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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

 

Letting one go for once.

Not often that I sell a coin I sent off for grading myself. I've never been one to make a lot of coin submissions. Generally I'm happier to just buy the coin already graded. I'm sure that cuts me out of some potential steals and great deals but it's just what's worked best for me. I've never been much of a risk taker and ultimately there are elements of risk in every coin submission, not all of which are the ones you suspect. One of the few times I sent in a submission the postal service was n

Revenant

Revenant

04/16/2016

Silver Stacking? Dragon? Nah... Right?

The various forms and opinions on precious metal obsession. So I've referenced previously that I've been picking up some silver bullion lately to complement the government issued graded bullion I amassing before (and probably will again soon). At this point I think the horde of silver bars (below) outweighs all the graded silver in terms of silver weight. Which group is more valuable I guess would be a matter for some debate. I've spent some time recently in the "Silverbugs" reddit -- I foun

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Revenant

04/15/2016

 

Meeting the competition.

It's a small world sometimes. I don't know if I've ever mentioned/discussed this before -- looking back I don't think I have. If I have I'll apologize to anyone I bore but this came to mind when I was looking through the registry today... The 1932 mint set that I built with my step-father, several years ago now, has enjoyed several years at the top of the NGC registry rankings. Before we built our set another set had dominated the category for 3 years. You can still see Penny Man's set in th

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04/12/2016

 

Since we were here last... and thoughts on anti-counterfeiting measures

Here's the brief run-down on the last 10 months, and some thoughts on what I've been seeing lately in silver bars. I posted in early June 2015, a couple of months away from graduating, still looking for a job, etc. I found out about 6 weeks later that my wife was pregnant in mid-July, still didn't have a job offer at that point. As graduation approached I agreed to take a post-doc position for a while and teach a class in the Fall semester. It wasn't really where I wanted to be and while th

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04/10/2016

So this is Benjamin

2 weeks old today. So this (picture below) is Benjamin, my first son. I found out that he was coming about 6 weeks after that last journal entry and he completely changed my plans and priorities heading into this year. He was born on the 26th of March weighing 7 lbs 12 ounces, 19.5 inches long. Now he's already over 8 pounds. I've been amassing a few 10 ounce silver bars in the last 10 months to build up a little silver bullion independent/apart from my 1 ounce rounds that I love so much. Wh

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04/09/2016

 

Still alive

In case anyone still remembers... Found myself thinking of this place again recently. I defended my PhD a little under a month ago and passed by unanimous vote of my committee. I've been working on getting all my paperwork turned in and getting all of my approvals but everything should be go for graduating in August 2015 and becoming Dr. Pittman. Today marks 1 year since I met a wonderful young lady who I see myself staying with. It'll be one year since our first date in about a week. In t

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06/01/2015

 

Wow. Amazing how far life can take you...

14 months... It's funny to me that I still think about this place periodically. Wish I could be here like I used to be. I miss you guys. Life has been choosing other priorities though. I don't have the luxury of it all anymore. Still have my coins. Still moving forward with the Ph.D. Learning so much. 2 relationships later. One was horrible; One, well, we'll see. Kinda funny to me that it was the new girlfriend that made me think of this place again. Nice that I'm so predictable with pa

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Revenant

05/24/2013

Very Cool.

Got the award in the mail. This is way over-due since I got the thing a month ago. I thought it was really cool when I saw that it looked basically the same as the Journal Award from 2008. They match so they look really cool together in my living room. Thanks, again to NGC. I keep telling myself this, but if the budget and circumstances allow it I'm going to try to pick up a new coin. We'll see. There's actually a little coin show that comes to town around May. I might try to take advantage

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Revenant

03/23/2012

 

Nobody wants them...

A funny moment at the local Whataburger I was in a really bad mood the other weekend and I really just didn't feel like cooking so I went out to a Whataburger that'ss a mile or so from my apartment. After I ordered I was just sitting there waiting, mostly ignoring everything around me when something one of the girls working the registers said caught my attention. I have no idea why this just happened to pierce the fog of my own thoughts floating around my head but it did. She said, "instead

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02/08/2012

Coin Photography: 2 years later

The problem of even lighting Going down this road is probably a mistake... a soul-sucking, time-destroying, horrible mistake. I remember how much time I spent trying to take "good" photos of my coins last time. I don't need to do that again... but I wanted to try... In 2007-2009, when I did the bulk of my collecting and coin photography I could never really get pictures I was happy with. This is a problem many of us share. Coins are highly reflective surfaces and you can't just point a light

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01/13/2012

 

Copper lining?

Sometimes you take what you can get, right? This happened a couple of months ago but I found myself thinking about it. Back in November I lost my Android smartphone. This was an extremely upsetting event and I was very frustrated with myself because I hadn't lost or broken a cellphone in 10 years of owning one. All my old phones were retired when the batteries gave out and I was up for an upgrade. I was ticked with myself for losing it and I knew it was going to cost me a ton of money I didn

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Revenant

01/11/2012

 

Thank you. I'm (almost) beyond words.

"Best Presented" is not something I would have expected. Thanks, Gary. I want to start by saying thanks to gherrmann44. I woke up this morning and checked my Android phone because it was saying I had email. I saw that one of the messages was from a friend at the collector's society that I unfortunately haven't talked to in quite some time. He sent the note to congratulate me, but he actually ended up telling me about the award, that one of my sets had won one of the 2011 Best Presented Awards.

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01/08/2012

 

What to do...

A bit of a windfall I found out recently that, starting next month and continuing for 9 months, I'll be getting a regent's fellowship in addition to my graduate assistantship. After taxes, it's like saying I'm going to have about $600 added onto a $1400 income. I can live on the $1400, and that basically makes the $600 gravy. I can do whatever I want with it basically. While I will save some of it to rebuild my cash reserves, I'm not going to save all of it as cash in the bank because that j

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08/25/2010

 

An Intriguing Imbalance

A bit of cross comparison between the NGC, PMG, and CGC registries I don't know if the rest of you have ever thought about this, but the NGC registry has 6040 ranked members (and remember that you have to have at least 1 point worth of coins in order to rank). CGC has about 1860 and PMG limps in with about 180 ranked members. Is this any indication of the relative popularity of the hobbies? Is it more likely a statement as to which groups are most likely to get their collectables encapsulate

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05/18/2010

Branching Into Notes A Tiny Bit.

Picking up a few silver certificates and maybe some FRNs I've always found coin collecting more interesting and more rewarding than the idea of collecting paper currency notes, but I do have a certain fascination with the paper money, especially with respect to how the notes have changed (esp in the last 20 years) and how their meaning has changed (ie, the retirement of the silver and gold certificates and the closing of the metal exchange option, the rise of "legal tender"). I'm taking the

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Revenant

05/16/2010

 

Conditionally Back...

It's been a while. I managed to make myself seriously busy the last few months. I obtained the B.S. in Chemical Engineering but I won't be starting work on a Ph.D until the Fall. I decided that I needed something to keep me occupied and I almost did the job too well. I've gotten to continue my part-time job for the University (at a 7% raise since I'm no longer a student) and just for fun I decided to take art classes at the local community college just for fun. It looks like I'll be able to

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Revenant

05/08/2010

Reverse Journal Entry

The difference between what I say and what I do... Sometimes I think I need to start making "Reverse Journal Entries." It would be kinda like reverse psychology except with journals. I look back at my old entries and I realize just how often what I say I want to do is the exact opposite of what I end up doing. Almost no goal that I set forth in a journal actually comes to pass, unless it's such a near term goal that it's already all but done. Sure, I always have my reasons for changing my mi

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Revenant

01/08/2010

 

Sometimes It's just not in the cards...

If it's not one thing it's another. I find the time and the energy to try and image some new coins, and, after setting up my camera, I find that the rechargable battery is dead, and I don't have any other batteries, and I can't find the charger... That really just doesn't seem particularly fair. I really need to find that battery charger... Everyone has hopefully had great holidays. December was a wild ride over here as some of you are already partially aware. December 10th was the registry

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01/03/2010

A Nice Surprise The Day After Christmas

Half a troy pound of silver and some plastic As I was approaching graduation day earlier in this month, another collector's society member was nice enough to offer me an MS69 kookaburra for my collection as a graduation present and even offered me my choice from the years he had available. He had several MS69s left over after upgrading his set to MS70s. I decided to take things one step further and offered to buy the others from him. It would allow him to get rid of some extras and allow me to

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Revenant

12/27/2009

 

3rd Place Is Fine With Me

As long as there's more than 3 competitors. As a small addendum to my previous post, I found out that my team was awarded 3rd place in the competition between the 10 senior plant design teams. We will supposedly receive a small monetary award that will be divided among the 4 members of the team. I might get $60 out of it but that's not really the point to me. I am just very proud that three industry representatives felt that my team did better than 7 groups of our peers. That's pretty good in

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12/12/2009

 

Standing in the Doorway

Here we are. This is it. Today marks a very significant event, both here on the registry and in my personal life. The senior chemical engineering majors gave our final project presentations today to our teacher, industry representatives and any faculty that wanted to come. After that was the exit interview. We were asked about our time here, what we liked, what we thought could have been better, and would we have done it again knowing what we know now. For a surprising number of us, that ans

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12/10/2009

In Rare Form This Week...

Some days I just don't do anything right... Some days I wonder how I keep track of my own head. Last week I was thinking all week about this auction for a coin that I wanted that was looking like it would go for a good price. The day of the auction (Saturday) I was feeling bad and I completely forgot about it until 90 minutes after it ended. I just wanted to smack myself for the stupidity of it. No, I don't use automatic bidding programs like "bidnapper." It just doesn't sit well with me to

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Revenant

12/08/2009

Trying to Finish with Something

Trying to go out with a bit of a bang. It just kind of hit me today that I hadn't bought a coin or really even gone looking for anything in over a month. My last purchase was on October 26th and after that I just barely had time to think about coin collecting. I had some work to get done and that doesn't really bother me, but it would bother me to let this collecting year (which I see as beginning and ending on December 10th) end without me making some kind of final purchase or final collectin

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Revenant

11/29/2009

The path is clear.

Graduation is in 28 days. This was a fun week. I haven't posted in about 4 weeks. After my last post the senior design project kicked into high gear. I was getting to the computer lab at 8 AM and not leaving except for lunch and dinner until 9 PM every day, even on the weekend. Things got so bad that one of my teammates started having nightmares about the project on a nightly basis. My team finally got it done though. We turned in our report at 9:00 AM on Tuesday 11/17, 7 hours before the subm

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11/22/2009

Hard times; Great Victories; Getting Older

Sometimes when we feel we're getting smacked around, that just means we're doing better than we thought. It always seems a bit funny to me to see the surprises life hands us. When we feel like we're taking a beating, we usually win our greatest victories. I noted a couple of weeks ago that I had taken the GRE. I had all the scaled scores except the Analytical Writing, which I honestly didn't expect to be all that great. I hadn't had to write a timed analytical essay in quite a while and I di

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10/16/2009