coinsbygary

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  1. Welcome to the NGC registry and journaling! Currently, my collecting interests are very broad, but I do have a Ukrainian and a Latvian coin in my collection!
  2. I got to hand it to you, the flatbed scanner for your standard proof SAE really looks nice!
  3. You may not have liked the wait, but I think the grades you got were worth the wait! Congratulations!
  4. Sam looks pretty happy in your pictures! It's good to see him as active as any boy his age. I had to sadly sigh when I saw the picture of him in that hospital bed. Hospitals are no place for kids! It looks to me like you are pretty happy also! Gary
  5. A few days ago, I was contacted by a friend concerning a medal that he had photographed by someone other than me! 😊. To be exact, he didn’t like what he got and wanted to know my thoughts on the photography. Now, if a person asks me questions about photography, they will always get more from me than they asked! The pictures my friend sent lacked details. The devices were hazy and had a strange blue hue. The fields on the medal were basically flat. Because the medal had a reverse proof finish, I photographed a 2013-W reverse proof SAE from my collection to make a few lighting comparisons. First, I photographed my SAE using a 45-degree axial reflector. This transparent reflector directly underneath the lens reflects about half the light from a perpendicular lighting source to the lens. The remaining light passes through the glass and is absorbed by the black surface inside its holder. From my picture, notice that I fashioned my reflector from a CD case lid. An obstacle that I always have to deal with using this method is too little or too much light. If a coin is in a plastic holder, it compounds the obstacle. Getting just the right light is difficult because the light is often hazy, and the focus is not consistent over the entire surface of the coin. Usually, I have to use a diffuser on the lighting source, adding yet another variable into the mix. The picture I am posting of my SAE under this form of lighting is my third take. Despite the difficulty experienced, this is my favorite image of the SAE. Next, I photographed the SAE using my lens aperture LED ring light. Because this light is precisely perpendicular to the coin, the picture is much like the one using axial lighting. However, axial lighting is reflected, and this light is direct. You will notice the mirrored surface of the coin is much more reflective than the picture using axial lighting. This type of lighting is advantageous when photographing darkly-toned copper coins. In fact, I used this light to photograph the Conder Token pictured in my last ANA post. Standard lighting will always be at an angle other than 0-degrees because the camera is in the way. This method of lighting is perfect for capturing the luster of your coin. You will notice the luster present on the obverse field of my SAE in front of Lady Liberty. Because the lighting is at an angle, the highly reflective surfaces on the coin appear black. If this were a standard-proof coin, the fields would be black, and the devices would be silver because of the non or less reflective surface of the devices. Most often, I use two lamps to better light the surface of the coin and reduce the effect of shadows. Recently, I imaged a chocolate-brown, lightly toned Conder Token that I had difficulty capturing the fine details. In the end, I used one standard light in front of the token to finally get the results I was looking for. Basically, I use whatever form of light that will give me the result I want, and it often takes a lot of shots to get it right. I hope you have enjoyed my post and my pictures. I am also posting a non-silver Ronald Reagan reverse proof dollar using axial photography. Which is your favorite SAE picture? If I ever photograph your coins, I might ask you this question. You can be sure that my friend didn’t have a choice. Love it, or hate it, he had to take what he got ☹
  6. I bought a modern coin that went up 10 times in value soon after I purchased it. Its still holding pretty high after having been released almost two years ago. It's odd but I think if you get two people in an auction that feel the item they are bidding is a must have acquisition, the final hammer can go very high. If not there are occasional good buys out there. Keep your auction watch lists up to date and strictly adhere to your maximum bid, there may yet be some good deals to be had. Perhaps you'll watch ten and win one. It all depends on the demand at the time of the auction. Of course eye appeal, grades, and other miscellaneous factors have a lot to do with demand. Don't give up on locating items at coin shops or direct sales from other collectors. They can be your best value. In the end, it really is a treasure hunt. Below is the coin of which I am referring. Gary
  7. Lately, there has been much criticism and suspicion about the length of time it takes to get your coins graded. And my recent submission is no different. Like me, at the end of the day, when all your coins have been returned, you will probably ask yourself if it has been worth it? In the end, I weighed my worth against the grades I got, the price I paid, and the wait I had to endure. On April 22, 2021, I mailed a 13-coin submission to NGC. On August 10, I received the last of my coins back in the mail. In that one mailing, I had four separate submissions graded in the following order. The first two were Christa McAuliffe commemorative coins graded under the US-modern tier. The next was a silver 5-ounce Tuskegee Airmen Quarter in an oversize holder. The largest was an 8-coin submission under the world-economy tier. Finally, the last two coins I received back were two coins under the world-modern tier. In the end, the cost was never going to be an issue because of last year’s award as one of three awarded journalists. This only left me with two considerations which were in a manner of speaking linked together. The wait was worth it if I liked the grades, and if I didn’t like them, it wasn’t. Most of the coins were related to my 1868-70 Spanish Provisional Government set and my 1933-38 Second Spanish Republic set. The others were new purchases and a few that had been lying around in flips. Having all those grading credits tempted me to send in coins that I otherwise might not of. However, I had a duplicate raw coin that I considered sending in with the submission to sell. In the end, I determined not to send it because I thought it might get a details grade. Why waste the credit if I didn’t need to? Instead, I’ll save it for my 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollar. This turned out to be a good decision because, in 13 coins, I had no detailed grades and three top-pops, of which two were 70’s. Most of the other grades were reasonably expected, with only a few exceptions. The following is a chart detailing my hope, my expectation, and the final grade: Coin Hope Expected Final Grade 2021 UNC Christa McAuliffe 70 69 69 2021 PRF Christa McAuliffe 70 69 69 2021 SP Oversize Tuskegee Airmen 70 69 70 1947-S Philippine MacArthur Peso 65 64 63 1870(70) SNM Spanish Provisional 50C 20 15 12 1870(70) SNM Spanish Provisional Peseta VF VF 25 1870(73) DEM Spanish Provisional Peseta 58 AU 55 (Top-Pop) 1934 2nd Spanish Republic 25C 65 64 64 1937 2nd Spanish Republic 5c 65 64 63 1937 Menorca 25C (Spanish Civil War) 64 63 63 1938 2nd Spanish Republic 25C 67 66 63 2019PM B.V. Islands Silver $1 Una and the Lion 69 69 68 (rev proof) 2020 France 2E Proof Medical Research 70 69 70 Overall, my expectations were met with a minimum of disappointments and three top-pops! Was this worth the wait? Determine for yourselves, but as for me, I think this was worth the wait. Gary.
  8. Ahh, trying new angles and edits when photographing coins is my favorite pastime. That's when I enjoy my coins for free! Some of my coins have been photographed more times than I can count! I dare say that I have probably spent more time photographing my coins than I have spent researching my coins. Oh, BTW, nice pics! Gary
  9. Seven to eight years ago I bought just over 40oz of SAE's. Immediately thereafter the spot price continued to fall. My attitude towards selling them then was that I had them free and clear and was never in a financial need to sell them. After holding them all these years, I finally sold them all to a local coin dealer for nearly $27.00 per ounce. My profit was just north of $125.00. Nothing earth shattering, but a profit nonetheless. What stopped me form buying more silver back then was the realization that I primarily collected coins just for the fun of it without thinking of them as an investment. Sure, I much rather make a return on my coins when I sell them. But if I take a loss, I chalk it up as the cost of participating in this hobby just as green fees are the cost of playing golf. A silver stacker I'll never be. Gary P.S. That said, I never criticize others for buying what they like to collect. Collect what you like has always been my motto.
  10. First what has always fascinated me about this hobby are the people that have found a somewhat-affordable niche in a specific area of numismatics to create world class sets such as yours based on the Soho Mint. I have found my niche in Laura Gardin Fraser designed coins and medals. This began with my admiration for Mrs. Fraser and her pioneering spirit as the first women medalist to design a US coin. Forever she has paved the way for other female medalists. Just 60 years after the Alabama centennial half-dollar, Elizabeth Jones became the chief engraver of the United States mint. Just a collector of ordinary means, I have acquired several scarce pieces including two pieces with a documented provenance of once belonging to the Frasers. Finally, no one assembles a world class set without help. A close friend of mine in the hobby has been there for me every step of the way. He has sent me tips on auctions, helped me with my research, proof-read many of my write-ups, and finally sent me all the research he assembled on Laura Gardin Fraser. Incidentally, he also acted as an agent to secure the two Fraser studio pieces that I own. When I gave a Money Talks presentation on LGF at the 2019 ANA Worlds fair of money show he reviewed my presentation and suggested a few good tips to make it better. Truth be told, it's the relationships with other collectors that attract me to this hobby more than anything.
  11. That is a beautiful coin with lots of luster. Congratulations on obtaining it!
  12. This is a scholarly write-up. Well done on your research and on making complex data readable to the uninformed collector like me! Gary
  13. You have discovered something more valuable than all the 70's in the world. You have excellent sets that you enjoy, and in the end, this is all that matters. The rabbit hole to 70's is one fraught with outrageous costs and lots of frustration. This only ends in burnout. Keep doing the best you can and enjoy the journey. In doing so you will find satisfaction in this wonderful hobby. Yes, it is all about the art! Finally can you tell the difference between most 69's and 70's? I can't, and I'm willing to bet you can't either. Such competition benefits NGC the most as people are sending them countless submissions in search of the ever elusive 70. Instead search for that next wonderful piece of art! Gary
  14. I managed to get my "CC" privy but not without blowing a gasket or two first. This is no way for the mint to treat their customers. If the mint were competing in the open marketplace, they would have gone out of business long ago. Therein lies the problem. The mint does not have to compete for our business. After all, where are we going to go? To the dealers that charge us many times what they paid for the same coin?
  15. It's probably a defaced Jefferson Nickel. It looks like someone took a file to it. Gary