We're finally coming up on the end of the year. Starting in January the annual look back on things begins an around February we should find out about pay raises and bonuses. I'm hoping both for a decent raise and a great bonus. I joined the company about a year ago and I think I've performed beyond their expectations in a vast majority of ways, going from being a new hire to a person that's writing technical papers for the company and giving presentations at conferences and symposia.
My goals / hopes for the bonus are pretty simple: 1) Pay off the last of my student loans (paying off the wife's will be the next battle) and 2) if the bonus is large enough, picking up a nice gold coin - possibly a double eagle, possibly one of the coins I need for my Netherlands 10G set. I won't know what I can get away with without the wife wanting to kill me until the bonuses are announced. Of course though, it's paying off the loans a getting that monthly bite out of the budget to go away that's the most important part and if the bonus is lack luster there may be no coin in service of that goal, but such is life.
I'm also slowly building up some spending money to try to make a medium-ish purchase as an alternative approach. That could work for a 10G coin but it'd be a long wait if I angled for the Double Eagle, and I'd love to go for the Double Eagle.
I really want to know... but I won't get to find out for about another 3 months, so I guess I'll just sit here and continue to wish and ramble.
Hopefully im doing this right.i went to an estate sale and bought this old very old ugly coin i took it to a silver shop and had it put on their machine to read what medals were in it ..the man looks at me and says (its fake)Lol well according to the machine with all the different cheaper metal in it .it equals out to be made out of pewter.and i would like to know how to or what steps to take to go about to get it certified .ect..i looked at the submision forms it was confusing to me ..this web site is confusing to me as well .but dont spend alot of time on line ..im just needing a little guidence .can any one help me????
Chapter 7 How many of you remember when NCLT was a four letter word
As I remember it, I first came face-to-face with the acronym NCLT sometime in the very late 1970’s or early 1980’s. The first time I remember seeing it was in rants in the “letters to the editor” column in coin newspapers (newspaper not magazine) and it had to do with what might be called “Commemorative Sets” or modified Proof/UNC sets. I believe several of the British Commonwealth countries started issuing these coins/sets in the around 1980+/- depending on the country.
NCLT stands for = Non-Circulating Legal Tender, these are coins struck in silver or gold with a defined value in that country’s currency (thus the legal tender) and the quantity of silver or gold used to make the coins was well in excess of the coins monetary value thus the non-circulating. These sets sold well in excess of its total face value to cover the cost of metal used and to make money for the country.
The rants basically charged that these were not “true” coins and it was just a way for these small countries to make money. Well in fact they really were coins even thought they would never circulate. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum :>) Countries like the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and China to name just a few saw how much money could be made and starting in the late 80’s the U.S. would issue “commemoratives” for any reason we dream up. Except for our half dollar commemoratives everything from the US, Canada, Great Britain and China are NCLT and some are hotly collected. What still surprises me is that a lot of these early NCLT coins have been melted down and their initial issues were not that large making assembling complete sets of these early NCLT coins a challenge and in some cases near impossible. One such set would be the 250 Cayman Dollar Gold Coins Issues. The set would consist of just seven coins 1985 estimated issue 250 coins, 1986 64 issued, ND 75 issued, 1988 86 issued, 1990 est. 500 issued, 1993 est. 100 issued and 1994 200 issued. All but the 1990 issue had 1.4016 troy ounces of gold. The 1990 issue had 1.0024 troy ounces of gold.
I picked up a 1988 issue for just under $300 from an estate auction in Ohio in the mid-1990’s. The coin did not have a COA and nothing that showed the gold content so everyone but me had to guess at its gold content I had my KM with me so I knew. The $300 purchase included the buyer’s fee. I wanted to sell it for melt several times but the thought of selling a coin for melt when only 86 were minted seemed crazy. I can always get melt but I believe a true premium is warranted. My specimen is PF69UC NGC has certified one other and it also is PF69UC.
The stigma applied to NCLT in the late 1970’s & 1980’s does not seem to apply to current day NCLT coins.
Richard Lobel minted many Edward VIII coinage - mostly in the 1980's
The picture attached is of a bi-metal coin given to me by Richard Lobel when he visited my house in South Africa. I have only ever seen two of them around so must assume there is a low mintage. Perhaps 10? Not sure and Richard remains silent to my inquiry.
OK one and all. After many years of collecting and now I am wanting to get things in order for retirement, I am going to be selling my Roosevelt Dime Set - " Don't Be Mad - Be Clad " in the 1965 to date Circulation Issue.
The set is ranked #1 and has most of the 1 only coins available for the grade. It will be up for auction on Great Collections over 6 weeks beginning Sunday 11-25 and the last auction will be on 12-30. 119 coins total so get ready to bid. The coins have already been shipped so please do not message me to buy any of them. I do want to thank everyone who has helped me get the set to the #1 slot. And there has been many of you who have helped. Most of the coins are in NGC holders. Only 19 are in PCGS holders.
Take a look at the set and pick out your favorites, you may possibly get 1 or a few.
Thanks to you all
When I first started collecting the $20 Canadian silver coins, I was told NGC would not grade the "snowflake" issues. They contain crystals that may come loose and therefore are not gradable. My how times have changed. Now the "catch phrase seems to be "colored outside the mint" I am out good deal of time and money for this excuse to grade a coin that is submitted with a COA, and charged for no grading, or encapsulation. Limited numbers are being plated or colorized, and many more to come. Our US coins aren't even struck in the mint they claim to be struck in. If NGC is afraid the enamel will fall off, why are we signing a release when submitted?
I just had 2 more become "ungradable" and have more (8), of the same to be graded. There needs to be a list of coins that NGC will not grade. Now I have 2 collections that are missing completion. At close to $100.00 per coin and $30 each to not grade them, it is ludicrous.
There will be many more (collectors) trying to make sets with high grades, but now we have been halted by "policy." There needs to be a current list, or a change in the grading procedure. SmartMint is coming fast and then we will see. No one even knows where, or what entity even strike them anymore. Why should NGC care about the colorization on so few specimens?
if they are not colorized at "the" mint. Where are they done? Why do B.H. Mayer and CIT exchange coins? I also have a few other colorized coins that came from "the" mint.
Collectors need a list before we engage in the purchase of coins that are "worthless."
Learn Grading: What Are Full Bands and Full Torch?
Nothing new here, I am back to my pet peeve – silly grading standards. You can go onto reading other posts – this is my pet peeve and I am going to continue with such posts until someone can provide a convincing argument on why what NGC is doing is superior to my approach.
I will be referring to the NGC article with the above address so I suggest you bring it up.
All U.S. coins above AU-58 are graded using a standard that magically combines strike and surface conditions. I want to discuss this concept. First let me just briefly touch on what can affect strike and surface.
Strike – The physical setup of the presses, installation of the dies and collars as well as slight variations in the dimensions of the planchet can all play some part in the quality of the strike produced. Once the dies start to separate in the process of converting a blank planchet into a newly minted coin the quality of the coin’s strike is forever defined. Things can happen to the coin that affect the condition of its surface but not the quality of its strike. Minor imperfection from post production handling cannot hide the quality of the original strike even scratches do not hide the quality of strike. Yes one could say if hit by a hammer the quality of the original strike would be obscured but so would all the features need to define a grade and score for both the strike and surface. In just such cases the determination would have to read “Physically Damaged Coin” no grade determination is possible.
Surface – The condition of a coins surface immediately following the completion of the strike to the day it is forever removed from circulation is continuously changing if for no other reason due to chemical contaminants in the air. There are also changes due to physical contact with mint equipment, bagging, counting, transport and activities related to getting the coins to the bank and into the hands of the collector. Once in circulation the surface changes due to wear and physical damage.
Please look the NGC definition for the grades MS-66 to MS-70 which I present below.
MS/PF70 A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.
MS/PF69 A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections.
MS/PF68 Very sharply struck with only miniscule imperfections.
MS/PF67 Sharply struck with only a few imperfections.
MS/PF66 Very well struck with minimal marks and hairlines
First for the grade MS/PF70 Strike is not discussed because the strike for a MS/PF69 is defined as being “A fully struck coin.” How can one improve upon the strike required for an MS/PF69. As such it appears MS/PF69 is as high a strike can be graded or as I prefer scored, besides it appears surface conditions is what controls the determination of whether or not a coin can be graded 70.
The following discussion relates to the NGC article specifies above and I refer specifically to the coins shown in that article. The first photo shows a 1935S Mercury Dime graded MS67+ and a 1917 Mercury Dime graded MS67+ FB. When you use the option to enlarge the photos it is obvious that the quality of the strikes are significantly different with the bands on the 1917 dime being fully struck up to the point that all the detail related to the bands is there while the 1935S dime has noticeable details related to the bands of the fasces missing, yet NGC gives both coins the same grade MS67+, by grade definition both are defined as being sharply struck even though one has flatness in the design features where the other does not!!!! Come on, what the heck kind of grading system is this? But the best is to come.
The other photo shows a 1988D Roosevelt Dime graded MS67 and a 1984P Roosevelt Dime graded MS66 FT. These coins confuse the heck out of me. First the strike of the 1984P FT is defined as very well struck while the center design devices from the torch’s flame to the bands on the torch are boldly struck just like those on the Mercury dime. To say the least definitely superior to those same features on the 1988D whose strike is defined as Sharply Stroke one notch above “very well struck.” Here is where things get tricky. Is this a weighted grade? That is, is it an average of the entire obverse strike with the entire reverse strike? In the case of the Roosevelt dime there are three components that make up the design elements on the reverse of the dime. These are the Olive Branch, the Oak Branch and between them the torch with flame. On the MS67 the strike of the Olive & Oak branches is much better than the strike for these design features on the 84P dime with a FT designation. To put a major premium on this coin only because 1/3 of its reverse has a full strike is totally stupid while the rest of the strike is definitely inferior to the MS67.
The concept to blend strike and surface condition to come up with a single grade is just stupid. I continue to insist NGC should grade all coins the way they do ancients. That is a grade for wear, a score for surface and a score for strike. All UNC. Mint state and Proof coins would get a grade of 60 simply it is either uncirculated or it isn’t. Then the strike would be scored 1 through 10 and the surface would be scored 1 through 10. This way the 1984P dime might have actually graded MS60 FT, Strike 6 and Surface whatever, this approach would tell the buyer that even though it has a full torch the overall strike is just slightly above "about average" (what I would call a score of 5/10) with a bold torch but some weakness in the overall strike. In this way the buyer can determine how much, in the buyer’s opinion, that premium should be, if any. To be honest I don’t think every collector would pay big bucks for a full torch with a strike of 6 when FT dimes with strikes of 7, 8 or possibly 9 exist.
Also how does the NGC system address a coin with a strike of 7 and a surface of 4? Don’t say they don’t exist. Simply it is stupid to think that strike and surface would always have a comparable score. Strike is the result of the minting process and Surface is the result of what happens after the coin is minted and simply these two factors have no relationship to one another.
Although I keep insisting that NGC should use the same approach to grading used by the NGC Ancient Department, it appears that the NGC Ancient Department has lost its way with respect to grading Mint State coins. Rather than just use the designation UNC or Mint State the ancients department has embraced the following terms used by NGC:
MS = Mint State/UNC = equivalent to the grades: 60 Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. Numerous abrasions, hairlines and/or large marks. 61 Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. More marks and/or multiple large abrasions. 62 Slightly weak or average strike with no trace of wear. More or larger abrasions than an MS/PF 63
Ch MS = Choice Mint State/UNC = equivalent to the grades: 63 Slightly weak or average strike with moderate abrasions and hairlines of varying sizes. 64 Average or better strike with several obvious marks or hairlines and other minuscule imperfections
Gem MS = Gem Mint State/UNC = equivalent to the grades: 65 Well struck with moderate marks or hairlines. 66 Very well struck with minimal marks and hairlines 67 Sharply struck with only a few imperfections. 68 Very sharply struck with only minuscule imperfections. 69 A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections. 70 A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.
Do you see the problem here?
The terms MS, Ch MS & Gem MS are defined as being equivalent to the indicated NGC grades and these grades are defined by distinct conditions related to both strike and surface. So how is it possible for NGC ancient to score an MS ancient with either a strike or surface as a 4 or 5 (which many are) if by definition of these characteristics are typically weak and at very best average? The same goes for Ch MS and all Gem MS ancients must score at least 4 for both strike and surface.
One thing is NGC Ancient may want to score MS state ancients on a scale of 1 to 10. However at a minimum NGC Ancients must define the designations MS, Ch MS & Gem MS (if they insist on using this approach) by using terms that in no way relate to the coin’s strike or surface conditions as the current definitions do since NGC Ancients already scores these features independently.
I am not trying to give the NGC Ancient Department hard time. I was and still am super pleased when NGC Ancients decided to move from the 18th century and almost totally move into the 21st century by recognizing that grade and strike & surface are not related and must be addressed separately. NGC Ancient fell short only when they decided to force their grading of Mint State ancients to look like all the other grading done at NGC rather than accepting that they are the standard against which all other approaches to grading should be compared.
By the way there is no need for Ch. MS or Gem MS, to a great extent Ch MS should be implied when one gets a high score for both Strike & Surface. This would be stronger if for Mint State coins the scoring for strike and surface was increased to 1-10 from 1-5. And there is no better way to imply a gem specimen then to assign the coin the highest scores (8 to 10 or 9 to 10) for strike and surface as well as designating it as having both eye appeal and Fine Style.
I chronicled my first submission and the outcome here a few months ago, well I just mailed off my 2nd submission! Again, 19 coins and all from thailand.
Last time I submitted 19 thai coins, I had 11 graded, 8 details. There were some coins I expected to get details and some I did not expect. I used the experience I learned from the last submission to carefully inspect my current submission..........hoping for no details grade!!!
The latest update on my Roman Empire NGC Ancients Custom Set is that I finished and posted my Owner's Comments for my ancient bronze follis featuring Roman Empress Galeria Valeria.
For this essay, I spent some time researching what appears to be the most widely cited primary source of information on Valeria, a book called De Mortibus Persecutorum written in 4th century AD by the imperial advisor Lactantius. Lactiantius' account is necessarily biased, yet even so provides some very interesting insights into Roman Empire history.
Regarding the coin, I purchased this one raw at auction and was pleased to see it grade AU, Strike = 4/5, Surface = 3/5, a very respectable grade for an ancient bronze. One interesting aspect about this coin is that Valeria's obverse bust appears almost masculine; her features mimick the consistent depiction of tetrarchs on their coinage (you can see what I mean if you peruse Page 13 on my Roman Empire set.)
Regarding Valeria, she was the daughter of Emperor Diocletian, who placed her into a an arranged marriage with his fellow and subordinate Tetrarch Galerius. Apparently the union was a rather unhappy one, but as a political pawn Valeria had no choice in the matter. After her husband's death, she was courted by his successor, whose advances she vehemently rejected. The enraged Daia proceeded to ruin Valeria, despite her attempts to enlist her retired father for assistance.
For more details of Valeria's tragic tale, you can read my Owner's Comments here.
Of course, if you are further interested about ancient Rome and its coinage, you can peruse the rest of the Roman Empire collection here.
recently acquired set of 1932 - 1964 Washington Quarters. seller stated that set was "informally graded by an independent third party and ranges are from MS-60 to MS-65." although I doubt the '36-D is MS.
here's some pics made with digital point n shoot, so forgive the quality. to be clear, each obverse is followed by same coin's reverse.
considering grading. opinions (especially of Washington collectors) are welcome. be kind.
Chapter 6 The Hunt
I don’t care what you collect, every collector dreams of that “Big Find,” that is the (put in your own value) dollar rarity that falls into your lap for a steal and it is all legal and aboveboard. Does this really happen? Yes and I want to tell you about mine. But let’s first discuss what makes such finds possible. With just a couple of exception all my successful hunts took place at local auctions. Some were estate auctions that had a few coins in them, some were regularly schedule coin auctions held by local auction houses that could routinely (once a month or so) pull together enough coins and related items to hold an auction and some were better known local auction houses who happened upon a large holding of coins in good enough condition to justify holding a special auction or incorporating the coins into a two day auction. Please note that all these coin auctions were well attended by all the local coin dealers and for larger auctions dealers from neighboring states would attend. So how does a nobody scoop the dealers? I wish I had an honest answer for you. In the accounts that follow when I think I know why I was successful I will tell you.
Either Yogi Berra or Casey Stengel make a comment that went something like, you would be surprised at what you can see if you just look. I know for a fact that I had many good finds simply by studying every lot up for auction. This approach landed me numerous proof and mint state Doubled Die Washington Quarters, Franklin halves, Kennedy Halves and a really nice 1946 DDR Walking Liberty. All I needed was a good magnifying glass and a willingness to spend a little extra time to look at what was up for sale. My first successful hunt came when I was 5 years old. Every Saturday before my mom went shopping she use to let me go through her change for those coins I needed to fill the holes in my Whitman folder. I got to check her change before she left and after she came home. Would you believe I found a 1921-D walking liberty half dollar!!!!!!!!!!! I ran to my mom and asked if I could have the half dollar. She said no. If you remember from Chapter 2 my parents worked in mills and 50C represented a half hour of labor before taxes. I kept pleading & telling her how few were made and when I pointed out it was $8.50 in one grade and $16 in another grade she decided to let me keep it. That coin was my lucky charm and I took it to every coin show I set up at until one day a fellow dealer stole it from my cash box. I say dealer because only dealers were allowed behind the tables. By the way I completed an entire set of Walking Liberty Halves from pocket change (I never purchase a single one).
To support my hunts I had a “go box” ready, it always had the basics one or two standard generic references, magnifying glasses, note book and two pens (one wrote in red) I would then add other books based on the material listed to be included in the auction. The only items I would take into the viewing was a red book, magnifying glass & note pad. The rest I would leave in the car. After viewing the lots I would take my notes and go out to the car and check my notes against info in the appropriate reference book. Sometimes I would have to go back and check for additional characteristics. This was my preparation for the auction.
Have good references for detecting counterfeits because they also tell you what to look for on the genuine coins. Whether you know it or not many, if not most, of our rarer coins were produced from one set of dies, thus the low mintages. But also the easier to verify it is what you believe it to be. Here is a mini test - where must you look to authenticate a 1942/1 dime? If you didn’t specify a particular location on the reverse of the coin please go back to class. Because only one die pair was used to produce ALL 1942/1 dimes, a genuine 1942/1 must have a die scratch on the reverse. No scratch no 1942/1 dime. The first lead authenticator for the ANACS (originally this was an authentication service only – no grading) told me when they got in 1942/1 dimes they always examined the back first and this check was always correct. You have a similar situation with the 1937-D three legged Buffalo Nickel. Both the obverse and reverse dies were rusted and the obverse surface produced by that rusted die is as important as the missing leg. Well I was at an auction in a firehouse west of Frederick, MD and I was impressed by all the key and semi-key coins in that auction. I was studying the list of items up for sale and there all by itself was a 1937-D nickel. I said to myself why in the world are they selling a 35c coin all by itself? Then the light bulb went on, this has to be a three legged nickel. I started to get up to check it out and I looked at the table where the coins were on display and it was surrounded by all the dealers from Frederick and surrounding areas and as far away as Baltimore. And any coin a bidder picked up to check out they immediately rechecked after it was placed back on the table. So I walked up to the table and didn’t pick up a single coin all I did was look at the obverse of that nickel and it screamed 1937-D three legged buffalo. The bidding started at a quarter and when it got to a dollar the chatter picked up and when I won the coin for $1.75 there were some snickers. When I looked at the back I saw the scratch in the area of the missing foot. I smiled sent it into ANACS and it came back a three legged buffalo. Had the other bidders looked at the entire coin and all its genuine characteristics the selling price would have been higher. I sold that coin for around $125. A strange example of how just looking happened to find me a good coin I was going through my own junk box. One day I decided to go through a box containing well-worn coins as well as world coins I could not identify. I was pulling out the silver coins to sell them for melt. As I pull out what looked like a slug I gave it an extra look to see if it was really silver and was amazed at how well-worn the piece was. Just as I was to let fly into the melt pile I realize there was actually a design on it that I could make out. It was a John Chalmers’ short worm shilling (1783) I had no idea where or when I acquired it. But since at the time I was living in Maryland I could only assume it was part of a box lot I picked up at one of the back woods country auctions I frequented. After sending it to ANACS I was able to sell it for about $100.
My first true “hunt find” was at a fire station auction in Wolfsville, MD. I got there early on a Saturday because I did not expect to find anything and there was another auction I could go to. When I saw the coin component of this auction was only about 18 coins I wasn’t going to waste my time. But then I said I’m here there was only 18 coins take a look then leave. The only coin to catch my eye was an 1873 no arrows half dollar. The coin was totally undamaged and a very pleasing VG. When I checked the red book it catalogued for $20 BUT WAIT there is an open three and closed three and the closed three catalogues for over $1,000. At that time the red book did not have a photo of a closed three and if they did I probably would not have purchased this coin. Why? Do you know how small the opening is in the open 3? The opening is 0.4mm and the closed 3 is 0.2mm. Being half the size one would think that is easy to see but you don’t have them side by side and with just one coin to look at 0.4mm looks like it might be 0.2mm and 0.2mm might be 0.4mm. The only reason I did not pass on this coin was that I had once owned a closed three quarter and from what I remembered the date on that half dollar reminded me of that quarter. Because I got there early I drove 45 minutes back to my house ran down to my 450+ book library and guess what not a single photo of a closed three 1873 no arrows half dollar. Now I was almost out of time so back to car and back to the auction house. I decided to buy the half dollar. If I get it for $20 so what the coin was worth that and if I pay $5 or $10 more so what that isn’t going to brake me. I won the bidding at $20 and as I was handed the coin my hands were shaking and the person giving me the coin saw them shaking said you did good and I said “if you only knew.” Off it went to ANACS and I ended up selling it for over $1,000.
Now for my ultimate “Hunt Find” this one is mind blowing at least for me. It was a two day “coin” auction that was held in Williston, VT. There was a full day of viewing the day before the auction started. When I say a full day I was there over nine hours, I was there as it was being opened and I was there as it was being closed. The dealers showed up in teams splitting up the work of checking out the lots. I was there by myself. I found several lots I would bid on. But just as they were asking me to leave I opened a small box that contained 13 ancient coins and the first coin I saw was an Aes Grave Semis (1/2 AS) from 280 to 269 BC. When I got home I got out my ancient books and determined it was a Sear 535 which has a decades old valuation of $500. This was a massive coin and hard to miss with a weight of about 130 grams. There were other Roman and Greek coins which I estimated to be worth another $750 to $1000 and about three Byzantine bronzes worth about $50 each. That night I decided this lot was mine and was willing to go at least $750. I knew I was going to get this lot because this is Vermont and this lot may represent half of all the ancient coins in the state at that time. The lots were sold in the order they were displayed for viewing so this lot sold at the end of the second day which also help me win it because most bidders had left by then. The lot opened at around two hundred dollars then moved down to $150 > then $100 then > $50 then $25 at which point I won the bid for $25 + buyer’s fee so $28.50 in total. I sold the poorest condition coins first and that netted me a little over $1,000 . I then sent the remaining coins to NGC Ancients. A few weeks later I get a call from Dave Vagi at NGC Ancients and he started questioning me about my submittal. He finally told me that one of my Byzantine coins was not byzantine but in fact one of the most important Armenian coins in existence and worth about $15,000. You can read the whole story at https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/1258. The article includes a photo which is better than the photo you get when you use the certification number 2406902-023.
The results of this hunt was just dumb luck, but what I will take credit for is making sure everything in my collection is identified. I could have simply continued to assume that what I thought were three byzantine coins where just that and sold them for $50 each.
This again brings up the question when should a buyer tell a professional/dealer what he is selling is worth more than what he is selling for? Look, I have been to hundreds of these auctions and everyone starts the same way. The auction house makes no claims that their descriptions are accurate, they do not stand behind any grade you might find on a holder and it is up to the buyer to decide what the auction house is selling is real or a fake item. So if the coin is damaged, a fake or not as described and I find this out one second after I purchased it, too bad that is my fault!!!! Well I am sorry I am not obligated to tell the professional/dealer that an item is worth more than they think it is.
My wife and I found out a couple of weeks ago that we're expecting our second child in the middle of next year. Most people don't know yet but we'll get around to that when we're further along in the process and we know a little more. We won't have the first doctor's appointment for another 3 weeks.
When my son was born I picked up a quarter oz gold American Eagle in MS70 for his birth year. I'll be looking to do that again with the new baby. I'm also hoping I might be able to talk my wife into letting me pick up the 1/10 oz Eagles for 2016 and 2019 and maybe grab the Silvers in MS 70 as well. I haven't kept up with the Silver Eagles like I'd like the last few years between paying my way through grad school and being unemployed for over a year for a while there but I'd like to get back into them at some point.
At some point, I'm also going to be looking into the 1986 gold eagles in MS69. That was the first year of issue and happens to be the birthyear for my wife and myself and that just makes all of this the perfect group of coins for what I want to do here with the birth years.
One of these days 1920 and 1924 $20 gold pieces will also be on the radar for the birth years of my grand parents. I lost my grandmother in 2016 a couple of weeks before Harvey hit and I'd like to get those for their years. No idea what I'd do in a similar vein for my parents in 1955/56 since the US wasn't really messing with gold in that period. I have zero clue when the budget will let me get away with those double eagles but I'm hopeful that I'll get a good bonus in early 2019 a little before the birth that'll let me get some of the other birth year pieces I want. I'll just have to wait and see what the situation is at the time.
I'm not really up to anything else collecting-wise at the moment other than building some sets of the Queen's Beast coins.
Here is a coin that I paid a whopping $360 for, obviously in 2002. I was proud of my find because all the other bidder appeared to be bidding on the holder not the coin. The value of a 1908 with "Motto" is, or was higher than the no motto variety. I paid $40 under greysheet for th coin which was about par for the with motto variety at the time. I took it to the PCGS booth at Long Beach and they aggressively offered to reholder the coin for free, I passed. So the coin sits misunderstood by its holder. I actually have a collection of these and in my experience I have had a easier time finding error PCGS than NGC coins. This is a satirical post bout PCGS for those that are wondering what I am talking about. The motto is on the reverse just above the sun and the holder clearly says that there is no motto, a motto that Theodore Roosevelt felt violated the separation of Church and State. Next a 1849 Gold dollar in an open wreath holder with a close wreath.
Greetings all. It has been awhile but I am back. Have a question about American Silver Eagles. Given the current price of silver and what the U.S. Mint is charging for these has anyone backed off purchasing these ? When silver was much higher they sold in the $50 range but now when silver is so low they are and have been charging the same ! Thoughts
This Journal Entry provides an overview/update on Page 10 of my “Roman Empire” NGC Ancients custom (I previously have presented an overview/update on the first nine pages). Like all the Pages of the collection, this one comprises 15 coins as presented in “Gallery Mode”. The title for this Page, since it is third Page covering the Crisis of the Third Century is Crisis III. The purpose of this overview/update is to not just to provide a brief description of each coin, but also some perspective on what it means to me (if you want to read more details, please read my Owner’s Comments). This Page is complete!
1. Gordian III denarius, graded MS, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5. Gordian III is remembered by history as a good-natured, youthful Emperor who met a tragic fate (you might have guess it, murdered by his troops). This coin is valued to me, even though it is very common, since it is one of the very first Roman imperial coins I purchased (as such, I have not “upgraded” even though I could readily do so). This coin was purchase already in an NGC slab, and at the time I wondered at the chance to obtain such an old coin in mint conditions (of course, since then I have acquired many other ancient Roman coins that earned similar, or even higher grades).
2. An ancient bronze featuring the obverse charming confronted busts of Gordian III and Tranquillina. The reverse features Apollo, who was a rather interesting god. This coin was struck in Mesembria, Trace, and is a relatively common and popular design. This is case where I purchase anther specimen, but kept this one, which earned a higher grade (XF, Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5). It is really tough to find ancient bronze coins in XF or higher grade since copper is a much more reactive metal compared to either silver or gold.
3. This very rare ancient bronze featuring Divus Julius Marinus, father of Emperor Philip the Arab. I added this “slot” and coin into the collection recently, since I found it interesting, particular for the blending of Roman, Greek, and Arabian elements on the coin. This one graded F, Strike 4/5, Surface 3/5, which is not particular impressive, but still very respectable for a bronze, especially such a rare one.
4. A fabulous Ch MS denarius, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5, representing Emperor Philip the Arab (you have to love it when your coin come back from grading as a Ch MS and 5 by 5!). Before Philips demise (which was probably at the hands of his own troops), he was best known for host Rome biggest party ever…
5. Rome 1000th birthday celebration denarius, this one graded a mind-boggling Gem MS, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5 (I purchased this one already graded). Please see my Owner’s Comments for more details regarding the impressive event. I also love this coin for its reverse featuring seated goddess Roma, with the inscription ROMA AETERNAE, a befitting message considering the coin’s amazing condition, nearly flawless with flashy, bright, semi-prooflike fields. How it survived in such pristine condition can only be imagined. Perhaps its original owner kept it safely out of circulation as a souvenir of Rome’s great millennium celebration.
6. Denarius featuring Philip II, co-Emperor along with his father, Philip I. This coin also graded an impressive Ch MS, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5. This coin is interesting since it feature Philip II on both obverse and reverse fields. Very little is known about his life and reign, and no wonder since it was brief and he had little, if anything, to do with governance. Before he would become a teenager, his father was killed as the legions revolted and named Trajan Decius their new Emperor. Philip II was not forgotten, however; when the news reached Rome, the Praetorian Guard killed the young co-Emperor as he clung to his Mother Severa.
7. Denarius featuring Empress Severa, wife of Philip the Arab. This coin graded MS, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5. While she had a nice run as Augusta, her reign ended tragically with the death of the husband and her son (who was reportedly killed by the Praetorian Guard as her clung to her). Her final fate is uncertain, perhaps she was either allowed to live, or somehow managed to escape. She probably fled to Philippopolis, Philip’s Arabian hometown that was transformed into Rome’s image, one of many extravagances that led to disapproval and downfall.
8. Denarius featuring Emperor Trajan Decius, graded MS, Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5. One thing I discovered about this coin (not when I purchased it but only afterwards in my research) is that its inscription lacks the moniker of Trajan Such coins appear to be extremely rare, and so far I have not found any more information or explanation about this. In any case, unfortunately for Decius, his propaganda campaign did not suffice to restore Rome's glory days under Trajan. In addition to the threats from the Persians, Germanic barbarians, and Goths, a horrible plague spread through Rome. In a rather remarkable development, Decius ordered all Romans to sacrifice before the magistrates of their community “for the safety of the empire” and receive a certificate recording their loyalty to the ancestral gods. Those who refused, as did many Christians, including the Pope, risked torture and execution. Despite the oblations, Rome’s problems persisted, and ultimately Decius fell in battle against the Goths. Decius, so adamant about leading a traditional life, ended it in atypical fashion as the first Roman Emperors to die in battle against a foreign enemy.
9. This slot is a tetradrachm struck in Antioch, featuring Roman Emperor Herennius Etruscus. The tetradrachm is an impressive denomination, more striking to behold compared to a denarius than the slight different in size and weight would suggest. This was one of the first such of these denominations that I acquired, and afterwards, I eagerly sought and acquired more, including some “extras” that I am not including in the current Roman Empire collection. As for Herennius, he reigned for a couple years until meeting the same fate as his father, killed in battle against the Goths.
10. Denarius featuring Empress Herennia Etruscilla, wife of Emperor Trajan Decius. This coin graded Ch AU, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5. She is one of many Empresses, particularly during the turbulent Crisis of the 3rd Century, who might have been forgotten by history if it were not for coinage. Remarkably, she was allowed to retain the Augusta title even after her husband’s death in battle.
11. This coin is an ancient bronze featuring Emperor Hostillian, son of Trajan Decius. While it might not seem special at first – graded XF, Strike =5/5, Surface =4/5 – this is one of my coins that has far more value and special meaning for me personally than “book value”. For me, this coin spoke to me, in an eerie way…specifically, it spoke to me about the impact of plague on the Roman Empire’s history. It was struck in Mosia (Viminacium), and depicts on the reverse a fascinating lion and bull design. The patina on this coin is very dark, possibly consistent with exposure to high temperatures and calcium, haunting reminders of widespread funeral pyres at this time in history. Hostillian himself was one of many, many Romans who fell victim to plague. I won’t go into more details here, if you are interested in learning more, please go check out my Owner’s Comments.
12. This coin is an absolutely stunning tetradrachm featuring Emperor Trebonianus Gallus. It graded Ch MS *, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5. The look and feel of this coin is so amazing, it is one of those specimens that I sometimes miss the chance of direct fondling now that I decided to have it graded an encapsulated within an NGC protective coin holder. If you want to learn more about Gallus, please see my Owner’s Comments – I will at least mention here that he met his end in similar fashion as many 3rd century AD Roman Emperors (yes, at the hands of disaffected troops!).
13. This slot features a denarius featuring Emperor Volusian. This coin graded MS, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5. Volusian shared his fate with his co-Augustus and father, Trebonianus Gallus (see above).
14. This slot features a denarius struck in the name of Augustus Aemilian which graded MS, strike 4/5, surface 4/5. As for a synopsis of Aemilian, it is difficult to do better than Eutropius; “Aemilianus came from an extremely insignificant family, his reign was even more insignificant, and he was slain in the third month.”
15. Last, and certainly not least on this Page is a fascinating and extremely rare ancient bronze featuring Empress Cornelia Supera, wife of Emperor Aemilian. I choose this coin for its very interesting reverse, featuring the goddess Cybele, accompanied by her usual lions. I took the opportunity in my Owner’s Comments to discuss more about Cybele, the oldest Anatolian goddess, and her role as Rome’s protective goddess.
Just a quick note to say that I finally finished and posted Owner's Comments for my Alexandrian tetradrachm featuring Roman Emperor Gordian I.
Gordian I was an interesting fellow, one of richest and most learned of all Rome's Emperors. Gordian I rose to power in March 238 AD, a year that is infamously known to history as the Year of the Six Emperors. He was eighty years old when he and his son took on the challenges to rule the Empire as co-Augusti.
Their reign lasted only three weeks.
Here is a link to the coin, you can read my Owners Comments and reflect upon Gordian I's rather apprehensive obverse portrayal on this coin...
And here is a link to the the larger Roman Empire collection...
I have posted about emergency issues but what kind of calamity could compare to your city besieged? Siege money are the ultimate emergency issues -- defending soldiers required pay and internal commerce needed to be maintained. Many examples come from the period of the Eighty Years War, also known as the Dutch War of Independence that occurred from 1568–1648 or from the English Civil Wars in 1642-1651.
When regular coinage became scarce jewelry, silverware and religious vessels were converted into coinage. Issued in an expedient fashion, they were often roughly shaped, typically squares or diamonds, with a uniface design. When precious metal ran out, other alloys or even paper could be issued, all in the hope that the emergency money would be redeemed after a successful defense. The opposite was the worse case scenario where one might lose everything.
My example is a silver thaler klippe issued by the besieged city of Münster in 1660 and fits nicely into my Silver Dollars of '60 custom set. At 34mm x 34mm square and weight close to 28g it may not be silver dollar shaped but certainly has the heft of one. The uniface design shows the city of Münster's coat of arms with the legend MONAST : WESTPH : OBSESSVM, for Münster Westphalia Beseiged. It differs from typical siege currency in that it was not from wartime but from an insurrection that began in July of 1660. The catalog notes from the CNG auction of the Jonathan K. Kern Collection of Siege Coinage provides the following background information:
Chapter 5 Tools of the traded
What “tools” do coin collectors need to support their interest in this hobby? As with most things related to coin collecting I have very strong opinions on this topic. I will however try to be realistic.
I want to first address the tools that are available to collectors.
1 – Numismatic Knowledge – This is without a doubt the key tool in the coin collector’s tool box. The truest guidance ever given the collector is the old adage “buy the book before the coin.” No one is born knowing all there is to know about collecting any type of coin. This knowledge must be developed with the creation of a numismatic library. The contents of this library will depend on the specific contents of each and every collection. Before I stopped collecting, my personal numismatic library contained over 450 volumes. I sold them over time in auctions conducted by Kolbe & Fanning and you can go to your search engine and find many more dealers in numismatic related books.
2 – Some form of magnifying device. I always wanted a stereo microscope but could never really come up with the money to buy one and I really could not set one up at an auction site. I settled for a group of well-made handheld magnifying glasses 5X, 10X and 20X. Typically with the handheld glasses the higher the magnification power the small the field you look at when you use them. Why would you want/need this tool, first to assist in grading and second to assist in determining varieties and checking for doubled dies. If you want to know a secret the best magnifying glass I ever had was a lense from a home movie projector or home movie camera (I am not sure which). After I purchased one and found it to be such a great magnifying glass I purchased a second. Eventually I wore them both out. The lense had a zoom function and over time I just wore the zoom function out. If you ever have the opportunity to acquire one of these lenses don’t turn your nose up at it just because it doesn’t look like a magnifying glass.
3 – A Vernier caliper this is more for counterfeit detection of colonial and truly early U.S. coinage. But here you must be sure of the value you are comparing your measurement against. About two years ago I was at a local auction which contained 1797 sixteen star dime. I closely studied the coin in order to make two determinations and these were; is it real and, what is it grade? I graded the coin XF and everything I saw said this coin is real. I won the auction and paid $4.600 including buyer’s fee. After I paid for the coin one of the bidders came up to me and said I really wanted that coin but I think it is a fake. He said according to the Red Book this coin is supposed to have a diameter of 19mm and that this coin has a diameter of 20mm and possibly a little over. He used a small plastic ruler he laid over the coin to measure it. I said that his info surprises me. And that was that. When I got home the first thing I did was get out Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins. Guess what Breen gave the diameter as 19.8mm or approximately 20mm vs the Red Book and approximately 19mm. Anyway the coin came back from NGC graded XF-45 and it also received a CAC sticker when I sent it in for that. The coin sold for $8,000 over what I paid for it.
4 – A scale, I use a three beam balance beam good to 0.01 grams. The Caliper and scale combined are great tools to help in the detecting of counterfeits whether it be a contemporary or modern counterfeit.
5 – A comparator Magnifier. I use a “Desk Model” and once you develop the correct technique for using one of these you will be glad you have one. You only need this item when identifying die varieties of colonial through mid-ninetieth century coins. These are not expensive items. Mine came with eight interchangeable end lenses (four in black markings and the same four in white markings). Coins of light metals or toning use the black and darker coins use the white. Mine brakes a centimeter into mm’s and mm’s into 1/10ths of mm’s. So you can accurately measure small variances in design elements or the location of design elements relative to one another. I also use it to grade stamps by measuring the distance from the bottom of the perf to the frameline of a stamp (usually in two locations on all four sides of the stamp). I strive to identify grades higher than VF and not a single stamp has comeback worse than VF-XF with XF being typical and an occasional XF-S.
OK which if any of these tools do I recommend for you. – Trick question because my answer will depend on what you collect. So let’s take these tools one at a time.
Show dealers – these are collectors that on weekends setup at coin shows to sell to the public. These individuals need the most accepted reference book related to every type of coin they sell. In addition they must attribute every coin they sell with the variety designator provided in the appropriate reference. Once one of these individuals offer a coins for sale they become a dealer and they are expected to be knowable on the material they are selling. To sell coins without attribution they’re telling those that visit their table they’re really just a hack who is either too cheap to purchase the necessary reference material and/or too lazy to put in the time to find out what it is they’re really selling. I once read a post where a “Show Dealer” whined and cried about collectors who would come to his table and cherrypick his inventory. He totally believed that when a customer found a rare variety in his inventory they should be obligated to inform the dealer of this. To this I say BULL! There is no reason that dealer cannot purchase the appropriate reference material unless the dealer is just too cheap to purchase the necessary reference material and/or too lazy to put in the time to find out what it is they’re really selling. So this dealer believes it is up to his customers to do his job – No Way.
Show dealers must add to their library a decent number of references on counterfeit detection. In the 80’s & 90’s there were a couple of firms that several times a year published packets of 8½ X 11 sheets that detailing recent new counterfeits that came into the market place. If you can find any of these buy them because those counterfeits are still out there and some are quite good. I have a few ring binders full of these sheets. I would also include two general references these being the MEGA RED (the massive red book) and Walter Breen’s complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins.
And last but not least a very good grading reference.
If as a dealer one limits his inventory to 20th & 21st century coins you can skip the scale, calipers & comparative magnifier. If you are going to deal in a wide range of U.S. coins, in my opinion, you will need all of the tools listed above.
Now the collector
Once you have decided on what it you want to collect you have defined what it is that you need in your library. That is your library must be tailored to the material you collect. There is one exception here. If your goal is to complete type sets or a single massive type set covering all U.S. coinage you need not go after all the specialty books such as those dedicated to half cents, large cents, bust halves and etc., etc. Since all you are looking for are coins that represent each type the MEGA RED or Walter Breen’s complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins will serve you well. When it comes to reference books stay away from simple reprints of monographs. In my library I had a copy of Valentine’s original monograph on half dimes and a newer reprint of the monograph. The photos in the reprint were nowhere near the quality of those in the monograph. Even though I wanted to protect that original work from wear and tear I ended up using the original monograph more than I wanted.
When it comes to what tools to get to support his hobby, the collector should follow what I recommended for the show dealer. If the show dealer and collector both specialize in the same areas they should both be on the same footing when it comes to depth of knowledge and tools used. When the dealer prefers to support a larger base of collectors and purchases inventory for this larger base he may have a very good knowledge base to handle his inventory but the collector who specializes should know more about his area of specialization than the dealer.
I'm estatic that I received two top pops in a single NGC submittal. Prooflike Hk-721 is great! Hawaii the 49th state is even greater! The HK book has a holed specimen, this HK-722A has the "49" intact.
There seems to be a growing corporate strategy for NGC to focus on the Non-US market over the US and leave the US to PCGS. I may be wrong and this is in no way a dump on NGC (you can read my laudatory comments about Mark Salzberg and NGC in the "A SLQ Problem Coin's Journey to Righteousness" journal thread.) https://www.ngccoin.com/boards/blogs/entry/292-a-slq-problem-coins-journey-to-righteousness/
It appears that while NGC is increasing its investments in the international market it is not doing as much on upgrading the U.S. platform. The data I use to make the conclusion that NGC is shifting their focus to the Non-US market over the US is based on 1) they dumped all PCGS coins out of existing "World" slots, years ago. 2) The registry no longer starts with US coins but it takes an egalitarian approach to all countries listing coins alphabetically by nation (I start each of my "registry encounters" with Albania.) 3) While they have decreased their presence at US shows (Long Beach etc.) they have increased their presence internationally. This includes both a greater presence at international shows and NGC has opened new "bricks and mortar" Centers in many other countries especially in Asia. This "corporate approach" is probably working as they seem to be the dominant grading service for both World and Ancient coins. Their volume has increased particularly in Asian paper money.
With regard to the registry platform the registry navigation drives me crazy. When I finish working on my Complete Standing Liberty Quarter (SLQ) set and want to go back to Quarters to work on my "one per date" SLQ set or Early Quarters set and use the back navigation button on the browser, the browser does not go back to the Quarter's registry page but back to the first page of the NGC Registry (Albania.) I met with the NGC staff at a FUN show and explained this problem and they were clearly aware of as they said that others had complained as well. Alas 2 years and no fix and you cannot "bookmark” page 2, 3 or 8 even as a go around. If you bookmark page 6 the Registry opens to the first page (Albania.)
I believe in NGC and find their grading more consistent and fair than PCGS. I much prefer dealing with Mark Salzberg over David Hall. I remember when Heritage Auction was more ANACS than PCGS or NGC. Then ANACS slowly disappeared and it was NGC and PCGS. Now, for U.S., coins I am seeing a decrease in NGC leaving PCGS alone. I hope NGC does not abandon the U.S. market by default (by not focusing their prime effort in the U.S. market and shifting it to the World market.) As I said I believe in and prefer NGC. NGC brought me the Edge View which brings some coins to life. NGC, for the most part, photographs every coin that they grade (PCGS does not.) That photo can help you recover a stolen coin (I have done it.) These efforts by NGC are what sets them as the market leader regardless of who was first to slab a coin (PCGS 1986 and NGC 1987) or who the Investor Class prefers. Please don't leave U.S. NGC!
I had a box of medals and coins when I entered the PA Convention Center. I just drove in from out of state. To my dismay the NGC booth was packing it up.
If one advertises attendance to the 18th, does it means closing shop by 11:15 am on August 18th? Whatever excuse is presented, the other TPGs was their at least until 3:30 pm.
I should have a job at which I can call it a day before 12 noon. Yep, they ( the NGC employees) were taping boxes, banner was down, all forms pulled from the table tops. And yes, the doors were opened by 9:00am on August 18th according to the official ANA schedule.