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When I’m Wiser and I’m Older.

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Revenant

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Looking back, I made the first entry into this journal on June 14, 2007, when I was not quite 21 years old (clocking in at 32 now, with a receding hairline. Oh, how it does sting a bit). 

 

This was 10 years before NGC would switch to the new (current) journal format and we’d gain the ability to give a unique name to our journals. I’ve given some thought over time to what I think I’d like to call this (other than just “Revenant” or “Revenant’s Journal”) and I think I’ve settled on an answer: 

“When I’m Wiser and I’m Older.” 

 

It’s a reference to a song by Avicii that I’ve loved ever since the first time that I heard it, called “Wake me up.” The first versus and the chorus of the song are as follows: 

 

Feeling my way through the darkness 

Guided by a beating heart 

I can't tell where the journey will end 

But I know where to start 

They tell me I'm too young to understand 

They say I'm caught up in a dream 

Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes 

Well that's fine by me 

 

So wake me up when it's all over 

When I'm wiser and I'm older 

All this time I was finding myself, and I 

Didn't know I was lost 

 

I had this idea when thinking about a comment I made about the hobby and life being a journey and the self-discovery aspect of that on thisistheshow’s journal entry a few months ago. 

 

The part of the song I’ve always loved are the last two lines of the chorus, “all this time I was finding myself and I didn’t know I was lost.” I feel like that fits well with my experience and the changes I’ve undergone in the last 12 years – spanned and covered somewhat unevenly by this journal. 

It's hard to think of a core aspect of myself that hasn’t changed much since this journal was started. I’ve gone from being a single, 20-year-old, undergrad college student to being a married father of two, with a PhD, 7 published peer-reviewed papers. The things that were the all-consuming focus of my collecting life 10 years ago are almost an afterthought at the moment as I pursue radically different endeavors.

 

It’ll be interesting to see what I’m doing in another 10 years and if I’m still writing entries here. 

 

Naming the PMG journal “Gradually, then suddenly,” to match my signature set was pretty easy comparatively. That collection of entries / writings basically exists as a testament to  my obsession with those notes and hyperinflation notes in general – and, one of these days, when I’ve completed or mostly completed the Zimbabwe set, I am going to expand to include Yugoslavian, Venezuelan, Hungarian, Argentinian and other hyperinflation notes. At least, that’ll be the plan / hope. 

 

Who knows? Maybe one of these days all of this will offer my sons some insight into how my head works. 

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I remember your worldwide silver bullion collection and your desire for it to win an award. Today to the best of my knowledge you have not mentioned it in the new journal format. I can definitely tell that you are much more mature in your collecting interests. First you seem more patient in building your collections. You see collecting more as a marathon than a sprint. I'm not saying you ever saw it as a sprint but I do see a move towards a longer marathon. Taking a sabbatical from collecting because you were pursuing your education also showed wisdom. It shows that you have your priorities straight. Collecting today is also kept in its proper perspective as you are raising your children. You make collecting a lot of fun for Ben. (I am confident that Sam will grow into it). I also think it provides the opportunity for you to spend quality time with Ben which makes collecting a tool for building relationships. Much of your writing today tells stories about Ben and collecting all without spending a ton of money! Collecting to you is very much a family affair. This is as it should be. Yes you are older and wiser and if you are around these boards ten years from now it will be interesting to see your growing wisdom chronicled here.

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Hey William,

I can relate to what you are conveying here greatly!  When I started on NGC in 2010, I had just turned 30 and I joined to put up a US type set, of all things.  I was finishing up my Bachelor's and was in a completely different place in my life.  Now, I'm 38, going to be 39 in August.  I almost have a doctorate of my own completed, I have a nice little venture selling coins which fully funds my collecting.  My hairline hasn't changed at all, but there's some grey in there now.  We all age in different ways........I've manifested the congenital hypertension which seems to nail everyone in my mom's family once we reach a certain age.  I'm also not as thin as I was back then and I likely never will be again.  I'm not hugely obese or anything, but I'm definitely chunky now.  That's another thing that happens to the men in my mom's family as we move through the years....we don't really get "fat" per se, but we do chunk a little bit on once we start heading for 40.  Thankfully, it levels out quickly, so we don't keep gaining weight.  But we're definitely stuck with what we do gain.  The grey hair I'm okay with, but the high blood pressure and the weight gain does sting a little for me.  I can now see how, in a couple more decades' time, I'll resemble my maternal grandfather as I remember him from when I was a child......and that's a weird thought!  But there's nothing I can do about it.  Time marches on and all we can do is march with it as gracefully as we can.

The US coins are all gone, as are pretty much all of the pursuits I was chasing back then and I, too, am chasing different things.  But I also feel that I'm chasing better things because they consistently make me happy.  Most of my old pursuits aren't even an afterthought.....they're just gone.  I've looked at my old journals on here myself, and I don't even know who that guy was anymore.  But I've changed a lot over the past couple of years, for the better, I feel.  So I'm actually glad that those writings are so alien to me.....it is a great way to see how much I've grown and evolved in the years since they were written. I've considered deleting them, but I don't know if that's the correct course of action.  They're kind of like fossils of my older self, and they may be worth keeping for that reason.  I don't know....I haven't made a final decision yet.  Based on what I've seen from your collecting pursuits over the past year or so, it looks like you've reached a happy place in your collecting life as well.  The passion for what you do is readily evident in all of your current pursuits, and that's a great thing to see.  Though we've never met in person, we've talked a lot on here and I consider you a friend.  It's always good when you see a friend get to a happy place with things.  The fact that your current projects helped keep you grounded when you guys were going through everything that went along with Sam's birth and getting him healthy speaks volumes to the power of what you're collecting now, what it means to you and your happiness with the pursuit.  I like the new name of your journal as well....I think it really fits.  And, I think you may be correct in your assessment that your journals will one day give your sons some insight into their dad, how he thinks, what he's passionate about and what an excellent writer he is.  I hope that I can do something similar if Candice and I have a little Faustina or Julian of our own someday.

Great entry, my friend!

~Tom

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36 minutes ago, gherrmann44 said:

I remember your worldwide silver bullion collection and your desire for it to win an award. Today to the best of my knowledge you have not mentioned it in the new journal format. I can definitely tell that you are much more mature in your collecting interests. First you seem more patient in building your collections. You see collecting more as a marathon than a sprint. I'm not saying you ever saw it as a sprint but I do see a move towards a longer marathon. Taking a sabbatical from collecting because you were pursuing your education also showed wisdom. It shows that you have your priorities straight. Collecting today is also kept in its proper perspective as you are raising your children. You make collecting a lot of fun for Ben. (I am confident that Sam will grow into it). I also think it provides the opportunity for you to spend quality time with Ben which makes collecting a tool for building relationships. Much of your writing today tells stories about Ben and collecting all without spending a ton of money! Collecting to you is very much a family affair. This is as it should be. Yes you are older and wiser and if you are around these boards ten years from now it will be interesting to see your growing wisdom chronicled here.

Thanks. There is one project that's soaking up all the attention and money I have to give it at the moment - and that's not the world silver bullion set, it's the Zimbabwe note set. I do like it and will probably try to  build it up again one of these days, but it's just not what I'm pressing right now even though I did pick up some kiwis and koalas that fit in with it.

When I got back to the Zimbabwe notes, I didn't even look at my old signature set. I just deleted it outright and started over from scratch with fresh eyes. I don't know yet if that's the approach I'd take with the silver bullion set, but I suspect that, when the time comes and I get back into it, it'll get reworked.

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25 minutes ago, Mohawk said:

I've looked at my old journals on here myself, and I don't even know who that guy was anymore.  But I've changed a lot over the past couple of years, for the better, I feel.  So I'm actually glad that those writings are so alien to me.....it is a great way to see how much I've grown and evolved in the years since they were written. I've considered deleting them, but I don't know if that's the correct course of action.  They're kind of like fossils of my older self, and they may be worth keeping for that reason.  I don't know....I haven't made a final decision yet.  Based on what I've seen from your collecting pursuits over the past year or so, it looks like you've reached a happy place in your collecting life as well.  The passion for what you do is readily evident in all of your current pursuits, and that's a great thing to see.  Though we've never met in person, we've talked a lot on here and I consider you a friend.  It's always good when you see a friend get to a happy place with things.  The fact that your current projects helped keep you grounded when you guys were going through everything that went along with Sam's birth and getting him healthy speaks volumes to the power of what you're collecting now, what it means to you and your happiness with the pursuit.  I like the new name of your journal as well....I think it really fits.  And, I think you may be correct in your assessment that your journals will one day give your sons some insight into their dad, how he thinks, what he's passionate about and what an excellent writer he is.  I hope that I can do something similar if Candice and I have a little Faustina or Julian of our own someday.

Thanks! With Ben and Sam, I think there's some relevance in that quote, "give me a boy until the age of 6, and I will show you the man." If you want to get a kid interested in something, it definitely helps to start young - and there will be more on that soon.

As far as the sets go: When I started spending more time here again there was definitely a purge and several sets got deleted. Most of what's left fits into three broad categories: The modern world 1 ounce bullion issues, which are still an interest of mine albeit not an active one at the moment, the sets that I built and manage with Choya, and the 19th century European gold coins I've started collecting more. It leaves me with a lot of sets but it's the best way I know of to show it. But there are still some sets that my yet get the axe at some point.

Always interesting to talk to you, Tom. :)

Edited by Revenant

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I think the tough part is ages 13 through 21.

On 5/15/2019 at 2:21 PM, Mohawk said:

Hey William,

I can relate to what you are conveying here greatly!  When I started on NGC in 2010, I had just turned 30 and I joined to put up a US type set, of all things.  I was finishing up my Bachelor's and was in a completely different place in my life.  Now, I'm 38, going to be 39 in August. 

* * *

 

~Tom

1980 is a perfect number.  39 isn't, but, that's life. I just crossed into that territory myself a month ago.   

It is nice to be able to see and share collections on here, and to hear from someone else who also looks at the coins as a vehicle to pass something on through the generations.  Not just the coins, but also ideas, people, and the stories associated with them. 

We are the lucky few to be collecting in these times.  It is disappointing to see my peers and the country around me growing increasingly hostile to its own history, and increasingly dedicated to disposable consumption.  But, on the other hand, the internet really has opened up auctions around the planet to us, and easy payment means, with simple translation tools. 

I totally abandoned any interest in coins between about age 12 and 25, but, I remember in the late 80s and 90s picking out Indian Head Cents from Coin World or other price lists my dad got, and then sending the $$, then waiting for the coin in the mail that I have never even seen a picture of.  Just "XF" or something.  I still have that Whitman book and the pennies look pretty good 30 years later.  Anyways, if my kid wants to finish filling that book, and if Indian Head pennies have not been forbidden as insensitive, he will have the best selection any collector ever had (since the 1880s).

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1 hour ago, deposito said:

I think the tough part is ages 13 through 21.

1980 is a perfect number.  39 isn't, but, that's life. I just crossed into that territory myself a month ago.   

It is nice to be able to see and share collections on here, and to hear from someone else who also looks at the coins as a vehicle to pass something on through the generations.  Not just the coins, but also ideas, people, and the stories associated with them. 

We are the lucky few to be collecting in these times.  It is disappointing to see my peers and the country around me growing increasingly hostile to its own history, and increasingly dedicated to disposable consumption.  But, on the other hand, the internet really has opened up auctions around the planet to us, and easy payment means, with simple translation tools. 

I totally abandoned any interest in coins between about age 12 and 25, but, I remember in the late 80s and 90s picking out Indian Head Cents from Coin World or other price lists my dad got, and then sending the $$, then waiting for the coin in the mail that I have never even seen a picture of.  Just "XF" or something.  I still have that Whitman book and the pennies look pretty good 30 years later.  Anyways, if my kid wants to finish filling that book, and if Indian Head pennies have not been forbidden as insensitive, he will have the best selection any collector ever had (since the 1880s).

Well, Deposito, without getting political or anything, I do think you and I deeply disagree on some important points, or at least interpret them differently, based on this here

Quote

It is disappointing to see my peers and the country around me growing increasingly hostile to its own history

I have a Bachelor's and a Master's in Historical Studies, and I think that reassessing the views of historical societies, people and events is an important part of the field of history.  It's a vital part of the process of scholarship.  It doesn't mean one is hostile to their country's history to say that things from the past that were once viewed in a positive light are now negative based on our present day values.  All societies have dark chapters to their histories and they all have done things that would be considered unacceptable in today's world.  There's nothing wrong with saying that these things are unacceptable.  In fact, it's very important that people do so.  It's how societies and scholarship progress.  Imagine if people didn't stand up and say things like slavery, segregation and the Holocaust were negative and unacceptable.  That's a very bad thought right there and since my aim is to be a practitioner in one of my fields with that statement, scholarly and non-political, I will leave that thought here.

It's good to see a fellow collector that is my age, though, even if we collect very different things and have some very different views on things.  I gather that you are a collector of US coins.  I don't pursue US coins at all, for a lot of reasons.  My main pursuit is Roman coins of Empress Faustina the Younger, though I'm thinking more and more every day of adding coins from her daughter Lucilla in there as well.  I like Roman coins because, like you said about what you collect, I enjoy the history of that time and place and Faustina was an interesting person who issued some stunningly beautiful coins......though she definitely had her dark side as well, as did the Roman Empire as a whole.  But Faustina has a story, one that is often difficult to interpret for many reasons, and she and her story have captivated me.  Based on what you wrote, I gather you feel that way about US history.  I do think it's important, vitally important, that there are people out there preserving artifacts from all times and places in history.  It's how the whole of history is preserved, at least to the extent that such a thing is truly possible.

 

Edited by Mohawk

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:29 PM, Mohawk said:

Well, Deposito, without getting political or anything, I do think you and I deeply disagree on some important points, or at least interpret them differently, based on this here

Nobody agrees with me.  Numismatically, when the Netherlands stops minting their standing knight gold ducat, struck since at least 1586, because of what that globe-trotting sword-wielding armored colonizer supposedly symbolizes to some, that will be what I was critical of.  

I wasn't able to find a link to your coins through your journal.  But I'd rather have some gold coins from the era you are collecting in than US gold, for what it's worth!

dkt.jpg

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10 hours ago, deposito said:

Nobody agrees with me.  Numismatically, when the Netherlands stops minting their standing knight gold ducat, struck since at least 1586, because of what that globe-trotting sword-wielding armored colonizer supposedly symbolizes to some, that will be what I was critical of.  

I wasn't able to find a link to your coins through your journal.  But I'd rather have some gold coins from the era you are collecting in than US gold, for what it's worth!

dkt.jpg

You won't find most of my coins on NGC, especially my Romans.  I'm in the process of moving away from Registry collecting and my Roman coins are all raw.  While I stand by everything I said above, I think the ducat you posted is a traditional piece, one that has been minted continuously for centuries and which continues to be minted in the sense of tradition and remembering the past.  Remembering the past is important and I see no problem with the Dutch gold ducat series as they have been issued in the same design for so long, though some might.  It depends on the person and I can respect people on both sides of the issue, depending on the reasoning for the respective stances of the people involved.  History is a tough field....it often isn't cut and dried and different people interpret things in different ways.  There's also the issue of viewing the people of the past through their own eyes while remembering at the back of your mind that things that were appropriate and acceptable in different periods of history may not be appropriate and acceptable today.  This is how I always try to view historical people and places and it's the spirit I collect my coins, especially my Romans, in.  My favorite empress to collect from, Faustina the Younger, was a scheming and very violent person with a very pronounced mean streak (though she was also capable of acts of great kindness and compassion.....it depended on the situation) by modern standards but for her time, she was just another violent and scheming Roman royal who could show amazing kindness to one person or group and be absolutely cutthroat and bloodthirsty to another....basically, she was pretty normal.  For her time, she was a decent, if somewhat scandalous, empress but if she lived today and acted the same way she did then, she'd be locked up for life, easily!  Some sources I've read on Faustina the Younger indicate that she likely poisoned her own son-in-law to death, to cite an example of her behavior.  And, unlike the accusations of repeated infidelity to her husband (Faustina made some very powerful enemies, including some senators and other rich, powerful people.  That's a big part of what makes her so hard to research), the poisoning incident seems to have some truth to it!  But she's still worth collecting and worth remembering when viewed through the lenses of history and of her time.  And, she's undoubtedly interesting!

Edited by Mohawk

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I'm new to all this. I'm at the age were I just want to collect a few things. I put up two sets in the non competitive sets.. I have done this for twenty years it's been a long journey and they all start with the first step. I'm not taking steps anymore but I love the history I learned in college and what the coins and tokens taught me over the years.. I want to leave a legacy to my boys I have done that with some collections  we all want to leave something for our daughters and sons. I have done that. Yes I stopped collecting about a year now I miss it terribly. The coins ,tokens the collectors the friends. This hobby has taught me character and respect. I will keep in going the way I am. It's been a lifeline for me some of you will know what I mean. If I had to do all over again I would do it the same way. Why simply because it only helped me this way. There is no other way. I'm grateful to all my friends and fellow collectors . You guys and gals are the best. I have slowed down because of illness but just that slowed downown. I still learn everyday. Nothing wrong with that. I will increase my activity in this site. Because this is were I belong. Coins and tokens. Keep collecting and keep learning. Thanks everyone. Mike

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