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

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

 

There’s Nothing Like a Coin Album for Presenting Your Collection

With the advent of the NGC and PCGS registries came new and improved ways to catalog, preserve, and display the coins in your collection. This after years of collectors plugging raw coins into albums. Yet, I feel that there was something nostalgic about plugging coins in an album that may have been lost. PCGS has tried to recapture that nostalgia in their registry with their coin album software. I must say that for a while I was impressed and jealous. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer NGC’s regi

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/17/2017

Last Reply:
06/22/2017

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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:
02/27/2019

 

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

 

Shifting Gears and a Different Direction

One might think that shifting gears and a different direction are synonymous. However, the truth is that though related, they are two separate actions. A different direction in that I will be liquidating a portion of my current collection to focus on another and shifting gears in that I will be buying fewer but higher quality coins to upgrade the remaining sets. All this started with my losing interest in collecting Morgan Dollars. A year or two into collecting Morgans, I got bored with them.

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

03/22/2017

Last Reply:
04/13/2017

 

One of the More Intricate & Beautiful Coins I Have Ever Seen

When I read Jackson64’s journal, “Added coins 4 and 5 to my Jersey 1/12 shilling set” I got stoked because there was much about what he was saying about his style of collecting that matches my own. For instance, I like to manage 4 or 5 sets at a time like he does. Currently, I am working on a US type set, along with my custom sets Inspirational Ladies, The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics, and The Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser. Still, there is a bit of a twist to my collecting

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

04/26/2017

Last Reply:
04/29/2017

 

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

 

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

 

My UHR Double Eagle

Looks as if the earliest ship date is Feb. 6 The order for my UHR Double Eagle chimed in at 7 minutes after the hour, meaning that mine should be amongst the earliest ship dates. I have an expected ship date for the coin and book of Feb 6. I will post a new journal when it arrives at which time I will send it off to NGC for grading and early release designation. It may be a blessing in disguise that mine has not been shipped yet. If my coin ships on Feb 6 it will fall into a much more convenie

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/03/2009

 

What Gives?

I don't understand how the US mint operates or in this case doesn't What gives with the US Mint? My UHR double eagle order status was listed as "in process" and the coin listed as "in stock and reserved" with an expected ship date of 2/6/09. Today 2/6/09, I get an e-mail from the mint stating my order is "back ordered" with an expected ship date of 2/21/09. Which is it? I thought in stock and reserved meant they have my coin and need to ship it and back ordered means they do not have my coin ,

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/06/2009

A Submission, a View, and a Purchase

My latest submission, my view on the NGC/PCGS registry debate, and a recent purchase. Wow! Nine days from received to finalized shipped! My NGC world submission received Feb 2, 2009 shipped today Feb 11, 2009. My only wish is that my UHR double eagle order from the mint could be half as fast! As with any submission, there are surprises and disappointments. The disappointment, a 2006 silver Britannia, returned as a MS-62. I bought the coin on EBay and should have returned it, knowing there wa

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/11/2009

Type Collecting and Registry sets

The joy and focus in assembling a registry set One of my favorite categories of collecting is type coins. I put together a set of major designs (no die varieties) that fit into a picture frame size Capital Holder. I can remember my joy when I purchased a 1799 Bust dollar to fill that last hole (a single hole in a set drives me crazy, kind of like a 1916-d Mercury dime hole in a Whitman folder). Since then I have discovered the registry set. One of the cool advantages of registry sets is tha

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/14/2009

What an incredible coin collecting weekend!

It just does not get any better than this! What an incredible coin-collecting weekend! NGC and Collector?s Society are the best. I sent three submissions to NGC for grading. They posted on the web site as received on Feb 16. I made one world submission and two US submissions. The world submission posted finalized/shipped Feb 20 and the US submissions posted finalized/shipped today. The turnaround time at NGC is incredible! To top that off, I am delighted with the grades my coins receive

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/23/2009

 

Journal Entries, Gold Coins, and the Economy.

A journal entry that mislead me, but turned out well Today I saved $50.00 on a coin purchase because of a journal posted by Collector?s Society member ?davidricher? written yesterday. For those of you who read his journal, he stated that the mint would BEGIN shipping UHR?s April 24 and then only to those who placed orders on Jan 22. This afternoon I received an e-mail from the mint stating that they have begun to ship Feb 22 and expect to deliver UHR?s ordered between Jan 22 and Feb 23 BY Apri

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/25/2009

 

2008 Registry Award Winners

Amazed my set won the 2008 Signature Set award for "Most Creative" I had just returned from a short term mission trip to Brazil on January 13, on January 14 I linked up to my signature set "Inspirational Ladies" for the first time in about two weeks. To my surprise, I saw the "2008 Most Creative Signature Set" icon on my set listing. A sudden rush of joy, surprise, pride, and a bit of disbelief overcame me. I still look at my set listing and the judges comments next to the award icon on the wi

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/16/2009

Parallels Between Life and Coin Collecting

As there are lessons to be learned in life, there are also lessons to be learned in coin collecting! Over my years of coin collecting, I have made many mistakes. Most often, my mistakes have cost me money. The positive aspects of these mistakes are the lessons learned that have made me a better coin collector (I wish I knew what it takes to call myself a numismatist). For instance, at one time I used to buy raw gold coins from e-bay listings. Two of my purchases ended up as counterfeits. Sinc

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

03/01/2009

 

An Opportunity to Upgrade!

Upgrading from NCS UNC details cleaned to NGC MS-64 One of the features I like about the Signature Series registry sets is the option to populate slots with NCS slabbed coins. Not that I want to fill my slots with these coins, but I sparingly fill slots with expensive coins that I can purchase for less. When I do populate slots with these coins, it is with an eye to upgrade them at a future date. From time to time I comb e-bay for these coins to see; 1. What prices are my coins bringing on e-b

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/22/2009

Be careful, you may not have to sign for your UHR when it arrives

The only fly in the ointment to an enjoyable day when my UHR arrived. Yesterday evening I received an email from the mint stating that my UHR is on the way. Typically, I receive my items the day after notification. As fate would have it, I worked the graveyard shift last night, assuring I would be home to sign for my delivery. Returning home, I slept on the couch to make sure I would hear the doorbell. Early this morning I heard a heavy truck approach my house and the UPS man (brown really did

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

03/03/2009

 

NGC waves 5 coin Modern Special tier minimum order for UHR Double Eagle Submissions!

The hard part now is waiting for my coin to arrive from the mint. When NGC announced how they were accepting submissions for the new UHR Double Eagles I wondered how I would submit mine as an early release knowing I do not have 4 other coins to meet the 5 coin submission minimum. I decided to inquire about this using the link service@ngccoin.com . Good news! For this coin NGC is waving the 5 coin minimum! I got mine ordered 7 minutes after it went on sale! Now the anticipation of waiting to ga

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/22/2009

Recent Submissions to NCS

After Conservation my coins are returned NGC graded Recently I submitted several coins to NCS for conservation. The Silver and nickel coins had PVC residue on them and the copper coins had carbon spots. One of the copper coins a 1911 Italian 10 centismo I purchased raw for $26.00. I knew of the carbon spotting, but I noticed the coin had a particularly strong strike with no noticeable wear on the high spots of the coin's relief. To see what level of spotting was gradable I sent the coin to NGC

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/26/2009

Collecting Britannias

Strategies for building a top rated set! One of my favorite coins to collect are silver Britannias. The reason I like them is that they are allegorical, featuring ?Britannia? the national personification of the United Kingdom. Another reason I like them is the design changes every year based on a single theme, ?Britannia?. However, another more nostalgic reason is my wife?s British heritage. You can imagine my delight when I found that Collector?s Society added the series as a competitive set.

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

03/12/2009