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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

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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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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Pointflation and why it happens...

It's not much of a mystery IMO really. It seems like every couple of months I see a post that discusses how a person has lost rank when their point total didn't go down (or even when it went up). There seems to be a general frustration among members that the number of points required to obtain a given rank keeps going up. The simplest (and seemingly most common) explanation for this seems to be that the users directly below them are adding more coins and passing them in rank. This is likely tr

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Conversations about coins and metal

I'm finally getting to post this... It has been a really crazy week. Every time I tried to post something happened. I've had to deal with taking the GRE (Verbal:610; Quantitative: 790; WHOOP!), getting test scores back (100 FTW!), meeting due-dates for assignments, purging computer viruses, tolerating stupid roommates, and now getting sick... stupid roommate, getting sick and giving it to me. What kind of disgusting insufficiently_thoughtful_person spits up phlegm in the same sink we brush our

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A Fun New Addition

A coin struck under the authority of a sovereign Indian tribe. I ran across a new coin for my signature set kind of randomly. It was a "Battle of Point Pleasant" commemorative issue made for the Shawnee Indian tribe with a mintage limited to 50,000. I hadn't realized that a couple of the sovereign Indian tribes within the United States had started to make these 1 Oz silver issues in the last decade (the Shawnee started in 2002, followed by another tribe in 2004). I may try to collect the rest

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I Just Don't Really Like "Colorized" Coins.

The more I think about this the more sure I become of it. There seems to be an ever-increasing number of colored or painted coins coming out of certain countries the last few years. At first I thought they were potentially neat but the more I've thought about it the more I've grown to dislike the basic concept. One of the things that always made me love coins (especially silver ones) is that they are metal and they are SHINY. Plastics and other materials will never hold the same sense of str

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A Surprising Find While Looking Around...

I decided to do some looking around on "the bay" and found something I didn't expect... For one reason or another it just makes me chuckle to call eBay, "the bay." I come from a town with "Bay" in the name and we call it "Home of the Dirty Bay" (don't swim in it, don't drink from it, and don't eat anything you caught in it). But anyway... I had decided to look around and see if there might be something in a nice price range that I might be able to add to my signature set. I still hadn't purc

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Now where did that month or two go...

I'm still around believe it or not. For over a year there I tried to read every journal entry that was posted. I'd check in at least once a day to see what was going on. I have to admit I haven't been doing that lately. I haven't really been on much at all since I made my last journal almost 2 months ago. A quick browsing of the titles and teasers tells me that not much changed and confirms that some discussions will never die, no matter how many times you beat the dead horse. In some ways tha

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Is it really possible to have 2 hobbies?

Something to consider? Would they compete or build on each other? I?ve been playing around with an idea recently. I wonder if it?s really possible to have more than one hobby. Most of us aren?t and probably never will be super rich. Our hobbies have to compete with the rest of our lives for our time, money, and energy. Two hobbies would invariably end up fighting with each other for the same limited set of resources. It seems reasonable that both would suffer as a result. I?ve had several

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The Peroid of Low (and High) Activity

... will continue... Wheew... June was a crazy month. Much like Neverman I was involved a summer course over the last month. I think I eeked out a low A but I'll know later. In the last month what money I've felt like spending on non-necessities has gone into a few non-coin related projects. I finally made something happen that I've wanted to do for over 2 years, but it cost over $400 to do it. Now, looking forward, I don't think I'm going to have too much of a coin budget between now and t

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I'm still here

Keeping on. Mostly window shopping... I've been keeping busy with class and work. I also haven't had much to report on. I've been making a smaller number of bigger purchases lately. Individually, they aren't going to be all that fun to talk about or hear about. There's a chance that I'll have some bragging rights by December but we'll see. Thursday I was in the final part of a 250 mile round trip when my car got hit by road debris off a truck. Bye, bye ball joints. Hello repair bill and gett

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It's not that they're worthless...

... I just think he's a twit for buying them. A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that I'm sure many of you have also been subjected to. I was talking to my family on the phone when my mother brought up that she'd talked to one of her fellow teachers about the "Obama coins." The moment I heard those words I was in a bad mood. I indicated that I didn't want to talk about it but she wouldn't listen. It's one of the few times I've really been tempted to hang-up on my mother. I hate those

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Coin collecting by the numbers...

The craziest logic for selecting a coin/series ever! Well, I was looking for a nice coin to pick up to celebrate the end of the year and I got to thinking... I'm working on my 1st degree (my B.S.), I just finished my 8th semester and based on the grades I was expecting I thought I'd have a cumulative GPA of 3.75... and from this, I decided it would be cool to get a gold coin from 1875. Yeah... I'm sure that's perfectly resonable logic, right? Well, I went looking but quickly ran into a probl

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Ended Strong

Final Grades posted... Now's the time to celebrate? My final grades have been posted. I actually did just slightly better than I'd hoped. My semester GPA was a 3.571 and the cumulative average managed to fall to just a 3.764. I think this means I'll make the dean's list this semester and it is increasingly likely that I'll manage to graduate with more than a 3.700 and meet the requirements for graduating Magna Laude. As has been the case 7 times before I've been getting plenty of congratulati

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Family Time; Lessons Learned

Moments and Concepts I'm often given to wonder why I ended up becoming a coin collector. I only started about 3 years ago but it's something I had always wanted to do. The question became, what put the thought in my head? The answer I ultimately arrived at was that there were many events that occurred throughout my childhood that inclined me towards collecting coins. There weren't many coin collectors in my family really, but my family exhibits certain behaviors and modes of thought that were

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Nice Arrival in the Mail Today

Fun little package. I'm finally home, working on research and waiting on grades. I spent most of the day on the road for work (5 hours in the car just can't get any more fun). When I got back to the house though I found a nice little package waiting for me. It contained my latest acquisition that I won in an auction on Saturday. It's a Russian 3 Roubles Ballet (yes, that's not a mistake) coin. It's made of 0.900 silver and weighs 34.5 grams (that's on troy ounce of silver in the coin). This

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Glad that week's over...

1 test down... Okay... So I said I wouldn't buy anything this week and I didn't. Whoop! I bid on something, but it doesn't end until Saturday evening so that doesn't count. Yes, the fact that I didn't acquire anything for 2 weeks doesn't really seem like a bit accomplishment (big display of self-control right?). Well, when what you want is cheap enough to be an "impulse buy," and you're trying to resist that impulse, that gets rough. Those coins can call with greater force than the sirens ca

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Waiting on the budget to catch up

Lots of Plans... Waiting for funding... I always seem to find myself in situations like this. I come up with these big ideas for what I want to do, blow through my funding (and then some) and then have to wait for a couple of weeks while my budget catches up with my ideas (which it never really seems to do). Just working on what I have planned for my signature set pretty effectively taxes my finances. About a week ago I went a bit overboard and now I'm (predictably) paying the price for it.

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Some More (Old?) Mexican Silver

Continuing to work on the Mexican Libertads and a little more... Last week one of the other members on the forums was offering a fairly large amount of silver for sale. This is something he doesn't pretty consistantly. He always seems to have a lot of silver available that he wants to unload. Sometimes he moves material, other offerings get offered again in a couple of weeks and new material periodically enters. I saw that he was offering 37 1984 silver libertads a price much lower than I'd

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Family Time; One roll at a time.

I wonder if anyone else did this as a kid... For as long as I've been able to remember my mother kept an old piggy-bank in her room that was made to look like a mailbox. It didn't lock itself; instead it had a little tiny padlock with a tiny key that she kept hanging on the wall on a Marvin the Martian key chain (Marvin was her favorite Looney Toon). She'd put tons of change from her (massive) purse (which we always complained must literally have bricks in it.. but no, mostly coins...) into th

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Fighting over Silver Leaves

Oh what funny trees they must have in Canada? I normally don?t share stories about bidding wars but the end result of this is just too funny. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough (I felt) to purchase a nice 2007 Canadian Maple Leaf in MS68. By the standards of these Canadian coins, an MS68 is pretty darn high. MS69s are fairly rare and MS70s are almost unheard of. Grades in the MS64 to MS67 range are much more common. I was happy to get the coin. It let me add a representative piece for th

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Remembering The Republic of Texas

Completing a set of Texas Commemoratives I think it was about 9 months ago that my step father and I were both glancing over auctions on eBay while talking on the cell phones together. We were still very much involved with working on the birthyear mint sets that are now largely complete. We had just arranged to purchase the 1932-S quarter that now resides in the 1932 set. We needed something else though because the 1932-S was less than $1000 and we needed more than $1000 to avoid a sales tax c

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A Slight Diversion

A few coins that (*gasp!*) aren't made of silver. Ok, well, I've been really enjoying working on my signature set the last 2 months or so but I also have a few other projects that require a little attention from time to time. It occurred to me the other day that I still had not acquired the new William H. Harrison presidential dollars for my mint state set. I have all the 2007 and the 2008 dollars in MS66 FDI and I don't like to fall too far behind when making sets like this. I also naturally

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Results on the 6 coin submission are in

Wow! That turned out great! Overall I'd say this submission went extremely well. The results were actually better than I had dared to hope for. Invoice: 2755950 001 2006 SILVER NEWZEALAND NORTH ISLAND BROWN KIWI $1 MS69 002 2005 SILVER NEWZEALAND KIWI $1 MS70 003 2004 SILVER NEWZEALAND SPOTTED KIWI $1 MS70 004 2006 CHINA PANDA S10Y MS70 005 2008MO MEXICO S1ONZA MS65 006 2008MO MEXICO S1ONZA MS69 I can't even say how great the grades on the kiwis were. The 2004 and 200

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Only With the Help of this Wonderful Community...

Some things become possible. I've been sitting back and thinking about the way some of my sets have been built and how my projects have progressed. It hit me that there are some things I never could have done, or could not have done as easily, without the help of some people in this community. This seems to become particularly true of special sets and projects which involve uncommon or uncommonly graded coins. It therefore seems particularly true of signature sets. Because of deals I'm invol

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