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Posts posted by gherrmann44

  1. It's also been a while since I posted here. Although I occasionally post on the journals side of the boards. This thread however is very encouraging and in my experience with other collectors so very true. I have often put my check in the mail the same day the seller mails me my purchase. All I have to do is to say, the check is in the mail. Occasionally he gets the check the same day I get the coin. For my part I am always very aware that I have a responsibility to uphold the level of integrity that I have enjoyed from others. Therefore, I always represent the items that I sell fairly so that the buyer is aware of all the wrinkles before they buy the coin. This may cost me money at times but integrity is of great value that needs to be defended, sometimes at a cost. Coin collectors are hard to beat for honesty and integrity. Among other things, this is what endears me to the hobby. With that my local coin club will be hosting its annual club picnic today where I can enjoy a good time with other like minded collectors!   

  2. On 5/2/2017 at 7:53 PM, physics-fan3.14 said:

    Zebo, what in particular was on display that is unique to the Smithsonian? I've seen several 1804 dollars, a bunch of 1913 nickels, a Brasher doubloon or two.... Is there anything on display that you absolutely can't see at any major coin show? 

    And, for anyone who has been: how does the Smithsonian compare to the ANA or ANS museums? If you could only pick one numismatic museum to go to, which one would you visit? 

    The last time I had visited the Smithsonian was almost 40 years ago, then they had the 1849 double-eagle pattern on display (Unique or is there another one? I've heard rumors of it). Is this coin still on display today? I'm guessing you'll never see this at a major coin show.

  3. It's a 6-7 hour drive for me to the closest point just south of St. Louis and I'll need to make hotel reservations soon. That said, considering the expense I'll pay to see it, I never once thought about the prospect of an official medal to commemorate the event. Still if some numismatic souvenir is offered near the viewing site, I'll probably buy it as a memento. Except for the viewing shades which I will buy well in advance I'm sure there will be no shortage of capitalistic entrepreneurs taking advantage of the event.

  4. Had to look up that word. I was so relieved to find that the word itself is not a numismatic term. Numismatically speaking any number of VAM's might qualify. I've run across this where I thought a coin was more valuable than it was until I examined it more closely and found out otherwise. Examples of this are dates and mintmarks you may perceive as valuable until you haul out your handy dandy redbook. It kinda takes the wind out of your sails but hope springs eternal. Regardless, I'm always glad to get a Mercury Dime, silver war nickel, wheat cent, and Indian Head cent in my change. I typically rush home and haul out the good ole redbook to see if I got a scarce coin! Yeah, I'm a little off track now but it's related.



    noun 1.

    the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features

  5. I currently subscribe to Coin Rarities Online early bird listings and have always been impressed with the quality of the coins and tokens they offer. The Roanoke Island Half that leeg got from them is reflective of their entire inventory. I just wish their early bird listings had the coins I need for my collection. Oh well, I get the early bird e-mail listings in the hope that one day they will have something I want. If anyone is interested CRO currently has another very nice Roanoke Island Half in their inventory!


  6. NGC allows you to put your pcgs coins in custom sets now so people should be happy now.


    We have this little side show over here that is poorly attended. You can hang out here. The main show in the big tent is only for the special people.


    Do you see how offensive, condescending, and irritating that sounds?


    Excuse me, but I consider the custom side of things to be the best kept secret. It is here that the essence of real collecting or lets say collecting before the emergence of registries resides. Here the collector defines the set and what goes into that set. True, there is no competition or points here, but really, isn't it those things that take away some of the enjoyment of the hobby?


  7. Hmmm... Let's cut to the chase here. The mint makes a profit by the desire of the collector to have a complete set. The grading companies while providing a service by authenticating and grading coins also make a profit. Both the aforementioned profits are paid by the collector. The competition of the registry set feeds into our human nature to be the best.


    That said, I willingly pay the premiums because I enjoy the hobby. There are ways however to minimize the cost of acquiring coins and in effect game the system. Buying from the mint and submitting them for grading is a shoot and not cost effective.


    If you submit a coin for grading and get a 70 you can make out pretty good. But how many coins of all the coins submitted will get a 70? This then is the genius of the registry to encourage collectors to submit NUMEROUS coins in hopes that one is graded a 70.


    Rather, if your goal is a collection of all 70's buy the coin already graded from a dealer who submits their coins in bulk and gets them graded a better rate than you do. On the other hand, if you can live with a collection of 69's, dealers will sell these at a cut rate. Translated, 69's are a good deal for you!


    In the end you set the rules of the game with your wallet. You gotta pay to play. Your collecting goals then will determine at what level you play. Even if your goal is a collection of 70's, there are ways to minimize the costs to you. Savings that you can use to buy more coins!!!!


  8. Those marks look like die polish marks to me since they appear to be in relief and are broken by the motto. To extend the life of the dies damaged by normal repeated use the mint polished over the surface defects. On the die face these lines were in recuse and they transferred to the coin in relief. Also since the lettering is recuse in relation to the die face they do not continue on top of the lettering. These marks are quite common on many of our coins.


    Luster lines on the other hand tend to be a little finer and they cause a cartwheel effect when you rotate the coin in the light. As the planchet metal flows at striking it etches lines into the dies radiating from the center to the rim. These lines also transfer to the coin as relief.


  9. The story of this coin starts at work on a summer afternoon in Wisconsin. Working at various cell sites throughout the region, I occasionally have the opportunity to observe different kinds of wildlife. On one of those occasions, I heard what I though to be a hummingbird fly by my ear only to find that it was a large praying mantis.


    Immediately, I had noticed that the praying mantis had landed on the chain link fence surrounding the cell site. I have seen praying mantis's before but this bug was huge measuring almost two links on the fence! I moved a little nearer to take a closer look and observed the big bug turn its head to look at me. Talk about creepy, just let a huge bug stare you down and see how you feel about it. At that point with cell phone in hand, I took several pictures of the big green monster.


    Now fast forward a year or so to May 2015 and one of the most frightening experiences a young person can go through, meeting the parents of their boyfriend or girlfriend. In this case it was my son's girlfriend and we decided to meet the first time at a restaurant for my birthday. Whats more, breaking the ice for both parties is always a little awkward. Seeking to discover common points of interest, came the normal questions, what do you do, where did you go to school, where are you from, etc? Yet, I felt it was up to me to make her feel comfortable and at this point I wasn't making much progress.


    In the course of the conversation I found out that my son's girlfriend had studied zoology in college and loves animals. I do not remember how the conversation turned to praying mantis's but when it had I showed her the cell phone pictures of the praying mantis I encountered at work. She was thrilled with my pictures and stated she had only dealt with immature, much smaller, praying mantis's. Immediately, the atmosphere of our restaurant date eased considerably. Since our conversation was two way, I had no problem telling her of my interest in numismatics.


    That following Christmas, my son brought his girlfriend to our annual Christmas celebration at my mom's house. Present were my three sisters, my children, and many of my nieces and nephews along with the grand nieces and nephews. Since we have such a large extended family we have a custom of drawing one name from a hat to buy a gift valued at about $25 to exchange. My son's girlfriend decided to participate in our family custom for 2016 and drew none other than yours truly! I usually feel sorry for anyone that draws my name. Everyone knows I collect coins and there are very few things a person could buy for me valued at $25!


    Because of the weather, my son couldn't make the celebration at my mom's house this year and we decided to meet at a restaurant to exchange gifts and make plans to see the movie "Rogue 1." At dinner my son's girlfriend gave me a small box. Inside was a 2012 Canadian $10 coin featuring you guessed it, a praying mantis! Immediately I made the connection and appreciated her thoughtfulness towards me.


    For my part, I would have never bought this coin on my own and to tell the truth, I didn't even know it existed. In fact, my son's girlfriend searched e-bay for any coin featuring a praying mantis and only found this one. This then is what makes this a coin of great value, the idea and thought came long before the coin. I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas and I wish you all a very prosperous 2017.




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  10. Thank you!


    I just added a custom set for the 1945 - 7 "American sovereign" which was a gold coin the Philadelphia Mint made for Saudi Arabia. I could post a picture and write-up box for my 1947 one pound piece that is PCGS graded, but now I can!


    I looked at your "American Sovereign" set and found it fascinating! I had no idea that we made payments to Saudi Arabia after WWII with Philadelphia minted gold disks. The irony of it is that while our government could pay it's debts in gold, the American people were forbidden from even owning gold, let alone pay anyone with it.


  11. Is there any way of posting pictures of PCGS coins in the Custom Set mode if they are not already in the NGC registry?


    Yes, if they are in your collection manager you can add them to any of your custom sets and from the coin edit menu upload any pictures you like. Or you can add them as new coins to the set and they populate the collection manager or is that vice versa? At any rate, I choose to add them first to my collection manager and then to my set. The downside is that you only get two pictures for your coin no matter how many sets your coin appears and those pictures are the same for all your sets. I've done custom sets for years and they are very flexible. To demonstrate I am including the link for my newest set, "The Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser."



    I am glad to help, especially considering how much the educational benefits of your sets here means to me.


  12. Besides world coins, tokens, and medals based on a particular theme, my primary area of numismatic interest is in United States coins. This past year though I have delved into an area of numismatics that until now was unfamiliar to me. Rather than starting another theme based set, I started a set based on the work of a particular sculptor. I started a collection of coins and medals featuring the artwork of Laura Gardin Fraser.


    While I was somewhat familiar with the coins attributed to Laura Gardin Fraser, the same cannot be said concerning the many medals she designed. Familiarizing myself with her medals became quite a task because she was much more prolific in designing medals than she was with coins.


    The first thing I wanted to know is what to collect. All her coins are very well known and readily available. However, I had no clue as to the number and availability of the medals Laura Gardin Fraser designed. Later, I was to discover that she may have designed and sculpted up to one hundred medals.


    A search of the internet produced a medallic art databank created by Medallic Art Company corporate historian, D. Wayne Johnson. Laura Gardin Fraser's databank page was the most important internet resource in helping me to identify her medals. This page had practically everything, a comprehensive list of items by date with pictures, auction appearances, and a bibliography which I found invaluable to my research.


    I also found the ANA archives of The Numismatist and the Newman Numismatic Portal very useful. The archives of The Numismatist contains numerous articles on Laura Gardin Fraser's work. I even found a couple of the ad pages to be helpful. The Newman Numismatic Portal contains all the medallic art auction catalogs of the Presidential Coin & Antique Company. These catalogs were especially useful because of the lot descriptions and estimated valuations. The valuations helped me to determine what I could expect to pay for the medals in my collection.


    Along with purchasing new pieces for my collection came new books for my library. These included End of the Trail by Dean Krakel, The US Mint and Coinage by Don Taxay, and Numismatic Art in America by Cornelius Vermeule. Other references included The American Women Medalist, a Critical Survey by Elaine J. Leotti and a January 1970 Coinage Magazine article entitled, Ordeal of Laura Gardin Fraser by Don Taxay. In fact, I think Don Taxay's article in Coinage Magazine is the most credible narrative I have read on the contest for the Washington Quarter.


    Next, the purchasing avenues for medals is somewhat different from that of coins. However, other places such as E-Bay are pretty much the same. For me, E-Bay was a familiar place in which to begin my collection. It was also a good source of Laura Gardin Fraser's most readily available medals. That said, it didn't take to long for the E-Bay well to dry up. Subsequently, the annual Presidential Coin and Antique auction quickly emerged as a top purchasing outlet for all those difficult to locate medals.


    In the last Presidential Coin and Antiques auction I passed on a scarce silver Washington medal and ended up winning a silver plated Morgan Horse medal at a price that was towards the bottom of the estimated valuation. What really surprised me about winning this auction is that even before I found out that I had won the auction, or even paid a single red cent, the piece showed up on my doorstep! I've never had this happen before especially since this was my first auction with Presidential. All this brings me to the most important and necessary element of my transition into the world of medals, the human element!


    While looking for information pertaining to the 1947 MacArthur peso and 50-centavo piece in The Numismatist, I ran across a letter to the editor written by a collector of anything Fraser. This person also included their e-mail address in the body of the letter. With a little encouragement from another of my friends I sent a cold contact e-mail inquiry to the writer of that letter. To my amazement I got much more in his reply than what I had asked for or even hoped for.


    What I have now is a new friend who is very eager to help me in my quest. One of the resources that I have not had the opportunity to examine is the Fraser family papers. However, my new friend had. As a result I found out the specific contents of a nine-point letter Laura Gardin Fraser had sent to the Philippine embassy chronicling her difficulties with the Philippines peso and 50-centavo coins.


    Later we had an hour long conversation over the phone about Laura Gardin Fraser and he freely answered a number of my questions. He also e-mailed me some of his own writings on the topic and sent a spreadsheet he had compiled of many of Mrs. Fraser's works. As an extra bonus the spreadsheet contained the latest final hammers for each piece. This was very helpful as a tool to help me gage how much I would have to spend in order to continue this collection.


    My new friend also watched for buying opportunities on E-Bay and more than once notified me of a piece that his search uncovered and mine missed. My latest two purchases are a direct sale from a friend of my new friend. I purchased the 1912/13 National Institute of Social Sciences medal and the rare 1932 John Endecott Massachusetts Tercentenary medal from this person after a very pleasant half-hour phone conversation and a confirming e-mail. I immediately mailed him a check for the medals and he mailed the medals to me on the next business day. As it turned out, the day my check cleared his bank was the day the medals showed up at my house.


    This is the way I love to do business and I am impressed with the honesty and integrity of the people I come in contact with in this hobby. It really doesn't get much better than this. And to all those who have helped me in my numismatic journey a hearty, thank you!




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  13. Well I have a lot of coins and medals I can choose from and I like them all. Since I can't show them all, I'll show three coins I bought for my type set and two, one coin and one medal that I bought for my Laura Gardin Fraser set. I bought one medal that James Earle Fraser designed (Pony Express) for no other reason except that I liked it!





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  14. I don't know if lower valued coins when they are graded get the same scrutiny as higher valued coins. However, if I ran a company that grades coins and I guaranteed the grade, I would be very careful assigning a 70 over a 69. This knowing that the difference between a 69 and a 70 would potentially cost me a significant sum of money.


    That said, there an almost 10 to 1 ratio from the population reports of both major grading services of 69's to 70's. To translate that based upon the ratio, I'd say that there is a 10% or less chance of an upgrade for your coin especially knowing that it did not originally grade with the 10%. Regardless, I'd love to have your coin in my collection but because of the coin's value and my collecting priorities, I'll probably never own a proof 95-W SAE.