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Looking Back on my 70 years of coin collecting

Entry posted by RAM-VT · - 217 views

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 them. Also since both my parents worked in mills $1 was close to an hour's pay back then and putting a dollar coin into a booklet was out of the question as far as my dad was concerned. Filling those booklets remained my basic approach to collecting even after graduating college although by then I was buying some of my coins.

In the 1970’s I became aware of how broad the numismatic universe really is. I don’t mean just world coins vs. US coins. What I am talking about is US coins, world coins, ancient coins, medals and tokens. I cannot believe how beautiful many of the Swiss Shooting Medals are; they are for all practical purposes small works of art. My awaking to the numismatic universe was kindled by the sale of the Garrett collection which was sold from 1979 through 1985 (Seven auctions in total containing 2354 US pieces and 4841 world and ancient pieces). The sale of the Garrett collection was followed by the Brand auctions in the early 1980’s. The sale of the Garrett collection followed so closely by the Brand auction simply reinforced my belief I had to completely revise my approach to coin collecting. Did I really need well over 100 Lincoln cents all looking the same except for mint mark and the last two digits in the dates? I really became obsessed with variety or really diversity in what I added to my collection.

I sold off all my sets and started to collect US Type coins, and coins from around the would. My world coins were much older than my US and in many cases much rarer.

If I were to start collecting US coins again all my sets would be type sets.  Because collectors can define their type set anyway they want, one can get as simple or as far out as one wants. But a complete type set of US coins would be massive and every coin would be of a different type. There is one type set I am fascinated with, it has the simplest type concept yet I believe it would be a very difficult set to assemble in total. Simply it is a complete type set of 1873 US coinage. This set contains the following 32 coins, yes I said 32 coins for a one year type set..

Indian Head Cent
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Two Cent Piece
1873 Closed 3, Proof only
1873 Open 3. Restrike Proof Only

Silver 3 Cent Piece
1873 Closed 3, Proof only

Copper-Nickel 3 Cent Piece
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Seated Liberty Half Dime
1873

Shield Nickel
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Seated Liberty Dime
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3
1873 Arrows at Date

Seated Liberty Quarter Dollar
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3
1873 Arrows at Date

Seated Liberty Half Dollar
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3
1873 Arrows at Date

Seated Liberty Dollar
1873

Trade Dollar
1873

Indian Large Head Gold Dollar
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Coronet Quarter Eagle
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Indian Head $3 Gold
1873 Open 3 Proof Only
1873 Closed 3 Original

Coronet Half Eagle
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Coronet Eagle
1873

Coronet Double Eagle
1873 Closed 3
1873 Open 3

Best regards


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RAM-VT - Another fascinating chapter in your story about your personal numismatic journey!  Your description about filling in those holes in those little blue Whitman booklets certainly brings back the memories for me as well.  And I also remember as a child going to the bank and trading in roll after roll of pennies (looking for old wheaties) and also half dollars (looking for those with some silver content).

 

I look forward to your next Journal Entry!

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