NGC Journals

Our community journals

  1. My Grandfather mentioned in prior journal entries is my Grandfather on my father's side and I've been working away on a family tree information page on

    As I've mentioned, he was very family oriented and did everything he could to make his family members happy. He and my Grandmother lived closely to me my entire life so we were very close, as noted previously. New information is being added periodically to his Familysearch page as I and other relatives working on it discover them.

    There isn't anyway I can do justice for my grandfather with a single journal post as his life was varied and full of interesting stories passed down from him and other family members. I'm blessed to be able to link two of my favorite hobbies into one single entity and honor my grandfather in the result.

  2. Last month I received a notice that the bank I stored my coins at was closing and I had until February 4th to vacate my safe deposit boxes. Fortunately, I was able to rent another box close by and for cheaper than the boxes I had. Having secured a new and bigger box, the next step was to transport the coins to the new location.

    I was very uncomfortable transporting my coins from one location to the other and in particular standing at the teller window with my coins in a shoebox waiting to close out the old safe deposit boxes. You see, my bank had the misfortune of being held up last year and I did not want something like that to happen with thousands of dollars' worth of coins in my hand. Fortunately, both the clearing of the old boxes and the transfer to the new box went off without a hitch.

    That said, moving my collection did present a wonderful opportunity to reimage many of my coins. This meant that coins which haven't seen the light of day in years could now be easily reimaged to reflect the refining of my photography skills.

    Now, instead of driving from one bank to the next I made a detour home for pictures. To tell the truth, it sure felt good to hold these coins in my hands again after not looking at some of them for years. Now I like the security of a safe deposit box but if I want to easily view my coins, I will need to buy a home safe.

    After reimaging and editing my coins I thought to organize all my pictures into power-point presentations mirroring my NGC registry sets. For instance, I started with my 1834-1933 gold type set minus the 1907 high-relief St. Gaudens double-eagle. All the coins in the presentation are organized according to the definition and order of my NGC registry set. Thus, when I decide to sell my set and pull it down from the registry, I will always have my former coins to look at assembled as a set. To tell the truth, this is all I  had with the online registry since all my gold coins are off-site and not all that easily accessed. So, if I have the pictures why do I need a home safe? All these are important questions we need to answer for ourselves as we assess what level of risk we are willing to live with.

    Oftentimes, when I get to thinking one thing leads to another and I began to think about eventually dissolving my entire collection before I pass away so as not to leave my wife and kids with that responsibility. Don't worry, reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

    What got me thinking this way is that my wife and kids have no interest in collecting coins. Thus, I think it is unfair to leave the liquidation of my collection to them when I am much more knowledgeable in the buying and selling of coins. Another point to consider is that who is more likely to get the most for the coins? I can't rationalize around that one, it's me.

    None of this is going to happen anytime soon as I am still actively collecting but at a much slower rate. Still, it is good and necessary to have a plan in place to make this happen before I am bedridden or worse. For my wife and kids, I'll offer them any coin from my collection they want for sentimental reasons. The other coins will be offered to certain collectors who might be eying my coins for their own collections. Otherwise, the low-cost coins will be handled through e-bay and the rest to a major auction house.

    In the meantime, I'll eventually have all my coins organized into power-point and word documents to enjoy for the rest of my life! Please enjoy this slide reimaged and made for my personal presentation! Gary.   


  3. Shandy took the kids to spend the day with her parents in Deer Park and that left me free to go to this show after Naked Angel put me on to it a few days ago.

    I debated not going and just spending the day alone at the house – quiet time alone at the house is a valuable thing. The show, while being the “Houston” Money show was also actually in Conroe and it was a 45 mile, 65 minute drive to get to it, which isn’t a trivial commute. Still, I don’t get opportunities like this a lot and I ultimately decided I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. So after Shandy left, I cleaned some, played a video game a little, ate an early lunch and then headed to the show.

    I’m not one to spend all day at something like this. I ended up spending about 1.5 hours looking around and talking – which is honestly enough for me most of the time.

    The show was about what I had expected. Lots of Morgan dollars, lots of Peace dollars, and other mixed coinage with some currency and bullion. Some of it was graded. A lot of it wasn’t and lots of 2x2 cardboard flips to look through if you’re into that sort of thing. If I was working on a date set of a certain US series I could see having fun looking through some of that but I’m not right now and so it’s not my thing at the moment.


    I struck up a conversation with a dealer from Gilmer that was unusual for a couple of reasons.

    1) He didn’t have any Morgan or Peace dollars for sale

    2) He had a pack-n-play behind his table.

    For those not familiar with the term, a pack n’ play is a baby containment device that doubles as a bed / sleeping space. It turns out his daughter came with him to visit some friends while they were in town and her new baby is about the same age as Sam would have been if he’d been born on his due date (+/- a month).

    That was some fun conversation and I ended up buying a 1938 D Buffalo nickel from him that’s been graded by NGC as MS65. The coin caught my eye and I kept going back to it in my head after I’d initially left his booth to look at the other stuff at the show. When something lingers in my brain like that I know it’s probably a good idea to get it. This is a nice looking example and I’ve been thinking about getting a mint-state buffalo lately. I’d been considering getting a buffalo nickel on my anniversary but that one lost out to the Standing Liberty quarter. I have a 20-coin page of these things in circulated conditions that I got years ago but it’ll be good to have a nice, graded example.

    So, I guess this has turned into a good week for my humble, partial, 20th century type set. I’ve found over time that I get more enjoyment out of some of my type coins – my mercury dime and my walking liberty half have been the prime examples of this. They make fun conversation pieces with non-coin-collecting normies in the family – and my wife too. I'm also going to have a lot of fun showing these type coins to Ben and Sam as they get older.

    I also managed to find one dealer that knew what a Netherlands 10 Guiden piece was and who recognized it when just seeing a picture of the obverse of one. He admittedly just buys and sells them at spot +3% and treats them like bullion coins but that’s not unusual for the series. There’s another show coming up in March that’s much closer to my home. The dealer said he’d see if he had any of the 10G series and anything from the less common years and he’d bring them out to that show in 2 months if he did.

    The nice thing about that being that they were giving out cards to attendees that let you get free admission to that show in March with the card. It’s only a $3 admission fee, but, hey, I’ll take it. 😊


    I also came home to a small box on the doorstep that I wasn't expecting to arrive until Tuesday, but I guess USPS is on the ball this week. More on that next post.

  4. Hi everyone. It's been a while but I have been very sick. Starting in May with surgery to six hours in September to six  in December. I figure you have a right to know. First get P.C.G.S. out of here. There very liberal with there grading. Check the records. It's a disgrace. What I think is this is the first move in a take over by N.G.C. of P.C.G.S. They have had so many problems even giving our rewards to those who supposedly found The first W  quarters. A cry of please send us your submissions. 

          Now to conder tokens. I was shut down from May to January. Now it's time to start sending my conder tokens in.  The first batch will be 17. All beautiful and I believe one that is unique. Some I will leave raw but protected. I had a discussion with another collector. He said I'm a pure collector. I said what's that. All mine are raw. I said that's all well and good. . However you haven't noticed that the environment is changing every day. You know of course the damage it can due to copper?. In a few years you will have all black tokens. No detail no color. If that's a pure collector count me out. They protected them for us  we should do the same for future generatiins.

         Well I'm going to cut this short after all that time dealing with sickness after sickness I'm still weak. Watch there will be more on these art on copper tokens. Thanks and take care. Mike. . 

  5. This is the second in a series of posts which highlight various standout pieces from my personal collection.

    Today we're taking a look at my 1795 Middlesex-Forster's token, one of the first pieces purchased for my Symphony Set. You can view hi-res pictures here (or just enjoy them in the video!).

    Obverse: Crown and date surrounded by musical notation for "God Save The King", which is also the melody used for "America (My Country, Tis of Thee)".

    Reverse: "WM Forster. Violin, Tenor & Violoncello Maker" along with the address in a double circle, surrounding The Prince of Wales’s crest.

    Edge: Plain (some examples exist with lettered edges)

    Tokens like these were produced by private individuals and businesses in the late 18th century as population growth and the Industrial Revolution spiked demand and the government failed to supply enough coinage for every day use.

    This token was made by William Forster, a highly-regarded instrument maker. Forster had an instrument shop in London, which is advertised on the reverse of this token.

    Forster was also a music publisher and he entered into a deal with the composer Joseph Haydn to publish Haydn's works, including numerous symphonies, quartets, and solos.

    Thankfully tokens were popular coins to collect, even back at the end of the 18th century, so this high grade piece survives today. While it may not be rare or scarce or particularly valuable, it is one of the highlights of my Symphony Set and I treasure it for that reason.

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    I was able to go to the FUN show this past Friday (the 10th), and it was probably the best time I’ve had at the show since I’ve been going.  Living in Orlando has many advantages...and this is one of them!  This was the biggest show that I can remember, with over 1000 booths.  It was tough, but I saw it all in just over 3 hours.  I was able to pick up a 2019 Libertad 5 piece silver proof set for a great price, along with 3 other coins that I needed for my collection.  The gold panning people were there again, and I think in 10 years I might find enough to trade for a 1/10 oz, haha.  I also participated in the coin grading contest at the NGC table, and while it was fun I think I’ll keep my day job!  I didn’t do very well at all, so a new goal for this year is to be a better grader.  Friday evening NGC hosted a reception for registry participants that I attended.  They gave away a sample of the new Sacajawea dollar just for attending.  Mark Salzberg spoke for a few minutes about going through the Armstrong Family collection, and it was really fascinating.  They drew three raffle prizes and this guy won the last one!  I won a 2020 Silver Panda, not bad if I do say so myself.  It was a great start to 2020 and a great start to the collecting year!  If anybody else was there tell us what you thought of the show.14AFA64A-2B3E-458F-9F9B-AA86B6D44BC7.thumb.jpeg.bfc6429843a5ca04f650312ddf315768.jpeg

  6. I have made some offers to owners through Heritage to try to sneak out with a coin or two I want.  I did get one that way, and I have sold one that way too.  It's a nice feature.  Usually my offers are ignored or rejected, and I have admittedly rejected most of the offers made to me.  I am more of a collector than a dealer, and the coins I would sell usually were purchased pretty long ago when I wasn't as focused.

    Anyways, I was browsing the recent offers because it is a good picture of the market.  And I'll be interested to see what people have to say about this one!  See the 1850 O half dollar, without even a photo, that sold in 1997 for $431 which has a pending offer for $105,000, below. 


    Typing error?  I don't know U.S. coins, but I have joked for a long time about how expensive they are compared to the ancient and medieval coins I collect.  I started a set of 1916 coins for my kid a few years ago, and the nagging hole in that set is the 1916 standing liberty quarter.  I will never be able to justify foregoing the rarer ancient gold I like just to put a quarter in a set that can barely be distinguished from a BU 1917 example that costs a couple hundred bucks.


    Check out the progression of offers on this half dollar above.  Starting in 2016 someone started making modest offers, like $520, all the way up to a bold $1,200.  I guess they finally gave up on this owner ever responding or taking them seriously, won the lotto, and are back with a vengeance. 

    I can't wait to see THIS offer show up as rejected in a couple days.  The owner must have parted with the coin, lost internet access, become incapacitated, or REALLY LIKES THE COIN.  Too bad we can't see how awesome this beauty must look.

    Check your change for an 1850 O half dollar kids.


  7. First off, congratulations to all the registry participants and the winners of the 2019 registry awards.  As for me, I won a Classic Set award for my Mexico City 8 reales Pillar Dollars of Charles III (1760-1771).  This is my third major award and I had never posted about them in the past, but for this one I will make an exception.  I want to highlight the wonderfully broad approach that the NGC judges have chosen in selecting sets for their awards.  I haven't yet browsed through all of the other winning sets but I'm sure that mine is more of an outlier than most.  To start with, the advertised criteria for Classic Sets is "US or World Sets, 1792-1964" so my set has somehow slipped through the time-frame constraint.  But the point I want to emphasize is that, using my set as an example, you don't necessarily need the highest grade coins to be considered for an award.  I built much of this set from raw examples -- and most of my coins fall in the XF range!  

    Now, I know that many collectors that use the NGC journals or forums are not keen on registry participation for all of the valid reasons that you've posted but maybe some of you might reconsider your opinions.  I believe there are many magnificent collections out there that are just waiting to be recognized.

    Here is, perhaps, my least impressive coin from my set, grade-wise. VF details, but still a quite scarce variety.



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    1940 call 4052744541 aks juan

  8. Marine Forever

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    This writing is not intended to anger anyone but rather to spark conversation regarding NGCs decision to allow PCGS graded coins to be added to NGC Registry competitive sets. In my opinion sometimes corporate decisions are made by bowing to the demands made by the loudest voices and not by what is right. I believe that it is far more difficult to obtain a higher grade in any coin with NGC than PCGS. This being said PCGS graded coins will be allowed to compete in NGC registry sets and given the same weight when even an untrained eye can see the difference in like graded coins. I feel this is an unfair advantage with the PCGS coins. PCGS has their own registry for a reason as did NGC. I am not maligning PCGS coins but I will state that in my opinion PCGS grade standards are for less stringent than NGC grade levels. This creates an uneven playing field. I have no problem with sets allowing collectors to showcase their PCGS coins on NGC registries. My issue is with allowing them to compete with NGC only (sets that only contain NGC coins) sets. I own a lot of NGC graded coins and not one graded coin from any other grading company because of their stringent requirement for each grade level. I have never collected coins based on monetary gain but rather first based on history and second on artistic beauty. My collections will never hold any graded coin other than NGC and I don't feel I should have to compete with a less stringently graded coin in a set. Again, I cannot stress this enough, my opinion is that there is a place for PCGS coins to compete but it is not in an NGC registry competitive set. I am betting that I am not the only one that has this opinion and would like to hear other opinions on this as I am always open to everyone's views and opinions. Maybe I will be convinced to change my opinion.

  9. Fake or real

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    I have this 1815 one dollar coin and I am wondering whether it is real or fake. 

    Please help me. 


  10. I believe that I am speaking on behalf of most collectors in here when I say that I welcome the inclusion of PCGS coins back on the NGC registry sets.  I think that NGCs construction of an all inclusive registry/database will continue to set them apart from other grading companies.  I prefer the design and layout of the NGC registry, along with the user friendly interface, will continue to attract the best coins to their site and service regardless of the holder.  Thank you NGC, from all of us.


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    I write this to protest NGC's decision to allow PCGS-certified coins back into the registry. After all, it was just a couple of years ago that NGC leadership made a big presentation about how PCGS coins could no longer compete in the registry.

    I feel that NGC's going back on this policy is a slap in the face of those collectors (myself included) who go to great lengths to ensure that their sets are 100% NGC certified 


  11. VSI68

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        I don’t know what other collectors think about NGC’s new policy but as for myself I think it’s good for these coins to be included.I don’t have many PCGS coins in my collection but I do have some I would like to add to my current Registry Type Set. I was able to use my PCGS coins in my Custom Set but not in any Registry Sets.To me this policy made no sense so I was glad to see the change.

     I would like to know what my fellow collectors think about this new policy both good and bad.

      By the way this is my first journal entry and a new area of the Collector’s Society I decided to explore.




  12. At a recent coin show, not long ago, I purchased 6 ancient Greek coins, 1 fairly old Japanese and 1 Spanish treasure coin.  I don't usually dive into a stack of unknowns unless I know a little bit about what I am doing as my stash got out of control, lapping up coins like a hungry cat on a dish of cream.  So, with not the irrational exuberance I used to be under, I have been shedding more common coins and looking to be the only one holding a certain item.  So, after asking a coupla dealers what they were worth, I went ahead and bought a bag of unknowns.  Right off the bat I sold one for about what I had in the whole stash, so figuring I was onto something, I had the rest of them graded and was quite happy with the results.

    Got back coins from early as the 5th century BC and I am very excited about 'branching out' as it were.  

    I find that in ancient Greece, there were thousands (2000+) polis's [city states] and each one made its own money/coins/currency.  That being said, delving into their history, dates (which are not on the coins) and pedigree (where and when they are from) can be a daunting task.  Just going on line and putting in what you think may lead you to your coin, is a fool's errand, unless you have unlimited time and even as a retired fellow, there are 'other things'.

    So, I had NGC do the legwork, and now I'm taking it from there.  I have seen that NGC doesn't cooperate a lot as there are no census figures, actual dates, prices and so on. And with that being said, they don't even recognize the coin beyond their description, so to put one a set, much less the registry, one must begin jumping through hoops.  So, be sure you are on track you want to be on.  I am going to pursue this avenue as I believe it will lead me down an unknown [to me] history lesson of the 1st magnitude.  

    I am going to attempt to put up pictures of my Greek Treasures, but if not here, perhaps you could go to my set registry and see them there.


    Anyway, happy collections to all.

  13. Goldenboy#1

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    I am in need of a 2015 W $10 gold Eagle NGC PF 70

    anyone looking to sell one for a reasonable price?


  14. I was fortunate enough to have purchased the 2019 enhanced SAE  on opening day. I sent it in sealed mint packaging for the FDOI label and the COA number. 

    I am now told I cannot get a FDOI label. Why? If there was a 1 per household limit, did dealers send these in bulk to obtain one?

    Here is just one listing from a familiar place:


    More than 10 available? I rest my case.
    QuantityMore than 10 available

    FDOI Label.png

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  15. 1872/1 M overdate Sovereign: The Melbourne Mint opened in June 1872 after experiencing considerable delays. For one, the majority of the mint staff did not arrive until January 1872. Another problem was that Melbourne Mint had requested 1871 dies from the Royal Mint of England. They had requested 1870 dies, but that requested was not approved. While the dies were in transit - the Ship, Rangoon, sank in November 1871 before arriving in Melbourne. A second order for dies was made and arrived in April/May 1872. They were 1871 dies and were already outdated. An order for 1872 dies was made, but did not arrive until October 1872. The Melbourne Mint hired a Danish jeweler who altered the 1871 dies for the year 1872. The Mint issued (minted) the altered 1872/1 M Sovereigns only for a few days during the month of September 1872. The 1872/1 overdate is highly collectible and commands a significant premium over the regular 1872 issue. 



  16. Every year around this time, I review my sets and pick one to focus on for documentation.  This year, the choice was pretty easy.

    I completed my U.S/Philippines Ten Centavos set in 2016 with a very low grade 1915S that I had purchased as a raw coin ten years earlier.  At the time, a total of just ten 1915S 10 centavos had been graded by NGC, with only two of those grading above AU58.  The odds of obtaining an NGC graded 1915S were virtually zero, and raw coins didn't come up for auction very often, so I just decided to grade the only one I had.  Just ten days after it received a VG-8, a better looking raw coin came up for auction. I won it and had it graded in August 2016.  That same month, yet another raw 1915S popped up on eBay.  This one was much better looking than the one I had just sent for grading, so I bid aggressively and won it.  This third coin now resides in my set with a grade of AU55.  The current total population is now 13, so these three coins have been the only additions in the past 3 years.  I have acquired one more raw example since then, but have yet to have it graded.

    I’ve been able to upgrade seven other coins since then, one in 2018, and all of the rest in the past 6 months.  Six were upgraded to MS65 and one to MS66I acquired a very nice looking raw 1904 in August for a good price on eBay and it far exceeded my expectations when NGC graded it MS66.  Getting back to the title of this post, I had added an NGC MS64 1907S to my set in 2013.  That grade always seemed very conservative to me, but it wasn’t until this year that I finally decided to have it reviewed.  Sometimes your best upgrade is already in your set.  (Before and after photos are below)

    There is now a full description for the set and all 30 coins have two photos and date/mint/coin specific information.  More upgrades are possible, but I expect they’ll be coming a lot less frequently.

    Thanks, for reading.



  17. Friends,

     At the beginning of the year the excitement builds as the first 2019 "W" quarter hunt starts. Huge high bids roll out

    as the first hit the auction blocks. With the year almost at the end the 5th "W" coin has not hit the streets yet.

     Just for fun I decided to go into the NGC research and check the census report on these rarities.

    Rarities --- Not even by a long shot!!!!

     Truth is there are so many graded this year by NGC only that I can honestly figure that NGC will make over $500,000 in the

    total "W" 2019  parks quarters graded by the end of this year. So far to date this year 19,662 - 2019 "W" mint mark quarters have been graded.

    The HUNT as it is called was well played by the mint and the grading companies as well. The "W" mint parks quarters are no rarity at all and

    plentiful in MS67 slabs already graded.



  18. Is there anyone who knows how many of these were minted?  Found some information any thing else would help;

    "This coin was awarded as the "most beautiful commemorative coin" in Busan, Korea 2008. It has the Aztec calendar on the front, with the legend “Mexico Tenochtitlan 1478”. Tenochtitlan was the Aztec capital city, it was located in what now is Mexico City. On the back of the coin there is the image of a coin press, one the original instruments used by the Casa de Moneda de Mexico to mint coins."


    "The “Sun Stone” is one of the most famous Aztec sculptures, the original sculpture weighs around 24 tons and has a diameter of 11.75 ft. It’s believed to have been carved around 1501 and it currently sits in the Aztec hall of the Anthropology Museum of Mexico City. Although the exact meaning of the “Sun Stone” has been subject to multiple theories and discussion, it´s one of the most representative remaining sculptures of the Aztecs, the greatest and last pre-hispanic empire in America."



  19. Well, the mint has once again screwed us low end collectors with what will become one of the hardest and HIGHEST priced coins to get and collect as well as one of the lowest minted coins ever put out. The new 2019 (S) Silver Reverse PF - Enhanced Finished Coins. I can only hope to get one when they are first released. If not only the rich will get them. Getting a 70 will break the bank. Just my 2 cents. 

  20. Nowadays, a lot of us, including me, buy most of our coins via the internet.  This is way different from when I started collecting back in the late 1960's.  In those days, even Department Stores had a coin and stamp counter, Heck even the local Woolworth's had a section of the store where you could buy a Red Book, a Lincoln Cent Folder, and all the other associated supplies.  Local coin shops, at least in the Pittsburgh area, were plentiful, and there was always mail order through a dealer you might have spotted in Coins Magazine, or the Numismatic News. Those days are gone, for the most part, but the local, regional, or national coin shows are still around and are still one of the best ways to fill your want list, meet your fellow collectors (I really do feel completely at home surrounded by my fellow hobbyists), and even learn a thing or two.   The Pennsylvania Numismatic Association (PAN) is hosting their Fall show this week, 17-19 October, in beautiful Monroeville PA. There will be about 120 dealers, ANACS will take your coins for grading, and there are a number of speakers, to include Clifford Mishler, holding forth on the 18th.  As if that wasn't enough, here are the top 11 reasons you should attend the Fall PAN show:

    1.  Parking is Free, Admission is Free, Spending time at the traveling Burns Library is Free, Distinguished Speakers are Free, and the KidZone is Free (for all YNs under 18).
    2.  Clifford Mishler is going to speak about the remarkable Chet Krause on Friday afternoon.  Cliff is a personal Numismatic Hero of Mine.
    3.  The weather should be excellent with no rain, or snow, or other natural calamities in the forecast.
    4.  Monroeville is conveniently located off the Pennsylvania Turnpike for those of you coming from other parts of Pennsy.
    5.  Monroeville is just a Parkway, a tunnel, and a Parkway from beautiful downtown Pittsburgh.
    6.  The concession stand in the convention center actually has moderate prices, an excellent breakfast burrito, and a $5 soft drink you can refill for free all day long.
    7.  The convention center is adjacent to the Monroeville Mall, which is WORLD FAMOUS for being the Mall featured in George Romero's Dawn of the Dead.
    8.  Clubs including the Harrisburg Coin Club, the West Penn Coin Club, the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society, PAN, and the Barber Coin Collectors Society, will be present to answer your questions and solicit your membership.
    9.  There will be outstanding competitive exhibits available for your viewing pleasure and you can vote for Best of Show.10. Did I mention Ben Franklin?  Ben Franklin, His Honourable Self, will be appearing throughout the show to provide wisdom and selfie opportunities.
    11. Finally, the bourse floor is populated by a number of dealers selling slabbed coins, raw coins, medals, ancient coins, currency, books, and supplies.  If you want it, you will find it.

    I hope to see you there, if you do make it, stop by the KidZone table and say Hi, I will be there all day Saturday. 



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