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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

The Ugly Truth About 8 Reales

Beware the counterfeits, unofficial restrikes and modern forgeries! It's only natural that the world's most popular coins are the target of fraud. For the 8 reales, this has been a problem for over 200 years. Counterfeits, meaning those struck in the same time frame as the genuine issue, used less silver so that the counterfeiter gained by the difference in precious metal. Unofficial restrikes were produced after the genuine issue, were mostly faithful to design as well as silver content,

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jgenn

07/04/2014

Real de a Ocho de Dos Mundos

1762 Eight Reales from the Old World and New World I have a batch of 8 reales in for grading so while I wait on the results, I thought I would journal about the one that I find the most interesting, a 1762 Spanish 8 reales from Madrid. In the mid 1700's, the Spanish mints did not turn out many of the larger silver coins. Production of the 8 reales ended in 1736 and did not appear regularly until 1772, with the exception of the 1762 mintage. Charles III ascended to the throne near the end o

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09/04/2013

Losing and rebuilding a world class collection

The story of Antonin Prokop highlights one of the important qualities of a serious coin collector -- sheer persistence. The Czech numismatist, Antonin Prokop, lived and worked in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century and assembled an exceptional collection of Russian coins during Tsarist rule. In 1919, however, the Soviets considered it communal property and confiscated the collection. It was subsequently auctioned off to foreign dealers. Prokop was able to leave Russia in 1921, takin

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05/05/2014

Controversial Deaccession

Provides the acquisition opportunity of a lifetime I guess I don't pay much attention to general numismatic news because the events surrounding the deaccession (elimination of items by a museum) of the Huntington Collection of coins and medals from the Hispanic world passed by without my notice. I only started to check out what this Huntington Collection was after I won an interesting 8 reales from an auction house that specializes in ancient coins. Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955), philant

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10/09/2013

Pandamonium strikes!

Update on my recent diversion while I wait for my latest 8 reales submission to be graded. I read Gary's (ghermann44) latest post about his time at the ANA show with Dave (Yankeejose) and noted that he finally bought his wife a silver panda coin. I've been meaning to journal about pandas for awhile so here goes. I got sidetracked from my 8 reales passion earlier this year when I bought an MS 70 2011 1 oz Silver Panda coin for my fiancee to commemorate the year that we met. Since pandas are h

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08/19/2013

 

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

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03/22/2017

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04/05/2017

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

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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

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04/16/2018

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12/14/2018

Light and Shadow

Sometimes a strong lighting angle can bring out a coin's best appearance. The lamps that I use for my coin photographs are too bulky to allow placement near the camera lens so I have to experiment with different angles in relation to the plane of the coin's surface. I have a couple of small LEDs lamps on order that will allow me to get close to a perpendicular angle, but until they arrive I have to make due with what I have. I've read advice that for coins with portraits, you should try t

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03/26/2015

The 8 Reales Pinnacle

My Colonial Mexico City 8 Reales Type set captures the top spot -- sort of... Last year, I worked at completing the Colonial Mexico City 8 Reales Type Set with the hope that I might get the top spot. This set is eight coins (how appropriate) from the milled 8 Reales series minted in Mexico City during Spanish rule. The years represented by this set, 1732-1821, comprise a significant section of history in the Americas. After all, these coins were the primary specie circulating throughout the

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12/02/2013

When does bidding really close at a live auction?

Floor bidders have the advantage at Sedwick's Treasure Auction 14 I had an unfortunate experience on Wednesday night during Daniel Frank Sedwick's live auction of world coins. My maximum absentee bid was the starting price for a scarce 8 reales overdate, and I watched it go live through my internet connection from home (I had turned off the live audio/video feed). Although I was prepared to counter-bid, no additional bids came in and the item closed at my high bid. Great! Another slot fille

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11/02/2013

The Fix for Coins Misaligned in their Holders

Somehow this coin got rotated almost 180 degrees in its holder. I put in some strong bids but was not able to win any coins in several world coin auctions this Fall. For the 8 reales collector, it was a special time because quite a few ultra rare varieties were on the block. A 1733/2-MXF in VF-35 sold for $18,800 in Baltimore and a 1778 MoMF in XF sold for over 14000 euros in Barcelona. Last month I was able to take Friday off and visit the Baltimore Show. I enjoyed the dealers room and got

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11/30/2014

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

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01/17/2019

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07/06/2019

My First US Silver Dollar!

Although I bid on many world lots, the first win of the year was an 1846-O Seated Liberty $1 Happy New Year fellow collectors! I started my New Year by participating in several of the big world coin auctions held in January, but failed to win lots, including any of the 8 reales from Guatemala that our esteemed NGC registry colleague, Isaac Rudman, offered in the Heritage World & Ancient Coins Auction in New York. So my first win of the year was a US coin from the Orlando FUN auction.

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01/26/2014

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.

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01/11/2016

First Gold

I've only collected silver, mostly 8 reales, until this one. Now, you might expect an 8 reales collector to acquire a Spanish escudo as their first gold coin, but I've been wary of buying into the current gold bubble. I hope to acquire a few nice 8 escudos when, and if, the price of gold drops back to lower levels. As a fun distraction from my 8 reales focus, I've been building a theme set of coins that depict the sport of fencing, my other main hobby. Since the beginning of the year I'

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08/01/2013

Spanish Eight Reales countermarked as English Dollars

'Two kings heads and not worth a crown' Yes, this is another post about 8 reales. My last post did not get very many views but maybe that's because it was submerged in a flood of new journals that should have been posted as replies. If this one doesn't get many views, I promise to post on a different subject next time Anyway, several 8 reales, stamped with the head of George III by the Bank of England, have shown up on Ebay recently and reminded me that I needed to take some better photos

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06/07/2013

Hey, this guy has a face!

When a details coin looks better The leeuwendaalder aka lion daalder was first minted in the province of Holland in 1575 during the revolt against Spanish rule. By 1581 the seven Northern provinces were able to gain their independence, forming the Dutch Republic, formally recognized by the Spanish Empire in 1648. Freed from the burden of supporting a monarchy, the Dutch became a trading powerhouse, developing a globe-spanning colonial empire and the largest merchant fleet in the 17th century

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10/25/2014

Surprise Gold Acquisition

I have an example of this coin as a silver proof but I didn't know they were minted in gold. My last journal was about my fencing coin custom set so I wasn't planning on writing about this topic so soon, but I spotted this coin on a German auction site and was very surprised to find out that it even existed. Like nearly all other coins depicting fencing, this is an Olympic commemorative. The historic French mint, Monnaie de Paris, produced silver 1-1/2 euro and gold 10 euro proof coins in 20

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03/30/2014

Just passed 100K Registry Points!!!

I knew I was close but didn't know which one would put me over the top. Hello fellow collectors. My first journal happens to coincide with my recent breakthrough of the 100K registry points milestone. Sure its just a number but it defines a point at which I can look back and reflect on the collection I have built in last three and a half years. For me, this all started with one of those "America's First Silver Dollars" followed by the realization that collectible grade eight reales coins (a

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05/04/2013

Amazing 8s

My custom set has more than 500 views! Thanks to all of you that have viewed my custom set "Amazing 8s -- Charles III Portrait 8 Reales 1772-1791". The special thing about a custom set is that it's uniquely your own. For my set I selected 20 coins from my collection of 8 reales, one for each year of issue that featured the bust of Charles III (some posthumously) and made sure to choose examples from a variety of mints. I did some research and tried to include a few interesting facts a

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07/12/2013

Two goals in one!

An overdue report on my January world coin activities. I'm not sure if it's the same with US coins but I think the January Heritage, Stack's Bowers, Triton and Goldberg auctions have the best selection of rare and premium quality world coins of the year. Unlike last year, when I was completely shut out of January's world coin auctions, I scored a few goals this time around. One coin was literally two goals in one. I wanted to add a Swiss Thaler to my collection of world crowns and I've also

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02/28/2015

This REALLY Bugs Me!

An Ebay seller trying to take advantage of an NGC "clerical error". As an 8 reales collector, I frequently browse the Ebay listings for these coins. Several months ago I saw a NGC certified 1783 Mo FM listed. Now, for those in the know, this is the rarest of the series and no graded examples are in NGC's or PCGS's census. The photos clearly show severe seawater damage over the assayers initials. I might admit that the second initial looks more like an "M" than an "F" but it would be easy t

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05/15/2013

Started My Fencing Coin Custom Set

I have a bunch of nice coins but only two slabbed examples so far. The ongoing Winter Olympics has inspired me to start organizing my collection of modern commemoratives featuring the sport of fencing. Although fencing is not a winter sport, it is one of five sports which has been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games. As I mentioned in one of my journals from last year (http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=14114), I have been assembling a colle

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02/12/2014

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

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01/09/2016