Member: Seasoned Veteran
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by gherrmann44

  1. gherrmann44

    20 July 1969

    The place my father worked is the largest employer in the county of the state I lived and grew up. Every year they would host a company picnic for each of their business divisions on separate weekends during July. As an 11 year-old they hired me to clean up the grounds after the picnic. As a benefit I was allowed to attend all the picnics and get paid in cash after the work was done at the end of the day. I looked forward to these picnics every year because they had a carnival like feel to them complete with carnival rides. (All this was free to me)! They had a band and everything! As a young lad just beginning to notice the young lasses this was the place to be. (Sorry I digress, I have so many fond memories attached to this event). At any rate, the day the eagle landed I was working on the picnic grounds. The moment the eagle landed they announced it on the loudspeaker. I'll never forget it, that and everyone cheering! As a young boy I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. I was a space nut and soaked up everything NASA. My mother purely in jest told me I didn't have to wait to become an astronaut to go to the moon, she'd send me there with one swift kick! (I knew it was in jest because she chuckled every time she said it! (Sorry, I digress again). I never lost my love of anything associated with space. My vacation project last year was to build a Lego Saturn V rocket. Even today the completed Saturn V is proudly displayed on a stand in my living room! Unfortunately, my dream to be an astronaut went by the wayside years ago, I guess I didn't have the right stuff! For your viewing pleasure, I have a number space related numismatic coins and medals. In fact as I speak, I am waiting on most of my Apollo 11, 50 year anniversary flight week submissions to NGC with the moon mission releases label. However, I can say my 5oz silver dollar got a 70, whoo-who! To give you a perspective of the size of the Lego Saturn V, I stood it up in relation to my front door. All the stages come apart and everything, it's really cool. Gary
  2. My main concern for taking my photography on the road is the security of those coins left in my trust to photograph. After that its logistics, if I can't get all the pics edited on site, I need another way to get the customer their photos, mail/e-mail? The lens I bought is one piece of the puzzle because I never have to change lenses. Starting out I'll probably do local coin shows. Finally, I haven't decided what I will charge along with discounts for bulk orders. I want to make sure all my i's are dotted and the t's crossed before going on the road. I think I need to do more free trial runs for my local coin club. Gary
  3. Recently I bought a new macro lens for my camera. The lens is a Laowa V-DX 60MM F2.8 Macro 2:1. Now I know I already have a macro lens but if I am ever going to take my coin photography on the road, I will need a much more versatile lens. For versatility this lens is it. I can focus in as close as 18.5cm and as far as infinity. At 18.5cm I have 2-1 magnification. The only drawbacks are that I have to focus manually and set the aperture manually. No big deal on those since I already do that. The big plus is that one lens will do a 15mm gold dollar and a 131mm medal from my camera stand. As with any new toy of this nature there is a learning curve to get the pictures just right. This gave me an opportunity to upgrade many of my poorer quality pictures. Looking through my collection I decided to re-image the first coin I ever bought, an 1881-S proof-like Morgan Dollar. I bought this coin as a teen and still own it today as a 60-something retiree. Oh the memories! I bought the Morgan for only $12 along with a gold-plated Ike dollar, A 1953c star crisp-uncirculated $2 bill, and a number of replica fractional California gold pieces. Of these I still own the $2 and probably the others but I can’t find them. What was really cool about this coin purchase was that I didn’t buy the coins from a dealer but from a camera store! I have always loved photography and in high school we had a fully equipped dark room that I could use. For me to be in one place that had both photography supplies and coins was tantamount to a kid in a candy store! That this Morgan Dollar only cost me 6 hours of “busting suds” for a restaurant at $2/hour was incredible. I just couldn’t believe it cost so little for a proof-like coin that was silver and nearly 100 years old. Oh the naivety of youth. Little did I know then that 81-S Morgan’s are quite common and inexpensive to obtain. However, at the time I thought I pulled off the coin purchasing coup of the century! I have never regretted buying that coin and I’ll probably die owning it. Some time back I sent it to PCGS for grading and they sent it back as cleaned without putting it in a holder. Back then they didn’t do details-grading. On the obverse of my coin you will notice cleaning hairlines under the “us” of Pluribus. Oddly, I didn’t notice the cleaning until PCGS pointed it out. This was only the beginning of my education identifying coin cleaning BEFORE sending them in for grading. Later I sent my 81-S Morgan to a company call NTC (Numistrust Corp.) for grading. They didn’t document the cleaning and sent it back as MS-63 DMPL. I agree with this grade and have never cracked it out and probably never will. Over the years my 1881-S has lightly toned. Incidentally, since then I only send coins to NGC for grading and will buy only PCGS and NGC certified coins. At any rate thanks for taking a walk with me down memory lane! For your viewing pleasure please enjoy a picture of the first coin I ever bought taken with my new toy! Also, for your viewing pleasure is a close-up of an 1880/79-CC VAM-7 Morgan dollar. As you can see my new toy will do nicely. Gary
  4. Whew, that was a close call! I'm so glad that you're still here posting your insights. Congratulations on the twins! I have a friend who says that we should listen to our bodies, pretty good advice especially when it determines the difference between life and death!
  5. There is a lot of gimmick stuff out there and the CC half is slightly tempting to me. Earlier this week I ran across something else slightly tempting and kind of neat looking that will have a limited edition of 1969. With that you can probably guess what it will be without too much imagination. Oh, and BTW it is way overpriced! Just shocking! At least there is a real dollar here.
  6. Somehow I am disconnected from this latest fad. Up until this post I had never heard of Funko Pops. I guess I'm not missing much while quality coins will always be in demand.
  7. Kerry There's a sinking feeling in me that the "SS Good Old Days" set sail some 50+ years ago. There's anther part of me that says our perspective of the 1954 market is skewed. For instance, when you list the coins and their purchase price in 1954 we tend to think in terms of 2019 dollars. Granted, I believe there is some increase in real value but factor in inflation and the perceived increase in value is not as much as we think. Consider this, my father working a full time job earning a living wage would not have been able to afford the 1954 priced coins you list. I still hear the story of my parents spending $50 for a special pair of shoes because I had flat feet. They had to make sacrifices to afford those shoes in the early 60's. Today, I'll drop a grand for a coin without batting an eye. Overall, I'm happy with the number of great coins that can still be bought today at affordable prices. Thus, there is no such thing as "good old days". In this respect it's all relative. As for the $4 Stella that will be out of the reach of every average collector in any era. Gary
  8. Jackson You are going to LOVE the 7070. I have never had so much fun collecting as I have had with this set. Today I am still adding coins with high eye appeal to this set. Though I only update up to three coins in a year, it is the hunt and the anticipation of adding new coins to the set. I have several more years left in this set before I can sit back and finally call it complete, but when I do, well you know because this post is about that joy! Plus, I will have the added fun of photographing those new coins. At any rate to say that this set brings me the most pleasure is saying a lot because I have quite a few other sets, especially on the custom side of collecting that give me pleasure also. Have fun Jackson, the joy is in the journey. Gary BTW, I still have the MS-65 1944-D Walker you sold me. This coin is NOT subject to upgrading. Even at MS-65, your eye for Walkers is impeccable.
  9. Yeah, you're dated, I haven't seen one of these in years!
  10. Kerry Your post reminds me of the evolution in grading referred to as "gradeflation". There is sufficient evidence to prove that gradeflation has occurred with coins graded by both PCGS and NGC. For instance, I own a NGC AU-53 1853-D half-eagle with a very distinct look. As is a frequent practice of mine I like to research auction archives of the coins I own to see if my coin has appeared in an auction. Because of the distinct look, I found my coin in a XF-45 PCGS holder with a green bean. To tell the truth I think my coin appears more AU-50 than 53. However, because of the strike and toning, I bought the coin not the holder. Regardless my coin leap-frogged two grades. This has been a disturbing trend over the years because the standards of grading have loosened up. Gary
  11. Here I am!!!! Great to hear from you Kerry! It has been a while and a lot of things have changed. First my employer offered me a buyout of 60 weeks pay and 60 weeks vacation that at my age was just too good to pass up! In other words, I am officially retired! Now I cannot tell a lie, I briefly contemplated buying a first generation turban-head liberty half-eagle. A few milliseconds later sanity returned and I decided to pay off the house. (That one is a much easier sell to the wife anyway). Most of my type collections are complete and I'm working on a few selected upgrades plus additions to my signature sets or what are today called custom sets. While I'm not adding as much to my collection, I will be working on write-ups and possibly delving into displays. I was also accepted as a Money Talks presentation speaker for the ANA Worlds Fair of Money. I will be giving a 35 minute presentation on "The Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser" on Thursday August 15 at 12:00 PM in room 6. I have been spending big bucks on coins the last couple of years to get ready for this life change. While I am pulling away from the acquisition side of collecting, I am in no way pulling away from the hobby. So Kerry, "Welcome Back"!!!!!!!! It is good to have you around here again, and I am looking forward to more of what you are up to. Gary
  12. 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.
  13. gherrmann44

    A Curious Strategy

    I am currently watching an item for the purpose of pricing an identical item for sale. The owner first listed the item as an auction with a high starting bid. When that didn't sell he listed it for a BIN at a much lower price. When that didn't sell he listed it again for an auction with a higher starting bid but lower than the first. It is interesting to follow this item and somewhat confusing. I hope it sells soon so that I can list my item. At this time I don't want to be competing with him for a sale because I want to determine how best to price and sell my item. So far I'm not getting any indication of how to list my item.
  14. I've made more than my share of mistakes in the past and I'll make plenty in the future. Mistakes are of no value to the mistakee if you fail to learn from them. (I know mistakee is not a word, I made it up to make my point). Revenant, in your case a calmer mind prevailed!
  15. gherrmann44

    Happy Mothers Day!

    Happy Mothers Day to all the Collectors Society Mothers. Some years ago I may have posted this coin but I don't remember. That said the message of this coin is always appropriate and I dedicate it to mothers everywhere. Therefore, I am posting this coin and its story now. The 2008 Latvian 20-Lats gold coin commemorates the 15th anniversary of the renewal of the Lats currency following Latvian independence from the old Soviet Union. Though this coin commemorates Latvian Independence, it also celebrates motherhood by utilizing a 1922 design conceived by sculptor Teodors Zalkalns, but never used. Additionally, this coin has the distinction of being named the Coin of the Year in 2010 by Krause Publications. Krause Publications is a leading publisher of several numismatic books and periodicals. This NGC MS-67, 2008 Latvian 20-Lats coin minted by the Austrian Mint has a mintage of only 5000. The diameter of the coin is 22mm and weighs 10 grams. This coin has a gold fineness 0.999 and has an actual gold weight of 0.352739 Oz. The gold "Coin of Latvia" shines with the promise of a good fortune and happiness in the future. It is also a special sign of recognition of an outstanding Latvian sculptor, since it carries out the project conceived by Teodors Zalkalns (Grinbergs until 1930; 1876-1972) in 1922 to create a 20-lats gold coin. The plaster model of the coin preserved in the archives of the Latvian National Museum of History contains symbols that are of great significance to Latvia. Zalkalns' images of mother belong to the classical treasures of Latvian sculpture. The sculptures created during World War I and modeled after a refugee from Courland are a potent symbol of the nation's suffering and transcending that suffering. The obverse of the coin also features a woman in a headscarf, which to any Latvian signifies motherhood: when a baby was born, the husband presented the wife with a headscarf. A woman used it to cover her head whenever she ventured out in the world. Folk tradition has it that a person who is lost can find the right way if she turns the headscarf inside out and ties it anew; that a knot in one of the loose ends can help one remember, and if such a knot is tied when a star is falling, one's wish will come true. All these good things are tied to the mother image. Mother is the symbol of never-ending cycle of life, linking the past, present and future generations. The feminine principle gives life to an individual and likewise is at the core of the family and state. The feminine principle unites the spiritual with the material; the symbols on the reverse of the coin, bread, apple, vessel with a curdled milk beverage and a jug of milk also signify fertility and plenitude. A knife, symbolizing masculine action, is placed next to the feminine images. Finally, I want to thank all the mothers out there for the selfless sacrifices they make on behalf of their children. I also want to thank my wife for her unconditional love for my children. I also want to thank my mother for putting up with me and instilling Christian values in my life that have allowed me to be successful and joyful in spite of the hardships. I love you Mom, I love you Linda. Gary
  16. I have never seen an episode of Pawn Stars but I have seen Rick's razor and identity theft commercials until I was blue in the face (I frequently mute commercials). Given my exposure to his cheesy commercials and everyone's commentary, I can see that I'm not missing anything. In this instance, ignorance is bliss!
  17. There may also be some kind of an agreement between Rick and NGC.
  18. I find it quite interesting that from 1965-1967 there were no mintmarks on any circulating coins. This was based on the false assumption that collectors hoarded mintmarked coins. If there was any hoarding in 1965-1967, it was of circulating silver coins dating 1964 and earlier because of the removal of silver from our coins in 1965. While the removal of mintmarks then was intended to discourage hoarding, the addition of a mintmark now is to encourage hoarding. Regardless, I rarely come across any "America the Beautiful" quarter, let along one with a rare "W" mintmark. If I really want one, I guess I can purchase one on the secondary market after the hype settles. Gary
  19. gherrmann44

    An Accessible Type Set

    That is a fantastic idea that has not been lost on me. I have collected the gold Liberty's of this series, the first spouse medal and presidential dollar cards that I left in the original mint packaging, plus a complete set of the bronze medals to be mounted in a Dansco album. I bought generic Dansco pages about the same diameter as the medals and bound them together in a generic Dansco album. I think I got the best of all worlds in this package. Every once in a while I pull the album off the shelf to look at the medals as I page through the album. Since the medals have been in my album for quite some time, I have noticed that some of them are becoming attractively album toned. I bought the medals and the sets directly from the mint. The medals came in a annual package of about four or five. Gary
  20. Congratulations! You are certainly deserving of all this and quite probably more!
  21. Very nice. That is an impressive coin. I can see why this coin was so important for you to get it back with a numeric grade and a nice one at that.
  22. Those pictures are phenomenal and a definite upgrade to an excellent set!
  23. gherrmann44

    I Am Honored

    You're right. But I never really started all this with the sole purpose of being recognized. I write because I like to write and I am always striving to improve my writing skills. The spoken word and the written word are two very different things. Learning to communicate through the written word has been a challenge. That said I have come into my own writing style that when you get right down to it is an expression of my personality. In other words, I like to tell the stories of the coins I collect. I have a love for history and history has a lot to do with collecting and story telling. That some people have found my writings to be worthy of publishing is really icing on the cake and never taken for granted or expected. Simply put, I enjoy writing and collecting and when I discover something of interest about the coins I collect I like to share it with as many people as possible. I really enjoy this and my hope is that other people enjoy it also. My love of writing started with my admiration for a pastor at the church I attended more than 30 years ago. This pastor was himself an author and accomplished writer. I never told him this, but privately I had a lot of respect and admiration for him. So much so that I wanted to be like him. So began my love of writing. If only you were to read my first feeble attempts at writing you might have told me that it was hopeless and to give it up. The advent of grammar software for my computer helped me tremendously with the technical aspects of writing and over time I came into my own. The Laura Gardin Fraser set started with my admiration of her as a person and an artist. In many respects she was a pioneer working in what had been up to her time a mans world. She effectively paved a trail for other women to follow without even trying. With her it was always about her passion and love of sculpting. As I started to research her life, I found myself liking her all the more. Writing about something or in this case someone that I am passion about is no chore, it is a joy. In many respects I also learned this from my former pastor because he was very passionate about the things he wrote of. Gary
  24. gherrmann44

    I Am Honored

    Sorry folks no image this time! It just doesn't seem quite appropriate for this post. You see, today I have accidently discovered that one of my writings was linked on the website of a national humanitarian organization! I still have to pinch myself to see if this is really happening! This all started with my coin club asking for club members to give a presentation at some of our upcoming meetings. I thought it would be nice for me to do a presentation based on my Laura Gardin Fraser coin and medal collection and I went right to work on my power point presentation to be given at the next club meeting on May 8. I really enjoy my club and the opportunity I had to offer other members free imaging of their coins at a recent buy-sell-trade event. This upcoming presentation will give me the opportunity to share other aspects of my numismatic interests in research, writing, and collecting. If that goes well, I plan to apply for a "Money Talks" presentation of the same material at the Chicago "Worlds Fair of Money" later this summer. One of the medals in my presentation is the "National Institute of Social Sciences medal". The mission of the National Institute of Social Sciences is to "promote the study of the social sciences, to support social science research and discussion, and to honor individuals who have rendered distinguished service to humanity." The bronze medal in my collection was presented to Clara D Noyes to honor her for distinguished service to humanity. Though the bronze medal is no longer awarded, the gold medal is still awarded on an annual basis since 1913. Because the medal design has not changed and it appears prominently on the upper left hand corner of every page on the institute's website I thought to comment on the artistic numismatic legacy left to them by Laura Gardin Fraser. This led me to a page that described the medal. As I went down the page I noticed a few additional reading links, One of which curiously seemed familiar to me entitled, "A Beautiful Medal for a Worthy Recipient." I thought, no it can't be? Yes it can! The link directs you to an article I posted at NGC's collector's society on 4/14/17! How awesome is that! In fact, I've been a collector for a very long time and no other set that I have ever put together has brought me more accolades than "The Coins and Medals of Laura Gardin Fraser." My contact network of medal collectors is phenomenal, especially considering that I am not a medal collector and that my network has sent me referrals, watched e-bay listings on my behalf, and gladly have shared information without which my LGF set would not have been possible. I've had three LGF articles published in the PAN publication, "The Clarion." In fact the post from the link that I am referring is in the October, 2017 issue of the Clarion! I've had cold contacts from authors wanting to publish my images, other people wanting to sell me their medals, and the family of Clara D Noyes that wants to buy my social sciences medal back! Incidentally, I have every intention of selling it back when I find another example for my collection. In return the family representative has sent me a signed copy of a biography he wrote about Clara! All these things do me great honor along with all of you who follow my blog posts. This has all been a surreal ride for me that brings new and amazing things my way. As I always say, "Who would have thunk it?" It has just been a wonderful ride that I would have never in a thousand years anticipated. I am indeed blessed! Here are two links to the National Institute of Social Sciences website. The first will take you to the main page and the second to the page with mu link. Gary