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What we forget and the power of the journals

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Revenant

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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 that I stumbled upon the 10G series and that coin because I was shopping for 1875 dated gold coins – a year I apparently picked out because of a, in retrospect, rather bizarre feat of mental gymnastics. I had not remembered that Gary (gherrman44) had linked me to / shown me the PCGS MS67 that I ultimately bought.

If I had not written that down myself, I don’t think I would have ever remembered it, and I’m not sure I would have believed some of it.

Sometimes reading my old journals is fun. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes… the stupid. It burns. Sometimes reading the old entries feels like reading the thoughts of a different person. Sometimes I really wish it was a different person.

There are days when I wish I could split my journal, the old from the new, possibly using the day / time when the system switched over to the new format in 2017, because I feel like my perspective and my voice has changed so drastically since the last time I was more active in the 2007-2010 period and there are things I said and positions that I took back then that I would not voice or agree with now. There’s also an odd problem with some of the old journals whereby some punctuation marks have been replaced with “?” throughout the post. There’s an old post from 2009 that I’m pretty sure I called “Thanks!” That now reads, “Thanks?” I came across that and thought, “What? Well that seems a little ungrateful of me…” Lol

Still, I suppose that, too, is in the nature of a journal maintained for a long period of time – and you take the good with the bad.

Mokiechan accomplished something akin to that (splitting off and starting anew) by just making a new account but that’s too drastic for my liking. While it is tempting some days, I wouldn’t have wanted to just lose / burn / orphan my old posts and content and lose that part of my history on here.

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Revenant, You are so right, reading through my old blogs can sometimes be quite embarrassing but can also remind me of  previous collecting tangents, interesting people I met along the way, and even thoughts and opinions long forgotten.   Incidentally, I did end up merging my ancient ancient account with my current.  I noticed I was far more passionate back then, now I almost feel like collecting is a job.  Probably not the best attitude.  (:

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I read my old blogs and the comments people left. I realized I could also learn from the comments. Think I forgot i picked up again. Nothing wrong with that. I try everyday to read old blogs it's paid off for me. Great journal. And Gary is a great writer. Never missed one of his blogs at the ANA. I enjoyed it keep up the good work . Mike

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I can so relate to many of the things stated in this entry.  I think of where I was in 2010, 2011, 2012 etc....and I think of my interests and what I was collecting and it really is like looking at a different person and their interests.  Back then, I was collecting a lot of German and Ottoman coins.  When I first started on NGC in 2010, I was even still collecting some US coins, though it was definitely the waning days of that phase of my collecting life.  I don't even know who that person was anymore.  Then I moved onto Canadian coins, largely in part because I started collecting with Canadian coins when I was a kid.  Now, I'm doing almost nothing with any of those pursuits.  Instead, I pursue coins with birds on them, coins with babies on them and Roman coins with a particular focus on Faustina the Younger and other empresses.  But it's interesting to look at how I feel about what I do now compared to how I felt about what I was doing with collecting back then.  It's almost like I kind of knew that those pursuits were a temporary thing in a subconscious way.  They were part of the journey along the road to somewhere else.  On the other hand, where I am now with collecting feels like home.  I think I finally found where I belong in the hobby.  I finally found an area that can sustain me for the long run.

However, it's been weird for me.  As someone who has an advanced degree in history, I thought for a long time that I had to keep things from my past as they were a part of me.  After all, history teaches us that understanding the past is key to understanding the present.  However I had a dream not too long ago which I interpreted as my brain telling me that it's okay to let go, that it's a healthy thing and that shedding one's skin is a part of growing.  This has also combined with the realization that I have a pronounced minimalist streak within myself, so I'm actually selling off a lot of my old coins from past collecting pursuits and renovating my collection.  I want a leaner collection which reflects me now, and this will help accomplish that.  As far as the embarrassment factor goes, there is some of that, too.  I've realized that I've grown and changed a lot since I started collecting again in 1999 and since I started on NGC in 2010.  I was 19 in 1999 when I started back up collecting and I was 30 when I started on NGC.  I think for me, the worst thing I did was my attempt at a US Type Set.  To make the project exciting, I decided I had to go after all of these weird dates that were not typically seen in a type set.  The best example I can think of is my desire for one of the proof only dates of the 20 cent piece.  Needless to say, this actually made the project even less fun.  The real answer I needed to arrive at is that the project actually bored me and nothing was going to make it work for me.  I needed to abandon it, not make it some super weird set that would have been difficult financially to obtain.  I needed to realize that a US 20 cent piece wasn't going to make me happy whether it cost $100 or $3000. 

Another thing I'm saying goodbye to isn't something I'm embarrassed about in the least: my active participation in the Registry.  I really wanted to win a big award here.  It was never about competition for me that much, it was about proving to myself that I could do it.  And I did, twice.  The one I'm the most proud of is the Most Creative Custom Set of 2017 for my Avians: The Dinosaurs Among Us Set.  That one was amazing because I won for something that is one of my current pursuits.  It's something that the present incarnation of myself built and that I'm very proud of.  If I was to win for anything on here, I would have wanted it to be for that set.  My win in 2018 was somewhat strange as it was for one of the Ottoman sets that I haven't actively worked on since 2015.  For a brief fleeting moment after that win, I considered going back to pursuing Ottoman coins.  But I realized that would be moving backwards, not forward, and that was the exact thing that I was striving to get away from in my life.  Instead, I'm viewing that award as a fitting epitaph for my old self and collecting interests and a high note to go out on.  I'm now using 2"x2"s and a nice album for them.  I've realized that while the Registry once made me happy, it doesn't any longer.  It was just complicating my collecting.  These days, I'm striving for simple.  Don't get me wrong, I think the Registry is still a great thing and I really enjoy seeing what everyone builds on here.  I enjoy selling graded coins to help people who collect on the Registry achieve their goals.  And, of course, I love the boards here.  But the Registry isn't for me any longer.  I've accomplished my main goal for being there and it's best to go out on a high note like a big win.  The boards are all I need these days.

Sorry for such a long response here.......you're a very thought provoking writer Rev!

Edited by Mohawk

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The last time I checked my old posts was before the current journal format. Interestingly Revenant, I don't remember recommending the 1875 MS-67 10G to you. I do know that I would of had to have known you were looking for that coin in order for me to recommend it to you. This is something I could have only known if you had written about it or I found that you had started a registry set. For me I love helping out other collectors whether it be recommending a coin to acquire or writing a journal of my good and bad collecting experiences.Though I do not remember, I think about the same time you recommended to me a 1897 MS-66 10G that I also still own.

I looked back today at a few of my 264 total journal posts. Some were mundane, some ridiculous, and some had very poor grammar. In a few of them I was embarrassed because I either had wrong or incomplete facts about the topic I was writing. Like your current posts of lately, some of my best posts are the ones where the reader might catch a glimpse of my heart and passion. 

For instance, in my very first post dated 1/16/09 I wrote about winning the most creative award for my Inspirational Ladies custom set. My post with the most views is a 12/3/09 Virtual Christmas Card to NGC and Collectors Society. That post included a medal featuring a toymaker on the obverse with three children looking through a snowy window. The reverse features a winter street full of Christmas shoppers and the same children looking in the window. This medal was struck with dies engraved by Don Everhart when he worked for the Franklin Mint. That post has a whopping 3,348 views!

For the most part I am proud of the things I have written over the years and they serve to remind me of where I came from and where I am going.

Gary 

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2 hours ago, gherrmann44 said:

The last time I checked my old posts was before the current journal format. Interestingly Revenant, I don't remember recommending the 1875 MS-67 10G to you. I do know that I would of had to have known you were looking for that coin in order for me to recommend it to you. This is something I could have only known if you had written about it or I found that you had started a registry set. For me I love helping out other collectors whether it be recommending a coin to acquire or writing a journal of my good and bad collecting experiences.Though I do not remember, I think about the same time you recommended to me a 1897 MS-66 10G that I also still own.

I'm pretty sure the conversation took place through private messages though I don't know what started the conversation. It's been too long. Lol 

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5 hours ago, Mohawk said:

These days, I'm striving for simple.  Don't get me wrong, I think the Registry is still a great thing and I really enjoy seeing what everyone builds on here.  I enjoy selling graded coins to help people who collect on the Registry achieve their goals.  And, of course, I love the boards here.  But the Registry isn't for me any longer.  I've accomplished my main goal for being there and it's best to go out on a high note like a big win.  The boards are all I need these days.

Sorry for such a long response here.......you're a very thought provoking writer Rev!

I think you're just going to have to remember that:

1) graded coins / notes work well for some projects and not others, even for those that like them (some don't).

2) There tends to be a natural ebb and flow to life. If I recall correctly from your past posts, you've already "retired" from the registry once and come back (haha - you aren't that old yet). You'll probably have something that has you wanting to use it again later - even if later is 3-5 years from now. I was hardly on here at all from 2012-2017. That's just life.

As far as the stuff? You can only have so much before it's a burden.

I love a line from Orange is the New Black. "Collectors curate their collection. Otherwise you're just a hoarder."

Edited by Revenant

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2 minutes ago, Revenant said:

I think you're just going to have to remember that:

1) graded coins / notes work well for some projects and not others, even for those that like them (some don't).

2) There tends to be a natural ebb and flow to life. If I recall correctly from your past posts, you've already "retired" from the registry once and come back (haha - you aren't that old yet). You'll probably have something that has you wanting to use it again later - even if later is 3-5 years from now. I was hardly on here at all from 2012-2017. That's just life.

As far as the stuff? You can only have so much before it's a burden.

I love a line from Orange is the New Black. "Collectors curate their collection. Otherwise you're just a hoarder."

You bring up very good points.  I did retire once before, but for different reasons than this time.  I had just moved to a new place, I was staring a Master's Thesis in the face and I was dealing with some serious family related stress, so I'd call that retirement more forced on me than voluntary.....with everything going on, I just didn't think that the Registry was something I could maintain.  I didn't really want to quit then, but I felt I had to.  But things settled down, my coin selling gig took off, things got better with me and my family so I came back and gave it another go :) .  I'm glad that I did.  It was a great experience and I did manage to achieve my goal of winning a big award.  However, this time I've given the idea of Registry retirement a lot of thought and I'm making the decision from a place of strength and happiness rather than one of duress.  I also hadn't discovered my minimalist streak yet in 2014.  That's only become apparent since I've entered my late 30's.  But, I've also learned that with me and this Registry, I should never say never ;).  Who knows what the future holds?  I may gather a good collection of raw Faustina the Younger coins and decide that I want them slabbed and on here.  It could happen.  It could not.  Who knows?  But with my new focus on ancients I have to consider the cost of grading ancients and the turnover time for them......it's something like 52 working days for Economy and $25 a coin.  I really don't have the patience for that kind of wait and most of Faustina the Younger's silver coins range in price from $50 to $120 in nice higher circulated grades.  Buying graded ancients also costs considerably more than buying them raw.  A denarius that costs $100 raw in VF could easily cost you twice that or more if it's in an NGC slab.  I guess I'd rather buy more coins than pay for grading at this point in my collecting life.  Life is full of transitions and I feel that I'm going through a transition now.  Simplicity appeals to me more than it ever has.  So does the idea of fewer things, but better and more fulfilling things.  But I still plan to curate my collection, believe me!  My coins will be attributed with all of the proper reference numbers and they will be handsomely housed together in a nice album which will allow me to fit the 63 or so coins in a small space rather than in a huge box, which I'd need to do if they were slabbed.  It's funny.....I'm on the verge of earning my doctorate, which in turn means that I'm headed for a position with greatly increased earning power, but the impending increase in earning power makes me want less stuff though I could afford more stuff.  I don't know.....but I like it and I'm going with it.  I may have something that brings me back to being an active Registry participant, but as of right now I cannot imagine what would be able to compete with my desire for simplicity and minimalism.....those things have become very important to me.  I guess we'll have to wait and see!

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1 hour ago, Revenant said:

I'm pretty sure the conversation took place through private messages though I don't know what started the conversation. It's been too long. Lol 

There is something else about those Netherlands sets of ours in that we were competing in the registry with the same user for the top registry set. It seems that he was buying up coins like crazy to populate both sets. You came up with the term money-bags for him that I thought was somewhat humorous. Seems like when he couldn't compete he packed his bags, picked up his marbles (coins), and went home! :) Fond memories. Yet people like you and I are still there after 10 years. ;)

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18 minutes ago, gherrmann44 said:

There is something else about those Netherlands sets of ours in that we were competing in the registry with the same user for the top registry set. It seems that he was buying up coins like crazy to populate both sets. You came up with the term money-bags for him that I thought was somewhat humorous. Seems like when he couldn't compete he packed his bags, picked up his marbles (coins), and went home! :) Fond memories. Yet people like you and I are still there after 10 years. ;)

Yeah. That sounds like something I would have done when I was 22. lol Maybe one of these days I'll finish my set.

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