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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

Stars or Plusses?

taking away the collector's role I've been thinking about the new + designation by NGC for a few days. I had an initial knee-jerk response when I saw several of my sets dropping registry points..however I wanted to consider a list of positives and negatives before I jumped the gun and/or made any journal posts about my sentiments..... Let's do some negatives first--and I'm sure others will have different ones I've missed-- 1. Coin costs..all new coins with the + will probably now sell for a premium. 2. Our old holders and reholdering fees: I have taken years putting together simple 20 coin sets. Often I've turned down higher "registry point" coins because the lower coin I owned was PQ and nicer than the higher grade coins that were selling. Now, unless I pay the thousands to get my carefully chosen PQ coins reholdered, they will probably sell for less than lesser coins that get a +. 3. It takes away our collector "eye" for quality: one of the advantages of being an experienced collector is recognizing the difference between 2 coins of same grade ( and why one is worth a premium and the other not worth the grade cost). Now with micro-grading, a lot of the experience and knowledge factor is eliminated. The + sign will let you know if that MS67 is closer to a 68 or a 66...so much for getting bargains on better coins... Positives?: 1. I have been very selective when buying over the years. Rarely have I just bought a coin for its slab grade. This means that if I do re-submit my coins a few at a time for a + designation, the inherent value and resale ask price should jump up nicely--for essentially the same coins. Anyhow, I'm still torn and still thinking it over...I don't like the fact that I lost points on my * star coins ( many are very rare with a star). Stars signify an exceptional eye-appeal hence a desirable coin..however the + just signifies that the coin was a bit short of a higher grade--should the point values be equal for this vast difference? PS: I just mailed in 6 coins to NGC, my first submission in 6 months. One that was submitted was that gorgeous toned ASE that was sitting in the little yellow envelope for 20+ years. I've seen several of these rainbow monsters in PCGS slabs however I have a gut feeling that NGC will probably give it a coffin ( details grade slab). I've had at least a half-dozen nicely toned coins taken straight from proof and mint set original government packaging get "artificially toned" tags...go figure, it really is a shoot..and after 8 years here at NGC I've never "hit" a good grade...EVER. Always the MS64 when a 65 jumps the value x10..never had a crossover actually go up in grade...every re-grade I've ever submitted has just been mailed back in the same slab..minus my money of course. So this may very well be my last submission. I'm not quitting collecting, it's just that I feel like a fool when I spend hundreds of hours carefully studying auction histories, coins in hand and selecting a choice few to submit...only to find they get lower grades than some of the junk I see higher graded in some slabs.. A little negative?..maybe I can have a dealer assign a grade, study it myself for quality, submit it for grading to verify and certify the grade, get CAC to add a green sticker for another fee to verify what I knew..then send it back for a + sign to quadruple proof verify that it is a nice coin..sheesh.. Here's a picture of my 1939 MS67* Walker--it just dropped almost 400 points because we now have a + designation and this cruddy coin doesn't have one on its slab...

jackson64

jackson64

05/27/2010

A Crying Shame....

but an old story I was talking with a patient of mine about a month ago ( who has since been discharged so no ethical issues involved) and the subject of coin collecting came up. As has happened to me dozens of times, he mentioned that he had a bunch of old coins. I told him that once he was no longer in my care that I'd love to take a look and let him know what he had. So he pops into the office a few days ago with a shoebox. We sat and talked a bit and then I perused the contents..... As is often the case, most of the nicer coins were of common dates..and the 2-3 coins that were of rarer dates were not in very good condition--except for one. He had a gorgeous BU+++ detailed 1854-O Seated Liberty Quarter. There was only 1 problem..someone, probably ages ago, had tried and scratch off the arrows !! I've heard of this being done....... When the mint switched the size of the seated coins in 1853, 1854..and subsequently lowered the silver content, they added arrows to identify them as the smaller coins with less silver weight. Consequently some schemers tried and remove the arrows and pass the coins off as the heavier, bigger silver coins of prior years. Little did the culprit know that he was altering a potential, future $3,000- $5,000 coin into a "damaged" specimen...all for the effort to gain a few cents worth of silver value !! Oh well, maybe I'll get it details graded..if nothing else it makes a neat little piece of numismatic history...but it's still a crying shame...

jackson64

jackson64

05/07/2010

Caught in a Conundrum

to unslab or leave slabbed? Since I finished up my Walker Short Set I've decided to take a break from higher priced coins and registry hunting. Instead I've started 2 albums and am really enjoying working on them. A little insight into how I'm building my Barber Half Set........ I really, really like the look of a Barber in the VG8-10 grade to VF30 range. The reason I'm not hunting for higher grades is for several reasons. One is obviously the money involved. Barber halves are a relatively low-mintage series with the majority of dates having less than 2,000,000 minted. In fact, the "short set" I'm building (1900-1915) has no less than 13 different issues with mintages under 1 million. When you factor in that these coins were actually used in circulation, the numbers of scratched, dinged and damaged ones, the melted ones, --along with smaller mintages and what do you get? A challenging set to build and a lot of fun !! With the scarcity of quality circulated coins the price jumps are pretty dramatic when you get toward the XF range ( many above $500, too much for me for an unslabbed album coin). The second reason I don't go above the VF grade is that once you hit XF with these the "look" of them changes. Besides the obvious increased details, often these coins become "whiter" with some slight luster even. These coins stick out like a sore thumb in my album of VG's to VF's. Plus I LIKE the color and judging the nuances between a VG10 and an F12. Which brings me around to my conundrum. Three of the dates in my 49 coin Barber "short Set" are really low mintage and higher in price even at grades of G04-VG8. The 1913, 1914 and 1915 all have mintages LESS THAN 200,000 !! With the increased cost I figured I'd play it safe and buy these in slabs and crack them out for my album. I just bought the 1915 P about 2 weeks ago and got it earlier this week. Housed in a PCGS VG10 slab I got a decent deal at $160. I really like the look of the coin--nice color, ding and scratch free..the only problem is that the coin is closer to a borderline VG8 details. I really don't like to crackout coins that may get downgraded in the future--but I also want this coin to fill the hole in my album--I'll probably crack it out in the end, after all, that was the point-an ALBUM set. Speaking of the album, there are no "Barber Short Set" albums in production. However I was able to find a Dansco album that just says "Half Dollars" on the cover. I took the time to write the dates on little pieces of label, cut them to size and stick them in--creating my own album. (I even have an extra page more than I need for this set which I'm using for other collectible halves I have)..so that is what I've been up to with my collecting. I'm really enjoying it..I can't wait for the Whitman Convention in Baltimore--I'm sure there will be plenty of examples to fill some album holes there..

jackson64

jackson64

04/07/2010

A "Pocket Coin"

for a raw set In my journals I usually talk about my Walking Liberty collecting, sometimes I talk about my High Seas sailing ship themed set/s, and since I finished my Mercury dimes..not so much on them anymore. I don't seem to write about some of my "sideline" collections very much. One of these collections is Barber Halves in F-VF quality. I collect these raw, although one or two have been crackouts when the price is about even to that of a raw coin. I'm not super picky with these. I believe the Barber half is one of the most attractive coins in circulated condition. I do try and get as much facial detail and L-I-B-E-R-T-Y on the headband as possible. I recently took a chance on a 1910-S that I came across. It has great details and full LIBERTY..a solid F15-VF20..it also is very "dirty". Not being one to ever clean coins I'm going to try an experiment. I've heard some older collectors talk about carrying a coin around in your pocket for a few months if there is a surface problem. The theory is a tiny bit of wear can eliminate some things like artificial toning, uneven color, light hairlines..etc.. So since this coin only cost me $18 and has details of a $50+ coin, I'm going to run an experiment of the theory to see if I can "even out" the color and wear away some surface contaminants naturally..Here's the BEFORE picture..in 3 months I'll post an AFTER picture..hopefully I never forget to remove it from my pocket before laundering..some of the old pennies I find in my dryer are as bright as the day they were made--and dinged up too...

jackson64

jackson64

03/28/2010

Finished A Set !!

finally broke down and filled the last slot.. I remember reading some advice in a book once. It was written by a highly respected, giant of our hobby. He wrote in his book, "buy the key dates of a series you're building first. They are the coins that will continue to gain or hold in price, while the easier dates rise much slower or often go up AND down." At the time I thought this was a no-brainer. I was sure that I would have figured that bit of logic out on my own, after all, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that what is harder to get and more highly prized will increase in value. Well I may have understood the concept but I didn't follow the advice. Sadly, the primary "key" coin of my Walker Short Set was the LAST one I purchased. In my own defence there are a few reasons for this. Without boring everyone to death, the two big reasons were cost and my own pickiness. It is a bit of an expensive coin in the grade I wanted for a man of my middling means. The big reason though was that I wanted a nicer, eye-appealing coin if it was going to cost more than 5-6 times what other coins in the series cost combined. So I waited, always with a different reason to pass on the one's that became available--"this one's strike is weak"..or..."this one looks dipped"..." the luster is a bit, lackluster"..or " that ding keeps drawing my focus"...etc etc..(I'm sure you know the thoughts) Anyhow, almost 2 1/2 years after starting this little 20 coin "short set"..I have finally added the last remaining coin, my 1941-S !! WooHoo..here's a picture of the lustrous reverse, busting with shimmery flowlines and with the proud eagle--defiant in defence of Liberty and freedom NGC MS66

jackson64

jackson64

03/24/2010

How the Fires of Collecting Rekindled

I owe all of my friends here a real journal A quick apology to everyone who likes to read my entries. I broke one of my standards and subverted NGC's journal intent with my last post--it won't happen again. So in response-- a special journal with a little about me and how I got back into collecting coins. Like many, my fascination with coin collecting started early in life with the "thumbuster" albums. Collecting pennies and nickels from change and if I had a little money from lawn mowing or snow shoveling for the neighbors-- off I went on a weekend to Coins of The Realm up in Rockville for the harder dates. In fact I still own my original penny album and the three 1943 coins are as bright as the day I bought them 30+ years ago. Fast-forward through years of life's distractions and coin collecting as just a memory from my youth..it is now the mid to late 90's. After years of working in Biological research I couldn't do it anymore. I won't get too in-depth here, but suffice it to say, much research is funded by grants. When the "granters" start letting you know ahead of time what results they expect so they can push certain agendas--well let's say it went against my ethics. So I invested with a friend, who had a nice clientelle, in his Home Improvement business. To cut to the chase..one day I was on a furniture warehouse ( not a home but we took any and all work). The owner of the building said a skylight had been leaking for years and had recently gotten worse. As I approached the skylight while up on the big, flat roof--little did I know that life was about to take a major turn !! The roof under my feet felt squishy as I approached--water under the surface. I figured that it was probably getting in at the skylight's flashing and knelt down to inspect the corners of the skylight....COLLAPSE !! The steel decking closest to the skylight had rusted completely through, and in a blink of an eye--I found myself airbourne and staring over 30+ feet down at the concrete floor of the store's inside--which was racing up at me !! I'll spare you the gruesome details..I got a free helicopter ride to shock trauma and a few days later when I woke up I had two broken legs ( the right leg severely broken in multiple places in my femur)..also I had covered my head with my arms and they had suffered traumatic damage being crushed between my head and the concrete. Not only were all of my limbs broken and surgically repaired with metal screws, rods, pins and staples..but my arms had severe nerve damage and my hands were now curled into useless claws. Recovery prognosis was not good..permanent limp probable, loss of full movement and tactile function in the arms/hands..yada yada..I didn't care..I was filled with---ELATION !! Falls from these heights are most often fatal, those who don't die usually have spinal cord injuries or head trauma leaving them paralyzed or vegetative...a limp I could live with ! I spent 6 weeks in medical care between the hospital and Rehab..then I went home. There's not a lot to do during the day for someone who can't walk or use their hands..but I could use my twisted fingers to fumble my way around a keyboard. This is when I first discovered ebay while looking for books and DVD's to watch while I was wheelchair bound. While surfing the site I also noticed the large section on coins and collectibles. Remeber, I still loved coins and had a fascination with them..it had just been one of those "out of sight out of mind things". Now however, there weren't a lot of distractions. I decided to start collecting again. Well, with so much time during the day..I loved to surf for deals and try and snipe them ( a hard task with a dial-up internet server). I am not a professional, never have been-and probably never will be. What I did discover though was that if I was clever, I could build my personal collection by buying larger lots..selling off enough to get my money back, then any coins that were left I could add to my collection. Before I knew it, in less than a year ( between Physical Therapy 3x a week and Occupational Therapy 2x a week) I had turned my $5,000 retirement fund into a $40,000 collection + I still had my $5000 !! Mostly it was done at $10-20 at a time however I occasionally took a bigger risk--with bigger rewards !! The first big one was a 1911-D Indian $10 Eagle. I bought it listed as AU on ebay for $800 (thought this was a steal since price guides showed it at $1000). Well it looked extra nice so I joined NGC and sent the coin in for grading..it came back as MS62 and a value listed at $9000 !! I held that coin for a few years until my collecting tastes became more focused. In fact, much of my ebay activity is because of my fickle tastes..I've at one time held the #1 Jefferson nickel proof registry--then sold them..built Peace dollar albums, buffalo albums coin by coin--then sold them..and on and on.. 10+ years of fickle collecting and changing focus has really added up my ebay totals. Also friends who know that I collect have often "consigned" their coffee can hoards with me to sell for them. To sum things up, I have since left the wheelchair and arm braces and splints way behind. I worked my butt off in Therapy to get almost complete function returned ( I can't bend my right wrist is all). I went back to college 5 years ago as I was entering into my 40's and graduated with a degree in.......Physical Therapy !! I now am working in the Neurological Rehab center of a hospital where my job is a mix of joys and frustrations..when I have a stroke patient who stands unassisted for the first time it almost chokes me up...mostly out of joy for them, but I'm sure a little out of rememberence of that wonderful day when I first stood up again on my own feet (even if all the weight was on just my left leg.) So in summary, no ivory tower here, no professional seller here..just someone who had ebay play an important part in both my financial stability during a dark period and also as an instrument in re-igniting my passion for our great hobby...so my reaction to another member's post was because a nerve had been struck..my apologies to that member as well.. My Franklin BU album..assembled over a year and a half. A few from ebay but mostly coins purchased in slabs and cracked out for the set ( I know it's nuts but they look so nice together, don't they?)

jackson64

jackson64

03/06/2010

Ignorance Is Bliss

almost 3,000 ebay transactions, never a negative experience Far be it from me to defend ebay. I was not pleased with their paypal only stance and definitely not with the blind eye they turn to Powersellers who live by a different set of rules. However, if you're gonna complain, at least complain about the right things... First, ....99c listings. Are you aware that it costs extra money for varying increments, once a start bid is above $1 for a seller? The 99c start bid is very easy to explain, the seller is not trying to insinuate that he's selling for 99c--they are simply setting the highest start bid without paying an extra fee--just plain smart business. Secondly, "who bids on 99c items?" Actually, I do. Not that I hope to win an item for 99c. What my bid does do however is put the item on my active "Bidding" list. If you set your preferences correctly, you'll even get emails letting you know that an item you bid on is ending soon. I can't tell you how many times that I used to put items on my watch list and forget to check and then the auction ends and the coin sold for well less than I was willing to pay...so again, a small, low-ball bid to get updates and notifications about an item you'd like to win at the auction's end is SMART business. Now, thirdly...I list any sale I make with free shipping..but it doesn't preclude me bidding on an item that charges shipping..I just subtract the shipping cost from the max I'm willing to bid..same difference. Let me ask..how much do you think it costs to mail a proof set? Well, the small USPS Priority Mail box has a Flat Rate of $4.95. I also have invested the time for labeling, the cost of bubble wrap and an 8-mile trip to the post office each way here in the country..add a few more bucks for gas...and if someone has a complaint about a $3-4 postage and handling fee they are kidding themselves. Most auction companies charge $10-20 to ship an item that they already charged you a 15% buyers fee on. Heck, even NGC charges $20+ to RETURN a little 5 coin submission..this is after you had to pay to mail it to them--essentially you pay both ways.. I've had over 3000+ buys and sells on ebay. I've never not gotten an item and the few times that I was not happy-I've always gotten a refund or offer of a partial money return and keep the item. My sellers feedback is 1297 with 100% positive. I treat people with respect. If they are unhappy for any reason--even buyer regret--I return all of their money without question. In fact, I often throw in small bonus coins or nice notes of thanks. Some tips for ebaying, I have a growing list of "Favorite Sellers", people who have treated me well, sold me better than I thought coins, or just had good communication..this helps a lot to avoid getting involved with shady dealers..but in the end, we must be educated about our hobby. Don't bid on grainy photos..read the return policy..don't buy from overseas sellers..if a great coin is selling cheap, you probably missed something that everyone else picked up on..check feedback..look at their auction history...lots of common sense tools Good luck on your bidding everyone, I hope this helped alleviate some of the "feeling insulted" some expressed..now that you understand that there is no alternative motive--just simple tricks to avoid fees and tools for remembering coins you'd like to win.. A recent ebay win..I sent the seller a note and he chopped off $50 from his BIN price, then I used $80 of ebay bucks/coupons so this $350 coin cost only $220..MS67FSB..I'm sure it would be a star too if it were in an NGC slab..

jackson64

jackson64

03/02/2010

A Month in the Waiting

at least it kept my impulse buying in check Well it's official-I finally won another addition to my set of mid-range Walkers. As my collecting has evolved I have become more like my friends LowBudget, Yevrah and Izzysdad...I'm buying fewer and fewer coins but not really spending less annually. What has happened is that I'm more focused on just a few sets and buying only upper/top grade coins. So several weeks ago I saw a couple of nice MS67's that would be auctioned off on Feb. 12th at a Scotsman auction. I really had my eye on one in particular. It was a 1936 MS67..an easier date but scarce in MS67 and of this strike quality. Well I placed a bid and checked in on occasion to see how well my bid was holding up. Just 2 days before the live auction and the end of internet bidding someone bid just $25 short of my High bid--only one increment. I had held off on any new purchases because I had an active bid and didn't want to overstretch myself ( I never use credit cards to buy coins). Anyhow, I upped my bid another 2 increments and decided to let the chips fall where they may. Fortunately the price did not increase and I won with my original bid..so after several weeks of waiting I have won the coin...add a few more days for shipping and I can add it to my set !! On another note, I too get a bit frustrated at times with the registry but for different issues. I have no problems with PCGS coins in our registry--unless it is one of those Last Minute Registry Participants from the PCGS registry whose entire set is all PCGS coins. I slowly built my set all year of Walkers and cracked the top ten--a nice accomplishment for this popular series. and GM Chow battled all year with Lantern for the #1 spot..then the last 2 weeks or so--TADA !!...two outrageously highly valued sets appear in the #1 and 2 slots..that would have sent me into fits.. Anyhow, my biggest registry complaint will always be how points are assigned. Within the sets themselves there is no problem as everyone works off the same point tables..however when one compares series to series things are seriously skewed.. Let's take a look at 2 series and compare some numbers shall we? A twelve coin set of PF70 Prezzies is worth 10,000+ points !! There are currently 71,084 NGC PF70's alone ( not counting the tens of thousands of PCGS 70's) for the 12 coins that have been issued so far in 3 years. By comparison, since I collect them, the Canadian proof dime has had 33 different issues in the 30 years of the series. In the 30+ years of this series there have been a TOTAL of just 16 coins graded PF70 !! Three of those years have 2 at 70 and Ten years have only a single PF70...and 17 years have no coins graded at PF70 !! Talk about Rare !!..However if I were to assemble an entire set of all 33 coins..with the ultra-rare PF 70's for every year available and 69's in the other 17 slots...technically the finest known, TOP-POP coin for EVERY YEAR FOR 30+ years..the total registry point value would be 8500 points...if you assemble the 12 prezzies in PF70 from the 71,000+ NGC coins you get a whopping 10,896 points... I understand from a business standpoint why NGC does this..they make more money grading prezzie submissions and higher points mean more registry collectors seeking out these coins for points..but as a collector...well it's frustrating.. I have single coins that cost more than an entire Prezzie set that only get 200-300 points...I guess in the end I'll just be satisfied with the knowledge that if I need to sell that my 300 point coin will get $800...I'd rather have that than a 10,000 point set worth $300.. Oh well, my vent is over..and by the way Jay..I can't believe your 1953-67 PL set is only worth 2700 points total..some of your top-pop coins in that set sell for near $500 or so..An amazing set you've assembled.. Here's my new addition..NGC MS67 Walker 1936..fantastic strike and just enough color to make the coin distinctive..

jackson64

jackson64

02/13/2010

 

A Different Perspective

trade silver and gold for paper dollars? I have read at least 4 or 5 recent journals where posters have talked about selling off their silver and gold bullion and coins while the price is "high". For the sake of a different perspective and so that visitors to our site don't think that we're all of like mind on this... I'm of the opinion that you haven't seen anything yet. I thought it might be of interest to some who read these journals to at least get a little balanced viewpoints ( and a little of the dire truth) Here's an interesting link that gives a FANTASTIC true overview of what we are facing--from a non-political or partisanship view. No finger-pointing or blaming...just the TRUE facts and numbers... And for what it's worth....I happen to be one of those--like Kerry and a few others here-- who is buying, buying buying precious metals...after all, the real question is--would you rather be holding physical silver and gold or paper US dollars? You really owe it to yourself to read this article and at least consider all possible scenarios for the upcoming year/s... http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/01.10/normalcy.html

jackson64

jackson64

01/18/2010

Nice Coins Heading For the Melting Pot?

as silver value inches towards numismatic value... Like many of you here I have my little silver hoard stash. My hoard is not in the thousands of ounces where a $5 jump in silver prices would be a nice increase in my assets. With a hundred or more ounces, a hugely significant jump of $5 per ounce would not affect me positively financially--especially when that jump would probably indicate some downturns in other areas of investments. What is of interest to me about potential rising silver is how it affects collectible coins. Most of the high grade coins in mint state that I collect will not be affected at all, however the lower grade coins--many of them classic coinage--could be headed for melting pots.! What a shame for future lower budget and young collectors. I was perusing some price lists (trends for example) and was saddened to see that for many dates the silver value has passed the numismatic value. An example would be common date Franklin halves, Walkers, washington quarters, mercury dimes etc... Often Franklin Half Dollar coins in VF-XF range ( still nicely collectible coins and grades) have a numismatic value of $6 or LESS. However they also have over 1/3rd ounce of silver content. With prices near $18 per ounce for silver-- a slight increase in silver price would make these coins more valuable as silver than as coins, very sad !! I only use the Franklins as an example because when I was a kid, these were the first "higher dollar" coins I bought. Having collected mostly pennies and nickels in thumb buster albums--I'd go to our local coin shop with albums in hand and see if I could fill a few holes. The coin shop had 3-ring notebooks with pages of 2x2's in chronological order and if I was lucky, they may have some affordable ( for a kid with lawn-mowing money) grades that I could plug into my slots. Hopefully there will still be enough that escape melting for the next generation of kids...either that or the ones that are left will become scarcer and more expensive... Either way, I'll do my part..I've started a "rescue the decent coins" mission (not really)..Seriously though, I have started to purchase some nicer coins of even scarcer dates that I can find at or near melt..it is fun to find these old beauties for $8-15 and just put them away for posterity.. Here's a nice little 1933-S Half I picked up for $8 ($11 with shipping) this one will escape the melting pot at least...

jackson64

jackson64

01/05/2010

Coin Construction Project

way too much stuff Well this morning I embarked on a project that was way overdue. I went to the hardware store and bought a few 2" lag bolts, and a 1/2" steel bit to bolt my safe to the floor. I know that I've been acting on faith that my safe wouldn't be stolen. Although it weighs a lot and wouldn't be able to be picked up by a single individual and carried out of my home-- a properly prepared team of thieves could have done it together with a dolly. So I opened it up ( the bolts go through the inside to the floor underneath--it will take a full removal of the floor for it to be moved without the combination). Once inside I started clearing it out--insurance policies, SSN cards, wife's jewelry, passports etc...and of course, my hoard/collection. How much fun it was to slowly "inventory" all of the swag. I went through my stackable, silver-colored NGC slab boxes...then some rolls and tubes of Silver Eagles. I found the albums that I have assembled (reminding myself that there were a few upgrades that I've been meaning to get) and in the back was a nice surprise that I forgot I had. There were 5 nice 1995 proof ASE's that I had bought years ago, still in their boxes. I found other loose stuff--doubles I've been meaning to sell, about 20+ coins that I've always intended to get slabbed... So I guess the lesson is, that it's time again for my annual " clear out the impulse buys" sale. Sometimes I wonder if I have a touch of that "hoarder" mentality in me..but since it's just with coins and bullion nobody has deemed it necessary to have an "intervention" for me. Here's another of my foolish coin things that I do...I paid $15 to get a $20 coin slabbed--go figure. Oh well, it looks great in my High Seas collection...Copper coin from Cyprus with an ancient galleon on it...

jackson64

jackson64

12/28/2009

Forced to 'Settle"

it's all about the coins I'm sure that I'm not the only one who does this, however since the journals are supposed to be about our personal collecting experience-- this is my story..and my personal quirk. When building a set, especially a set of classic coinage, I decide what grade/s I'd like to assemble the set in according to my price range. Most classic sets will have a key-date or two that either have to be purchased in a lower grade or money needs to be saved to purchase them in my target grade range. I look through the price guides and various auction's "prices realized" info to get an idea of what the highest grade I can fill the slot with according to my means. This helps in a few ways. First is that I'm very familiar with what each coin's particular price, value and cost should be if one becomes available. Secondly, it keeps me from over-paying out of impulse and assists in keeping me patient ( waiting for the right coin and also at the right price.) Thirdly, it keeps me from buying a coin to fill a slot and then upgrading it later for the grade I wanted in that slot in the first place. For my slow-growing Walking Liberty Half Mid-date set I have gone through and targeted grades and decided that I can fill a handfull with MS67's..most at MS66 and I'll have to settle on MS65's for 2-3 dates. In the end this will get me nowhere near a #1 registry ranking (which is never my goal anyhow), however it will be the best set that I can assemble with my modest means ( and maybe around the top-ten). NOTE: I hope I don't give the impression that I don't like being #1 or winning stuff, it's just that I am pragmatic and know that I can't even come close to competing with the big boys in a classic coin series. Last night I "settled" for a coin a grade lower than the target grade I aspired to for that date. Who knows, I may eventually buy an MS67 for the 1934 example for my set...but I don't think I'll ever part with the MS66 I bought last night. Oh well, in the end it is all about the coins and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to live with this one..

jackson64

jackson64

12/18/2009

Celebrating Holidays, Numismatist Style

a new ornament for the tree Our family is big on tradition. Since I was a little kid we have had certain family traditions that even now I still hold onto and have tried to pass to my kids. For example, on Thanksgiving, all of us adults are required to find a Bible verse that mentions thanksgiving or gratitude..we then take turns reading them before the family prayer and the feasting begins. Another long-held tradition is buying a Christmas tree the Friday after Thanksgiving. I know it seems early to many, but I remember the fun of it as a kid. My parents piling us all into the latest jalopy ( remember those station wagons with the fake, plastic paneling and riding in the far rear in the little seat that faced backwards?)then heading out to "the country" to find a Christmas tree farm. Usually hot cider was served and we'd walk row after row looking for just the right one. Inevitably the tree looks nicer in the field than the living room where it has a striking resemblance to the tree Charlie Brown bought. ( or it was 2 feet higher than the ceiling). This year I kept the "after Thanksgiving" tree buying tradition alive--by myself. My wife is a dialysis RN and can't just take days off as she wishes. My daughter got home from college Wednesday night and is visiting friends who've scattered around the country ( and world) but are also back home for the holidays. So I bought the tree, did the trimming and evened out the bottom of the trunk so that it won't lean (too much.) The decorating is to be done Saturday as a family. I did pull out the box of ornaments however. Many are very special, reminders of Christmas' past. As I sat there deep in the nostalgic thoughts that each different ornament stirred up, I came across an ornament I added to the collection just a few years ago. I found this pretty Morgan dollar, nicely struck, mint state and beautifully toned...but in a bezel a few years ago. No longer worth any numismatic value..it has become a family treasure since it is one of "dad's ornaments". You see, what was once a "ruined coin" from being made into jewelry, will someday be on one of my daughter's trees and she'll explain to the grandkids ( if I'm no longer around) that Grandpa was a coin collector..so a new tradition gets started..

jackson64

jackson64

11/28/2009

I don't Understand Teletrade

is it an auction site or a sales site? I have been confused about this for a while and have found through chat and forums, so are many others. If you'll excuse what must sound like a rant, a couple of confused questions and some things that I know have happened. Maybe someone can PM me with some insight. Facts: 1) I have been high bidder at the close of certain auctions and not won the item. 2) The opening bid does not appear to be the "reserve" price, in fact a reserve is not posted. 3) Many of the coins appear to be not auction consignments but list items from their inventory. 4) A friend recently sold some items on Teletrade..was paid for them..and saw his same coins re-listed at an auction a month later with a $100 start bid higher than what they sold for when he auctioned them. 5) I have posted bids ( say $800 for example) and then it says my bid was accepted and someone else holds a higher bid because it says "current bid $850, bid $900 or more"--either someone else has put in a high start bid or it is an inventory item that hasn't reached the wanted price yet. Now I have issues with there not being a reserve--how do we know that we are not being schill bid? Why waste our time with an item that we have no chance of winning because what they want is above our max amount..and even if we are high bidder we don't win the item? Is it unfair if Teletrade bids on items that are selling if the price seems low? As a seller I guess I'd be happy that Teletrade bought my coin at the next increment...as a buyer I am at a HUGE disadvantage because someone is bidding against me who is not facing the 15% buyers fee tagged on at the end. In the end all of my ranting amounts to the fact that I would like to see a reserve posted. If I can't meet the reserve I won't bid. Or if I am high bidder at close then I should win the coin !! If anyone knows what is up with how their "auctions" work..please send me a private message, I don't want to turn the journals into a forum for a topic.. On a bright side, I bid several times on a coin at Teletrade that has come up at auction over the past weeks ( month/s?) Each time I either get outbid or it looks like I won and then the coin shows up again in a week or two. I took up the hunt for a similar coin at a close price and actually found a NICER coin, at $100 cheaper and with a rare *star designation too !! My newest addition..1939 NGC MS67*...she's stunning !!

jackson64

jackson64

11/23/2009

Fantastic Addition to a Neglected Set

haven't bought a sailing ship coin in 6 months ! No I haven't abandoned my "HIGH SEAS" signature collection. To many who read the journals and are members of various boards that chat about coins..I'll probably always be known as " the ship coin guy." It's just that I've been so focused on getting some key Walker upgrades while it seems that many higher grade- nicer coins have hit the market. I don't know why so many upper grade Halves have hit the market, maybe people having tough times are selling off. If so, then I hope that my bids and buys have helped my fellow collectors out some, who've had to sell their collections. So I looked back at my invoices/receipts and noticed it has been almost 6 months since my last sailing ship coin purchase. This is quite a diversion from a collection that has averaged about 30-40 coins being added a year for the past 5 years. Of course I never do any coin buying with any semblance of control. Not only did I make a bigger dollar purchase, I also bought 5 more $50 range coins too. My reasoning?..I tell myself "Someone else may buy them and I'll never see another one of these issues !!" a couple of quick things.. finally getting back a submission from early October that I had even forgotten about--it's been a while. Also, anyone watching silver? Over $1 jump today !! Looking back, 1 year ago to the day silver was around $9.--...today it's over $18.--...wish I had bought several hundred more ounces..oh well, as they say, hindsight is always 20/20. Here she is, my new Golden Ship beauty..a rare issue also since there were 5,000 proofs minted yet only 100 of these Matte finish coins..enjoy, the Andrew Doria--a great history to this ship and the Dutch..enjoy

jackson64

jackson64

11/16/2009

The Unending Quest

still one final slot to fill Recently I wrote a journal about a coin that "jumped out at me". Well I woke up this morning to find out great news. My willingness to pay a bit extra landed me the coin that had enchanted me. I quickly paid and now only have to wait a few days for it to arrive. I can only hope that it looks as nice in-hand as it does in the images...or dare I hope, maybe even better? This brings me back to the topic. For almost 2 full years now I have needed the final Walker half to finish my short set--the 1941-S. I have a specific standard that I seek. I want an MS66 and I want that MS66 to look closer to an MS67. OR-- I will accept an average strike coin if it has some eye-appealing attribute that makes the coin distinguishable. I have remained true to my standards and the search has been fruitless, however I believe that one will eventually become available. I remain staunch in my determination and unyielding to compromise and the temptation to just "fill the hole and be finished." So in the meantime I've been upgrading existing coins in the set that fall below the big pricejump line ( I'm sure that many of you know full well what I'm alluding to by "the pricejump line"). Also I started on the next expansion of the set..the 20 mid-date coins from 1934-1940. Last night's coin win was one of these. A quick note about the 1940-S if you'll indulge me. The 1940-S is also a very scarce coin to find with a nice strike ( like the 41-S). Not only is the thumb usually flat but often the skirt lines are incomplete, the side of Liberty's face may be flat with no hair/cap/face seperation..and even the eagle's breast on the reverse can be flat without feather definition. I've seen MS65's that looked like that. The reason the coin I bought jumped out at me was because of the very strong strike for the date--with only the flatness in the thumb area--and also the wonderous golden toning that has developed. The toning adds a rich golden hue but also has a light rosy blush near the rims..and the luster still pops through with the flowlines visible. Can you tell that I love and study this series a lot? Okay, so without further adieu..probably not to everyone's taste but it sure does the trick for me..my 1940-S MS66 NGC..CAC..images are in the set gallery..

jackson64

jackson64

11/10/2009

"Jump Out At You" coins

sometimes you have to pay a little extra.. A friend of mine, who works for an auction house, recently said something that must have planted itself in my brain. I didn't give it much thought at the time but it must have germinated until the proper time and then his offhand remark blossomed up into an enlighting bit of advice. His comment? He was discussing some coin images that someone had posted and he said " oh yes, I remember that coin. I had that in my collection for almost 10 years." What is significant about this you may ask? Well I later started thinking about my own collection. My screensaver is a screen-wide image of my 1941 Walker that Coindude ( Sam) photographed for me. I would recognize this coin 10 years from now even if I sold it tomorrow. However that coin is more of an exception..except for just a few coins in my collection, if I had to sell them all off and try to re-build my collection in the future, only a handful would I recognize as a coin that I used to own. Really, the fact of the matter is, I wouldn't recognize any of my proof or MS70's from the tens of thousands of other ones. Even in my older-dated coins, if I had chosen to buy a white coin with good luster and good strike, then that coin would be almost indistinguishable from the masses of similar coins. Which brings me in a round-about-way to the Title. I was recently surfing auctions, rapidly clicking through listings and images...when suddenly a coin "Jumped Out At Me". I'm sure that many of you ( if not all) know what I mean. Two-three seconds per glance and then on to the next lot and then WHAM..you find yourself drinking in the detail, color, luster of some unique coin that has bedazzled you. Well I shook my head to break the enchantment and promptly entered a max bid equal to Full Retail Value !! I was stunned and disheartened to find that old familiar.." you are currently the high bidder, however the reserve has not been met" This is when the voice and comment of my friend sprouted to the surface..this was one of those coins that I would recognize ten years from now. Instead of navigating away from the page, I promptly raised my bid another 3 increments and passed the reserve. Now I haven't yet won the coin but I feel alot better about having given it a real shot. Sometimes the truly special coins cost more than list price for a reason, it doesn't mean that we've paid too much. Latest "upgrade" is actually the same grade as I already had but was too pretty to pass on..

jackson64

jackson64

11/05/2009

A Registry Milestone For Everyone

collections are soaring A recent posting by NGC got me surfing through some of the dark recesses of this site. The comment I read was about the new record number of registry participants this year. Maybe the economic recession is not as bad as thought?..or maybe investors see the track record of coins as a long-term investment and have looked for other options besides stocks to invest in?..or maybe there are just more people discovering just how much fun and satisfaction there is in collecting coins and building ( and completing) a nice registry set. I don't Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or even text message..the registry has become my on-line community of friends. I really do love when I check my email and find that some of my friends here at CS/NGC have sent me a message. It's great to have people who share a common interest and a place where we can share our love of the hobby-- even though our tastes/preferences can be very diversified. The Registry Record I spoke of is something I noticed while surfing around on the site. I checked the Overall Registry points and noticed that recently, a 100,000 point collection will no longer rank a person in the top 500 !! That is quite a testament to the growing popularity of our hobby, the great job done here at the registry and most of all, the time and effort we the collectors have invested in our collecting. On a side note, if you do not take the time occasionally to view some of the amazing sets in this registry you really are missing something. I noticed that the #1 overall set was around 4,000,000 points ahead of the second place set. I recommend to everyone to check out Yeoldone's seated half dime and dime collections--sets that are beyond words. Keep up the enthusiasm and please, please, please....post pictures !! here's a picture of a little addition to my sailing ship coins collection..a territorial quarter from the Marianas

jackson64

jackson64

10/05/2009

Right Coin--Wrong Time

bad timing It never ceases to happen to me. When I have some money saved in my coin budget there just don't seem to be any "really special" coins available for the sets that I focus on. Being a bit of a coin addict, it is hard for me to be patient and wait with that extra money sitting in the coin account. Even as a kid if I had $10 from cutting a neighbor's lawn or shoveling some snow that money was just dying to be spent. I'd like to say that I saved up those funds for coins to fill holes in my Lincoln thumbbusters, but by the time I got done with baseball cards, Zots, Pop Rocks, Double-Bubble etc. etc.--I was lucky if I had enough to buy even 1 hole-filler. Now it's not candy and baseball cards but inevitably I'll end up with a small random purchase or 2 of a proof set or cool designed foreign coin, followed by a minor upgrade of a 65 to a 66 ( when what I really want is a 67 that will be a permanent fixture in my collection.) As soon as I dwindle my coin funds down to a small amount..taadaa !! presto !! A gorgeous coin of a quality rarely seen will appear at auction. Then comes the scrambling. I'm sure many of you know what I mean by scrambling. For example: the coin will sell at around $1000...currently you have around $400 available for purchases and the auction ends in a week ..scramble time !! Sometimes it's some quick cash raised by selling some of the random buys on ebay, sometimes it's slabs offered up on these NGC forums or traded/sold at TS. Factor in the paycheck coming in 2 weeks and whether any bills will be late if you steer the funds to a coin purchase instead of paying on time and how steep will any late fees be. It's madness...99% of the time I just don't buy it being a responsible adult but every once in a while.... So again I find myself in this familiar dilemma..$500 short of a "permanent collection coin." This may be the 1% however. It won't require too much scrambling to free up the funds and nothing is due until October 15th, so I may just go for it. It sure would have been nice however, if the coin that has had me visiting its image over and over, would have appeared on November 1st instead. I get an annual annuity dispersement each November..but then, with my bad timing, it will be a period of slim pickings for quality upgrades available for my collection.....if I could only find a way to save those funds until the perfect coin came along...but then maybe there are some traits we never grow out of... My first CAC coin...1944-D MS67

jackson64

jackson64

09/29/2009

A Wild Ebay Ride

cleaned out my "impulse buys" At least once a year I try and take the time to go through my various cubbies, drawers, safe and SDB and pull out all of my impulse buys. It is amazing how many random coins I acquire each year that don't even come close to fitting into any of the sets that I am "actively building." Not just my impulse buys but also doubles from coins in my real sets that I've upgraded, coins I purchased to help a friend out, ones I've been holding until bullion values rose etc. I could easily turn this into a discussion about whether we Numismaniacs actually have a "Hobby or Habit", however I'm going to try and stay with my original topic for once. There have been 3 wonderful advancements to our great hobby in the past 20 years or so ( although you'd never guess by some of the negativity you consistently read in the forums and here in the journals). The 3 great changes? First came the advent of Grading Services and slabbed coins..the security of having coins authenticated and assigned an "official" ( yet not always accurate) grade was huge.   Secondly, there is the introduction of the registries. We all know that the point system is not perfect, heck, last week I turned down a chance to own the 12 Presidential Dollars in PF70UCAM for $299 ( just not my taste) the only thing that tempted me was the OVER 10,000 points for these coins. I have coins I've paid $300 for that don't even get 300 points..go figure. What we do have though is a great community or Coin Club whose foundation is its members/collectors, not just the NGC letterhead ( at times we can even resemble a dysfunctional family with all of our infighting and diverse personality and opinions) but in the end we all are joined by our appreciation and enjoyment of these hand sized pieces of amazing artwork. Thirdly, and sometimes overlooked in its huge importance to our great hobby's advancement are the on-line auctions. As a kid collecting, when I had a slot in an album to fill and my one and only local coin shop didn't have it?...I'd have to wait and hope that he might get one in the future, there were no other options for me. Now if I want a date-even in a particular grade or slab- I don't need to do anything more than surf through the 2-3 dozen auction sites, on-line sellers and inventories of dealers. Usually I even get to be picky. Which brings me back to the Ebay wild adventure. So I realize that I hadn't sold anything on the bay in almost a year and wasn't sure what to expect since I've been hearing how far it has fallen. I listed 24 lots/auctions last Friday of all of my doubles and impulse buys..by Sunday night I had bids on 15 of the 24 but most were just opening 99c bids. I figured I'd spent around $650 on all of the stuff and wanted to get around $800 in the end considering silver was around $11 when I purchased a lot of it and is now at over $17. Anyhow, to cut this short, I have now gotten bids on all 24 items and they are slowly inching up in price with the mad rush of snipers ( I hope) coming later tonight. I am no big fan of fees and find the "paypal only" rule offensive, however if you want to get rid of stuff quickly and get paid quickly..it really is hard to beat. Speaking of impulse buying...here's a picture of a pretty Franklin Half that I "had to buy"...as a friend of mine likes to justify his flighty actions with the phrase "it was a moral imperative"..especially since it cost only $21.. SPAM: for those who care to follow the ebay story to its conclusion and verify that ebay still works ( and I don't make this stuff up) http://shop.ebay.com/jax462/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=

jackson64

jackson64

09/18/2009

Busy Coin Week

I actually added a registry coin !! I'll keep this short..it's been a bit of a busy coin week for me. I sent away 8 of my Walkers for photoing by a friend who is very professional and skilled at coin photography. I have to laugh because although I have seen evidence of his talents by looking at some of his other work, he explained to me that he didn't have a lot of experience with this series. What makes it funny is that even someone with his skill level, could still run into the same issues I was having with my modest photo set up. Problems like trying to show the luster but not have the brilliance/shine obscure details..highlighting details/strike without having every tiny nick look like a gouge..etc etc.. In the end his results were spectacular if I may say so... Also I finally broke down and decided which set I'd work on next. I finished my MS67 Mercury dime short set in April and have been deciding on which registry set to pursue. The finalists were: a Buffalo Nickel short set, a Standing Liberty Quarter one-per-date set; an MS63 Peace Dollar set (decided to do an album of these instead)..in the end I decided to stick with the Walkers and just go with the Mid-size set. This set, for those unfamiliar, runs from the 1934 coins all the way to the end of the series. So the 1941-47 short set has 20 coins..and now I'll need an additional 20 for the mid set. I bought my first one last night..a nice 1940 MS66 with attractive russet toning and well struck...it's the easiest date for this part of the set but you gotta start somewhere.. Here's one of the fabulous photos that Sam (Coindude) did for me..some of you may remember my futile efforts at imaging this coin..finally, pictures that show what the coin looks like in hand !!......NOTE: because of shrinking the imagesize per the requirements for this board the images lost some clarity..but they still look great Full screen on my computer...

jackson64

jackson64

08/31/2009

When The Going Gets Tough

the tough get going? Times are tough, no doubt, and with encouraging news about the economic turnaround like "Job Loss Rate is Slower this Month"..or "Banks Report Smaller Loss than Expected", it is no small wonder that I have read many posts about fellow collectors selling their collections or leaving the hobby... Chat boards are slower, less journals posted, fewer bids on items at the weekly auctions..... Well you may have noticed that I have been absent (mostly) for a few months. Part of this is due to my normal summer hobbies ( fishing,vegetable gardening, sailing) taking away the time from my year-round hobby, numismatics. I have not added a new coin to the registry in a few months. This does not mean that I have been absent from the hobby though. When the going gets tough...the smart try a different tact. As a collector I hope it never happens, however there are scenarios where I'd have to sell my collection for cash liquidity. That does not mean I'd quit being a coin collector. In the past when times were tight, I simply switched gears--into reverse-- and collected as I did when I had little money. This week I started a fun album collection..XF/AU Peace Dollars. I should be able to collect almost all of them for $30 or less...I can take my time finding them, in fact, I'm going to try and find them all with the same color and "look". A friend of mine recently told me that this can be fun and not nearly as easy as you may think. Try building a matching set of XF coins from a series...all with normal grayish color, uncleaned, no rim dings, gouges or big scratches, and comparable amount of wear on each coin...still think this will be easy? Plus, I happen to really like the look of a Peace dollar with just a little circulation....(I think I might build an AU set of Franklins next) So that's what I'm going to do during these tight times...as a collector I will collect..it will just be a different type of collecting and grade of coin I'll be seeking...happy hunting Here is a coin that I bought from the hoard..Bob let me have it for $20..the coin is a Silver Eagle that has toned incredibly. It is natural toning, the coin happened to be in this small white envelope with the purchase date still on it, however I'm sure NGC would bodybag it because it looks just too beautiful to be real...guess they would consider it "questionable toning" (I have seen a few of these in PCGS slabs at auction on Teletrade though)...pretty coin isn't it?

jackson64

jackson64

08/19/2009

The Hoard...Part 2

fun and frustrating.. When I last left off, I had sat down with B** and we were discussing what to do with the 5 toolboxes of coins. He has decided to leave them all to K***'s 15 year-old daughter for her college fund. My part is to separate out the coins that will potentially get more money if certified..and to sort/catalog the remainder...here are some of the finds in the first 4 boxes: --700 silver dollars--most BU of common dates ( $25-50 each in 62/63) and the semi-key and keys are almost all worn -- over 300 ounces of silver-- including many mint rolls ( with green caps) of Silver American Eagles -- about 100 xf/au Indian heads... --1000+ worn walkers and Franklins..no key date Walkers and the entire group is at or near melt value --a few hundred Buffalo nickels, many semi-keys in the AU range and worth a few hundred for a few..many BU common dates not worth slab costs and lots of partial dates -- rolls and rolls of orignal Roosevelt dimes dated from 1949-1956..all pristine with highly toned end coins( unless they're MS68's not really worth the slab cost for a $50-75 coins).. -- about 2 dozen XF 3-cent nickels -- about 50 total Seated coins from half dimes to quarters, the few harder dates being more worn and the xf/au coins being easier dates but still in the $80-120 range -- a hundred or so Barber coins, almost exclusively in the solid VG/F grade with partial to full liberty on the headbands -- multiple proof sets of every year from 1956 through 1981...none of the pre-1970 sets display cameo, although there are some fabulously toned coins and pristine specimens --sacks & envelopes filled with Washington Quarters, another with wheaties, circulated mercs and wartime nickels -- a complete Capital Plastics displayed set of mixed grade Washington's..the 1932-D and S would grade VF and F conservatively --filled penny albums, miscellaneous modern commems from the 80's including the 3-piece ( with gold coin) Statue of Liberty, Constitution and Olympic sets--the only gold I found --Canadian silver commems and a roll of Mexican onza bullion coins.. and on and on... There were a few good finds mixed in: ---11 GSA Morgans, including 3 different Carson City dates --- an 1864 L Indian cent with nice details but some reverse pitting ( NGC details grade for this one) --- a beautiful BU 1934-S Peace Dollar ( also a lustrous 26-S) --- an 1854 with arrows Seated Quarter in AU/BU slider --- 5 Type 2 1979-S proof sets --- a worn 1893-O Morgan --- an 1881 shield nickel in au/bu and 3 highly worn 1912-S Liberty nickels ( there were a lot of Liberty nickels) --- a very pretty 1859 Trime, toned and in xf/au In the end, the vast majority were sadly worth little more than their melt value. There were about 200+ coins in the $50-100 value range which makes them not worth slabbing. Maybe 40 total coins worth encapsulating because of their scarcity or they could grade high enough to be worth it. In the end it was very fun to sort through them all, the anticipation that the next coin may have a 1942/1 or that 37-D might have 3 legs..kept it exciting. I must admit to a degree of disappointment in the end for not having found a few $5000+ coins or low mintage rarities..............HOWEVER...... Before everyone gets the impression that I wasted my time, B** did mention to me that his brother's safe is full of coins that he kept seperate from the rest of the hoard..so the dream remains alive !! Also, don't feel too bad for me..I told him to hold onto the bulk of the coins for now while the market is down and just slab the choice ones..however when the market picks up he has asked that I help liquidate them and has agreed to a small % of the proceeds for me !! With $25,000-30,000 in coins and bullion so far, my efforts for my friend may yield me enough to purchase one High Grade addition to my own collection... I'll update you on what is in the safe ( I'm going to inspect the contents Wednesday)..in the meantime you'll pardon me please if I dream about Bust coinage and Trade Dollars....St Gaudens and key dates.....

jackson64

jackson64

08/14/2009

Massive Coin Hoard

not mine, but I get to catalog it.. Yes it is true..I am lucky enough to be the first person to go through this stash/hoard in around 20 years. If I may, a little background first...... One of my fishing buddies K*** is independently wealthy, I've never asked what he did for a living or where it came from, but he is nearing 50 and has been "retired" for as long as I've known him. One of our long-time friends is B**, an older gentleman who used to teach sailing classes and navigation using astrological charts ( a lost art with GPS). He is around 70 and retired to the Florida coast 5 years ago. B** does sail up to Maryland every spring however and spends his summers docked at K***'s boathouse and visiting friends and family. Unfortunately about 3 weeks ago B**'s brother died and he has been handling all the affairs since he is also sole beneficiary...and here's the part I'm sure everyone would like me to get to...his brother had a stash !! On a recent day catching some Rockfish ( striped bass to you non-Marylanders) and Mackerel, B** said "are you still doing the stuff with coins?" I told him yes, whenever I could..and he told me that when we got back to K***'s house that he had some coins he wanted me to look at that he had gotten from his brothers garage. I agreed, however I must admit that I've heard this enough to already envision a tin can or two of worn mercs,wheaties, mixed foreign coins and maybe a 1921 Morgan at best. When we went into K***'s basement (where much of the contents of B***'s late brothers house now resides)..there were 5 jumbo tool boxes with padlocks. I went to lift one to put it in the middle of the floor and nearly threw my back out !! After unlocking and opening just the first toolbox I think I stood there stunned, motionless and holding my breath for at least a minute...finally with an explosive gasp I just said WOW !! Thousands of coins of all sizes, denominations, mintpacks, flips, 2X2's, .. So we sat down and decided to talk first about what to do with them....   This is running a bit long so I will update you on my progress in cataloging the hoard in a day or two and what B** decided to do with them...for now, to whet your appetite and show that I am not exaggerating...a picture.. The first pic is just the top tray in one of the tool boxes, the second pic shows the stacks of tool boxes filled with to bursting, and the final/bottom pic is my feeble first attempt at just sorting the first few hundred BU Silver Dollars... PS: if anyone from NGC reads these, I hope you have bulk rates....

jackson64

jackson64

08/10/2009

In Defense of NGC

A picture is worth 1000 words Let me say first of all that I have had my issues with NGC. In a hobby where a subjective opinion (eye appeal is 1/4th of grade consideration) can mean the difference in a one point grade change and hence THOUSANDS of dollars, it can be quite frustrating when my taste or what appeals to my eye seems to differ from the graders. My coin comes back MS66 worth $400 and it looks like an MS67 $4000 coin to me. After a day of shrugging off the disappointment, I just live with it. I still have a coin that reflects my tastes and I probably wasn't gonna sell it anyhow, so why get worked up? Bodybags...when I see my grades posted I'm always disappointed to get an ungraded coin sent back. The fact is, I paid for their professional opinion ( includes receiving & shipping clerks, warehouse people, coin handlers, computer personelle, secrataries and graders etc) if my coin does not meet the criteria for their quality standards, then it gets sent back with an explanation. I can honestly say that about 95-99% of the time they are right and saw something I missed. By the way, since I have bought a 20X loupe and bought a numismatic library to further educate myself on coins..I have had only 1 bodybag in the last 3 years !! Quality Control....we live in an imperfect world and once in a while the flaws come our way. I'm amazed that with a company that encapsulates 100's of thousands of coins annually that they are as efficient as they are. We also must keep in mind who is ultimately at fault. NGC does not own a plastics shoppe. A lacking bevel or mis-sized label is an error in the production and QC of their supplier. If they had to visually inspect every slab and insert that was sent to them, we'd be lucky to get our coins back in 6 months !! Professionalism...I have had 3 coins out of hundreds that had problems that were undoubtedly NGC's fault. One was a spelling error and the other 2 were foreign gold coins that had the wrong mintmark. I WENT TO THE PROPER FORUM..I called them and spoke with some thoroughly professional and apologetic individuals on the phone. The situation was rectified without costing me a penny..I simply mailed them back with a submission, they fixed the labels and re-holdered them without charge and mailed them back to me with my graded submission... I know that many who write in the journals are relatively new collectors and I really enjoy reading your posts. The enthusiasm and joy at your new acquisitions is contagious and keeps my own personal passion for the hobby alive. If I may be so bold, a few suggestions? an old, old saying in the hobby: Buy the book before you buy the coin. Measure the upside and downside of a coin before you submit...if a coin is likely to grade 68 or 69 and have a value of $25-30, why would you pay $15 to get it slabbed? You'd have to own it 20 years for that coin's value to jump to $45. Also, I highly recommend to everyone to go to the NGC Chat Boards and ask questions. There are dozens of lifetime collectors who are always willing to advise and teach..many Big Auction dealers, owners of legendary collections and even former graders....the value of the knowledge they share can literally be seen in your collections value and the money you save avoiding common mistakes... I hope nobody takes any offense from this, I enjoy all of you here in the community..I'd hate to see you get frustrated and give up on a hobby that you've enjoyed so much without first getting a different perspective....as always, Happy Hunting...

jackson64

jackson64

07/28/2009