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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

So that was a privy mark…

There’s only 10 dates / years of issue for the Netherlands 10G coin during the 41-year reign of Willem III. All of these years occurred in a 15-year period from 1875 to 1889. Because of this, he only had one official portrait during this time and all the coins have the same obverse. Because even the date is on the reverse there is absolutely no way to discriminate one issue in the series from any of the others by just looking at the design of the obverse. By contrast, his daughter, ruled for 58

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What we forget and the power of the journals

A while ago I was looking back through some of my old journal entries, something which I’m sure many of the long-time journal author’s do, and I found the first entry that references my 10G set, just as it was getting started, which I made right around 10 years ago in May 2009. The thing that struck me in reading that post was how much of that information I’d forgotten in the intervening years. I remembered that the 1875 was the first coin purchased for the set. I had not remembered th

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Dirty Gold

I like watching documentaries and docu-series and I’ve become quite a fan of “Dirty Money.” I don’t know how popular it is, but I must not be the only one that likes it because it just got a 2nd Season. It reminds me a lot of “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” about Enron. I’m also a big fan of “The Big Short” and other documentaries on the financial crisis of a decade ago like “Overdose.” In particular with “Dirty Money,” in the first season I was a big fan of the episode on Volkswagen and the on

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Sometimes the unlikely happens - Sam is home

Things went well and fell into place yesterday and Sam was released this morning. He's finally home from the NICU after 59 days (16 days before his due date). 2-12-2019 to 4-12-2019 - Finally home from the hospital. Now the fun really starts. I may not be getting to play with coins and the camera this weekend... USPS was supposed to deliver a package yesterday for the Zimbabwe set. Apparently, even though the package has been in Houston since Wednesday, they're being a bunch a ins

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Thanks, NGC!

The “Best in Category” certificates from NGC arrived a few weeks ago (Thanks for that, NGC). That was great to get, also a relief. I lost track of how many times I had double checked the spelling on the address in my account after I’d updated it earlier in the year. I was paranoid that something would go to the wrong place because I forgot to update something or typed something in wrong. So it was great to have that confirmation that it really was right.    Sunday (4/14) I got

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Trying to work eBay Bucks almost cost me money.

Around the time I ordered that Lunar Monkey coin for Ben's birthyear I saw that a seller had listed 5 2019 Lunar 2 Pig coins that had the Early Release label. That was pretty much exactly what I wanted for Sam's year as an equivalent piece. One of the five sold almost immediately but there were four left and I felt pretty safe with that and I decided to wait and see if I could hold out for a 5% eBay bucks deal - always nice if you can pick up some cashback on things, right? About a week lat

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The Canadian Quarter…

I find myself trying to take a minute to focus on something positive as its looking like Laura is coming for us - as if the year of the ‘Rona wasn’t bad enough without a Cat 3 or 4 Hurricane to spice things up. I always hate the lead-up to a storm. The stress and worry tie your stomach up in knots. Anyway… In early November of last year, I went to Canada for a few days on a job. These trips are not usually all that fun - I usually plan them so I get in, do the job, and get back home without

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Well, doesn’t that just look… odd?

I’ve been really focusing on my Zimbabwe note set recently but I’ve been having a nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that I should try to set a part of my budget aside soon and pick up the Falcons I need for my Queen’s beast set. I think the biggest problem I’m having with listening to that little voice right now is that the Zimbabwe notes / set / collection has me feeling pumped and excited and interested right now and that Falcon just... doesn’t. If it weren’t for the fact th

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Plot twist! The MS62 1888 10G resurfaces!

Some of you may remember from my post about getting my MS65 1888 in early 2018 that, at the time I won that coin, I’d only seen one other coin of that date come up for sale that had been graded by NGC. That wasn’t too surprising given that, at the time, only 20 had been graded by NGC and, even now, only 22 have been encapsulated by NGC. I don’t think I’ve ever bothered to check this before but PCGS has graded a total of 33. So, assuming there hasn’t been any that were cracked out and/or re-

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Ants and Grasshoppers

My wife has an acquaintance she’s known for a number of years. This friend and her husband go on about 3 Disney Vacations a year. A couple of weeks ago, on the same day we were starting our self-isolation - with coronavirus cases already increasing in our area - they decide to go on an impromptu / unplanned trip to Florida to go to Disney World. The park started shutting down while they were there, and they stayed in their hotel a few more days before coming home. Instead of picking up su

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Koalas of Opportunity

I’ve been debating for a few weeks now which silver bullion series I might want to focus on getting caught up on this year. The Kiwis and the Koalas have both been in contention. I’ve been a little reluctant to commit to building out the Koala set this year because I had the first four sets in the series in MS70 and, if I went for the rest of that set, I knew I’d probably want to continue with 70s. This is one of the few of these sets that I’d originally been going for in MS70 – the Kookaburras,

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Met Another Society Member and Other Updates

I met another Collector’s Society member face-to-face over lunch today. The other collector and I recently realized that we live in the same city and our offices are only about 5 miles apart from each other – Houston is big, so, in relative terms, that’s pretty close. But I put out there what (geographically and population-wise very large) city I live in and he doesn’t so I ‘m not going to name names. The discussion and the plans to meet kicked-off when he realized that we both have Chemi

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That’s No Angel

As I’m sure many of are aware, there’s a series of French 20 Franc coins that were made from 1871 to 1898 that feature a winged figure writing on a tablet. In the US, I’m assuming because we’re a Christian majority country, most of us see a winged figure and think “angel.” As a result, these coins are usually called French Angels or something similar and even the name of the Registry Category references these coins as Angels. But the man that designed the coin probably wasn’t trying to depict an

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I now own 1 “stickered” coin I guess

I sat down with my wife earlier in the week and we ordered the gold sovereign. I decided on an NGC Graded MS63 1915 George V Sovereign – A coin struck at the Royal Mint during the Great War. It arrived yesterday. Below are some of the seller’s images. I had been holding out to see if eBay would put on a 10% eBay bucks deal heading into Valentine’s day. They put on a 5% deal for president’s day and I decided to go for it. I’ll get about $22.20 in eBay bucks in April that I can use for

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The Psychology of Completion

I’m narrowing in on getting to call several on-going projects complete. My 10G set is about 80% complete if you don’t count the 1879/7 variety. My Queen’s Beast sets are getting into about that same 80% range and several of the parts / sub-series of my Zimbabwe hyperinflation set are getting to be about 85-92% complete by pick number. Most of these sets are missing only 1-3 issues before they’re 100% complete registry sets. One thing I’ve been noticing lately is that, as I narrow in on the

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Worst of the Best?

In late December / early January I picked this Zimbabwe coin up as a kind of extension or part of my Zimbabwe note set. I added it to a set in the registry and it became a #1 ranked set with 1 coin and a total score of 16 points. We're after the awards cut-off now and its still #1 and I think it's going to get a "Best in Category" this year, with a total score of 16 points. This has me wondering what the lowest scoring set to ever win a "Best in Category" is / was.  

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The challenge of finishing the 10G Set…

I’ve known for a while that finishing the 10G set might require buying some raw coins and submitting them to NGC for grading myself. The grading credit that NGC just gave me for winning the journal awards seemingly makes this a good time / year to go for it – buy a raw 1880, 1885, and 1886 dated coin and send them in. The set would finally be complete at that point except for the 1879/7 but I’ve never felt especially committed to that variety anyway. Even the way NGC defines the set, includ

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Sam turns 1 – The kid has definite potential

Sam is now 1 year old! He’s still not crawling or walking, but he’s sitting up on his own. He managed that skill at 11 months, which is very good for a 29-week preemie that had a grade 4 IVH which was then complicated by hydrocephalus. His PT, neurologist, neurosurgeon, ophthalmologist, and pediatrician are quite happy with him. Side note – an infant should not have so many doctors, but I digress. PT thinks he’ll soon be army crawling. The main hold up for that and sitting up on

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Possible Die Cracks and Thoughts on Die Life and Die Pairings

In looking at that 1880 10G coin I picked up a couple of weeks ago now one thing kind of stood out to me. There’s something on the left side of the Obverse that looks a lot like a die crack that runs between the K and one of the stars. Unlike a lot of the things you see people posting about in the Newbie forum you can actually see this with a naked eye and I think it really is a die crack and not a scratch - but I could be wrong. Looking closer under high magnification it looks l

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The New '32.

Sleep is a splendid and wonderful thing, when you can get it. I finally got to have some rest yesterday and, rather than taking a nap in the afternoon I decided to get some pictures taken, edited and sent over to Choya with the new set and coin descriptions. He indicated his approval, so the newly updated 1932 set is up. If you've seen the set before I don't think the new version is going to have many surprises for you. Other than the updates regarding Bob to the set description it

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What’s in the Easter Basket? Lot’s of money and lots of candy.

My wife hit upon the idea of putting coins / spare change in some of the eggs for the Easter egg hunt we set up for Benjamin late in the day on Easter Sunday. We had dinner with her parents and then did an egg hunt just for him in the back yard around 6:30 or so. Shandy came up with the idea of letting him have money in some of his eggs completely on her own. It was her idea. I had nothing to do with it – I swear! Some of the eggs hand your standard fair – jelly beans, chocolate kisses, Reese’s

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I don't suppose they still send / give these out.

I still have this from the first time I became a paid member some 10-11 years ago. Part of me wonders if they still give these to new paid members and just how bad I date myself and how long I've been here based on the fact that I have this. I noticed it collecting dust in a corner of my desk. Maybe I'll give it a perch next to the plaques.

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Update on the personal front

Well, after 18 long months of him hitting 20% of his sales target, my former boss, the regional sales manager for North America, was canned about a month ago. In the month that has followed some things have come to light that have left me looking very good. This culminated on Friday in me being informed that I'm finally getting the raise I'd been hoping for in March, and it's actually better than what I'd been hoping for - it's more than a 20% increase over my current rate. I suspect, in some wa

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Ah, now this is a pickle.

Well, I managed to convince myself to stay patient, wait, keep my money in my pocket and wait to see if an 1877 Netherlands 10G would show up... and now 2 have! One is an MS65 in an old Fat NGC slab. One is in one of the new, nifty, pretty edge-view holders, graded MS66. The MS65 ends in 3 days. The MS66 ends in 9 days.... This is quite the choice... If the MS65 is ending at a good price do I go for it? Or wait, hold out, and go for the MS66.... The holders are an interesting angl

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Thank you! Congratulations! & My Hopes for 2019.

Thanks to the judges at NGC for the journal award – 10 years exactly after I won it in 2008. I really appreciate it! I also wanted to say congratulations to the people who won the Best Modern, Best Classic, Best Presented, Best Custom and Overall Achievement awards – especially ColonialCoinsUK, Mohawk, Coin928 and some of the others I’ve talked to in the forums lately. Friday turned out to be a really good day for me on a writing front. I found out that an old paper I submitted in Dece

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