With my anniversary present now in hand I have reached a milestone that I’d thought about a number of times over the years.
I bought my first gold coin in 2007 - an MS70 graded 1/4th oz gold eagle - as a way of celebrating my 21st birthday that didn’t involve getting drunk - which didn’t interest me much at the time (or now, really).
The idea of “first gold” seems to be special for a lot of people - people will often post about their first gold purchase in the “SilverBugs” subreddit. It is definitely an interesting and cool experience to hold, see and own a gold coin - especially for the first time - especially if it’s old, classic gold and not NCLT (but we’ll leave that argument for other venues and times).
For a long time that coin sat in an NGC 20-coin box with a bunch of other, mostly silver coins, and it was just joined by other gold coins as I gradually added a couple more. I always thought in those days that it would be a very long time before I could hope to fill a 20-coin NGC box with just gold coins.
When I got up to about 10 coins, I broke them out into their own box - with a lot of empty room in it. I used the extra slots to separate out the NCLT from the 10G coins and other classic gold and had them in pods / groups in the box. And I that point I wondered if I would ever reach a point where the box was full and there were no more gaps or spacers in the box.
Turns out the answer to “how long?” would be about 13 years - from Oct 2007 to Jan 2021. The box is now full of graded gold coins.
(Yeah. It's 19 to one, which is probably roughly representative of my collection of graded coins as a whole - but... no bias here. )
Granted, most of them are small, with the smallest being about 9% of an ounce. It is not a box full of nothing but double eagles. It is not 20 oz of gold. But, still, it is 20 gold coins - many 100+ years old - which feels like no small accomplishment. Looking at them laid out like that also makes it strike home for me just how fortunate I am in some aspects of my life - in many aspects of my life, really.
It will be an accomplishment of a different sort and on its own when and if I ever decide to (and convince my wife to agree to) buy a double eagle or similar, larger gold coin. The largest I have so far is about a quarter of an ounce.
The progress towards this goal has definitely been loaded more towards the back end / the last few (~6) years. Even with the costs of raising children and a long stint of unemployment, the version of me that has a PhD and a full-time job has found it easier to afford such luxuries than the version of me that was a graduate student on a monthly stipend.