CoinsbyGary

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About this journal

When I was a young boy, my cousin introduced me to the hobby of coin collecting. Because I was also interested in photography, I used to frequent a local camera store. Along with camera supplies, this store had a rotating display case full of coins that I enjoyed scrolling through. My very first coin purchase was an 1881-S Morgan Dollar in BU PL condition; this coin was old, shiny, and inexpensive at just $12! Now 35 years later, I still own that 1881-S Morgan Dollar, even though it is still worth less than $100. I loved looking through the Red Book dreaming of the coins I would buy if I had the money, especially the coins in the back of the book where the gold listings are. As a teenager, I was beginning to show signs of gold fever.

Working through high school, I spent the bulk of the money I did not save on coin purchases. My first gold purchase as a teenager was an 1881 BU Half Eagle for $105 from a mail order ad in "Coins" magazine. Since then I have had this coin graded, and it resides in my Gold Liberty type collection graded at PCGS MS-62.

My next gold purchase as a youth stretched my resources. I purchased an 1858-C VF Half Eagle for $350, and my attraction to this coin was that it had a low mintage from an obscure branch mint. I also enjoy the comradely among fellow coin enthusiasts, and once I invited a kid to attend a coin show with me who was much younger than I was. As fate would have it, this kid happened to be the son of my mother’s boss. This boss always said to my mother how impressed he was with me taking his son to that show. As for me, I enjoy the company of fellow coin collectors, whoever they may be.

Two other purchases I made as a teen were an 1876 20-cent piece and an 1885-CC Morgan Dollar from the Lavere Redfield hoard. Since then my collecting has been sporadic, depending on my life situation. However, the passion has always been there. Gold has still not lost its luster with me, and today I am a very active collector. The cousin that introduced me to coin collecting years ago no longer collects. For a different twist on my collection, visit my website at: coinsbygary.com

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Entries in this journal

When One Thought Leads to Another

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 c

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/17/2020

Last Reply:
01/18/2020

My Alternative to the 2019-S Enhanced Proof ASE

Let me preface my post by stating that I was not interested in purchasing the recently sold out enhanced reverse proof ASE. That said, I think the finish on the ASE is exquisite. As such it is a remarkably beautiful coin that I would be proud to own. Still, ASE’s are not among the coins I regularly collect.  However, there are a few comparisons I’d like to make between the 2019-S enhanced reverse proof ASE and the British 2019 proof 5-pound “Great Engravers” two-ounce silver coin that I now

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

12/20/2019

Last Reply:
12/21/2019

How Did I Get Here?

Numismatics has always been an obsession with me. It’s either all in or all out. While I have been able to maintain an even keel on almost all my sets, it has not been easy as she goes with my new custom set, “The Beginning, Dependability, and End of the Spanish Peseta.” This year most of my custom sets have seen some activity including my Inspirational Ladies set with a new French coin commemorating Joan of Arc and a Fantasy Crown featuring, “The Three Graces.” All my sets have had aesthe

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

11/21/2019

Last Reply:
11/22/2019

I Couldn't Be More Pleased!

A few months ago, I purchased a Spanish Provisional Government 1868 5-peseta copper pattern from an E-Bay seller in Argentina. The listing picture wasn't too good and it seemed like the pattern was a little suspect. Still, this piece is scarce and I have wanted one for quite some time. If I could get it on the cheap, all the better. With what I thought was a fair bid, I won the piece for about half what I could expect to pay for a certified piece. When the pattern arrived, I was very happy

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

11/16/2019

Last Reply:
11/21/2019

 

A Coin May Have Saved the Isabelline Line of Spanish Succession

When I research the coins in my collection I often pour through websites like “Numista” that list dates, mintages, and basic data about world coins. As I have previously posted, I am assembling a Spanish peseta collection. While I was going through the copper issues of the 1870 1, 2, 5, and 10-centimos coins I noticed some anomalies in the years these coins were minted. Interestingly, sometimes you learn more from the questions you ask than you do by the information you absorb. Below are some of

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

11/04/2019

Last Reply:
11/05/2019

The Mighty Peseta

Here I go again, just as I got started on a new collection with a narrow scope, things began to get out of hand and now I am now faced with a giant. Is there a cure for my collecting obsession? Do I want to be cured? Probably not and hence my dilemma as the scope and of necessity, the expense expands. Oh, how I love it! As I previously wrote I intended to start a new set based on the 1869-70 coins of the Spanish Provisional Government. I thought this would be easy because I already owned mo

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/24/2019

Last Reply:
10/28/2019

 

My First Podcast Interview

As a result of my Money Talks presentation at the Words Fair of Money I came into contact with Coin World writer Chris Bulfinch. Chris wanted to talk with me about an article he was working on concerning Laura Gardin Fraser. At the end of that conversation he asked me if I would be willing to do a podcast interview with him of which I was only too happy to do.   Last week that interview was posted on Coin World's website as episode 027. After listening to the interview I think it went

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/07/2019

Last Reply:
10/08/2019

...Of Cracks and Clashes

Since I am starting a new NGC Collectors Society custom set based on the Spanish Provisional Government coins of 1870, I thought to re-image all the coins in the set. It’s funny how when you give your coins another look that you notice new things about them. Or, is it that you haven’t looked in a long time and simply forgot. Either way its part of what makes this hobby fun for me.   One of the coins I re-imaged is an NGC 1870 MS-65 Red 1 Centimo coin. This coin represents the lowes

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/01/2019

Last Reply:
10/06/2019

In the Mean Time...

Well it’s been a long time since I last wrote. Retirement has kept me pretty busy at my church having delivered the morning sermon last Sunday and again tomorrow. With all that I am doing, I have a whole new appreciation of pastors. However, I’m not writing about my outside exploits today but my numismatic ones.   You see while I have been busy with church activities, I have been amassing several new purchases along the way including a new book! I also served as kind of a consultan

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/28/2019

Last Reply:
10/01/2019

Old Friends, New Friends, Good Times

This year’s annual ANA World’s Fair of Money is perhaps one of the most memorable coin shows I have ever attended. Every show is special in its own way but this one was the first one in which I was a Money Talks presenter.   The annual ANA World’s Fair of Money is a wonderful opportunity for advanced and novice collectors alike to locate those hard to find coins for their collections. For some it is a rare opportunity to roam a large bourse floor filled with dealers from across the cou

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/19/2019

Last Reply:
08/21/2019

Summertime Fun

Every year in August my local coin club sponsors a picnic for the members of the club. Out of a total of just over 100 members, 20-30 people typically come out to the picnic along with their spouses. The club supplies the meat and drink and the members bring a dish to pass. If you have good people and good food you usually have a good time.  If that was all there was to the club picnic, I’d be totally happy. What really sets this outing apart is the bingo games for spectacular numismatic pr

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/08/2019

Last Reply:
08/15/2019

The Very First Coin I Purchased and a New Toy!

Recently I bought a new macro lens for my camera. The lens is a Laowa V-DX 60MM F2.8 Macro 2:1. Now I know I already have a macro lens but if I am ever going to take my coin photography on the road, I will need a much more versatile lens. For versatility this lens is it. I can focus in as close as 18.5cm and as far as infinity. At 18.5cm I have 2-1 magnification. The only drawbacks are that I have to focus manually and set the aperture manually. No big deal on those since I already do that.

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

07/18/2019

Last Reply:
07/22/2019

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the Collectors Society Mothers. Some years ago I may have posted this coin but I don't remember. That said the message of this coin is always appropriate and I dedicate it to mothers everywhere. Therefore, I am posting this coin and its story now. The 2008 Latvian 20-Lats gold coin commemorates the 15th anniversary of the renewal of the Lats currency following Latvian independence from the old Soviet Union. Though this coin commemorates Latvian Independence, it also

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/11/2019

Last Reply:
05/12/2019

 

I Am Honored

Sorry folks no image this time! It just doesn't seem quite appropriate for this post. You see, today I have accidently discovered that one of my writings was linked on the website of a national humanitarian organization!   I still have to pinch myself to see if this is really happening! This all started with my coin club asking for club members to give a presentation at some of our upcoming meetings. I thought it would be nice for me to do a presentation based on my Laura Gardin Fraser coi

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

04/16/2019

Last Reply:
04/18/2019

I've Wanted One of these for a Very Long Time!

...And now I have it! A search encompassing a fair number of years has culminated with the purchase of an MS-61 1882-H Newfoundland $2 gold coin. This is like a dream come true from the first time I knew that this coin existed until now. FYI, I bought the book, "The Gold Coins of Newfoundland 1865-1888" shortly after it was published in 2017. In 1865 the Royal Mint began striking new coins exclusively for Newfoundland including a $2 gold coin for a then population of 122,631 people. You w

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

04/09/2019

Last Reply:
04/11/2019

Tincture in Heraldry

Have you ever looked at the shield on many of our 19th and 20th century coins and wondered what the lines across the top horizontal bar of our national shield represent? How about the lines on the vertical bars? Beyond the vertical bars representing the 13 original states holding up the single bar representing the federal government you may be surprised to find that the lines or the lack thereof on the bars are defined by certain colors in heraldry called tinctures. Tincture is a relative

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/25/2019

Last Reply:
08/11/2019

Lessons From the Far Country

Much of this post is quoted from a response to a recent post by thisistheshow entitled, "Let me try this again, for the first time." I made a lot of points in that response that I thought are worthy of an expanded stand-alone post. In a nutshell this post is an autobiography of my 40+ years of collecting coins.  Thinking back on my 40+ years of coin collecting I liken my numismatic experience to that of the Biblical parable of the prodigal son. I started my numismatic journey as a youth wit

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/02/2019

Last Reply:
02/23/2019

Now That I Am Retired, What of Collecting?

As of December 28th 2018, I am officially retired and am eager to move on into another chapter of my life. Retirement came a little sooner than I expected but when my employer offered me a generous buy out, I realized that I had to take it now or never see that opportunity again. Realistically, at 60 years old I had no more than 4 years left anyway and probably a little less. Now retired, I find myself having to live on a lot less money than I had before. To make things easier on my famil

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/28/2019

Last Reply:
01/30/2019

 

A Most Excellent Provenance and a Good Friend

Because of my Laura Gardin Fraser collection an article in the June 2018 issue of The Numismatist entitled, “Fraser Finds”, aroused my interest. The author of that article went on to describe his pure joy at the Fraser finds comparable to that of discovering lost treasure. For my part I found this article fascinating. Never could I have imagined that Tom Rochovansky and his wife Nancy were preserving so much of the Fraser’s work as a legacy to them. Normally for me this is where the story e

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/21/2018

Last Reply:
08/22/2018

 

The BIDE-A-WEE Medal

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

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

06/30/2018

Last Reply:
07/03/2018

 

Allegories in Numismatic Art

One of the things that endears me to coin collecting is allegorical art. I have several sets in my collection based on allegories alone. I have always maintained that coins are a powerful medium to communicate national ideals through allegorical images. For me a lot of the fun in collecting coins is deciphering the allegories. In researching the allegories, I am amazed by how much I have learned about world history through the stories told on coins! For instance I had not known that the nam

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

06/02/2018

Last Reply:
06/02/2018

 

Older and Wiser

I always thought it to be a shame if a person only grows older without growing any wiser. People often classify such a person as a fool. Concerning my relationship to coin collecting, wiser after so many years has finally come!   After going trailblazers buying Morgan Dollars several years ago, I had lost interest in the series and finally sold off much of my collection in 2017. Now my interest in Morgan Dollars only includes the following: MS-65 and higher Morgan’s, GSAs, and Carson C

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/15/2018

Last Reply:
02/03/2018

 

A Golden Opportunity

Over the last several years I have been feverishly working to upgrade the gold coins in my collection since the spot price of gold has fallen from its peak valuation in the fall of 2011.   In the last two years or so I have been able to upgrade several of the MS-62 and lower graded gold coins in my collection to 63 and 64. To date, I have been happy with the quality of the MS-63 and 64 gold coins I bought and I consider them to be the final upgrades for my gold type set. With the spot

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

12/10/2017

Last Reply:
12/10/2017

 

The National Geograhic Society Hubbard Medallion

The National Geographic Hubbard Medallion is named after the first president of the National Geographic Society, Gardiner Greene Hubbard. It is the National Geographic Society’s highest award and is conferred on persons who distinguish themselves by a lifetime of achievement in research, discovery, and exploration. This prestigious award was first presented to Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary in 1906. [1] [2] The Hubbard Medallion redesigned by Laura Gardin Fraser in 1951 is str

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/04/2017

 

The Numismatic Beauty of a Strong Allegory

There are few things in numismatics that I enjoy more than strong allegories on coins and medals. Where the allegory is unknown, I endeavor to decipher it within the historical context of the numismatic piece. Because of this love I created two NGC custom sets, “Inspirational Ladies” and “The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics.” Researching the coins and medals contained in these two sets has given me many hours of enjoyment! One coin that I recently acquired illustrating a strong allegor

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/30/2017

Last Reply:
06/28/2017