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Everything posted by gherrmann44

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Mike, I didn't get the political spin in your post so I agree with longstrider that there doesn't seem to be any. That said, I do have strong opinions on this topic. I personally like Lady Liberty on our coins as a national personification. However, I know there is not enough public support or political will to go back to that. In its place the mint has tried to extend an olive branch to collectors by giving them the gold liberty, the platinum themed Liberty, classic designs on bullion coins, and the retro St. Gaudens Double Eagle, Mercury Dime, Standing Liberty Quarter, and walking Liberty Half. As for change, nothing can stop it, be it in the work place or the treasury department. What we must do is learn to adapt to change and roll with it. The work force of 2019 is much different than 1976 when I turned 18. Even in the cellular phone industry in which I worked for close to 23 years I went through four generations of cell phones, each generation radically different than the previous generation. Without the ability for me to adapt and learn I would not have made it. We are working with technologies today that were not even dreamed about when I was a kid. The days of my father working at the same job in a factory for 25 years are gone. We're never going back to that. Change is the only constant, we must accept that to move forward. For now I'll take whatever the mint has to offer in terms of Lady Liberty on collector coins. If I like what they offer, I'll buy it, if not, I won't. Life with contentment is good...Gary
  4. My prayers of comfort go out to you and your family during this difficult time. Yesterday, upon hearing the news I perused your 1932 mint set in honor of your step-father's father. In a strange way I had a connection with that set in that I notified you that it won the best presented award. That has always been a fond memory of mine that I immediately thought of when I heard the news.
  5. I have no doubt that if coins is something Ben does with his dad that it will go a long way towards him collecting coins on his own some day! Showers of silver rounds sounds like a lot of fun for both father and son!
  6. I am glad to hear things are going much better for your family. Tokens are very collectible for kids. Kids love to collect different tokens with a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. What's nice for the adults is that they are very inexpensive to get for your kids. Funny thing about 3-year old's is they have no concept of value and could care less what their tokens are worth. With kids as long as the tokens are numerous, colorful, and different, life is good!
  7. I think the mint does this because collectors generally want it. This kind of thing goes back to at least the 70's when the silver 1970 Kennedy Half was only available in mint sets. I think collectors really want coins that at least aren't run of the mill and a little scarce. They want coins with lower mintages over the coins that are produced in the hundreds of millions. That said, the argument of too much of a good thing can be made concerning the frequency of manufactured rarities.
  8. gherrmann44

    Back Again For Keeps

    Welcome back to the fold! I remember when you moved to California and announced that your collecting activities would be seriously curtailed. I felt kind of sad for you that day. Today you are more than just coming back into the NGC fold so let me warmly welcome you back to numismatics! You're good people and I look forward to conversing with you on both the NGC and ANA blog pages! Gary
  9. gherrmann44

    Tincture in Heraldry

    Have you ever looked at the shield on many of our 19th and 20th century coins and wondered what the lines across the top horizontal bar of our national shield represent? How about the lines on the vertical bars? Beyond the vertical bars representing the 13 original states holding up the single bar representing the federal government you may be surprised to find that the lines or the lack thereof on the bars are defined by certain colors in heraldry called tinctures. Tincture is a relatively small palette of colors used in heraldry dating back to 12th and 13th century Europe. These have been adapted to numismatic uses by certain patterns which represent the colors in heraldry. For instance, on the 1883 shield nickel I picture the horizontal lines across the top bar represent the color blue. The vertical bars with stripes represent the color red and the plain bars represent the color silver or white. In my NGC seated imagery custom set, I have an MS-64 NY 1863 NEW YORK F-630AM-1a CHRISTOPH KARL token featuring a seated image of Germania. The image on the obverse of this token has been incorrectly identified by some as “Liberty”. However, by applying tincture in both the flag and the shield the seated image is clearly not Miss Liberty but in fact Germania. Apart from the tincture, Germania is wearing a mural crown. In the 19th century mural crowns were used primarily in Europe to represent republics or in the case of this token the German Confederation. Following the pattern of heraldry, the flag has the black, red, and yellow bars of the German Confederation. The only problem I have found in this flag are that the bars are vertical instead of horizontal as is the German Confederation flag. I googled this discrepancy for an explanation and found that the vertical bars were easier to see by the belligerents, both friend and foe on the field of battle. Another give-away that this token features Germania is the double-headed eagle of the German Confederation coat of arms in a field of yellow as defined by the pattern of the gold tincture. For more information on Tincture click the following Wikipedia link: For more information on Mural Crowns click the following Wikipedia Link: For a detailed write-up about my token click the following link: Below is the credit for the use of the tincture graphic: By Original:MontrealaisVector:Wereonderivative work Hagman adding DE language, 3 October 2011 (SVG switch and optimization by Perhelion)Hebrew by Ori~ - Own work based on: Tinctures.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0, Gary
  10. Oh, one more thing, I just had to chuckle to myself when I saw the picture of you holding Sam on your chest. The look on your face is priceless! The look of pride in your face as you hold your son speaks volumes! This is good and the way it should be. Congratulations! You have a fine son!
  11. I am so glad to hear Sam is doing better. As each day passes his chances improve and that is really good news! Is there anything new on the bleeding in Sam's brain? You're all in my heart and my prayers. Your pictures are very heart-warming.
  12. I explore the halberd for my Wilhelmina I 10 Gulden set in my write-up of the 1913 coin. Additionally, I also name the mintmaster represented by the seahorse privy. The way I understand a mintmaster is that it is the approximate equivalent to our chief engraver. The mintmaster may or may not be the coins designer as is the case of the 1898 10 Gulden coin designed by P. Pander (P. Pander signature located directly below the truncated neck on the obverse). In fact all 4 Wilhelmina I obverse bust designers are different from the mintmaster represented by the privys. Something else of interest on the 10 gulden reverses is the shield on the coat of arms has horizontal lines with dotted rectangles peppered throughout the shield. These markings are equivalent to heraldic tincture that represent colors. The following Wikipedia link explains the correlation between markings on metallic coins and colors. As you can see the horizontal lines are equivalent to the color blue and the rectangles to yellow or gold. These are the exact colors of the Royal Dutch coat of arms.
  13. This is how I did it for the medals I bought with a provenance to the Fraser studio. First it didn't hurt to have an article in the ANA's June 2018 edition of "The Numismatist" entitled, "Fraser Studio Finds". In that edition was an interview by name with the curator of the Fraser Studio artifacts. A friend with a common interest in the Fraser artifacts called me to tell me he had an appointment to visit the studio and asked me if I was interested. Seeing as fate would have it, he lived about an hour away and I finally ended up with two medals. The first thing I did before I sent anything to NGC was to send an e-mail to customer service. In the e-mail I gave them my phone number and the person in charge of grading medals called me. I told her that I had a signed receipt and a cancelled check of which I sent both with my medals to NGC. Afterwards NGC called me back and we agreed on the wording of the provenance. We finally settled on "Fraser Studio Achieves". Now I have a provenance traced back to Laura Gardin Fraser as the owner and designer of the two medals I now own. NGC was very willing and helpful to work this out with me. Gary
  14. My heart and my prayers are with your family.
  15. Revenant At your son's age I think that the chances he will continue with collecting are much better than it was with my kids. My daughter had no interest in coins and collecting whatsoever and my son only had a passing interest. When my son was in his pre-teen years I got him a state quarter board that he enthusiastically started but quickly lost interest. As he grew older he worked at a Wendys restaurant and brought home $2 bills and Buffalo Nickels exchanged from the till. Seeing at least a little interest, I bought him a sheet of $2 bills and had them framed for Christmas. As a young adult he bought a set of colorized Star Wars coins from Niue housed in a Millennium Falcon model that when you opened the Falcon to view the coins it went into hyperspace with the hyperspace sound effect. However, when push came to shove and he needed money he wanted to sell them. Thinking that it would be a shame to sell them I told him I would buy them from him and hold them if he ever wanted to buy them back. Now that he is getting settled into a professional career he has not asked to buy them back yet. I also bought him a gold Mercury Dime one year for his birthday but I'm afraid to ask him if he sold that also. Still all those little sparks along the way failed to ignite any lasting interest. With limited or no interest in coins from my kids, I'll probably sell my collection at some point and make it a part of my estate for their inheritance. Gary
  16. Here's the link BTW, I go by the handle coinsbygary over there.
  17. Jack It's not as difficult as you imagine. When I edit a picture I resize all my pictures to 800x800 pixels. This works pretty good for any application I want to use my pictures. As is the case with all my cropped pictures they all start bigger than 800x800 pixels so I am never taking a lower sized picture and making it larger. Now I happened to use the Peace Dollar at 38.1mm in my collage as a reference. Not many of the pieces in the collage are much bigger than the Peace Dollar except the 1876 centennial medal at 55mm. Therefore, knowing the diameter of all the other coins and using the Peace Dollar as a reference I resized them as a percentage of the Peace Dollar. Using Photoshop Elements as my editor each of the coins were their own layer on a larger matte. I then moved each layer independent of the rest into the collage you see. Merging the layers and resizing the collage to a manageable size finished the picture.
  18. The more I thought about it, the more I didn't want my post to get buried in another post and as such not have the broadest possible exposure. The intention of the stand alone post is to use my lifetime experience in such a way so as to prevent other collectors from falling into the same trap. If just one collector could avoid my mistakes it is worth it. I also post my blogs on the ANA member blog page.
  19. Much of this post is quoted from a response to a recent post by thisistheshow entitled, "Let me try this again, for the first time." I made a lot of points in that response that I thought are worthy of an expanded stand-alone post. In a nutshell this post is an autobiography of my 40+ years of collecting coins. Thinking back on my 40+ years of coin collecting I liken my numismatic experience to that of the Biblical parable of the prodigal son. I started my numismatic journey as a youth with type collecting. I was fascinated by the variety of coinage designs throughout our nation’s history. At the time I was also interested in odd denomination coinage. I soon bought a Red Book and wore out the bindings. I literally spent hours paging through that book dreaming of the coins I wanted to buy. It didn't take too long for me to become fascinated with the coins in the back of the book. No, they weren't the classic commemoratives but the gold coins and especially coins minted at obsolete mints like Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans, and Carson City. Here again, I was interested in another type of type set, that of mintmarks. Still as a youth growing up in Wisconsin, I was glad to see a Wisconsin coin in the back of the Red Book! Today I proudly own a Wisconsin commemorative half dollar. Enter my time in the US Navy and my collecting took a different direction. From every foreign port I had visited I collected that country's circulating coinage. The same happened after I got married and lived in Europe for a year. Today, I still own many of these coins mounted in albums. Following this my prodigal journey into the numismatic far country began in earnest. This began several years of hit and miss but mostly miss in my collecting. At that time, I was collecting things like Silver American Eagles and modern commemoratives. In fact, I had so many interests I couldn't keep up with them all. It's kind of like the jack-of-all-trades but master of none. At the peak of my numismatic prodigal journey I started a collection of Morgan Dollars beginning with the New Orleans minted Morgan’s and toners. After this I thought, “why not collect them all.” For two years I was buying Morgan Dollars at a phenomenal rate. I even bought the granddaddy 1893-S in VG-10 condition. Following this I hit burn-out before completing the Morgan collection. This led to a momentary hiatus from buying Morgan Dollars. I thought that the Morgan Dollar hiatus would help to renew my interest in them but to no avail. I ended up selling most of my Morgan's including the 93-S. I did end up keeping the Morgan's grading MS-65 to 66 and all my CC mint marked coins including several GSA CC's. Keeping the CC's was the first indication that I was heading home, to my childhood fascination with obsolete mint facilities. Interestingly, this did not extend to New Orleans. Keeping the 65 and 66's grew from a love of numismatic beauty. This did not include the heavily abraded ugliness of lower graded MS Morgan's. Ultimately this may have been the main reason for my loss of interest. Concurrently with the Morgan's, I thought to collect Eisenhower Dollars. With those I completed the set in short order. Then I sat back and thought what now and sold most of those. Still I found what I had learned by assembling the Ike's to be a worthwhile experience. Serious numismatic soul searching brought me back home to my roots and type collecting. I just love the variety of our nation’s coinage, always have, always will. Now my focus is upgrading the coins in my type sets with coins that have higher eye-appeal. With these coins I am engaging my love of numismatic beauty. Notwithstanding, while I was in the numismatic far country, I discovered that I liked thematic and topical sets. I started sets entitled, "Inspirational Ladies, The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics, and The Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser". In all these sets I continue to add coins as I discover good candidates. When you boil it down what I really like is variety! Consider this, with the exception of commemoratives all the other far country sets were series-based sets. Thematic sets are based on a theme with DIFFERENT coins that match the theme! In these sets I can mix and match coins, medals, and tokens from all over the planet. I wish I knew how much money I wasted in the far country. Sometimes, I refer to the money I lose as the cost of learning and participating in MY chosen hobby. Think of it this way. Say a person likes to golf and spends hundreds of dollars if not thousands on green fees in a year. Is there any means for the golfer to recover his or her losses? No and even more significant you never here them complain about the money spent enjoying what they love to do. Still, I am not in this to lose money and I don’t like throwing good money after bad. Just like the prodigal son came to his senses after he wasted his inheritance so have I in terms of what I like to collect. Just like the prodigal son learned some important life lessons in the far country, so have I. In the end though, you still have to try different avenues of collecting if for nothing else to see if you like it. My problem was not that I started the Morgan set but that I put very little thought into it and went into a full throttle buying binge. When I came to my senses, I had already spent thousands of dollars! Now that I know what I like, I won't be taking any unnecessary journeys away from home and what got me interested in collecting coins as a young lad living under my parents’ roof. I have come full circle back to my numismatic roots. Please enjoy my picture collage of the many different types of coins, medals, and tokens from my collection. Gary
  20. There you have it! I will settle for a picture of your high-relief 1907 St Gaudens Double Eagle to make up for the empty slot in my gold type set. Thanks Capt. Brian!
  21. When I put together my macro set-up years ago I bought a Nikon D3100. A year or so back I perused the cameras at Best Buy to see if it was in my best interest to upgrade my camera. What I discovered was that there were not all that many features in the new cameras to make the upgrade plausible. Of course there is no upgrade for the lens I use. I use an f4 enlarger lens at the end of a bellows mount with a couple of adapter rings to take my pictures . All I need for the camera is an SLR with a manual setting to take my pictures. At 18.6 megapixels I really have all that I will ever need for this application.
  22. Elongated cents are a cool way to introduce your son to numismatics! I like your wife's idea of getting your son a new cent if you go to the zoo on a regular or semi-regular basis. Like your son I think that the elongated cent with the Komodo dragon is really neat. I usually end up picking one of these cents up for free at coins shows. I really enjoy the family aspects of your posts and the wonderful pictures of your family. Every week of your wife's pregnancy is better than the last. With my son my wife had exactly what your wife had. As she moved into the third trimester on bed rest the bleeding stopped and my son was born at full term naturally. My son even at 30 years old still loves to hear the story of how his life was saved before he was born. Every Mothers Day we think of the sacrifice my wife made to be on bed rest so that he could be born healthy. I always say that this is the essence of motherhood, that the mother would willingly and gladly give all to ensure the welfare of her children.
  23. As of December 28th 2018, I am officially retired and am eager to move on into another chapter of my life. Retirement came a little sooner than I expected but when my employer offered me a generous buy out, I realized that I had to take it now or never see that opportunity again. Realistically, at 60 years old I had no more than 4 years left anyway and probably a little less. Now retired, I find myself having to live on a lot less money than I had before. To make things easier on my family I used the buy out money to pay off the main mortgage on our house. This in and of itself will make living much easier. Furthermore, all the other outstanding consumer credit I had is paid off. After all these years of not budgeting because I earned more than I needed to live on I finally sat down and made a budget on a spreadsheet. Remarkably, I found that retirement life for at least this year should not prove to be too difficult. That will change however in 2020 when we will have to buy healthcare. That said, I have very little wiggle room left in my budget to buy coins. So, the question I ask myself is how do coins and collecting fit into retirement? Fortunately, I am discovering that the hobby is bigger than just buying coins. Fortuitously, I saw this life change coming years ago and I worked furiously to complete as many of my type sets as possible before retirement. With gold hanging around at $1200-$1300 an ounce, most of my recent purchases have been of classic gold type coins. Now my 1834-1933 gold type set is complete with the exception of the 1907 high-relief St. Gaudens Double-Eagle. At the price I can expect to pay for that bad girl I’m going to have to leave it as an open slot. Having completed my Dansco 7070 type set (19th through 21st century type) I identified certain coins in my set for upgrading to more eye-appealing coins. I started this upgrade project about 2-3 years ago but have not been able to finish this part of my collection. To complete it I plan on selling the doubles in my collection to buy new coins. My goal has been to have the most eye-appealing coins in this set that I can afford. Thus, instead of using new money to purchase these coins I will sell off existing coins that no longer fit into any of my sets. As a collector who has been collecting coins since I was a boy I currently own hundreds of certified coins. Many of these will make a nice pool of coins for bartering and selling to have the collection I want through retirement. I have five sets that have won major NGC awards and those sets plus the balance of my type sets will make up the core of my collection. In May of 2018 after years of knowing of its existence I finally joined my local coin club. (I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner). This will keep me busy with the local collectors where I live. On occasion one of our club meetings is a buy-sell-trade meeting. This is a popular event for many of the members and especially the dealer members of the club. At the last meeting I offered to image two coins for free to every club member present at the buy-sell-trade. This has allowed me to demonstrate my macro photography set-up and help me to determine if this is something I want to do in retirement for fun and a little extra income. Now that I know this will be a thing I want to do, I will rent a table at local coin shows around the state to offer my services. For the time being this will only be an on-site thing. I don’t want the responsibility for people’s coins off site. Other than that, I’ll have time to do research and write-ups for the sets I currently own. For the most part, this part of collecting will cost me little or nothing! Other than that, I may do more blog posts like I used to do in the past. I may also dabble in doing a display at a major show like the annual Central States show in Schaumburg, Ill. After all, if I can win awards with virtual displays on NGC’s registry, why not real displays at a show? As a sidebar to an earlier post, I got the provenance on the certification labels I was hoping for with two medals I purchased directly from the curators of the Fraser Studio Finds. (The Numismatist, June 2018). With a custom set dedicated to the Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser, I am thrilled to own these medals that once belonged to the Frasers! I want to thank Laurynn at NGC for working with me on this one to note the Fraser provenance on the labels. Interestingly, the 1912 John Cardinal Farley caste medal at 131mm is too big for a holder. In Its place NGC graded the medal as is and sent a card with photographs of the medal and its label. NGC also stipulates that the grade is as is when the medal was graded and that the NGC guarantee for grade does not apply. It seems that in the end just because I’m retired and not buying as many coins as I used to does not mean that I will have to give up on the hobby! Pictured is the card sent back to me with the Farley medal and a macro shot of a 1942-D 2/1 Mercury Dime I took for one of my local coin club members. Gary
  24. The same can be said for the Danish gold 20 Kroner mermaid coin. This coin has that name because of Hans Christian Anderson's, "The Little Mermaid" and the fascination of the Danish people with maritime folklore. The obverse of the coin has a dolphin at the feet of Dania, Denmark's national personification. Because the tail of the dolphin is at Dania's feet the coin is referred to as the mermaid coin.