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  1. USPS seems to be having problems lately. I have had two Priority Mail packages recently "disappear" in their tracking system, one for a week and the other for almost a month. Both eventually were delivered, so don't give up on it yet.
  2. I just believe a basic "set" for any series should include only those dates, mint marks and varieties officially issued by the Mint. The Mint officially issued 1917-S half dollars with the S on the obverse, and officially released 1917-S half dollars with the S on the reverse. They kept records of how many of each design were released. Both should be included in the basic set. The Mint did not officially issue 1882-O/S Morgan dollars. There is no Mint record of such an issue. A Mint employee did a sloppy job of modifying dies with an existing S mint mark and replacing it with an O. Should that be included in a Variety set? Sure, but not the basic set because the Mint did not intentionally create them. And when creating a Registry set including varieties, define what's included, put it out to the community for comment, then add the set to the Registry and leave it alone. No one likes a competition where the goal posts keep moving. I have never been to Zimbabwe but I have been to Ethiopia several times. I bet you would enjoy a trip to either or both (once the pandemic is over and we can travel again). The Omo river valley in the southwest is one of the most remote areas in the world, and Axum and Lalibela in the north are fascinating historical sites. In terms of inflation, one US dollar was equal to 5.2 Ethiopian Birr during my first trip there in 1994. Now one US dollar is over 30 ETB.
  3. Closing in on completing a set can be very satisfying, but soon after filling the last slot, I usually develop a case of upgrade fever. One of my sore points with NGC is the way they define "sets". The basic Walking Liberty half set includes every date and mint mark, plus extra slots for the major design change moving the mint marks from obverse to reverse in 1917. This yields 65 slots, that was defined as the "set" when the Registry was created and remains so today. The basic Morgan dollar set, however, includes all dates and mint marks, minor design changes (7 tail feathers or 8 tail feathers, straight or slanted arrow feather), and several very obscure errors. The minor design changes, OK, but I don't believe an 1882-O/S or 1887/6-O belongs in a basic Morgan set any more than a 1946 DDR Walker belongs in a basic Walker set. Even more frustrating is when the set changes long after it is added to the Registry. A new set for Walking Liberty half dollars including 14 specific varieties was added years ago. I asked at the time why those specific varieties were included while others were not, and the answer was that those were considered the "significant" varieties fir the WL series. I already had a few of the varieties and immediately began searching for the others. It took about five years to accumulate 12 of the 14, but when I went to add my 12th one, I found two new slots had been added to the set. More slots have been added since then. To add insult to injury, I had preciously owned one of the added varieties but sold it because at the time (1) the variety had not been attributed on the label, (2) NGC would not attribute the variety because it was "not significant", and (3) there was no slot for it even if it was attributed. That's my rant for today. Someday I'd like to get some of those Zimbabwe multi-trillion note you are collecting. I have some seriously devalued Ethiopian money but their inflation has been mild compared to Mugabe's pillaging of his country.
  4. This coin was holed and plugged. Essentially worthless.
  5. I guess we're all sort of neighbors - I grew up just outside of Summerville and worked near Clemson for years.
  6. I agree with this for the quarter eagle and the 2 peso coins. The soldered jewelry mounts destroyed any numismatic premium. The California gold, even with the holes, might go for more than melt, but not a lot more.
  7. Looks like a die crack to me. I have several Morgan dollars with extensive die cracks, and a few Walking Liberty halves with obvious cracks. The lettering near the rim (or in Morgans, the stars) is the most common place for cracks to develop, probably because the stresses are higher there due to metal flow during striking. It looks like the line on your coin starts at the point of a star but not through the star itself, extends to the K but not through the K, and then from the other side of the K to the rim. A scratch would go through the star and letter. Here is my 1878 Morgan with one of the more extensive die cracks in my collection.
  8. CBC

    Dirty Gold

    I read somewhere years ago that over 90% of the gold mined in the entire history of the world is still in private hands or in government vaults. Ancient gold has been used, stolen, melted down, re-used, looted, stolen again, re- melted, and formed into different objects so many times that most gold objects that do not have certified provenance as "newly mined" probably have some miniscule gold content that was once owned by the Egyptian pharoahs.
  9. Band saw is the way to go. You can do the same thing with a coping saw and some patience.
  10. Decoys. When I was in high school in the '60's we lived in northeastern North Carolina, near Currituck Sound and some of the best duck and goose hunting in the nation. Lots of people had sheds full of handmade decoys, which were not worth anything at the time. Now, some of them are worth thousands. I have collected a few dozen, mostly made in North Carolina, some worth hundreds but none of the $1,000+ varieties. I have so many now that my wife has imposed a rule: before I buy another one, I have to sell one to make room for the new one.
  11. I had a similar experience on eBay, where a seller had a $495 BIN or "best offer" on a coin actually worth around $400, and it sat there on my watch list for weeks. I offered the actual value of $400 based on recent eBay and Heritage completed sales and got a counteroffer of $490. Didn't bother to respond, and nine months later it's still on eBay at $495 BIN or best offer. Meanwhile I won one the same grade at Heritage for a little under $380 including fees. And Bob, I love that Kona coffee. Almost as much as I love Ethiopian Yergacheffe.
  12. You have two 72-S Ikes listed, both MS-67's, one for $30 and one for $40. What's the difference (other than $10)?