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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

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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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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Group Photos and re-imaging

Whenever I get a new coin for a set, provided it’s a smaller set that doesn’t require pulling out 20+ coins, it’s always fun to pull out all the coins in the set and look at them together. It can be a lot of fun with the larger sets too but it can also be a lot of work to find them all amongst the other coins, get them out and, eventually, put them all back. When I get the new coin in for such a set I try to get new pictures done and this usually leads to new pictures being taken for the wh

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Unexpectedly Revisiting the Family Mint Sets

About 11 years ago now, during my last year as an undergraduate, I helped by step-father build a group of mint sets - one for all of our birth years. We worked together on it all summer, hunting down coins and mint sets, sifting through mint sets looking for coins that we would later submit ourselves, going to coin shows together. It was a lot of great fun and when it was all said and done we completed most of the sets. The 1958, 1982, and 1983 sets remained unfinished. We were going to try

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We’ll get ‘em next year…

After I graduated from undergrad a bunch of the people that I went to school with started a tailgate for graduates from our year called the “We’ll get ‘em next year” tailgate. I was a reference to the fact that our football team frankly wasn’t that great and when we’d have a bad game or a bad year we’d say, “We’ll get ‘em next year,” and we’d been saying that for several years running at this point. I’m realizing at this point that I’ve let this year slip past me and, contrary to what I sai

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The Key Date!

I finally found an 1888 for a price I could afford and which I was comfortable paying. I have eBay send me emails whenever things pop up that could potentially be a match for this set. The search is deliberately broad so most of the items that pop up aren't of interest but it helps make sure I know it when something good pops up. Last week an 1888 came up for sale in MS65 graded by NGC. The seller had great feedback and is an NGC and PCGS member/submitter. Everything looked great.

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It's the waiting that's going to get me...

We're finally coming up on the end of the year. Starting in January the annual look back on things begins an around February we should find out about pay raises and bonuses. I'm hoping both for a decent raise and a great bonus. I joined the company about a year ago and I think I've performed beyond their expectations in a vast majority of ways, going from being a new hire to a person that's writing technical papers for the company and giving presentations at conferences and symposia. My goa

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My new, younger, flightless bird

A little less than a year ago I joked about the 105-year-old bird in my house when I got my 1913 French Rooster. Right around Christmas I found another coin featuring another flightless bird that I wanted - a 2009 New Zealand One Ounce Silber Kiwi in MS69. Normally, I wouldn’t have been game to buy another big coin this quickly after getting the 1877 10G. I try to space these things out and savor them a little more, but these coins just don’t come up very often. For context, the 2

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A Final Note on the 1877

When I left things off with my last entry talking about this coin, the one unknown, the one X-factor, was, how nice was this coin going to be in-hand and which of the two coins I’d been looking at would have better eye appeal in-person, the MS65 or the MS66. As is required by the nature of online shopping, I’ll never get an answer on the second point. I didn’t buy both coins. I’ll probably never see that MS66 in person. I’ll probably never know if I would have liked it better. As to th

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Possibly Some Thwarted Optimism with the Queen's Beast Series.

When I found out that the UK Royal Mint was going to be releasing the Queen’s Beast series a few years ago I got really excited. My mother was always really into family genealogy and the coat of arms and family / clan patterns from Scotland and all of that fun stuff. My family originates mostly from England and Scotland and I’ve always thought the coat of arms was cool. I loved the fact that they were going to be big, thick, 2 oz, high relief rounds and I loved what the artist had done with the

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Sometimes you hate the game and especially the player…

I’m always amazed by the games some people try to play in conducting business, even the ones that, at least on paper, you shouldn’t need to worry about because they have 100% positive feedback with scores in the thousands… Find an auction for something you like, check it out, see it has free shipping with nary a word anywhere about shipping insurance or anything else. You bid, win the item and, within minutes, the seller sends an invoice for it. Now, if you’re like me and you pay throu

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Revisiting an old project.

I was really excited to collect the presidential dollar series in 2007 and 2008 when they were just starting out. The US History buff in me loved the idea of the set even though they were mostly a naked effort by the US Congress and the US Mint to keep the music playing as the statehood quarters series was winding down (which they did with the America the beautiful quarters). Then, of course, the effort got promptly dropped but not quite entirely forgotten in 2009 when I had to start getting rea

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Looks like the MS65 is coming home to me!

Well, when I made the last entry I was really leaning towards the MS66. By the time I went to bed on Saturday I had pretty much convinced myself that the MS66 was the way to go and that I should bid aggressively to make sure I got that coin. So then why am I writing this, saying that I bid on and won the MS65 tonight and why am I so stinkin’ happy about it that my wife is snickering about it at my expense? Well, my basis for thinking that the MS66 was the way to go was thinking it look

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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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Looks like I'm going to be looking to buy some MS70 gold soon.

My wife and I found out a couple of weeks ago that we're expecting our second child in the middle of next year. Most people don't know yet but we'll get around to that when we're further along in the process and we know a little more. We won't have the first doctor's appointment for another 3 weeks. When my son was born I picked up a quarter oz gold American Eagle in MS70 for his birth year. I'll be looking to do that again with the new baby.  I'm also hoping I might be able to talk my wife

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Half way there

Well, today was my much-anticipated day off because of my 9/80 schedule. The dealer shipped out the coin very promptly and I went to bed last night knowing that it was in town and due to be delivered on a day when I could be home to wait and sign for it – very useful with the seller requires a signature for delivery. I can’t say I blame him for it but I hate making trips to the post office for packages and this new post office we have has already lost one package for me in the 2 months since we

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Wrapping up 2016...

Didn't quite go how I'd hoped but it could have been a lot worse. Tragically in mid-September the downturn in the price of oil hit home and I got laid off with about a dozen other people at the company I worked with. The company had about 90 employees so in context laying off a dozen people is a pretty big deal. It wasn't the end of the world. We'd known for a while that it could happen so we'd been reducing expenses and trying to build savings and there's always unemployment while that lasts

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Rewarding myself a little

Six ounces, one month and 10 lbs. My wife finally convinced me to start going to the gym with her and dieting to try to diminish the size of my spare tire while she tries to lose the rest of her baby weight. This is something I've wanted to do for years but I just never made myself do it during grad school. We agreed that we'd both treat ourselves in some way when we'd been good for a month. She wanted a pedicure. I wanted coins. I gave some thought to what I wanted. I wanted to get somet

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Finally handing those presidential dollars off

for my niece and nephew. A few weeks ago I met my brother and his kids during their annual visit from Washington. I decided that it was finally time to give my brother the P&D Jefferson Dollars that I'd been keeping to give to my niece at some point. The coins were released from the mint within a week of her birth years ago because they're First Day of Issues. She isn't old enough yet to have them. She's only about 9. Still. I thought I'd give them to my brother and let him decide when t

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Father's Day Newp.

First Father's Day and a new coin. Thought I'd share a post today about this new acquisition I got in the mail about a week ago. 2016 ¼ Oz Gold American Eagle, made around the same time my son was born +/- 3 months. I thought it'd be a fun way to mark the birth and hopefully he'll find it cool when he gets older. It's also the 30th anniversary year for the series. The first year of issue (1986) is the birth year for both my wife and myself. The coin came pretty much the day of my wife's 30th b

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Fun new pick-up...

While I'm continuing to mull over the fate of the 1875... In the midst of trying to decide what I want to do with the PCGS-graded 1875 Netherlands 10 Guilden, I found an 1887 for sale on eBay. It's only an MS64 where I mostly like to stick with MS65 or higher but this coin doesn't come up for sale very often in any grade. Only about 40,000 were minted originally and only about 50 have been graded by NGC, and this one was graded by NGC so it works for the registry set. The icing on the cake was

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To Cross, Sell or Trade...

The coin that can no longer function as part of the registry set. When I started looking at my collection again recently, trying to decide where I might want to try to start working on it again I knew I wanted to just focus on one, maybe two things for now and try to make that set pretty awesome (to the extent my time and budget allows). I thought it would be fun to try to finish my 1875-1889 Netherlands 10G set since it's classic gold and I wanted to work on a gold set, but I quickly realiz

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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

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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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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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