. Please feel free to share anything related! The Boydell Shakespeare medal is so named because of the gentleman who commissioned its production, Alderman John Boydell. Saving any historical tidbits for the section below, it is worth mentioning that this medal is a notable exception to those typically struck at the Soho Mint. The design directly violates the guidance Boulton provided to Droz in a letter fifteen

It sold for how much?!?

The current market, especially for certain world coins, is absolutely insane. As I alluded to in my earlier journals, I have decided to slow down a bit to focus my efforts on more pressing personal matters, but I have kept a close eye on the auctions out of pure curiosity. As a mere spectator, I place a few lots on my watch list and resist checking on it again until after the auction is over. I have made an early Saturday morning routine of making a cup of coffee and relaxing while I see how my

Déjà vu – A recent purchase brings back fond memories

I think I have officially hit the point where I can no longer justify the expense of new additions. There have been some stellar coins offered for sale already this year, but more often than not, these pieces realize prices that are just a bit out of my comfort zone. Consequently, I have only added four new noteworthy pieces to my collection, which pales compared to last year. On any note, I am delighted with my latest purchase which brings back memories of a much simpler time. A time before COV

The Often Untold Story: Contemporary Counterfeits

1797 twopence – Genuine Example   Matthew Boulton's Soho Mint was able to rapidly produce high-quality copper coinage that would stand the test of time and ultimately meet the needs of the general. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to refute the accomplishments of the Soho Mint. Still, some may wonder if his coinage was immune to the counterfeiting that had plagued England for centuries. To address this, we must first revisit the pence and twopence pieces of 1797. Despite

The medals of Soho near Birmingham - The Board of Agriculture

Here is another sneak peek of a new NGC custom registry set that I am working on. Please feel free to share anything related! Collecting the medals struck at the Soho Mint introduces quite a bit of variety. Although I likely would have admired the artistry of the piece, I find it unlikely that I would have taken the time to procure it for my collection. Beyond the societal level impact of agricultural science, my general collecting interests are unrelated, and as such, this piece would not

I can’t keep up!

I can’t keep up! I am sure many of you have noticed how insanely active the world coin market is lately. Even the super common coins that I could have picked by the dozens for a few hundred dollars are suddenly selling for 2-3 times what they were. This usually translates into me picking up my jaw off the keyboard as I watch otherwise unremarkable pieces fetch extremely strong prices auction after auction. This, of course, is expected for the truly exceptional pieces, but geez, when did the

The medals of Soho near Birmingham - The Westminster Fire Office

So far, most of the medals I have presented have been the work of one of Soho's most prolific engravers, Conrad Heinrich Küchler. Luckily, a lot of the original correspondence relating to those pieces has been detailed in numerous publications and online databases, which has served to further my investigation. The same cannot be said for this medal, as it was engraved by a less well-known yet still influential Soho engraver, John Phillip. Given the lack of digitalized contemporary documents and

My most recent NGC submission - it only took me 3 months to mail it off...

It took me nearly six months to decide what to send, but I have finally convinced myself to submit a few of my better raw pieces for grading. This submission is a bit complex as it spans seven invoices and requires a few special requests. Luckily, my contact at NGC was more than willing to help. As many of you know, I have a fair number of Soho pieces that have retained their original shells. When possible, I have made an effort always to have the shells encapsulated alongside the coin in a mult

My newest addition and a completed goal!

When I first started collecting Irish copper, I set a goal to complete a “type set” of the coinage struck at the Soho Mint. This set would only consist of three coins (i.e., an 1805 penny, 1805 halfpenny, and 1806 farthing). I limited myself to the business strike examples as I thought they would be more attainable given my budget. Within a year, I had a solid set built, and I have since been upgrading to nicer examples as they come up for sale. For instance, I recently upgraded the farthing fro

The passing of a friend - Bill McKivor

I learned several weeks ago that my friend, Bill McKivor, passed away. I have missed him sorely, but I refrained from posting about it until his family released an obituary (you can find that here). Many of you who knew him have likely already heard, but I wanted to post it here for those who have not. Bill and I did not meet until May of last year, but in the relatively short amount of time that I knew him, he quickly became one of my favorite people. Bill was an unusually kind and generou

It has arrived!

The last few weeks have been very busy. Perhaps this is why I was so surprised to find a package from NGC in my mailbox today. I was so excited that I did not make it to the front door before I had the package ripped open and the coin in hand. Usually, I make an effort not to open coin-related mail outside, but my excitement got the best of me. On any note, I received an 1881 S Morgan Dollar graded MS-64 with the notation of “2020 NGC Registry Award Winner” on the label. This is the only si

A new addition!

The world coin market seems to be on fire so far in 2021! Even the relatively common certified pieces that I collect are fetching 3-4 times what similar pieces brought just a year ago. I may be spoiled, but it seems ridiculous to pay such a steep price hike for relatively common coins, and as such, I have been making fewer purchases. This is not all bad, as it has allowed me to focus my attention on acquiring high-quality or unique pieces that would have otherwise been more financially difficult

Old habits die hard!

When I first started collecting coins, I purchased whatever caught my attention with little to no discipline. As I matured, I found myself focused on EAC and early U.S. type coins. Eventually, I abandoned those areas of focus and shifted my attention to world coins. More specifically, almost all of my collecting efforts are focused on English and Irish copper, emphasizing the Soho coinage. Perhaps it is this intense focus that makes my newest purchase so odd. It is not copper, it not Englis

Numismatics and social media platforms

I enjoy a good book just as much as anyone else, but my wife is nothing short of a bookworm. Her happy place is resting in her “egg-chair” with a good book and a warm cup of coffee, while our oversized cocker spaniel spreads out on her lap. Recently she started a “bookstagram” where she shares her thoughts about recent reads and takes book suggestions from followers. She seems to enjoy interacting with fellow bookworms, teachers, and at times authors. As any husband should, I provided support, e

The collecting bug strikes again!

I have found over the years that coin collectors often collect other things. Some pursue items unrelated to their numismatic interests, while others pursue tangentially related items. In my case, my side collections fall more in line with the latter rather than the former. Often this takes shape in the form of numismatic references published in the mid to late 18th century, with the occasional spattering dating back to the 17th century. These books often make for nice shelf decoration with their

Calling all Irish coin collectors!

Looking over the NGC registry awards this year, I realized that I had overlooked a valuable platform to share my numismatic journey, the journals. This year I intend to change that by sharing my collecting journey throughout the year. Each month I will do my best to share either a new addition to the collection, grading results from NGC, or any tidbits of numismatic knowledge I acquire.  With that said, this is my first journal entry since 2013! In this installment, I would like to share th

The never ending expansion!

So much to collect! I have been collecting now for roughly 13 years but I have only been collecting seriously for about 6 or so years. I have a large amount on quality coins that need to be certified to help preserve them, and make it possible to better share my collection with others but it seems that every time I set aside the coins that are next for submission I get sidetracked by another coin and there goes my submission budget! I was wondering if this is a common occurrence with some of t

coinsandmedals

coinsandmedals

0