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

A Virtual Christmas Card for NGC and my Fellow Society Members

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year! Shortly before I graduated from high school in 1976, I bought an 1858-C Half Eagle through a mail order ad in Coins Magazine. Up until that time, this coin was the most expensive coin I had bought at $350.00. Today I still own this coin even though it is details graded VF-30 in an ANACS holder. That following Christmas the dealer with whom I purchased the coin from, sent me a Christmas card that I would like to share with you, my collecting communit

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

12/03/2009

 

Perfect Timing and the High Price of Silver

I could not have chosen a better time to start a high-grade Morgan Dollar collection than now. In addition, there is evidence to show that the value of low-grade, common date Morgan Dollars and the value of silver are joined at the hip. There has never been a better time for me to start a high-grade Morgan Dollar collection than now. Since I started collecting MS-65 and 66 Morgan Dollars in January, I have seen a monthly rise in the value of my collection, and more specifically my MS-66 coins.

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

04/11/2011

Hockey Stick Valuation

?Hockey Stick Valuation? is a trend where a coin steadily increases in value through its grades before reaching a point at which its cost skyrockets. This abrupt and sharp increase in price resembles a ?Hockey Stick? when it is plotted on a graph. There are numerous numbers of coins that display a hockey stick rise in valuation. Among the common date Morgan Dollars, this typically occurs when a coin moves from MS-65 to 66 or MS-66 to 67. Population reports can be a good indicator as to which s

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/13/2011

Gary?s Coins of the Month

This post is the first of what I hope will be a monthly editorial on various coins from within my collection. When I was a young lad, I spent countless hours combing through the ?Redbook of United States Coins? dreaming of the coins I wanted to collect. Two of many coins I dreamed of owning were the type ?1? and type ?2? $4 gold ?Stella?s? (Stella is the Latin word for star). Endearing me to both of these coins is the fact that they are an oddity, struck in gold, and are rare. The fact that th

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/22/2011

Blindsided by Improperly Cleaned!

Borrowing from a term in W.K.F?s recent post, there is no better way to describe learning that your coins have been ?improperly cleaned? than ?blindsided?. Greetings all, have you ever gotten your hopes up about a submission, only to discover your coin is ?not-gradable, improperly cleaned?? I?m sure that for many of you, myself included, this has happened on multiple occasions. I wish there were some way to take the risk out of submissions, but alas, there is none. To sum it all up in a famili

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/17/2010

My First Coin of the Month in 2012

January's coin of the month is a PCGS MS-65 1896 Morgan Dollar. Greetings all and Happy New Years, there is nothing unusual about January's "Coin of the Month". However, the date and obverse design of this month's coin is representative of the life and times of the "Silver Dollar Girl", Miss Anna W. Williams, whose story I will attempt to retell in the body of this post. The Morgan Dollar is one of only a few coins to have the distinction of being named after its designer George T. Morgan. M

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

01/02/2012

1885 Was A Very Good Year

1885 was a very good year for my Morgan Dollar collection, but not so for the Carson City Mint. A number of significant events occurred in 1885; among them were the births of World War II Admiral Chester Nimitz and General George Patton. In 1885, the magazine ?Good Housekeeping? hit the newsstands and Mark Twain?s ?Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? was on the way to become a best seller. In 1885, we saw significant advances in medicine with the first surgical appendectomy and an effective vaccin

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

04/27/2011

Garys March Coin of the Month

This months featured coin (Volume 2 Number 7) is a silver proof-like 1970 Netherlands 10 Gulden coin commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Netherlands liberation from Nazi Germany in 1945. In more than 100 years, the Netherlands has not had a male monarch on the throne. As a result, this Netherlands 1970 silver 10 gulden coin commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of liberation features the two reigning queens of the middle twentieth century. On the reverse of the coin is a lef

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/28/2013

My First Heritage Auction

It may seem strange, but the 7/3/11 internet auction is my first with Heritage Auctions. Most people are creatures of habit, as they lean towards the familiar and shy away from the unfamiliar. However, in order to move ahead in life, one has to take risks and venture outside their comfort zone. This force of habit manifested itself in me by my exclusive use of E-Bay to add coins to my collection. For many years, I thought E-Bay was the greatest thing since Mom?s apple pie. I loved being abl

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

07/15/2011

The Libertas Americana Medal and its Influence on our Earliest Coins

How our early coins show our passion to be free! The end of the Revolutionary War came about when the British Commons, weary of the war, voted in April of 1782 to end the war in America. On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the Revolutionary War. About that time, Benjamin Franklin with an idea for a medal, commissioned French Engraver Augustin Dupre to prepare the dies for the Paris Mint to strike the ?Libertas Americana? medal in 1783. The reverse design on

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

11/14/2009

Gary?s November Coin of the Month

This month?s coin of the month comes from Austria and is part of my ?Inspiration Ladies? custom set. The coin I am featuring this month is widely considered as one of the most beautiful coins in the world. The obverse features a bust of Emperor Franz Joseph 1st and commemorates the 60th anniversary of his reign over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The reverse design often referred to as ?The Lady in the Clouds? is a representation of Klymene, the Titan goddess of ?Fame." This NCS/NGC AU detail

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

11/02/2011

Gary's December Coin of the Month

Greetings everyone, in celebration of my daughter's birthday, I present to you the December "Coin of the Month." About three and a half years ago, I purchased a 300 Baht gold coin from Thailand as a memento to my daughter teaching English in Thailand. I still remember showing her the coin and saying," I bet you never spent one of these." To no one's surprise, she replied that she had not. Also issued in denominations of 150 and 600 Baht, this coin commemorates the 36th birthday of Queen Siriki

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

12/01/2011

A Roll of the Dice

You can buy your modern MS/PFUC 70 coins from a dealer or with a roll of the dice buy them directly from the mint at a lower price and hope for a 70 grade on your submission. I recently purchased one each of the P&W mint marked 2011 September 11 National Medal from the US Mint. The next day I sent both medals to NGC for certification and eventual incorporation into my ?Inspirational Ladies? custom set. Since some of these medals are already certified, I found ?Modern Coin Mart? offering

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/10/2011

Phase 1 Complete

The selling of my problem gold completes the first phase of reorganizing my collection. Greetings, three weeks ago I wrote of a major shift and reorganization in my collection. This shift in my collection started the day I bought a VG-10 1893-S Morgan Dollar. Since the 1893-S Morgan Dollar represents the most money I have ever paid for a coin, there was no way I could have purchased it without selling something. Oddly enough though, according to Numismedia my 2009 Ultra-High Relief St. Gaudens

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

07/30/2011

The Other Side of the Aisle

Make no mistake, I am a coin collector through and through, but occasionally I get interested in collecting paper currency. The definition of numismatics according to Wikipedia is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. However, when I typically think of the term, I rarely associate it with anything other than coins. Occasionally though, for various reasons, there is paper currency on ?The Other Side of the Aisle? that catches my eye.

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

02/11/2011

Gary?s October Coin of the Month

My October ?Coin of the Month? is a 1988 Vatican City 50 Lire coin commemorating the ?Creation of Eve.? This month?s coin of the month comes by the way of ?The BRG Collection? and it is because of his E-Bay listing tip and recommendation that I currently own this coin. One of many things I like about ?Collectors Society? is when any one of its members spots a coin that may fit in another member?s collection that they will often notify that member of the buying opportunity. I have done this in

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/16/2011

Morgan?s are Simply Irresistible to Me

I don?t know what it is, but I am having a hard time breaking away from my Morgan Dollar collection. In my last journal, I opined that it might be a good time to take a break from Morgan Dollars and focus on other areas of my collection. My rational for temporarily shifting gears was an over-heating silver dollar market. What I failed to realize, as another collector reminded me, is that there are still good buys in the silver dollar market. While I was focusing on MS-65 & 66?s, I was unaw

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/30/2011

Garys October Coin of the Month

Garys Coin of the Month (Volume 3, Number 2) features a coin commemorating the 25th wedding anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Elizabeth of Bavaria. The obverse of this coin portrays an image of their conjoined busts and the reverse features a seated image of the goddess Fortuna. This coin (KM#X5) grading MS-63 by NGC resides in my newest custom set entitled, The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics. In 1879, the Austro-Hungarian Empire issued a 2 gulden commemorative coin to

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/06/2013

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

Garys September Coin of the Month

Septembers Coin of the Month (Volume 2, Number 1) is an NGC AU-55, 1897 close date, Cuba Souvenir Peso. Modeled after the Columbian Exposition Half Dollar, the purpose of the 1897 Cuba Souvenir Peso was to raise money for the Cuban Revolutionary Party and their war for independence against Spain. On May 10, 1897, the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Don Thomas Estrada Palma, placed an order with the Gorham Manufacturing Company for three million souvenir pesos. As per their agreement, de

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/01/2012

Julys Coin of the Month and our first 100 years of Independence

The Coin of the Month for July is an 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition Medal designed by William Barber. To help finance the exposition, Congress authorized the striking of commemorative medals in June of 1874. Overall, there were two different medals, each struck in a variety of metallic compositions. One medal was 38mm in diameter and the other 57mm. My Coin of the Month is the 57mm Julian CM-11 medal struck in white metal and graded MS-61 by NGC. White metal is an alloy composed of 82

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

06/30/2012

 

Silver Dollars may be Taking the Oxygen out of Most Everything Else

If you were to represent the pool of money available to buy coins as a pie, silver dollars are currently taking a much bigger piece of the pie. No one can deny the sudden surge in value of high-grade common date silver dollars. Conversely, there is evidence showing that the inverse is true concerning copper and smaller silver coins thus proving that with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, for the savvy collector there are some good deals in the marketplace.

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/05/2011

Half Way There

No, I am not trying to copy a post by another Society member, it just so happens that I have reached that very important milestone in my Morgan Dollar collection. Greetings everyone, a year ago I started a collection of Morgan Dollars based on the New Orleans Mint. After I finished that set one thing lead to another and now a year later I am halfway to completing the entire set. If in the last year, you would have told me I would be where I am today, I would have said you?re nuts. The sheer lo

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

09/18/2011

My First Great Collections Consignment

My first consignment with Great Collections is a success despite the recent fall in the gold market that depressed my bottom line. About a year ago, I decided to discontinue collecting First Spouse gold coins and liquidate my collection. Three weeks ago on consignment through Great Collections, I sold four First Spouse coins. With those four coins were six other coins; they were an 1881-CC PCGS rattler Morgan Dollar, three Eisenhower dollars, and a common date Roosevelt Dime and Washington Qua

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/26/2012

Why I Collect Coins and use the Registry

Simply put, I love coin collecting and I use the registry to catalog, organize, and display my collection. I have enjoyed the healthy debate these past few days concerning the registry and the reasons' people participate in it. Many good and valid points have been made, but in the end, what matters is that you are happy with why you participate. For me this debate has caused me to re-evaluate my position and that is a good thing because it keeps me focused and on track. It is said that you

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

03/31/2011