• Announcements

    • dena

      Try the new NGC Journals!   03/22/2017

      NGC has launched a new and improved NGC Journals! Available on NGCcoin.com, the new NGC Journals improves upon the popular platform to write blogs and discuss them with other members. The new NGC Journals has an improved design that makes it significantly easier to post and read journals from any device, including smartphones and tablets. Adding images has been made much simpler, and the NGC Journals now give users the ability to create polls and "like" other entries. A popular feature of the old NGC Journals was the ability to open an entry to comments from other users. This feature has been retained and enhanced — users can now comment on the same page as the original Journal entry, creating a seamless experience. Best of all, the same login can be used to post Journals, make comments and access the other features of the NGC website. Old NGC Journals entries will be migrated to the new NGC Journals soon. In the meantime, users can make posts to the new NGC Journals. To get started, create a Journal and make an entry. Unlike the old NGC Journals, you create a single Journal and then add new entries to it. Your Journal can be customized with a cover photo, and you can choose to make it available to all users or only to the users that you select. You can also choose to receive notifications whenever people comment on one of your entries. Scroll below for helpful tips on using the new NGC Journals or go to the new NGC Journals now >   Instructions / Tips To get started, you must first create your Journal and then you can add entries to that Journal. Choose Journals from the Browse menu if you are not already on the Journals page

        Click Create a Journal

        Name your journal, add a description, add a photo, and choose if you want all users to see your journal or if you would like it available to a specific audience only. Click Continue to move on to the next step where you can add you first entry!

        Click Add Journal Entry to add a post to your journal

        Commenting on another user's Journal is easy. After selecting a journal to read, scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find the field where you may enter your comments and see the comments others have posted.
  • entries
    6
  • comments
    21
  • views
    240

About this journal

I am now in my later 40's as I write this bio and finally have reached a point in life where I can set aside some money monthly for my "coin allowance."

It was not always this way.

My fascination with coins started at a very young age--although the exact age I am not sure. I would guess I was between 7 to 10 years of age when my mother showed me her silver coins. As a child in the mid 1970's, the sight of a mercury dime design, walker or franklin half and even the old buffalo nickels were somehow exciting and mysterious. Compared to the pictures of the busts of presidents, the older designs were fantastically beautiful in their art and sculpted design...I was hooked!
The only problem was that I was a kid and had no money. My mom and dad got me some thumb busters of Lincoln wheat cents and Jefferson nickels. Oh what a prize to find a wheatie in my dad's change of a date before 1940! Of course I could not just take the coin--I had to do some extra chore to earn that prize, this made the enjoyment all the more.

Later I would have the pleasure of trips to a local coin shop in Rockville (MD)-called Coins of the Realm--I don't even know if it still exists or not. As the holes in my thumb busters became harder to fill, I figured out that I could find many of them at the coin shop. I would cut the grass of the older families in the neighborhood during the summer and if we had a snow in the winter--me and the other kids in the neighborhood would be out early knocking on doors to make that $5 for shoveling a sidewalk and driveway.
The difference was, my friends would spend that money on candy, sports cards or slot cars--for me it was a trip with my mom to the coin shop.
Eventually my mom even gave me her old silver coins--circulated and common date, nonetheless, they were quite possibly the most exciting coins I ever received.
After many years of hiatus from numismatics--about 12 to 15 years ago I rediscovered my passion for the hobby of kings--and with the discovery of the Registry here at NGC--and the ability to hunt for treasures on the internet, I foresee coin collecting being a part of my earthly pleasures until the day when I will leave it. 

Entries in this journal

jackson64

One thing I feel that is needed in coinage is a uniformity on deciding what is an obverse and what is a reverse. Almost all US coinage is quite simple as we declare that the side with the Bust or Lady Liberty is usually the obverse. There are some instances with modern and classic commemorative issues where there remains inconsistency with opinions on which is the obverse and which the reverse.

Things are far less clear with world coins. Many nations don't use busts at all but have National Shields, emblems or simply have variance on both sides with all issues. It remains often unclear which is considered the obverse. Is it determined by the side with the nation's name? How about the side with the year/date on it?

The grading services seem to have no idea either- or maybe they just don't place any priority or are unconcerned with the issue. However collectors seem to have a certain inherent desire for uniformity or order in our collections.It seems as if the obverse should always be facing forward on the same side of the coin as the label, be it the Queen's bust, Liberty in one of her depictions or a former POTUS. Yet we don't even see this simple consistency. I have seen PCGS deliberately invert the reverse onto the label side simply because the reverse had some nice toning on it and the TPG decided of their own volition to place the coin in encapsulation with "reverse side up."

I have a simple Canadian 10c Proof issue set. The Queen's bust in all its aging glory is depicted on the obverse of all 43 issued coins and my set is 100% complete, yet 11 of my 43 coins have the reverse on the label side and 32 of the coins with the Queen's bust on the label side. I do notice a trend though. Six of the coins with the Bluenose Schooner on the label side are perfect 70's...4 of the other 5 are commem issues with the commemorated event on the label side ( and one PF69UCAM just seems to be reversed for no reason at all, no matter how I try and reach.)

Oh well, not the biggest of issues unless the coins in their slabs are meant for some type of display or group encasing. We can always just flip the coin over in-hand if we want to see the other side...

What brought this about is the 2 sets I just finished--each having 1 coin inexplicably reversed with the obverse of the coin on the back of the slab. Am I the only one this happens to or has nobody else noticed this randomness? As we always say, it's about the coin and not the holder so que sera sera........

Happy Hunting everyone

 

DSC02381.jpg

DSC02380.jpg

jackson64

Along with my recent submission which finished 2 of my Bahamian Silver MS sets, I also added 8 more coins to my granddaughter's growing " bear coins" themed collection. She really does enjoy these coins I find and is not just humoring her pawpaw with the ooohs and aaahs. It is fun to see her loop the 20x loupe around her little finger and stare down at all the small details--shifting and turning to get the right light and focus to get the clearest image ( just as I taught her!)

This submission was a strange one from the start. As I checked to make sure the package arrived safely to Sarasota, the initial logging of the coins had 3 of them as "ineligible.' Since I have seen all 3 of the coins that are marked as "ineligible" in NGC slabs on websites, I figured that what the cataloguer really meant was "illegible" since my writing style is somewhat unique in its -script style.

 

As the coins progressed through the process, two of the coins lost the "ineligible" moniker and just one retained it--the North Korean coin. I later received an email informing me that N Korea is on the banned list for grading ( I presume Russia, Syria, Libya, Iran and other boogeymen countries will be soon to follow on the list.) Both of the other coins did end up with issues though--the Greenland coin, which has a value of 1 Piastre and is minted at a legit mint is labeled as " fantasy issue" on the slab. The British Virgin Islands coin which is gold gilt and coated in Rhodium was also bodybagged like the N Korean coin because, "colorized outside of mint.' This simply isn't true, the Pobjoy mint which both minted the plain silver issues and the 500 limited edition, gold-gilt issues is the #1 private mint of European countries and mints hundreds of issues which are recognized as legal currency and are in NGC slabs by the thousands. I have the government packaging and coas to prove it is officially licensed product of the BVI govt. If we accept dozens of FM issues, and coins from small countries without their own independent mints, this coin should be allowed. The least they could do is put the coin in a slab without a grade and say "private mint, ungradable"--then I could add it to a custom set or inventory it as well as have it protected with encapsulation, after all-I PAID FOR IT.

 

I was surprised to be given a credit/refund for the N Korean coin--the first time over the years that I have received my money back ( out of dozens) for NGC not providing the paid service but I'm still hundreds and hundreds in losses for coins they wouldn't grade but kept my cash anyhow. Maybe once they open the box it counts as Tier Service??

Whatever, my bellyaching won't change anything--I'll just blame it on the Russians, like everything else......here are three of my prizes that did get encapsulated. My Greenland "fantasy issue", a wonderfully artistic, geometric rendition of swimming polar bear with cub, and the final one is my newest favorite--a polar bear ( also under northern lights) with actual diamond dust mixed into the silver to give the appearance of glistening snow--really cool stuff...enjoy and happy hunting....

2966964_Full_Obv.jpg

2966964_Full_Rev.jpg

2966966_Full_Obv.jpg

2966968_Full_Obv.jpg

jackson64

My most recent submission is worth at least 3 separate journals after some issues I had, some newly discovered info, to discuss the coins and overall grades ( 8 of the coins were for custom sets) and of course, the completion of 2 of my Bahamian Silver Registry Sets.........

The Bahamas Mint State silver coins had a relatively short lifespan. There are just 6 years of these issues with quite limited mintages ( it is a smallish island nation so 10's of millions would have made no sense.) The first issue was in 1966 with your 8 coin sets and the 50c, $1, $2 and $5 coins being silver. The $5 coin has an ASW of almost 1.3 oz's and the $2 coins are well above the silver content of the US silver dollar, so these are large and heavy silver coins.

After the 1966 issue, no new sets were made until 1969 and then they were produced yearly for 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973--after 1973, only the proof sets contained the 4 large silver coins ( and some SP sets and commems also were silver) but the mint sets had switched to cuni and alloys.

I started collecting these coins originally because of the beautiful designs and the fact that I could sometimes even snag them below silver cost as it seemed 10+ years ago that not many people realized the ASW of nearly 3 oz's in each mint set. I have also fallen in love with the finish of these coins which appear almost burnished- containing an "inner glow" as they have a simmering sort of shine which does not reflect as much or cartwheel like the very light reflective silver. Who knows, maybe they are burnished in some part of production-much like the burnished silver eagles which have the planchettes spun in a tumbler with fine sand or tiny metal beads.

 

Anyhow, with the wonderful additions of the 1971 "Dancing Marlin" 50c and the 1973 "Flamingos at sunrise" $2 coin, I have now completed 2 more sets. I recently got some free photography lights so I may try and improve my pics ( or at least make them all uniform.) now that the sets are done--and with just 12 coins to photo/crop/size it won't be too big of a project.

 

Here are the pics, what do you think? Burnished finish?

DSC02369.jpg

DSC02370.jpg

DSC02377.jpg

DSC02378.jpg

jackson64

Please do not add any "likes" to anything I post on journals ( or the chat boards). I find the whole facebook phenomenon to be a sad indictment of our self involved society. An entire aspect of modern society focused on self-centered, "hey look at me, what I did, ate, drank, vacationed" etc-- in desperate need for some petty validation by being "liked".  Thank You............

 

Now to you, journal....

One of my strategies I've had with collecting is to keep several sets in the process of building simultaneously. Often I will have a world set or 2, a themed "custom set", an album of thumbuster grade/quality coins, and a few US coin short sets. This strategy has worked well since I have many items to look for at each premium auction or when my coin budget is flush. I never feel like I have not added any additions to my set and am then  never tempted to overpay for a new hole-filler to sate my collecting desire.

With several sets going at once ( but not too many) I can usually find a few hole fillers for different sets, then I simply weigh which one to purchase ( factoring scarcity, a good price, PQ quality, likelihood of finding another etc) based on the varying factors.

With my 2 US coin sets down to the final 2 or 3 slots needed and pickings slim, I looked toward my themed sets and world sets. I snagged 3 really nice coins for my Bear themed coin set. A 2017 polar bear coin with diamond dust sprinkled to make it look like the snow and ice sparkle--very cool coin. The second bear coin was one I've been watching for since Gary posted his ( he got it because the obverse is an allegorical female, I bought the Greenland coin because of the regal beast which is on the reverse.) The 3rd bear coin was a clever geometric configuration design which forms a swimming polar bear and cub under the northern lights...all 3 are already on their way to Sarasota with a few others.

I did find a few coins to add directly to registry sets however--my Jersey 1/12th Shilling set is a cool set and I just like the series. The series encompasses 89 years from 1877 until 1966 but only has 23 coins in it. There are several combinations of the reverse shield ( lion design, pointed or rounded shield, size of shield, lettering, etc) along with 9 different busts of monarchs on the front from younger Victoria to the youthful Elizabeth II and all of those between. There are no extremely scarce or pricey issues but they are low enough mintage to make it a challenge--especially if you are going for BU quality coins. I added a 1923 Rounded tip shield and the 1937 issue--pictured is my newest addition the 1937 with Georgus VI..............

2955580_DetailsThumb_Rev.jpg

2955580_DetailsThumb_Obv.jpg

jackson64

I have certain rules that I always (most always) hold on Ebay purchases but none of them are fully iron-clad. I do on occasion buy coins from sellers with low feedback numbers if it "feels right" that a small lot or group of coins really does look like somebody's cigar box collection.

Sometimes I will purchase coins from overseas. I avoid Chinese fakes and those with export/import issues, but I have gotten some nice coins at pretty good prices from Portugal, Spain, the UK etc. One must always factor in the shipping costs and don't buy from Europe or Australia if you expect the coin in a day or three.

I almost never buy coins when the pictures are hazy, look photoshopped, altered or enhanced. It is this last "rule" that I broke when I purchased my recent addition-and it paid off. The images were dark, grainy and slightly out-of-focus. The darkness of the pictures lent the impression that the coin was darkly grey with mottled black areas.

However with my inept photography skills, I have produced the same results from coins that had far different in-hand eye appeal. What I guessed had happened was that some darker cobalt blues appeared blackish and the overall patina was being subdued. Also, I felt that the strike was very good and although not FH, it was close with pretty distinct head details if not full.

Chalk this one up to experience as I was right on the money! ( and then some!) The darker areas that appeared black and grey were indeed spatterings of cobalt mixed with specks of lavender and even a few emerald specks. The overall fields were a nice rose blush. The strike of the head has some flatness but far from the worst I've seen. Also the coin is a true Slider. I could see the graders struggling over whether this coin was an MS64 or AU58- fortunately for me, my set parameters and my checking account, they opted for the AU58 grade.

So my nice little 1920 AU58 leaves me with just 2 coins to complete the registry set of SLQ AU's. I try and get nice eye appeal coins for the easier dates like the 1920 since there are more available and I can be even pickier than normal. Throw in the fact that I got it ( I'm sure the shoddy photo helped) at less than 50% of list and this was a nice little score.

Here are the early, quick pics I took and then the images from the sale/listing......

DSC023491.jpg

DSC023501.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600r.jpg

jackson64

It may be time to show some discipline and get things in order.

I am not a procrastinator by nature. I am usually the polar opposite. In fact, if I am being honest in my self assessment, I am a bit compulsive with my desire for order in a universe ruled by the ceaseless tides of entropy.
For example, if a bill arrives in the mail I will almost immediately pay it, write the date and amount on the invoice and then file it in the appropriate folder. I am never satisfied to rinse a plate and leave it in the sink when the dishwasher is but a few feet away. Of course I could never imagine folding all of my laundry and just piling it on top of the dresser like my kids most often did.
My dad taught me a few invaluable lessons in the few years I had before he passed. One was that if you were going to do something, then do it right or to the best of your ability. Another was that if you start something, then you finish it. I guess this is where my need for orderliness comes from. 
I seem to have lost my way with my coin "collection." For the most part I buy either graded coins that fill registry slots, some sets from the mint when I need 2 or 3 for different sets ( or when it's more financially sound to buy a 6 coin silver set for a few bucks more than the single coin) or single coins for custom sets or to send in for grading.
It is this last part that has gotten WAY behind. Either out of sight/ out of mind is in effect or I am a closet hoarder ( just with really small objects like coins so I can still walk through my house)- whichever it is, it is time for some discipline to be exercised.
I keep buying more coins for sets, not getting them graded and then looking for more coins. Then the funds for all of the grading becomes too daunting so I procrastinate more...a bad cycle to be stuck in for and orderly collector.
Just looking into 2 coin cases that I acquired to protect raw coins until grading, I was surprised myself to see that I had pretty much filled up all of the various drawers with mint sets, proof sets, silver issues, themed coins and on and on--I really had no idea of the amount.
So as I share this photo with you-and it is just PART of the raw coins I have set aside to be encapsulated, it is not to show off in any way, but instead to confess openly of my "acquisition issues." 
After all, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

PS: the first 15 have been decided--the final Bahamian 50c to complete that set, the final 4 Bahamian $2 coins with the flamingo at sunset, the Canada "alloy" silver coins from the 2014 and 2016 proof sets of 10c and $2 coins which will complete/update both of those 100% and the final 6 coins will be Bear themed coins for the granddaughter's bear coins collection. This is a step in the right direction to re-establishing order in my collecting I believe.
PPS: thanks Dena 

http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/usercontent/images/journals/