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About this journal

My rekindled interest in collecting started in 2009 with the impulse purchase of a 1783 shipwreck coin.  I did not imagine that collectible grade 8 reales coins were available until I started browsing Ebay to see whether I got a good deal on my first one.  After I realized what a poor deal I made, I set out to build a collection of quality 8 reales of the 1772-1791 design featuring the bust of Charles III.  I've added a modest collection of columnarios, too.

In 2013, I started a themed collection of coins depicting the sport of fencing, my other hobby/activity.

My current focus is on a collection of world silver crowns of the 16th to 18th centuries.  So far I have examples from the Commonwealth and England, France, Holy Roman Empire states and free cities, Swiss cantons, Dutch provinces, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Ragusa, Italian states, the Ottoman Empire, Malta, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, Transylvania, the United States of America and, of course, Spain and Spanish colonies.

Entries in this journal

Philip II, King of England

This coin caught my attention, when it came up for auction recently, and I checked on the type in CoinFacts wiki and read that the obverse legend for this daalder included Philip's title as King of England.   With a little more research, I can say that the July 25th, 1554 marriage of Queen Mary of England to King Philip of Spain brought about a short period where Philip gained the title of King of England and Ireland and was deemed co-ruler by an Act of Parliament.  The terms of the marriag

jgenn

jgenn

01/27/2019

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01/27/2019

Missing Newman Envelope from Part XI Auction

Last November, I noticed that the latest round of deaccessions from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, billed as the Eric P. Newman Collection Part XI US Coins Signature Auction, also had a few world coins mixed in.  I won this nice upgrade for the 1733 klippe 8 reales that I mentioned in a previous journal entry.  But, I was also curious because of the lot description that included: "A scarce-to-rare example of the Philip V 8 reales pistareen with cut sides, struck on a screw

jgenn

jgenn

01/17/2019

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07/06/2019

Mansfeld Mystery Solved

This a follow up on my earlier post about a 1560 Mansfeld thaler that I bought last Spring and then immediately received buy offers through the Heritage auction site.  I wondered what might be so special about this coin and made some posts on this and other forums to see if I could find out.  Finally, I got a PM through this site from a person who found my earlier post and provided some information about the attribution for this coin.  As I had speculated, there is nothing particularly special a

jgenn

jgenn

12/03/2018

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06/29/2019

(Mint) Life during Wartime -- Part II

I have posted about emergency issues but what kind of calamity could compare to your city besieged?  Siege money are the ultimate emergency issues -- defending soldiers required pay and internal commerce needed to be maintained.  Many examples come from the period of the Eighty Years War, also known as the Dutch War of Independence that occurred from 1568–1648 or from the English Civil Wars in 1642-1651.    When regular coinage became scarce jewelry, silverware and religious vessel

jgenn

jgenn

08/29/2018

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09/02/2018

(Mint) Life during Wartime -- Part I

What intrigues me the most about the coins in my collection is their place in history and the circumstances of their issue.  I enjoy doing the research -- light research, that is, using online resources -- and I'm often surprised by the details that I uncover.  Consider one of the most beautiful South American coins, the "sun face" issues of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, that we now associate with Argentina.  If not for the shifting fortunes of war during the struggle for independen

jgenn

jgenn

06/21/2018

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06/25/2018

 

Collecting my older journals

Journals from 2016 When was this coin minted? Transitions within Transitions Top Executive Accepts Kickback Custom Set Collage When the Colony becomes the Ruler A Sky Blue '60 Reflection on a Collection Nephew's First Coin Lights-Camera-Action The Silver Dollars of '60 Second Chances Custom Sets Question Journals from 2015 A Tale of Two Cities England without a monarch! A rose by any other name... My Three Suns

jgenn

jgenn

05/19/2018

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08/19/2018

A Curious 1804 Bank of England Dollar

In February of 1797, ongoing war and the threat of invasion from the French Republic triggered a run on the Bank of England.  To meet the demand for silver coinage, in March, the Bank was authorized to release foreign currency from its silver reserves, almost entirely Spanish 8 reales.  These emergency issues were countermarked at the Royal Mint with a small oval stamp with the bust of King George III -- a stamp that had been in use for hallmarking silver plate.  One of my earliest journal posts

jgenn

jgenn

04/29/2018

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05/10/2018

1560 Mansfeld thaler, What's so Special?

I won this thaler recently and immediately received a "buy from owner" offer through Heritage for a decent increase over my winning bid. This one is destined for my Silver Dollars of '60 set so I didn't respond to the offer but I did post a trade offer in several forums that I frequent, hoping to catch the eye of the individual that really wants this coin. I haven't received a response from the trade offers but I did get a second, higher offer through Heritage after the first one expired. S

jgenn

jgenn

04/16/2018

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12/14/2018

My Silver Riders are Galloping Away

2017 was a tipping point for me.   After many years of relentless collecting, I slowed down to the point where I only purchased four coins, and actually sold four coins.  Three of those that I let go were Silver Riders -- ducatons of the Dutch Republic. You will find these beauties cataloged under the coins of the Netherlands, or more properly The Kingdom of the Netherlands as the modern nation is a constitutional monarchy.  Back in the 16th century, seven of the Low Country provinces threw off

jgenn

jgenn

01/12/2018

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01/14/2018

 

2016 Journal Award Icon

I don't know why it took an entire year to finally create the 2016 journal award icon, that now only appears on your profile page, but lo and behold it finally showed up to replace the broken link icon that I have gotten used to staring at.

jgenn

jgenn

01/05/2018

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01/07/2018

 

What is a Coin of Hawaii?

And why does Heritage Auctions put them in their own category? Before they became a US territory in 1900, the islands of Hawaii had been unified into a kingdom that existed for nearly a century. The Kingdom of Hawaii issued their own coinage, cents in 1847 and a series of silver coins in 1883. The cents were struck by a private firm in Massachusetts and the silver dimes, quarters, halves and dollars were designed by Charles Barber and were produced at the San Francisco Mint. These issues are

jgenn

jgenn

03/22/2017

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04/05/2017

What is a Coin of Hawaii?

And why does Heritage Auctions put them in their own category? Before they became a US territory in 1900, the islands of Hawaii had been unified into a kingdom that existed for nearly a century. The Kingdom of Hawaii issued their own coinage, cents in 1847 and a series of silver coins in 1883. The cents were struck by a private firm in Massachusetts and the silver dimes, quarters, halves and dollars were designed by Charles Barber and were produced at the San Francisco Mint. These issues ar

jgenn

jgenn

03/22/2017

When was this coin minted?

Yes, it is a trick question. My question is about an 1808 dated 8 reales with the bust of Fernando VII and the mint mark of Potosí from the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (modern day Bolivia). The answer lies in the tumultuous history of the period. Here's an illuminating discussion from a recent Heritage Auction catalog description: This apparently anachronistic issue was due to the Royal Ordinance of April 10, 1808 which was sent to the mints of the Americas before Ferdinand V

jgenn

jgenn

12/18/2016

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01/15/2019

Transitions within Transitions

The Mexico City "klippe" issues of 1732-1734 With the royal decree of 18 September 1728, Philip V initiated a radical change in the production of silver coins in Spain's colonies. By 1732, the Mexico City mint would issue the Americas' first milled coins that would become the world's preeminent trade dollar for the next century. Such a change from the earlier hammered "cobs" did not come with out some difficulties in reaching normal quotas. The new processes instituted machinery for rolli

jgenn

jgenn

11/30/2016

Top Executive Accepts Kickback

Establishes private mint on behalf of family Sorry to tease with a headline that could have come from current affairs but there's nothing new about powerful, greedy people finding ways to enrich themselves. In this case, I'm calling out Philip II of Spain, who in 1580, negotiated such a sweetheart deal with his cousin, Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, that he was presented with two coin rolling mills, constructed at the Hall mint, as a present. Today, we would deem such a considerable pers

jgenn

jgenn

11/04/2016

Custom Set Collage

Celebrating an Amazing 8s milestone This year I was able to add two coins to my set of Charles III 8 reales and complete the goal of an example from each mint that produced the portrait type issue. I figured out how to add an image to the custom set description and called on some dormant skills to illustrate the achievement. I left the commercial art field just as computer graphics were starting to take off so I remember 'copy' as what the photo department did, 'cut' requiring X-ACTO knife ski

jgenn

jgenn

09/29/2016

When the Colony becomes the Ruler

My vicarious trip to Brazil In 1807, Napoleon forced the Portuguese court into exile. Relocating to Rio de Janeiro, Portugal became the colony -- its kingdom ruled from Brazil. This transfer of power was formalized in 1815 when the Reino Unido de Portugal, Brasil e Algarves was established and Rio de Janeiro became its capital. This is the only example of a European nation ruled from one of its colonies. The Portuguese court returned to Lisbon in 1821 with Brazil gaining its independence t

jgenn

jgenn

08/25/2016

A Sky Blue '60

It took a bit of magic to capture this image. When viewing a toned silver coin from a certain, special angle you can really appreciate the color, but it can be nearly impossible to capture in a photograph. Somehow, I positioned an OttLite, just right, to maximize the color on this one. Try as I might, I just can't replicate it and now that the coin is encapsulated, there's little hope of success. Of all the coins of Spain that I've collected, this is my one late empire example, purchased for

jgenn

jgenn

07/29/2016

Reflection on a Collection

I was inspired to look at my collection in a different light. When I contemplate my collection, I generally think about dates, types, grades and values; and I visualize linked pairs of obverse and reverse sides. I enjoy learning about the history and personalities associated with the times, places and persons represented by the coins. so they are part of my reflection as well. However, when I saw the photo montage that one of the collectors ATS put together, of the best face of several of hi

jgenn

jgenn

06/05/2016

Nephew's First Coin

He's a cute little monkey, alright! I have enjoyed reading your posts about buying coins for your young family members and finally it's my turn. My nephew is only a few weeks old and I've already got his first coin. Of course I fantasize about him becoming a coin collector like his uncle but I'll be happy if he doesn't sell it at the first opportunity. Only time will tell about my nephew's future interests, but it does make me think about how what we post on-line now could very well be ret

jgenn

jgenn

05/10/2016

Lights, Camera, Action!

Most of the action is in re-positioning the lights. Today I took one of my best coin photographs. I've been working on improving my photography skills and I've re-imaged much of my collection over the last two years. My setup is fairly modest; an inexpensive copy stand and refurbished Canon SL1 DSLR, with macro capable lens, that I got for a super low price last Black Friday. Frankly, I'm not sure I see much improvement over my previous camera, a Canon G9, since I mainly photograph large

jgenn

jgenn

04/17/2016

The Silver Dollars of '60

The challenge -- to build a birth-year set from only silver dollars. The dilemma -- only a few types were minted in 1960. My favorite type is the silver dollar, or more precisely, 36-42mm diameter coins, at least 23g, that are 50% or more silver (my definition). Also known as "crowns", these have been popular with collectors through the centuries, boosting the survivability of most varieties, even those with low mintages. The large surface area allows for more design detail and I like the w

jgenn

jgenn

03/03/2016

Second Chances

The two year wait for the coin that I won. In 2013, I told the story about the auction that I participated in where I saw the lot hammer at my pre-bid price. Later, I found out that a floor bidder had the lot reopened, but by then I had stopped watching the on-line feed so I didn't get the opportunity to counter-bid (I would had gone at least one increment higher). Now I can tell the rest of the story. That same coin came up for auction in the Rudman Collection of Mexican Coins, Part II.

jgenn

jgenn

01/11/2016

Custom Sets Question

To go big or stay focused? Congratulations to all the registry participants and winners. Now that the 2015 awards have been decided we can take a peek at the judges' selections, and with 90,000 registry sets out there, I know I will be viewing most of these for the first time. Like many of you, I spent a good portion of 2015 creating, organizing and polishing my sets. I've become a big fan of custom sets and I added four last year. I especially like the control we have over the size of our s

jgenn

jgenn

01/09/2016

A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of thalers, it was the worst of thalers... Several city-view thalers were up for sale this November and I acquired one of Frankfurt am Main and one of Regensburg. Minted just a few years apart, they are from the last few decades of the Holy Roman Empire. Both of these were Free Imperial Cities, subordinate only to the Emperor, and had important roles in the Empire; Frankfurt was the city where kings and emperors were crowned and Regensburg hosted the principle decision making

jgenn

jgenn

12/19/2015