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About this journal

The End

Today I did something I hoped I would never have to do. I deleted my now much smaller ancient custom set. Due to finances I had to sell off a large portion of my ancient collection. Since I will no long have the financial means to meaningfully grow this collection I took the reasonable step of deleting that collection. I did however move my ancient coins into a much smaller custom set I have titled “Oldies but Goodies and other Pieces.” I was quite pleased when my Custom ancient set became the first ancient set that made it into the list of 50 most viewed custom sets.

I do have a never say die approach to collecting in that the day I shipped off my ancients for auction I purchased three more ancients. Since then I have purchased what maybe my last ancient for some time to come. I believe it to be a beautiful specimen of a Roman Provincial Coin (RPC) by Macrinus, the coin is from Moesia, Nicopolis. It is an AE26. The coin grades Ch XF with “condition scores” of Strike = 4/5 & Surface = 4/5. I have a special like for RPC’s in that they were produced at over 600 mints and were predominantly made of bronze. It is my belief that better bronze specimens that grade XF and better are not that common. In fact I just input “Macrinus, Moesia, Nicopolis, AE26” into the NGC’s Ancient Coins Archives search engine and 40+ pages of results came up, I check Page 1 & Page 40 (50 coins total) and not a single bronze RPC grade better than Good VF (Ch VF).

So for all practical purposes I have a coin collection but I have stopped collecting coins (i.e., growing my collection). Now what I am I going to do? I have decided to start a journal that discusses what I have observed and learned regarding coin collecting over my 70 years of collecting. If you have any topic you would like my thoughts on just let me know. As it stands right now I have eleven topics I wish to write journals on.

Take care

(Ram in VT)

ARP - Marcrinus-A4.jpg

ARP - Marcrinus-A5.jpg

Entries in this journal

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 8 The Five Coins that never were and are worth a Fortune Anyone who has followed the trials and tribulations related to the 1933 Double Eagles in private hands knows simply possessing a coin does not mean you have the legal right to own it. I am no expert on what exactly the procedure is for coins and bank notes to become legal tender. From what I can gather from news articles the first step is that an order be placed for the coins or bank notes be produced. Once produced is this ne

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

12/13/2018

Last Reply:
12/15/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 7 How many of you remember when NCLT was a four letter word As I remember it, I first came face-to-face with the acronym NCLT sometime in the very late 1970’s or early 1980’s. The first time I remember seeing it was in rants in the “letters to the editor” column in  coin newspapers (newspaper not magazine) and it had to do with what might be called “Commemorative Sets” or modified Proof/UNC sets. I believe several of the British Commonwealth countries started issuing these coins/set

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

10/26/2018

Last Reply:
12/01/2018

 

Ram’s Soap Box

Learn Grading: What Are Full Bands and Full Torch? https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/6812/learn-grading-dimes/ Nothing new here, I am back to my pet peeve – silly grading standards. You can go onto reading other posts – this is my pet peeve and I am going to continue with such posts until someone can provide a convincing argument on why what NGC is doing is superior to my approach. I will be referring to the NGC article with the above address so I suggest you bring it up.

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

09/24/2018

Last Reply:
10/11/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 6 The Hunt I don’t care what you collect, every collector dreams of that “Big Find,” that is the (put in your own value) dollar rarity that falls into your lap for a steal and it is all legal and aboveboard. Does this really happen? Yes and I want to tell you about mine. But let’s first discuss what makes such finds possible. With just a couple of exception all my successful hunts took place at local auctions. Some were estate auctions that had a few coins in them, some were regular

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

09/12/2018

Last Reply:
09/14/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 5 Tools of the traded What “tools” do coin collectors need to support their interest in this hobby? As with most things related to coin collecting I have very strong opinions on this topic. I will however try to be realistic. I want to first address the tools that are available to collectors. 1 – Numismatic Knowledge – This is without a doubt the key tool in the coin collector’s tool box. The truest guidance ever given the collector is the old adage “buy the book before th

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

08/27/2018

Last Reply:
08/29/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 4 There are always unintended consequences For those of us into ancient coins (as I currently am) NGC is doing something long overdue in this field of numismatics, based on the coins they have certified, they are developing a condition census of sorts (i.e., not a true condition census) that will still provide very useful information to the ancient coin collecting community. I have no idea when the results of this project will be made available (if at all) to NGC members or the coll

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

08/13/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

A Supplement to Chapter 3 Grading Look it I can talk forever on the subject of grading mainly because I have some very strong feelings on the subject. This may due to my age and a belligerent nature that I have developed on topics I feel strongly about over my years in this hobby. So now I am going to tell you how I really feel about grading. First let’s get one thing perfectly straight and that is everyone has biases. These biases influence our perception when we must interpret things

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

08/12/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 3 Grading is not a four letter word There is no way we can have a discussion of coin collecting without eventually getting to the subject of grading. The reason a coin’s grade is so important is that the coin’s grade is the key factor in determining the coin’s value but not the only factor. Technically the grade all by itself indicates the amount of wear the coin has experienced after the planchet was struck by the dies and became a coin. Sometime in the 19th century the production

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

07/31/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Chapter 2 – In the Beginning I am not unlike many collectors my age that started collecting by filling holes in those little blue Whitman booklets. I was really into it with booklets for pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. I did have the booklets for Walking Liberty Halves but very seldom did I have a half dollar coin to place in the booklet. Since my basic source of collectibles was pocket change silver dollars were just out of the question even thought my dad’s pay envelope did contain

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

07/14/2018

Last Reply:
07/18/2018

 

Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Looking back on my 70 years of collecting Chater 1 - The End My third try at posting this journal. Today I did something I hoped I would never have to do. I deleted my now much smaller ancient custom set. Due to finances I had to sell off a large portion of my ancient collection. Since I will no long have the financial means to meaningfully grow this collection I took the reasonable step of deleting that collection. I did however move my ancient coins into a much smaller custom se

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

07/03/2018

Last Reply:
07/05/2018

 

Hybrid Ancient Custom Sets

Can we find a way to increase the interest for collecting ancient coins? I just sent David Vagi an e-mail expressing my disappointment at the low parturition rate in the formation of Ancient Custom Sets, only 83 sets after several years (88 sets are shown but five have nothing to do with ancients and should be culled). I am a recent convert to collecting ancient coins, I started the year NGC started certifying these coins. And my custom set is pretty meager in that after all this time it con

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

12/04/2016

 

A Response to QUESTION OF THE WEEK!! Posted by Eagles-R-it

Simply put the third party graders appear to have shot themselves in the foot. When I first read this question I mused about it for a while and then moved on. But I could not get the premise presented by the question out of my mind. Then it hit me, welcome to the world of ancient coin collecting. I have been collecting coins since 1954/5 but in 2009 I made a total change in what I collected. I turned to ancient coin collecting and I totally enjoy it. One of the first things I learned is th

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

04/03/2015

 

THANK YOU RED BOOK AND NGC

Sloppy Numismatic Research can benefit some and hurt others On Saturday June 28th I attended a local auction that had several coin lots. Viewing was on Friday the day before. Most of the lots were foreign except for one US lot and one ancient lot with the best coin in the ancient lot being a St. Patrick Halfpenny (U.S colonial). I really wanted a couple of the world coin lots and did bid on them but I had to drop out because I only had so much money and I know I would need most if not all f

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

07/10/2014

 

OK I am looking for feedback from those of you that submit ancient coins for certification

Has NGC Ancients become the Black Hole of Calcutta? On May 16 a submittal of mine arrived at NGC. Those of you that follow your submittal through NGC know that the first step in the process is simply acknowledgement that you submittal arrive and the number of coins match the number on the order form. The next step is verification of the submittal. This step can be quick or take time based on the number of coins and how correct you were in providing info on each coin. Once this step is compl

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

06/30/2014

I need help identifying what I believe to be a Gay 90's Token

This may have been a prototype for what was to become New London, Connecticut Gay 90's token Rulau #Nln 5 JOHN A. MEADE of which only two are known. Rulau #Nln 5 measures 25mm and has two sides This token measures 26.2mm, weighs 4.75 grams and has only one side which reads JOHN A. MEADE above 5C in the center and IN TRADE below I have had this piece for decades and have never been able to find anything out about this token. Any info would be greatly appreciated Best regards

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

06/06/2014

 

Are we coin collectors all a little crazy?

Or do we grasp for any straw to justify our OCD issues related to coin collecting? I have written two posts dealing with the fact that I have recently entered the world of collecting ancient coins and sometimes I feel like I stepped into the twilight zone. The quirkiness of some of those I have "met" (only via email or posts at ancient web sites) has occasionally totally dumbfounded me. The major issue with these collectors seems to be my preference for encapsulating ancient coins. Many of

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

03/01/2014

 

Ancient Coins and Grade Vs. Condition

When I started to collect ancient coins I found I had to change my approach to selecting coins. First let me say season's greetings and happy New Year to one and all. Those of you that have looked at my custom set of ancient coins and read my "Set Description" have seen my stated personal opinion regard the grading of ancient coins. It is here that I put forth my argument that when selecting ancient coins for a collection one must look beyond the coin's stated grade. Before I go one ste

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

12/30/2013

 

Have any of you considered collecting ancient coins??

I was hoping to convince you to consider collecting ancient coins, but after reading what I wrote I missed the boat on that goal but here it is anyway. I have been collecting coins for 59 years and have totally embraced the hobby. For many years I collected only US until I simply got sick and tired when looking over any one of my sets and seeing numerous coins that all looked identical differing only by a mint mark or a change in the numbers forming the date. Was I collecting coins or dates

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

08/02/2013

 

I need some help here posting journal entries

Maybe it is just my age and not being able to understand what to do. So far I have posted about five Journal entries. In all cases there was no option for readers to respond at the bottom of my post. Some readers went out their way to send comments via e-mails. This was very nice of them but I don't understand why the option to respond does not appear at the bottom of my post. I did e-mail NGC and ask for help and I thought I followed their instructions with my last post but guess what --

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

11/16/2011

 

OK I don't believe it

What the heck did I do correctly I don't know what I did but now it works Sorry for wasting your time with my last post Ram-VT To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

11/16/2011

 

Is there a gorilla war going on against NGC similar to what happened to ANACS?

Businesses will do whatever it takes to succeed. Let's first go over a little history. The first important grading standard was Brown & Dunn, that was followed by Photograde and then the American Numismatic Society published its grading standards. Overall these three standards were very comparable (some could argue that there were inconsistencies). Anyway the ANA grading reference has become "THE" grading standard for U.S. coins. So when the ANA formed the first major 3rd party grading

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

11/16/2011

Was Sheldon really that wrong?

Or do some of us just have more money than common sense? - Another long one As we all know when Dr. Sheldon had his book Penny Whimsy published he was presenting the numismatic world a detailed catalogue of early large cent varieties (known at that time for the years 1793 to 1814) as well as an approach for pricing these cents. Under his concept every die variety/die combination would be assigned a value in its basal state (1) which was the lowest collectable state. Now more than likely his

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

08/15/2011

 

Open Letter to NGC and Registry Members

Just what is really disliked ? a long post For those of you that may have looked at my custom set you know that my total collection contains well less than 200 items which includes ancient, medieval, world and U.S. coins as well as medals, tokens and jetons (so really not much of any specific collectable area). I have started selling off my collection to supplement my retirement. Anyway with well less than 200 items in my collection it must be considered small. However it does contain a cou

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

08/01/2011

 

OK just exactly how many grades of uncirculated are there?

I figure that currently there are either 30 or 39 distinct grades of UNC. There are many of you out there (if not most of you) that were not in this hobby when the Sheldon pricing system for large cents was converted to a grading scale for U.S. coins. At the time UNC?s were graded 60, 63, 65 & 67. The were those out there at that time that were jumping up and down saying that greedy dealers would some day use all eleven grades (60 to 70) to grade coins so they could charge incrementally

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

02/18/2011

 

RE. RE. Just exactly

To some extent your idea was attempted more than 20 years ago. The first coin authenticator for the ANA was Charles Hoskins. When he left his position with the ANA he moved back to the Washington, D.C. area which is where I met him. He started the INS (International Numismatic Society) which provided a coin authentication service. Over time the INS started a grading service which I firmly believe was the first third party grading service. They started grading on an informal basis and then

RAM-VT

RAM-VT

02/18/2011