Finally Filled “the Gold Box” - ~13 years later.

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Revenant

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With my anniversary present now in hand I have reached a milestone that I’d thought about a number of times over the years.

I bought my first gold coin in 2007 - an MS70 graded 1/4th oz gold eagle - as a way of celebrating my 21st birthday that didn’t involve getting drunk - which didn’t interest me much at the time (or now, really).

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The idea of “first gold” seems to be special for a lot of people - people will often post about their first gold purchase in the “SilverBugs” subreddit. It is definitely an interesting and cool experience to hold, see and own a gold coin - especially for the first time - especially if it’s old, classic gold and not NCLT (but we’ll leave that argument for other venues and times).

For a long time that coin sat in an NGC 20-coin box with a bunch of other, mostly silver coins, and it was just joined by other gold coins as I gradually added a couple more. I always thought in those days that it would be a very long time before I could hope to fill a 20-coin NGC box with just gold coins.

When I got up to about 10 coins, I broke them out into their own box - with a lot of empty room in it. I used the extra slots to separate out the NCLT from the 10G coins and other classic gold and had them in pods / groups in the box. And I that point I wondered if I would ever reach a point where the box was full and there were no more gaps or spacers in the box.

Turns out the answer to “how long?” would be about 13 years - from Oct 2007 to Jan 2021. The box is now full of graded gold coins.

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(Yeah. It's 19 to one, which is probably roughly representative of my collection of graded coins as a whole - but... no bias here. lol )

Granted, most of them are small, with the smallest being about 9% of an ounce. It is not a box full of nothing but double eagles. lol It is not 20 oz of gold. But, still, it is 20 gold coins - many 100+ years old - which feels like no small accomplishment. Looking at them laid out like that also makes it strike home for me just how fortunate I am in some aspects of my life - in many aspects of my life, really.

It will be an accomplishment of a different sort and on its own when and if I ever decide to (and convince my wife to agree to) buy a double eagle or similar, larger gold coin. The largest I have so far is about a quarter of an ounce.

The progress towards this goal has definitely been loaded more towards the back end / the last few (~6) years. Even with the costs of raising children and a long stint of unemployment, the version of me that has a PhD and a full-time job has found it easier to afford such luxuries than the version of me that was a graduate student on a monthly stipend. lol 

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Congratulations on reaching such an impressive milestone! Your journal hits pretty close to home, especially the part about graduate school. In the last year of my Ph.D. program, I am all too familiar with the monthly stipend way of life. Coming from a very low socioeconomic background and being a first-generation student to graduate high school, much less obtain my Ph.D., I truly have a lot to be thankful for. That said, I am eager to transition to the postgraduate version of myself with a full-time job and a little more financial freedom to pursue my numismatic interests. Your journey helps bring hope to realizing that goal. Thank you for sharing! 

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Watch out! There's enough gold coins in your picture to give you gold fever! I got gold fever as a youth and still I have not been cured of it. This in spite of being retired with very little money to spend on it. The good thing is, I saw this coming a number of years ago and went on somewhat of a binge. While this has helped to lesson the severity of the symptoms, it has not cured me! There's just something about precious metals used in circulation that captivates my imagination! Good luck on the second box, I hope you don't have to wait 13 years to fill it! Gary

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2 hours ago, gherrmann44 said:

Watch out! There's enough gold coins in your picture to give you gold fever! I got gold fever as a youth and still I have not been cured of it. This in spite of being retired with very little money to spend on it. The good thing is, I saw this coming a number of years ago and went on somewhat of a binge. While this has helped to lesson the severity of the symptoms, it has not cured me! There's just something about precious metals used in circulation that captivates my imagination! Good luck on the second box, I hope you don't have to wait 13 years to fill it! Gary

These days my list of most desired coins is all gold. So I think I already have it. So... too late!

1. 1920 double eagle

2. 1924 double eagle

3. Complete sets of the 1986, 2016 and 2019 Gold American Eagles

4. An Italian 20 Lire

5.  A Swiss 20 Franc.

 

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Very nice and congrats on "filling the box".  I have just a handful of graded gold but many that are raw, its a very fulfilling feeling to hold a large gold coin like a double eagle and wonder if it was ever used to buy goods and services or has it lived a life of luxury in a bank vault.  Like you my first gold coin was a 1/10oz eagle, just NLCT but still a thrill and I still have that coin sitting in its original mint box.  I very much enjoyed putting together an AU set of Indian head quarter eagles luckily I was able to do that when they only cost $150 each for the commons.   Enjoy building the second box, gold is very addicting.

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My “first gold” coin is nothing special numismatically but means a lot to me.  It was 1965, I was 13 and had saved up $25 from allowance and grass mowing jobs. My coin collection at the time consisted of what was in circulation at the time, up through quarters (you hardly ever saw half dollars then), but I wanted something old and unusual.  I used that $25 to buy a circulated 1852 quarter eagle - 100 years older than I was.  I still have it, or should say my wife has it, mounted in a bezel on a gold chain.  I added a few more over the years but that 1852 is still the oldest gold coin I have.

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22 hours ago, coinsandmedals said:

Congratulations on reaching such an impressive milestone! Your journal hits pretty close to home, especially the part about graduate school. In the last year of my Ph.D. program, I am all too familiar with the monthly stipend way of life. Coming from a very low socioeconomic background and being a first-generation student to graduate high school, much less obtain my Ph.D., I truly have a lot to be thankful for. That said, I am eager to transition to the postgraduate version of myself with a full-time job and a little more financial freedom to pursue my numismatic interests. Your journey helps bring hope to realizing that goal. Thank you for sharing! 

I don't know your age or if you went straight into the PhD program after undergrad like I did, but grad school gets criticized sometimes for "delaying adulthood." My wife joked about me finally getting "a big boy job." It's quite a transition and feels very freeing in many ways.

In a 6 month period my income doubled when I took a full time job with the school and then doubled again when I left to start a job with a consulting firm.

Good luck with the defense. Writing my dissertation took about 2-3 months and, while I love writing and write often, writing that document was one of the most emotionally trying and stressful things I think I've ever done - but you will be so happy when it is done.

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Oh yes, my wife often jokes about me getting a “big boy” job. I can’t complain as I often teased her while she was working on her graduate degree. 

It seems my path was a bit different than yours. I was torn between med school and Ph.D. programs my senior year. I was fortunate enough to be extended multiple offers from both med schools and Ph.D. programs, but I didn’t have a solid idea for what I wanted to do. I eventually decided to pursue a master's degree to continue my research, which I soon found was my real passion. Fast forward a few more years, and I’ve nearly finished my Ph.D. with no regrets. 

The only holdup, for the time being, is my inability to bring older participants into my lab due to COVID protocols. Luckily, I have figured out a way to move my study mostly online, I just need the final nod from the IRB, and I am good to go! I’ve already finished several pilot studies for my dissertation, and I’m reasonably confident I know how the new data will turn out. That said, I have been preemptively working on my document. If all goes well, I should have no issues finishing the results and discussion sections a few weeks after data collection is complete. Of course, this assumes my teaching endeavors will not be overly burdensome. 

I am more than ready for my “big boy” job and the accompanying pay increase. It’ll be nice to finally move beyond the monthly stipend lifestyle to something more liberating. 

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On 1/23/2021 at 3:18 PM, coinsandmedals said:

Oh yes, my wife often jokes about me getting a “big boy” job. I can’t complain as I often teased her while she was working on her graduate degree. 

Always have to be careful in marriage - come-uppance will come. lol 

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