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How Did I Get Here?



Numismatics has always been an obsession with me. It’s either all in or all out. While I have been able to maintain an even keel on almost all my sets, it has not been easy as she goes with my new custom set, “The Beginning, Dependability, and End of the Spanish Peseta.”

This year most of my custom sets have seen some activity including my Inspirational Ladies set with a new French coin commemorating Joan of Arc and a Fantasy Crown featuring, “The Three Graces.” All my sets have had aesthetic upgrades meaning new and reformatted pictures. Having more time to spend on coins is one of the benefits of being retired. Other big purchases this year have included the Apollo 11 commemoratives less the gold coin and two upgrades to my 7070 type-set. The most recent addition to my type-set just this week is a PCGS MS-64 1906 Barber Quarter with a green bean. 

Trying to keep a promise to my wife, I have sold some of my doubles this year to buy the aforementioned coins. Interestingly, I have been pretty successful in keeping our household budget spreadsheet balanced. However, starting a new and unexpected set has sent me catapulting off into obsession oblivion! Thus, I think there should be a danger label with all coin sales, “Danger, Buying Coins Maybe Detrimental to Your Budget.” 

All this begs to question, “How did I get here, and why the Spanish Peseta?” To get those answers, I need to go all the way back to 2013 and my seated imagery set. It was then that I discovered coins featuring Hispania in a seated position on the 1870 Spanish Provisional Government coins. While I only needed one of the copper coins and one of the silver coins, I thought it would be nice to collect them all. Today I only lack the two scarcest silver coins.

I have held all these coins over the years without having the bulk of them entered into either a custom set or a registry set. As far as the registry set, none currently exists for these coins. That was until I sent an e-mail to NGC asking for a set a few weeks ago. NGC has responded and shortly there will be a set for my set-less Spanish Provisional Government coins. 

Up until last September I couldn’t imagine myself being here today having completed a nice 16 coin Spanish peseta set complete with write-ups totaling over 10,000 words. That was until purely by chance I noticed an 1868 bronze 5-peseta pattern for auction on E-bay. I knew of these copper patterns and have always wanted one. As you all know, I won the auction, had it conserved, and graded at MS-63. This had the effect of striking a match in an oil refinery and I was off to the races.

Now I had to have a so-called home for the Spanish Provisional Government coins in my collection and only intended for limited custom set of just those coins. That was until I was intrigued by the following paragraph on the Royal Spanish Mint’s website: “The currency is a faithful reflection of history. Within its small dimensions, all the coordinates of the moment in which it was coined are enclosed and are always an inexhaustible source of information. The aesthetic, political, religious conceptions and the economic situation of the people are indelibly reflected in these small metal discs. Therefore, the 134 years in which the peseta has spent in the economy of Spain have seen transcendental events happen in the conformation of what is now the life of the Spaniards. Kings, artists, and conquerors have passed through the hands of the citizens; The peseta has become a key piece of popular iconography: longed for, hated, idolized ... in short, the history of the peseta is, in large part, the history of Spanish men and women entering the modern world.”

Wanting to capture the essence of that paragraph, I enthusiastically expanded my set and used the paragraph as a road-map for the write-ups. Having bought the coins I needed and read and re-read the many articles and pieces on Spanish history, I believe that I have met the set objective and now it is finished.

There is another aspect about this set that is unlike any of my other custom sets and that is that I don’t have to buy any more coins for it. It is complete as a set. My other sets are more open-ended in that when I find a coin that meets the set objective, I add it, much like the coins for my Inspirational Ladies set. Of course, this means I’ll have to come down from my Spanish Peseta high. It is always nice to buy a lot of new coins. However, it’s a huge letdown when you’re done. I’m currently suffering from coin withdrawal. ):

The following is a link to my completed custom set: https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetView.aspx?s=28027 

Furthermore, I’m using a picture of my new Barber Quarter as my blog photo. Whew, now I can go out and blow leaves around (:  Gary



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I feel your pain re: anticipating new padded envelopes in the mailbox withdrawal, and budget deficits

Nice quarter though!  If we can cut spending for a few months, we might pull out of this nosedive and stabilize

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