CoinsbyGary

  • entries
    264
  • comments
    56
  • views
    2,854

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

New Coin Collage copy.jpg

Entries in this journal

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

 

2011 and Beyond

2011 has been a banner year for changes in my collection, but what about plans for 2012. What a difference a year can make, one year ago I wrote of my commitment to continue purchasing "First Spouse" gold coins, but now a year later, I only collect the medals. Subsequently, since I discontinued the "First Spouse" series, I decided to put those coins that no longer meet my collecting goals up for sale. As a result, I reinvested the proceeds from that sale back into my collection and in doing so

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

12/18/2011

 

69's Full Of 70's

The results of my 25th Anniversary SAE submissions are in, and I am nowhere near Kamakazy's royal flush. My 25th Anniversary SAE grades are in, and it is a full house, with the three mint-state coins grading MS-69 and the proofs grading PF-70. While I am a little disappointed with the overall results, I am ecstatic that the reverse proof is PF-70! Of the five coins in this set, the reverse proof is my favorite coin. The mirrored devices and frosty fields make for an extraordinarily beautiful c

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

12/07/2011

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

The trouble with "IKES"

Collecting high grade "IKES" is proving to be quite a challenge on a number of levels. Greetings and happy Thanksgiving, three months ago I started a mint-state Eisenhower Dollar set with a goal of acquiring coins that were no less than one grade lower than the highest graded coin. To date, I have collected 16 of the 23 coins in that set, with NGC graded coins accounting for ten of them. Comparing my coins to their respective population reports, I found 15 of them to be one grade lower than th

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

11/23/2011

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

 

My 2 Cents (and that ain't worth much)

How can I describe yesterday? All across America, collectors everywhere are getting up with less hair on their heads. Greetings all, often I find humor very helpful in coping with disappointments and frustrations. A good night's sleep also helps to let clearer heads prevail, and with that comes my "two cent" assessment of yesterday's debacle. What was the Mint thinking??? How did they not see this coming? When it comes to assigning blame, the bulk of the responsibility lies at their feet. F

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/28/2011

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

Holy ?Ikes? Batman!

A large sum of E-Bay Bucks leads to a dilemma and windfall of Eisenhower Dollars. Greetings all, because of several large purchases on E-bay last quarter I amassed $242.37 in E-Bay Bucks. For more than a month, I planned to purchase a MS-68 1976-S Eisenhower Dollar to upgrade a MS-67. I had coins from two different sellers on my watch list and both were ?Buy it Now? listings. One coin listed for $439.00 and the other for $475. Originally, my hope was to subsidize the cost of an upgrade with E-

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

10/10/2011

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

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

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

New Gold Exchanged for Old Gold

Phase 2 of a major re-organization in my collection is complete. A few months ago, I wrote about the beginning of a major shift in my collecting priorities. The first phase of this re-organization involved selling seven ANACS details graded gold coins to purchase an 1893-S Morgan Dollar. In Phase 2 of my re-organization, I decided to liquidate most of my proof ?First-Spouse? coins. With the proceeds of those ?New Gold? coins, I planned to purchase the ?Old Gold? coins necessary to complete the

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/30/2011

A Fly on the Wall

Have you ever wanted to be a ?fly on the wall? and listen in on a conversation? I had just that exact experience last Friday at the ANA?s ?World?s Fair of Money?. Greetings all, I had a fabulous day at the ANA?s "World's Fair of Money? in Chicago. On my arrival at the convention, one of the items on my ?must see? list of things to do was to view ML Moser?s collection of pristine Morgan Dollars at NGC?s table. Walking towards the display, I noticed several people huddled around the display view

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/22/2011

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

A Healthy Diversion and a Tribute to Manned Space Flight

After purchasing an 1893-S Morgan for my collection, it is time for a brief break to pursue a newfound love. Greetings everyone, with a little encouragement from E4norbi, I have found a new appreciation and love for the Eisenhower Dollar. It?s not that I got up one morning to discover I liked the Eisenhower Dollar, but rather it?s something that has developed over time. In other words, it is a culmination of events along the way ending with E4norbi?s latest post to propel me over the top. T

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

08/06/2011

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

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

A Seismic Shift

There are major changes coming to my collection signified by the latest addition to my Morgan Dollar registry set. Greetings everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. With lots of fireworks, major changes are coming to my coin collection. The first change is that I am discontinuing buying coins for my First Spouse registry set. The high cost of gold and other interests, mainly Morgan Dollars, are forcing me to choose between whether to continue with the First Spouse series or pursu

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

07/08/2011

Fine or MS?

It makes no sense to buy an 1881-CC Morgan Dollar for $305 in Fine condition when I could have a MS-63 for roughly $200 more. Many of you are aware that I am trying to purchase the best Morgan Dollars possible for an average cost of $200 per coin and grading no lower than VG-10. However, there are eight coins in this series that even in grades as low as VG-10, have Fair Market Values of more than $200 each. Among those coins with a FMV of over $200 in VG-10 is the 1881-CC. The 1881-CC with

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

06/28/2011

Three New Ladies for My Set

Behind the scenes, I am always on the lookout for coins to add to my ?Inspirational Ladies? custom set. With 70 coins in my ?Inspirational Ladies? custom set it can seem as if new additions are a slow go. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. This year alone I have added five coins to my set. Within those five coins are allegorical representations of Liberty/Freedom on a 1910 Mexican Caballito Peso and the goddess Minerva on our 2011 ?Medal of Honor? $5 commemorative. Another co

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

06/16/2011

A Step Back? (For Now)

The Current correction in the value of silver has finally caught up to SOME of my MS-65 & MS-66 Morgan Dollars. It seems the day I have been expecting has arrived, and some of my Morgan Dollars have retreated from their lofty highs. What is amazing about this step back is that almost all my MS-65?s have decreased in value, while all my MS-66?s are continuing to INCREASE in value. This appears to indicate that for now there is still a high demand for affordable high-grade coins. A few mo

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

06/12/2011

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

INSANE!

This current sudden rise in value of high-grade common date dollars is insane and shows no sign of letting up. Several months ago, I began a collection of what I felt were affordable MS-65 & 66 Morgan Dollars. Now my collection of 22 MS-65 & 66 Morgan Dollars is complete and resides as a custom set in ?Gary?s MS-65 & 66 Morgan Gems?. I started this set based on the hope that I could complete it at an average cost of $200/coin. For a while, I was doing pretty well until the value of

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/23/2011

 

The Heart of the Matter

Investor, collector, or both? There is nothing like a robust conversation to get the juices going. One of the things I love about collecting coins is that there is no right or wrong coin to collect. There is only what the individual collector enjoys collecting. This effectually brings diversity and variety to our hobby. I am also heartened by the fact that the king?s hobby is no longer just the king?s hobby. Anyone of any financial means can collect coins. I still enjoy finding coins in circul

gherrmann44

gherrmann44

05/13/2011