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Fixation with copper

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I got into collecting wheats at the age of five, back when they were still somewhat easy to find in circulation. I worked out of the little blue Whitman folders and bought a new Red Book every year with my allowance. I was a good little collector. The varieties of 1982 tweaked my interest, and that's when it all started going haywire on me.


As a teen I spent time sorting shiny change into solid date rolls (outside my involvement with scouts, cars, girls, etc. - the normal stuff, I guess) and found a listing in my Red Book that had me stumped. "1939 doubled monticello," it said. Hmm...so I look at the back of a 1939 nickel I had pulled out of my mother's change, and sure enough...there it was. The word "monticello" doubled as plain as day under my little 7X magnifier.


To make an already long story a bit shorter, I found John Wexler's book, "The Lincoln Cent Doubled Die," and I was set. These things were so cool! Alas, I hunted for years in my change and in coins from the coin shop and found only a few of them. I was, however, finding a lot of stuff that wasn't listed in the book - I didn't know how that could be, my experience with books was that they were definitive. Nothing needed to be added, appended. Boy was I in for a suprise.


Ten years plus went by and I continued to accumulate the oddities I had found, going to shows, dealer stock, etc. looking for doubling in all the places I had found it before - until I found the book by Kevin Flynn and John Wexler that changed everything for me. "The authoritative Reference on Lincoln Cents" listed a die number that tweaked my curiosity. It was a die number in the 20s for 1970S cents. Well, that just couldn't be! I e-mailed Ken Potter who confirmed that's what it meant. At least 20 different DDOs (doubled die obverses) known for 1970S cents. So somebody WAS listing the finds I had been making!


A couple of years of research, dead ends, dues paid to groups, and questions with few answers led me to one conclusion - if you want die information you have to pay for it by the coin...and it doesn't come cheap when you want to ID an entire collection. I added up that I was going to need over $5,000 just to ID the coins I had saved over the years. That's when I started acting...


I had been taking notes on what I found, and had a new interest in computers, specifically web development. I decided to organize my notes into web pages and link them together. This was in 1998. Through other associations, I met another person who wanted to do the same for large cents and half cents, and in November, 1999 "coppercoins" was born.


Since then I have been to college, learned the finer points of interactive database driven web content, and turned this knowledge into what is becoming one monster of a numismatic reference site. It has interactive chat, a message board, a searchble database of die variety information for Lincolns with an estimated goalof 80,000 photographs, a searchable database of closed auctions of certified copper, and a whole lot more - basically about a thousand times what I thought I was capable of turning out by myself, and many more features are planned.


Coppercoins is now my life, other than my full time job as a programmer, my continued education, and most importantly my wife and son. So that's it in the smallest nutshell I can stuff it into.


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I have the copper bug too! Copper is the hardest to collect. (You can't dip it, it fingerprints to easy, carbon spots, turns brown... ect ...ect..(a royal pain in the )


My goal is to build a complete U.S. Cent Set 1793 to Present.

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I love copper too, I spent about an hour going through variety after variety at a local show. The guy that I bought the 59D that a told you about sells primarily varities. I am amazed how many rolls of them he has plus all of the anacs slabs. Just visiting with him has made me an admirer of anacs.

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My personal opinion - ANACS is the only service that has it right. I have rarely seen a piece of copper graded by them that I flat out disagree with.


PCGS overgrades about 30% of them, NGC overgrades 50%, PCI - well, it's PCI. ICG overgrades about 60% and can't tell color. ANACS overgrades rarely - maybe 5-10%. This is copper only, of course. I don't know how they do with the other metals.


Lucky thing, they are also the only company that will slab the lesser major die varieties - RPMs, and lesser doubled dies. I once saw a 1972D DDO#4 cent graded by them. That's one obscure die!

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