For a bit of relevant context, years ago when Ben was young, we used to watch some episodes of “Toddlers and Tiaras” on Hulu for stupid, white trash, entertainment while we were stuck at home being broke parents to a young kid. We used to make fun of the titles the girls would win like "Grand Supreme" and "Ultimate Grand Supreme," and "Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme."
Years later we still joke about those titles and joke about "Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme [whatever]."
In the course of looking at these coins with Shandy we got into a discussion of grades and the kinds of grades I'm hoping for with the graded set and that got me talking about how 60+ is "Uncirculated," and 63+ is "Choice Uncirculated," and 65+ is "Gem Uncirculated" and 67+ is "Superb Gem Uncirculated." I'm explaining this because I'm explaining that, ideally, I'd like this set to be 65+ or 67+, Gem or better. She hears that last one though and she cracks a joke about "Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme Uncirculated," and laughs. I just looked at her for a second like, "No. That's not cool.”
I keep getting wandering eyes with the Italian coins recently - old and pre-euro modern, raw and graded. In many cases they're not even things I especially want or like - not like that flying liberty coin - but I do like collecting coins (hoarding pretty disks of metal). One example being raw examples of the 1000 Lire coin issued from 1997-2001, before the adoption of the Lire. I've seen some and they look interesting but they're not super pretty or anything - they're solidly okay. They're bi-metallic like the 500 Lire and look closely related to the 500 Lire, but they don't have the connection to Shandy because they didn't start issuing these until she'd already been out of the country 3-4 years.
Shandy has been good at keeping me focused (in check). I show them to her and she's like, "It's nice, but I want to stay focused on our current set (the 500 L)," and so I let it go. It's almost like she has more discipline than I do or something... slightly annoying.
Speaking of Shandy though - She's mentioned a couple of times recently that she misses looking at the coins and picking the best one and discussing the flaws of each. I haven't been doing much of that recently because before we were doing that to pick coins to submit, and I still have to tackle that Zimbabwe submission, and I don't want to get too far... ahead of myself / dig a hole I'll never get out of... but I do like the idea of continuing to buy more lots of cheap raw coins and looking at them.
Who knows? At this rate this may be the new focus of my collecting efforts going forward. That could be fun. I may need to invest in more binders, pages, and flips, if it goes that way though. 🤔 Maybe a stronger book case too because those binders are heavy when they’re full.
With the idea of keeping the fun going though, she’s agree to take on a challenge with me: Before we send off the Z coin submission we’re going to look at each coin again and write down what we think each one will grade - I will probably also use this as a chance to pick the best of some coins and dates where we have 2 of the same and lean down the submission a little. With those grade estimates written down, we’ll see how close we came when the grades come back. She’ll have her guesses and I’ll have mine. We’ll have the already graded ones nearby to look at to help us make good SWAGs. I may never live it down if she does better than me though. (Edited to add: She confirms. I will not.)
And, while I’ve been talking for months about that submission going out in January… it may not. I’m realizing we have something going on almost every weekend in January. One of my cousins is getting married on our Anniversary, so we’re going to share our anniversary with my cousin, and we’ll be at a wedding that evening. So I don’t see it happening that weekend. The weekend after that there’s a coin show in Conroe that I want to go to so I don’t see it happening then. The weekend after that we’re going to be busy again… So, unless I bust this out right after New Years or on the Weekend of the 7th, the odds of me getting the paperwork done and getting these boxed up to go out before February seems to be near zero.