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 going to have to go in tomorrow afternoon and check it all out, but it’s basically a shunt revision by another name. We’ve been at the hospital all day.
My wife has, in the past, laughed at me for dropping bits of news like this and then moving on, making relatively brief note of them in otherwise longer posts but I often struggle to say much on these things other than, “Well, this happened.” I can’t claim to want to go into too much detail beyond the basic facts and I don’t know that many others would want that either. The Zimbabwean note set was built in 2019 as a monument to my stress relief efforts and this place remains my escapism. At the same time, I feel like these events have to be acknowledged here as I discuss these sets and these projects since so many of these projects are so tied to my family and ignoring these events here would rob these sets and posts of some very important context.
I had not planned to follow up the last post with this one, of course. Shandy and I have been slowly looking through the 1989, 2002-2004, and 2007-2016 Venezuela bolivar coins. At this point we basically just need to look at the 2018 Boliver Soberano denominations (2 denoms) and the 2021 Bolivar Digital coins (3 denoms).
I’m very happy with the coins we’ve been picking out as the best of the bunch. I’ve gotten a large number of coins from a variety of dealers that tend to supply good stuff. From these I’m culling together a set / collection that I think will be rather nice when it’s finished and put together – hopefully in the form of a custom registry set, if I can find the time.
Having acquired 10-15 examples each of many of these I've frequently adopted an "heir and a spare" approach, picking out the one we think is the best and picking the one we think is the 2nd best, if there is a clear 2nd best, and setting it aside as well. I don't know what I'll do with the spares / 2nd stringers in right now, but I figure it doesn't hurt to have it / have them picked out for later reference.
However, what I’d wanted to talk about is that some of the 2002-2004 coins – the 2nd batch of such coins that came from Ukraine the other week - have a lot of what look like die cracks on them. In a couple of cases there are what appear to be rather large cracks. I want to take pictures of them and post about this with the pictures – including breaking out and getting to play with a usb/wi-fi coin microscope I got a couple of months ago that has been mostly sitting in the box on my desk.
If I remember right I was looking at these back in February or March on Amazon and then I got a lightning deal offer on this one for about $22. At that price I figured, even if it turned out to be complete garbage, it was worth a bit of amusement playing with it and looking at a few coins with it. My initial play involved looking at some graded coins in slabs and I'm decently happy so far with the focus adjustment feature and the way it allowed me to focus on the coins through the plastic of the slab. I have yet to test it with raw coins but I figure if it can be adjusted to give good visuals through a slab that's an encouraging/promising start.
Having gotten that microscope out of the box earlier this week and played with it briefly, I’m still hopeful that one of these days soon I can get closer looks at those Venezuelan coins, confirm those are cracks and not scratches, and share some pictures.
My timeline is clearly slipping on getting all these picked out and sent off, but turnaround times are down as Mike has recently reminded me and so I think I can still get this together, out, and back before December, even with life being crazy.
On the 500L front, I guess the seller I bought that MS68 1982 500L from back in November of last year finally got tired of listing his top pop, finest known MS69 for $300-400 and having it not sell so they listed it for $39.99 + $3.50 shipping. With little else to do today but play pokemon on my phone and wait in a hospital room today, I bid on it and won without anyone bidding against me. It is interesting to me that someone bid on and beat me on that 1983 MS65 – spending $25+ on an MS65 – and these MS68s and MS69s continue to get no competing bids at $40-50. It does make me wonder if the other bidder in that 1983 auction was a shill or something because I have to think if a MS65 is interesting to you at $25 then an MS69 should be interesting at $43.50, but maybe I’m wrong there.
In any case, I'm continuing my commitment to that set and trying to build it up into something brag-worthy for Shandy with every opportunity that crops up to improve it at a price that feels sane.
Do I regret popping for the MS68 last year at almost exactly the same price? Nope. Not really. That one was available last year when I needed it to get that set started where this one was not available at a price I was at all willing to pay. Now I get to improve on the set with this one and I feel pretty good about both purchases and what they accomplished for me / helped me accomplish.