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About this journal

This journal was originally to record my thoughts on collecting and building my Netherlands Wilhelm III Gold 10 Gulden Set and other projects like  my modern silver bullion NCLT sets. When it got started in the summer of 2007 I was single, in my early 20's, and working on my B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Starting in 2016, with my marriage and the birth of my first son, Benjamin, much of my writing has focused on raising my sons to have a love of collecting coins and exonumia and discussing how my collecting occurs in the context of my marriage and life overall.

Entries in this journal

Congrats to Everyone

Ending this off right This has always been an interesting time of the year for me. It so happens that the last set of finals to be taken at Texas A&M this semester end within 1 hour of the registry deadline. Wednesday is a pretty cool day I guess. I'll be taking my last final on Tuesday though (and boy do I feel the pressure). But getting back to point: I think everyone that has a #1 set in the registry deserves some congratulations. At the same time though, everyone that has a nice #2 s

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Four quarters make...

... (almost) an ounce. Just for fun I've been putting what money I could towards adding some gold coins to go with my silver. I have about 60 ounces of silver and until October I only had 1/4 of an ounce of gold. This is of course because of the expense of the gold but the gold is so pretty and nice... so I decided that I just had to get some more of it. Well, I got myself the Constitution commem for my birthday initially thinking that that would be my gold purchase for the year, right? Then

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Surviving the worst week...

The worst week in 4 years of college... Well my friends, this week has been truely painful. I've been working on a term paper in Process Safety Systems and projects in Process Dynamics and Plant Economics. I had a test on Friday that I didn't have time to study for (care to guess what that grade will look like?) and I have another one on Monday. Tuesday is an oral exam and my last lab report is due. Everyone in all my classes agrees, this is the worst week in 4 years. It's so strange that th

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Invest or Save....

I'm not sure what to do. Well friends, I live the life of a poor college student. I live most of the year in a small dorm. My parents pay for my tuition, phone and car insurance. I work a part time job to pay for my food, medicine and most anything else I want while I'm up here. What's left after I pay for the necessities becomes my coin budget (coin collecting crowds pretty much everything else out of the discretionary budget). 1 other thing does manage to complete with the coins though. I

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Birthday Present and the Missing Set....

A cool new purchase and the worst kind of magic trick. Well, as I meantioned in a previous post I was wanting to get something special for my set for my birthday. Last year I purchased the 1 gold coin in my set (a 2007 MS70 $10 gold Eagle). It occured to me that it might be fun to get another gold coin of a similar size and make it MS70 and maybe make this a yearly tradition for myself (heck, why not?). I had thought about getting myself one of the new factional Buffalos but the demand around

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This is the last of Earth!

I am content. - John Quincey Adams, Last Words As crazy as things get around here dealing with school and work it's easy to complain about life. This week though I'm pulling up on a bit of a milestone. In 6 days I'll be 22 years old. Because of issues I'm not going to get into, I was lucky to make it to my first birthday, lucky to make it out of high school alive (long story), and sometimes you just have to wonder how you made it through 2 decades. Last year, upon reaching 21, I purchased a pa

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Buying Euros!

1.5 of them to be precise... A few days ago I ordered a pre-graded MS69 Austrian 2008 Vienna Philharmonic coin. It's a 1 oz 0.999 fine silver round just like the Silver Eagles. This is the first year that they've made them. It's really nice to be getting in on the ground floor with one of these series. The coin was given a face value of 1.5 Euros. That's indicated on the label as $1.5E so I guess NGC can't make that funny little E either. I ordered it for the signature set I'm working on th

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New Job, More money, and the Lucky Error

Keeping busy. The last couple of weeks have been interesting. I kinda just fell into a new job. Last week I had to wade through a bit of a rough transition that's not quite over yet but I'm hoping to get back to a more normal schedule with a few more hours per week. The good news though is that the new job pays 60% better so once my hour count comes back up I should have more money, more discretionary income, and be able to get some more of the coins I want for my sets. So that'll be good. I

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Not liking Ike

Or the United States Postal Service Well, the postal carrier left a notice at my house Wednesday about a package that they weren't able to deliver. I live in the Houston area. By the time we made it to the Post Office on Thursday they'd closed early and sandbagged the place. So a Top Pop coin is sitting in the Post Office during a hurricane. And I needed that to make a play for the #1 spot in a category. Joy. My family has left the area as we were required to. Next week I'll have to look int

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Grades are back.

1st Submission Well, the grades are back on those 2 invoices and 61 coins. I'm not going to say that I'm thrilled with how everything turned out but on the whole I guess it turned out ok. There were some highs and there were definitely some lows. The lows: A 1986-P Quarter and a 1981-D Half received grades of MS63 and MS62 respectively. Ouch. A 1886 Morgan which I compaired to several NGC MS63s (and it compaired very well IMO) was given a MS61. Again, Ouch. Not to be out-done, a 1992 Half

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Today: Quality Control; Tomorrow: Victory!

Grades soon, yes? My first submission (2 invoices, 61 coins) just went to quality control today. Maybe I could have finalized grades available tomorrow? Maybe? Little hope? Nah... I just hope it doesn't spend 5 weeks in QC like a coin that a dealer submitted for me. It kinda surprised me when BOTH hit QC today. They were on different tiers and one invoice had gone to "scheduled for grading" 2 or 3 days ahead of the other. This week also saw some really impressive delivery times for USPS. May

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What a week....

From Friday to Friday, oh what "fun" has been had. 1 week ago on the 15th the Postal Service finally delivered a package they had had for exactly 4 weeks. For a shipment from Austin to Houston that's just terrible, but it arrived. Both invoices in my first submission to NGC have switched to "scheduled for grading" on different days this week. I'm checking daily in vain hope. I must admit that I'm really excited by this and I'm really hoping for at least a few good grades. A childhood frien

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Started down the crazy road

I have started sending in submissions, and other updates I just sent in my first submission. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed but I'm not going to bother with speculation on the grades I'll get. There are 2 invoices on the submission. 1 is a 56 coin modern submission and the other is using the 5 coin freebie coupon for some older material (mostly 19th century). I say "started down the crazy road" because of all the twists and turns and ups and downs to grading, especially went it comes to

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Set Complete (For Now)

I filled the last hole in and "completed" my 21st Century Type Set. I put the quotes around completed because I have all the coins that are currently part of the set (as NGC defines it) but I know there will be more coins added on later that I'll have to get as they come out. 2009 could bring 2 or 3 slots because of the new pennies, the change in the Sacagawea and the moving of the mottos in the Pres bucks. There might be a 4th new one in '09 is the territorial quarters get their own slot. In

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USPS Is Giving Me Nightmares....

Sorry for the double post today.... Well, I order a very big coin for a very big set and the seller sends in out the very next day, express mail. The package should have arrived yesterday. When it didn't, and it didn't arrive today, we started asking questions of the local post office. It turns out that they had in fact tried to deliver the package on Thursday..... just at the wrong house.... on a different street. A $3000 insured package and they take it to the wrong house... there are days

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Those Lean Years ... and again?

The Great Depression resulted in a great disruption in the mintage of several American denominations As we head further into what several predict will be hard times, there are many who look back to the Great Depression for a point of comparison. Something that I don't think all coin collectors think about though, is the impact that this event had on our grand hobby. The penny is the big winner. It was produced, usually by 2 mints, every year through the early 1930s. This is most likely becau

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A Type of Peace

Coming to terms with the Peace dollar? I?ve read the posts by more than one person on more than one occasion talking about how much they love the peace dollar. When asked, my step-father (fellow collector) will tell you that he prefers the Peace dollar to the Morgan. Sometimes I almost feel like I?m the only one who prefers the Morgan (though, based on the number of registry sets, I can't be). There are several historical reasons why I tend to dislike the idea of the Peace dollar. I look at

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My First Coin Show Experience

A few hours in a room with a few dozen people and tons of coins. It might seem funny, but I finally went to my first coinshow today, 2 years after getting into collecting. It has just always been my luck that when I'm at school, there's a show back home, when I'm at home, there's a local show near school. Well today my step-father and I got up early and made the trip (2 hours each way) to a small local show. I think there were about a dozen or so dealers. We were mostly after some nice mint

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Found Myself a Merc!

I finally found the right coin for my type set. I think it was around October or November of '07 that I decided that I wanted to get myself a nice Merc dime. Now I normally pic a grade that is nice but within my budget. This normally means that I aim for the grade that's in the $40-60 range when I'm wanting a nice coin for my type set. That usually gets me a solid coin that doesn't break the bank. It's not going to win me any registry awards for #1 sets, but it normally places me towards the m

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The Difference A Year Makes

7/17/2007 to 7/17/2008 Well, 1 year ago I started tracking how my registry was changing and growing using several different meter sticks (# of sets, # of coins, # of points, rank) as well as the total number of ranked society members (as a point of reference). 1 year ago (plus or minus a few hours), I had 14 coins in 7 sets. This earned me 1374 points and a rank of 2557 out of 3220 ranked members. Today, I have 154 coins in 35 sets. 36 coins and 13 sets are part of my project with my step-

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A Family of Numismatically Quirky Mint Sets

I just keep getting wierd years. As some of may more may not know (depending on how closely my "Bio," sets, and forum posts are followed), I'm helping my step-father build mint sets for all the years in which immediate family members were born in. The things that has made this job really interesting are the years I keep getting given. 1920, 1924, 1932, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2007. 1924, first of a 3 year interruption in the mintage of half d

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I love the people in this community...

...they know how to treat people well. Recently I arranged to buy an 1883-O Morgan dollar from another forum user. It wasn't a big deal really. The coin was a MS63, so not expensive. I paid the seller and spent the next week waiting on the coin. After a week I decided to ask if the seller had any info on where the coin was (like a tracking number) because I was afraid that the coin had been lost in the mail. Long story short, through a sequence of events that was kinda funny, the coin had sp

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When is it something more?

The issue of emotional ownership of the set... When I first started to try and build a certified set of silver eagles about a year ago, I noticed that there were several dealers that would sell the entire series as a set. This option was actually in some cases cheaper than buying the coins 1 by 1. At the time I could have not bought any of them, saved up the cash and bought them as a set. In the final analysis, it would have saved me about $200, but I'm glad I didn't do it. It occured to me

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Never Satisfied

Maybe it's the perfectionist in me.... After just over a year on the registry I've come to one inescapable conclusion about myself: What I do is never good enough. The pictures I take of my coins are never quite as good as they could be, the descriptions on my sets and coins are so lame but I never change them because all alternatives seem equally bad, the text of my bio could be much better written (but at what point does it become too long and at what point am I sharing too much informati

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USPS Delivered

It arrived at the right place The coin I spoke of last time arrived today, in about 3 different layers of protective packaging. It's a NGC MS63 1932 Gold Eagle. It's a real beauty too. Sorry the image is so small, I had to really size it down to get under the size restrictions.

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