Our community journals

  1. Chapter 4 There are always unintended consequences

    For those of us into ancient coins (as I currently am) NGC is doing something long overdue in this field of numismatics, based on the coins they have certified, they are developing a condition census of sorts (i.e., not a true condition census) that will still provide very useful information to the ancient coin collecting community. I have no idea when the results of this project will be made available (if at all) to NGC members or the collecting community in general. However NGC has made its data available to Heritage Auctions who in turn provides this data as part of their online auction listings.

    When I found this data I was overjoyed. But I was also surprised at the large number of MS, Ch AU, AU and Ch XF coins some issued had. I mean really surprised. I expected the data for this census to be skewed to the upper end grades because let’s face it unless you have a really rare coin who is going to pay round trip registered mail postage and grading fees for a common fine ancient and depending on the issue this question could include VF’s.

    It appears (I cannot document this) that ancient coin prices have started to drop in general because the upper end coin prices have dropped due to a perceived larger than expected availability of inventory in higher grades. This most likely is not true for the truly key/rare issues but rather those specimens typically found in ancient collections.

    Simply people see the data and apparently don’t try to understand it and may just assume this is representative of what is out there. Again just because of the cost to certify coins this data will always be skewed to the upper end.

    As an example I looked up my AU Strike 5/5 Surface 4/5, Gordian III, AR Drachm, Caesarea, Cappadocia and found 268 had been graded, with just 16 graded below XF. Now David Sear’s work on Greek Imperial Coins and their values released in 1982 with reprints (not new editions) up to 2006. So we are basically working with 36 year old valuations. And the value given for a VF specimen is 100£ or about $140 in 1982. On October 26, 2017 a high end VF (listed uncertified grade was "about XF") sold for $61!!! Between October 13, 2016 and November 2, 2017 Heritage had 11 sales of NGC certified MS specimens of this coin involving 7 different specimens ranging in price from $141 to $282 with an average selling price of $195.

    So what do we have here when in 1982 the book value for this coin in VF was $140 with the following guidance provided re. valuation: “Collectors must bear in mind that exceptionally well preserved examples are worth substantially more than the prices quoted, whilst very worn or damaged specimens can be almost valueless, in the case of common bronze coins. (The bold type is as give in the book.) So to go from VF to MS there are step increases in value as one goes to Ch VF, XF, Ch XF, AU, Ch AU and then Mint State in total six step increases. I am sorry but I do not believe a MS valuation of $195 meets Sear’s guidance on higher valuations for MS specimens unless the value for VF specimens is well below $140 as apparently it actually is.

    Until NGC came along grading of ancient coins was a total joke. Recently I was trying to research the value of some ancient coins in my collection and I was using auction results information from numerous dealers through NGC’s site. The auction result infomation lists 25 coins per page. One page had 20 coins graded some type of VF (yes 20) the remaining 5 were some type of Fine. Checking the photos the actual grade (based on my grading) was all over the place one VF looked like a well-worn slug as was no where near a VF specimen. Anyway these 20 coins had the following grades in their auction listings, Ch VF, Good VF, Nice VF, VF+, VF, About VF (this is really a high end Fine, I hate it when dealers use a higher grade designator to define a lower grade), Near VF (see previous grade).

    All I can say is thank you NGC for your efforts in developing this condition census. And I hope when you release this data to the general public you make it clear that the data is skew and why.

    Best regards

  2. NGC has graded 3546 examples of the 1955 Double Die Obverse Lincoln Wheat cent.  Out of those NGC has graded only 2 at MS66.  One example at MS66RD and one example at MS66RB.  Big price difference between the two coins.  I used to own the MS66RB example.  At one time I had all the major double die obverse and reverse Lincoln cents in my collection including a PCGS MS66RD+ 1972 Double Die Obverse Lincoln Cent and an awesome example of a NGC MS67RD example of that same coin that KKM sold me many years ago.  As always, thanks for looking and Happy Collecting 


  3. 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.





    1908 with Motto G$20 PCGS MS 62 Obverse.jpg

    1908 with Motto G$20 PCGS MS 62 Reverse.jpg

  4. Jack1221

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    Recent Entries

     I have a very interesting mark on one of my Morgans that is not recorded as a known VAM.  I have the picture of the reverse of my 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Philadelphia mint.  In the top right set of leaves on the wreath sticking inward is what looks like 2 faint but definitely raised leaves.  The second picture is a 10x magnification of the site which makes it harder to see the leaf.  If anyone knows of a recorded VAM similar to what I am describing please comment below. Thanks!


  5. NGC,

    There is no need to drastically reduce points in the World Sets. Some extremely rare coins have been assigned very low points in your latest update.  Registry points are subjective anyway, but I’m afraid that all this does is further discourage collectors from participating in the registry.

    It can be frustrating to compete in the registry if the rules are constantly changing without notice.

    See: Canada>Commemorative>$1 Proof for context



  6. 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.


  7. Hey Guys and Gals,

    My son came over today and had a 36" T V with him. Up to my office he scrambled and started an attack on my old Dell computer. W.T.H. are you doing with my perfect running computer I asked.

    It took a while and some old school hook up lines that worked well with new school devices ( the T-V). 

     I now have monster sized coin pics to view that are so awesome!!

     So Cool!!!  

    Man, I love that son of mine --- He's Awesome!!!

    You know I had to add a pic to this post just to enjoy the huge view! :)

  8. Eagles Nest
    Latest Entry

    Happy July 4th to all the collectors out there and thank you to all the Vets that make our country the best in the world. Your service is the only reason we still have the freedoms we have and may God bless us all


  9. Bide-A-Wee is Scottish for "Stay A While" and is the name of an animal rescue and adoption center in Manhattan founded by Mrs. Flora D'Auby Jenkins Kibbe in 1903. Bide-A-Wee still exists today and has a policy of not euthanizing the animals in their care except for pain and suffering. As a result in 115 years of operation they have been able to place over a million dogs and cats into loving homes. 

    A collector favorite, the Bide-A-Wee medal was awarded to persons in grateful recognition of their "service in the cause of friendless animals." The pictured medal is a bronze un-awarded uniface example designed by then sculptor Laura Gardin around 1913 just before her marriage to James Earle FraserIt is interesting to note that although the Medallic Art Company catalogs the die pair as MAco 1918-002 that the design pre-dates 1918 because it is signed Laura Gardin rather than Laura Gardin Fraser. The obverse of the medal features three of Laura Gardin's favorite dogs seated together. Surrounding the dogs is the inscription, "LOYALTY, DEVOTION, FORGIVENESS, HUMOR." The edge inscription reads "L.G. Fraser (copyright symbol) 1919. 

    The picture attached to this post is of Arctic explorer Rear-Admiral Richard E. Byrd being presented the Bide-A-Wee medal in 1930 for devotion to his terrier ironically named, "Igloo". Interestingly, Laura Gardin Fraser is also credited with designing the National Geographic Special Medal of Honor for Rear-Admiral Richard E. Byrd in 1930. One side of this medallion sized medal prominently features the bust of Admiral Byrd.

    The only fly in the ointment is that this medal is details graded by NGC for cleaning. When I submitted the medal for grading, I hadn't noticed the cleaning. Now that the medal has been graded I can see the cleaning and I agree with NGC's conclusion. For me, the fingerprint on this medal is more distracting than the cleaning which is probably why I didn't catch the cleaning. Still, even with the cleaning and fingerprint I visually find this medal very appealing. Thus, I am thrilled to own this medal because it is scarce and rarely comes up for sale or auction. 



  10. I'm not making it up when I say I created the "Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint" through cluster analysis.

    I'm not sure how U.S. coin and U.S. medal experts missed this for seven decades (70 years). I've been blogging about this creation/discovery at my ANA blog (search DrDarryl).

    More importantly, four new U.S. Mint medal series have been created/discovered based on the Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint.

    What is the Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint? The U.S. Mint operates with three manufactoring functions. The U.S. collector community thrives on the first two manufacuting functions (see the images). The third has been lost in the annals of U.S. Mint history.

    Of particular interest is the third manuacturing function. To simply state it. The U.S. Mint functioned as a made to order manufacturer for U.S. Government agencies. No federal legislation was required to establish the design, mintage, and issue date(s). That last sentence should be a shock for some. Yes, U.S. Government agency to U.S. Government agency (the latter is the U.S.Mint) procurements does not require federal legislation! Why? It's an inter-agency procurement!

    I'm advocating that the Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint be used as the level 1 organization structure (at least for U.S. Mint Issues). Level 0 is U.S. Numismatics. There are other level 1 branches for private issues. (This advocating is another topic)

    The tough issue now is that production information is not shared with the public. So this is why for the last 70 years no documentation is provided by the U.S.Mint relating to Special Medal for U.S. Government agencies!

    I'm the researcher that organized, formed, and created the President of the United States (POTUS) special Government medal (sGm) series (aka White House Office sGM). (google

    Well, that brings me to the main topic of this blog entry. I've submitted part of my POTUS sGm research collection  to NGC for grading and encapsulation (still in work). However, I received a small grouping back.

    As you can see by the images, NGC named my collection (no fee) on the label. Most of these NGC medals are to be plate medals in my upcoming book.

    I included a research find (periodical clipping) from my draft book. How come this Newport medal is not identified as a presidential artifact?

    Struck by the Philidelphia Mint, designed by Frank Gasparro, and mintage 800. Used at President Eisenhower's Summer White House in Newport, Rhode Island during the summer of 1960.

    Oh yes, my research can identify some of the 800 individuals who were awarded Eisenhower's Newport medal. And yes, procurement documents have been located. Two runs of 400 each was procured on different dates.

    In closing, POTUS sGm ( or White House sGm) comes in 4 classes. The Newport medal is one of eight Class 2 medals. All share the same obverse (side with facsimile signature) and eight different reverses. Each are true-to-life presidential numismatic artifacts!







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  11. NGCresults.png

    imageproxy.php?img=&key=31b352271b3a5a4bSo I got my NGC results back............I had been eagerly waiting since May as I wanted to add these coins to my collection. I was positive but also prepared myself that I could be disappointed and to not become bitter. I have talked to some collectors who sent coins to NGC and every coin came back details, these people sent me pictures and I could say that NGC was correct, the coins were cleaned. One particular collector was so upset that he said he would not send to NGC anymore and may send to PCGS instead. I for one am glad for NGCs harsh grading, I don't want a problem coin passed off as a straight graded coin in my collection. We are paying them to give their opinion and I trust them more than my own eyes and they have much more knowledge than myself.

    So onto my submission, I sent in 19 old thai coins raw as in general there are not a lot of old thai coins slabbed, some dates have only like 10 or so slabbed!!!.  I went and searched for the best raw examples I could and decided to send them in.

    Line 1, happy with, bought it raw from a dealer and felt it was a AU coin. Will stay in my collection
    Line 2., happy as this was a nice coin and will stay in my collection
    Line 3 I looked at NGC pics, I can see what they are saying possibly about the environmental damage, I'll make note to scrutinze more.
    Line 4-7 the pops on these are really low so I was happy 3 got graded! The one that didn't grade I can see why from NGC pics. I'll look at it when it comes back. Very happy to add these 1/16 fuangs to my collection
    Line 8 -this one I had a feeling they could details it and bam they did! I wanted it to go through but NGC wasn't gonna do that haha
    Line 9-10 ouch and darn! Not even made it.  One of them the surface looked odd and I figured it wouldn't get graded, the second one I didn't notice that.
    Line 11 this one I had hope NGC would overlook the scratch and net grade it lower or something. They didn't but its a genuine coin and I'll keep it.
    Line 12 happy with this one, thought it would be XF45 to low AU and it got AU53
    Line 13: didn't think this copper was that low in grade but I trust NGC, at least it was graded
    Line 14 and Line 15: really? man I thought these looked good. I'll take a close look when I get them back
    Line 16-Line 18: happy these coppers got graded. I need to study the copper more closely .
    Line 19: very happy, sold to me as a AU coin, it got conserved for pvc or something.....came back MS63!!!

    So overall 11 coins straight graded and 8 got details holders. Learning lesson here and I am already preparing another batch to get graded!! Next batch will have some more copper......fingers crossed for better luck on the copper!!

  12. What intrigues me the most about the coins in my collection is their place in history and the circumstances of their issue.  I enjoy doing the research -- light research, that is, using online resources -- and I'm often surprised by the details that I uncover.  Consider one of the most beautiful South American coins, the "sun face" issues of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, that we now associate with Argentina.  If not for the shifting fortunes of war during the struggle for independence from Spanish rule, these might not have been minted.
    In the early 19th Century, the Spanish Empire was in turmoil.  Napoleon Bonaparte forced the abdication of the Spanish King in 1809 and in Buenos Aries, the capital city of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a junta took control after the May Revolution of 1810.  Many years of warfare between separatist and loyalist armies ensued, especially across the province of Alto Perú, the region that would eventually become Bolivia.  Victories in September of 1812 and February 1813 left the independence forces in control of the mint at Potosí. Seizing their opportunity, the general assembly in Buenos Aires authorized the minting of their first national coinage and provided the design characteristics in April of 1813.  Soon after, gold one, two and eight escudos and silver 1/2, one, two, four and 8 reales were being minted at Potosí featuring the sun face on the obverse and a variation of the newly created coat of arms on the reverse.
    I find it interesting that the activities of the mint during these transitions seems to have continued with a few obvious changes. The mint was the property of the crown so those with official positions may have retreated with the royalist army.  The coins of the Provincias Unidas featured the initial "J" of assayer Jose Antonio de Sierra and not those of the royal assayers, Pedro Martin de Albizu and Juan Palomo y Sierra ("PJ").  The mines, however, were private ventures and, although the mintage is unknown, the quantity of coins that were produced suggest that ore extraction, smelting and refining continued as well.  Since the mint's function was converting precious metal into currency, it provided a necessary service for the mining industry to fund their operations.  Striking of the Provincias Unidas issues continued until November 1813 when military defeats caused a withdrawal from the area.  The retreating general ordered the destruction of the mint but the locals disconnected the fuses from the explosives.  The averted disaster was a boon for both sides as the mint was retaken and another issue of Provincias Unidas coins were produced between April and November of 1815 with the same design and the initial "F" of assayer Francisco Jose de Matos.  The mint reverted back to royalist control and continued to strike Spanish coins until Bolivia secured its independence in 1825.
    Had the mint at Potosí not become available when it did, I wonder what the early coinage of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata would have looked like.  Regular issues would not start until 1824 from the mint at La Rioja and with many, many changes in leadership since early 1813 it's unlikely that the same decision makers were in power.  Fortunately, we can enjoy the sun face design, known as the Sol de Mayo from the story that the sun shone forth from the clouds at the declaration of the new, independent government in May of 1810. The design is similar to the heraldic device called the 'sun in splendor', notable for having alternating straight and wavy rays. Other coins of South and Central America are noted for their sun face theme.


  13. 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."



    colored leopard.jpg


    2017 colorized leopare coa001.jpg

  14. I have been a member here for about ten years or so.  I can remember when I first discovered the Collectors Society, it was great.  I had a growing collection and could list all my coins in one place.  There was (and still is) a really good inventory report which I used yearly with each set to check progress and changing values.  Then, someone got the idea to ban PCGS, first from the world coins, then everything.  If you had them already documented here, they could stay.  Needless to say, this ruined any inventory reports since they could not be updated, same with the competitive sets and photos.

    Now they have ruined a wonderful part of the page, the journals.  It was possible to check a profile, see their coins and sets, and sort of get to know other collectors by their stories and seeing and hearing about their new found treasures.  Now there are no stories except a very few.  There was quite a period of complaints but I saw no change. 

    Too bad, this was once a very vibrant and interesting site.  I have always had NGC, PCGS, other TPGs, and raw coins, I will always collect but remember when this was a lot more interesting place.  Sad...

  15. Hello Everybody,

    I just received the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemoratives a few days ago and I thought I would share. The Mint did a nice job choosing the designs for this coin...which they don't seem to get right sometimes. The WWI comm is a good example. NGC did a good job with the label and the pink holder is a great touch when looking at the coin in hand. I just hope enough coins are sold so some money gets back to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    Take Care Everybody


    breat ms ob - Copy.jpg

    breast ms rev - Copy.jpg

  16. Perhaps it is just me, but as I have collected Franklin Halves for some time, I have noticed that PCGS seems to be flooding the market with new (e.g. their newest holders, retro green and dark blue) certified coins which for the most part, in my opinion do not live up to standard to the grades that have been assigned.  I am aware that PCGS basically ignores the top set of bell lines, which is a strike against them but I had purchased a few PCGS coins and thought, let me try a crossover of those coins that I felt would merit an NGC holder.  Wouldn't you know it, I sent in 4 coins recently to cross and not one was crossed over at the same grade.  In fact, one was CAC-stickered (and pictured here) and did not meet NGC's standards.  I had thought that all 4 of these coins were worthy of crossing over and I had see plenty of newer PCGS certified coins that I would not buy because they were overgraded, in my opinion.

    1954-D Franklin Half PCGS MS-66FBL 32761842 CAC--obv.jpg

    1954-D Franklin Half PCGS MS-66FBL 32761842 CAC--rev.jpg

  17. In November of last year (2017), very shortly after I got my new job in October, I was sent to Aberdeen to visit the company’s home office for training and to meet all the people I’d be working with remotely face-to-face. My wife lived in England for 3 years and visited Scotand during that time and really wanted to go. We arranged for her parents to watch our son for a week, I bought her an extra ticket to come with me and she stayed in the hotel with me. Since the company was paying for the room it made for a cheap vacation for her. I still had to work during the day but we got plenty of time to do some sight-seeing and have some wonderful baby-free time, which is always good for a marriage.

    It’s likely that I’ll return to Aberdeen periodically over time if I stay with the company long term but it won’t be terribly often – perhaps once every 2 years or so. My wife wanted to come along because, with our plans to grow or family among other things, we weren’t sure if she’d be able to go when and if the opportunity arose again and she really wanted to go. I’m glad she did. It was a great deal more enjoyable that way.

    My wife recently dug through her purse to lighten her load and dug out a lot of residual English coinage from our trip. I separated the UK coinage from the American ones and I’m going to be hanging on to them. I need to get some flips to put them in. While we were there she also went by a bank and found a couple of fairly nice looking 10 pound notes for me to take home and those are now in my little currency album along with an old circulated Bar note that I was given by one of the other users here many years ago. They’re lightly circulated. Again, I’m sure they’re not terribly valuable and never will be as collectables, but they’re something I wanted to bring home from the trip nonetheless.

    The coins are circulated and not particularly collectable, but they’ll be nice mementos of the trip and something to show to my son as he gets older.

    When I was younger my grandmother, who passed last year, a few months before this trip, used to show me and gave me a bunch of old coins from places like Pakistan (dated around 1961), Argentina, Chile, Mexico, etc. My mother also had friends that brought us back coinage from Singapore, China, and Asian locations. These were coins that my grandfather brought home with him while he traveled for work as an engineer. I was the first male grandchild born after his death. I was named for him and these coins, which I still have, were a nice connection to that piece of my family history. They were a fun addition to my mother’s stories about being in Argentina and buying a whole bunch of French fries (papas fritas) when they thought they were ordering fried chicken (pollo frito).

    My son, who is named for me in the same way that I was named for him, will hopefully enjoy seeing these and the older coins from his great grandfather as he gets older. Ben is turning 2 this month. I'll have a while to wait before I know for sure if he shares my interests in these things, but I know he likes shiny metal based on the way he likes to rifle through my silver eagles and sunshine mint rounds.

    I brought him coins. My wife brought home lots of Cadbury chocolate. I think I did better there but the chocolate was good.


  18.      I acquired for Dynasty Collectors' Cabinet  registry by private sale an 1828 N-3 MS64 Brown Middle-date Large Cent. This 1828 is among the finest known and was the best MS Brown Middle-date Large Cent from the over 3,000 coins collected by the Late Rev. Dr. James Gore King McClure. Heritage Auctions brought 800 of his coins to auction in June of 2016, with only six other MS Middle-date Large Cents being offered. I mention this to emphasize just how hard it is to find Mint State Middle-dates. NGC has a beautiful gallery of the Rev. Dr. James Gore King McClure Collection one can view @

         The Rev. Dr. James G.K. McClure passed in 1932. His daughter Harriet McClure Stuart, gave birth to Robert Douglas Stuart Jr. in 1916, so sometime after Robert was about sixteen years old, Grandfather's collection went from his home in Illinois to a safety deposit box at a bank. Young Robert D. Stuart went to Yale College, was C.E.O. of Quaker Oats Company for 38 years, sat on the boards of some Fortune 500 companies and was Ambassador to Norway from 1984-1989. Robert D. Stuart passed in May 2014. Then after roughly seven decades in a safety deposit box, the Great-Grandchildren(James M. Stuart, Marian S. Pillsbury, and Alexander D. Stuart) decided to auction them, recounting how their Dad told them GrandPa would tell how he came to acquire each one of the meticulously arranged coins in custom built trays. GrandPa was Rev. Dr. James G.K. McClure. He was the fourth Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, IL for 25 years, President of Lake Forest College and founder of the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. An eloquent quote from an article he wrote in the 1890s read; "Interest in coins was a large feature of my boyhood days, and that interest, though a very minor part of life now, still exerts its influence, much as the perfume lingers about the vase that once held the flower." 

         Thank You to all the McClure and Stuart family participants for protecting and helping usher this lovely 1828 N-3 Large Cent into the Dynasty Collectors' Cabinet of Mint State Middle-date Large Cents. (See coin below)



  19. Finally managed to figure out this "new" journal, and here we go:

    Things happening in 2017:

    • Completed Japan 1000-Yen Proof set, huzzah!
    • Added and won 13 first ranked sets to my collection, yay!
    • Should have been 14 if I hadn't been lazy in entering the last Australia Stock Horse set
    • Should have been more than 14 had I known that 7 January 2018 was the date NGC distributed awards (need to pay more attention), not the deadline for award submissions, lol?
    • Lost my first place in the Somali cat set 
    • Broke top 300 

    Things to do in 2018:

    • Add more coins to the newly added Australia Silver Proofs sets, 2010, 2011, 2012, etc until 2018 
    • Complete Netherlands and other types of Wilhemina 2.5G silver coins, 1929-1944
    • Crossover some PCGS coins
    • Regain my first place in the Somali cat set (those 68s are killing my score, bah)
    • Break top 200

    Things not to do in 2018:

    • Add more non maple RCM coins, they are legion, lol

    Things to suggest to NGC if anyone from there actually reads this journal:

    • Combine and synchronize all the different country websites (I only use US and HK versions). The Hong Kong one is prettier than the US, but has no submission tracking
    • Accept crossover from ANACS slabs



    below is the pretty page that the HK version ( of NGC has (maybe the US version also has it, but I cannot find where it is)



    • 1
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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry

    Today I am 63. My journey with coincollecting began in 1961, I was 6 1/2 (the half was very important!); I was living in San Diego, just having moved from Key West Florida.  I had discovered a box of pennies that my parents kept for when they played Pinochle. As I looked through the box I saw pennies from the 20’s and 30’s. As I looked at the pennies more I noticed most of them didn’t have anything below the date, but some had D’s And S’s. I asked my mom what they meant, she wasn’t certain.

    A few weeks later I was in Woolworths and there was a section that sold coins. I had one of the pennies with an D under the date.  I showed it to the man behind the counter and asked what the D was. He began to tell me all about the various mints, and how to identify them by the various letters.  The penny I was holding was a 1912 D, the D represented Denver. I was so amazed that just looking at the coin, someone could tell me where the penny was made.   Next the man showed me a blue Whitman folder, inside there were numerous holes with dates and mint marks for each hole. He showed me exactly where the penny I had would be placed.  I was hooked!  I ran home and immediately asked my mom for 48 cents to buy the Blue Whitman folder; she gave me the typical mom response “We’ll see”.  I would not let it go. Finally, after weeks of pleading she finally relented and took me to Woolworth’s to buy my blue Whitman’s 1909 -1940 penny album.

    The car was barely parked before I bolted out and was heading for the penny box. As I picked out each coin, I looked at the date and associated mint mark looking for the empty hole that would soon be filled. Within an hour, I had gone through the entire box and only filled about 20 of the empty holes.  There were plenty of 30’s and 40’s, a few 20’s, but the coins in the Teens and earlier were mostly missing. Next, I asked my parents to empty their pockets of change - nothing!  I was on a quest - at 6 1/2, I had a quest. Nothing was going to stop me from filling that album.

    Whenever anyone new entered our house, I pounce on them asking to look through their change. Occasionally, I’d get lucky and fill a hole, but for the most part, filling the album was becoming very daunting. On one of my trips to Woolworth’s I noticed another Whitman penny album, 1941 -. Returning back home I revisited the penny stash; to my amazement a lot of the pennies in the stash were contained in that album.  The pleading again began with my mom; this time conditions came with the purchase. Three weeks later after numerous chores and added responsibilities, I was the proud owner of my second Whitman Lincoln folder.

    Again, I attacked the penny stash, this time though, I was much more successful! There were plenty of 40’s and 50’s coins, so much so that I was able to fill most of the album. The only glaring hole I had was the 1943’s.  Those coins from 1943 eluded me; not a single one showed up anywhere I looked.

    Next Week: My first Red Book

  21. I'll begin using 'scd' in place of 'So-Called Dollar'

    In the beginning I had to learn to grade scd's from photos, learn the differences in copper bronze and brass as opposed to copper and toning of each metal, "white metal" and even lead. I have one gold scd and want no more.

    Years of poor inventory control placed me in a unique situation. At one point I kept some scd's in Airtite containers in albums, others in 2" x 2" coin flaps in a desk drawer and a growing number of graded SCD's in 20 holder boxes. My list and collection totals didn't match for years. Oddly, this "collector head space"(in Army electronics repair, user error was referred to as, "Operator Head Space") and cataracts aided in purchasing scd's which are unlisted in both "SCD" editions. Upgrading my SCD's has given the 'collection' a number of duplicates, some graded. The HK-366a I believed I owned. is an unlisted, 32.1 mm So-Called Dollar as described on J. Raymond's site:

    I never thought I could complete a Alaska-Yukon Pacific Expo. until I purchased The 1909 SCD, HK-356A Alaska=Yukon Pacific medal. My collection has (at this time) a mis-graded HK-364 medal and three unlisted Alaska-Yukon Pacific So-Called Dollars. I need only the below medals to complete a registry set. 

    HK-358    Utah Dollar, Ag
    HK-361    President Taft Dollar, AYPE
    HK-363    Seward-Chief Seattle Dollar, br
    HK-364a    U.S. Government bldg

    I have SCD's and Early Commemorative Half Dollars. to offer in a trade for SCD's I need to complete my Alaska-Yukon Pacific collection. 

    Go to your local coin store and ask to see examples of so-called dollars... -  Anonymous SCD Jokester 

  22. Here are a 1753 and 1772 halfpenny, both in NGC 65.

    Bid on before my diagnosis. Dies on the 1753 were rusty but its still an attractive piece.

    1753 halfpenny obverse.jpg

    1753 halfpenny reverse.jpg

    1772 halfpenny obverse.jpg

    1772 halfpenny reverse.jpg