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About jgenn

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    The Collectinator

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  1. jgenn

    It's the waiting that's going to get me...

    Good luck to you and take any opportunity to make sure the decision makers know how much you have contributed. Your student loan payments are, of course, a high priority but pay off any high interest credit card debt, too. Then you can reward yourself with a nice shiny present.
  2. I can't help with the first two but the second two should be 91.4% and 91.7% silver. You should find a way to check the alloy content and verify this otherwise you have counterfeits. Nowadays, many coin shops or jewellery stores have equipment to check on alloy composition.
  3. jgenn

    Any Baltimore Reports?

    Baltimore is the closest big show to where I live, just a little over an hour drive, so I've been to it a few times in the past. At first I didn't know where to look for world coin vendors but now I know that they tend to cluster in one section of the hall (700-999). My overall impression was that the bourse activity was good but not so active as to be too crowded. I typically had to wait a few minutes to talk to anyone at a table due to the ongoing business. Stack's Bowers has some important US coins and currency items in auctions there so I imagine that brought in a few additional and perhaps, high-end collectors. Saturday morning is the latest anyone should try to attend as many vendors start shutting down before noon.
  4. jgenn

    Any Baltimore Reports?

    I stopped by for an hour on Friday, talked to a few dealers I know, dropped a few coins off to our host for grading and crossover and made a deal on a 1733 Mexico City klippe 8 reales.
  5. I have posted about emergency issues but what kind of calamity could compare to your city besieged? Siege money are the ultimate emergency issues -- defending soldiers required pay and internal commerce needed to be maintained. Many examples come from the period of the Eighty Years War, also known as the Dutch War of Independence that occurred from 1568–1648 or from the English Civil Wars in 1642-1651. When regular coinage became scarce jewelry, silverware and religious vessels were converted into coinage. Issued in an expedient fashion, they were often roughly shaped, typically squares or diamonds, with a uniface design. When precious metal ran out, other alloys or even paper could be issued, all in the hope that the emergency money would be redeemed after a successful defense. The opposite was the worse case scenario where one might lose everything. My example is a silver thaler klippe issued by the besieged city of Münster in 1660 and fits nicely into my Silver Dollars of '60 custom set. At 34mm x 34mm square and weight close to 28g it may not be silver dollar shaped but certainly has the heft of one. The uniface design shows the city of Münster's coat of arms with the legend MONAST : WESTPH : OBSESSVM, for Münster Westphalia Beseiged. It differs from typical siege currency in that it was not from wartime but from an insurrection that began in July of 1660. The catalog notes from the CNG auction of the Jonathan K. Kern Collection of Siege Coinage provides the following background information: :
  6. I second the recommendation for having a caliper in your numismatic toolkit. Today you can get an inexpensive one with a digital readout. They are, of course, useful for measuring the diameter but you can also use them for measuring the thickness. With those two measurements you can calculate the volume, then with the weight you can calculate the specific gravity. Many counterfeits can be detected by having an incorrect SG. Thanks Ram for all the good advice!
  7. jgenn

    Collecting my older journals

    Hey the old journals have finally been added to the new journals!
  8. I think it's a natural progression to build a collection, have a collection and pass on a collection. I'm in the "have a collection" stage now and foresee my, not too distance, retirement years as those when I will pass on my collection. My "coin time" is now focused on learning more about the coins I have collected and less about planning for the next acquisition. I admit, the thrill of the hunt was quite a rush and was rather addicting, however, I have stuck with my boundaries and successfully avoided collecting "everything". Ram, I hope you find your current stage to be as enjoyable as your earlier ones ~jack.
  9. jgenn

    The BIDE-A-WEE Medal

    "LOYALTY, DEVOTION, FORGIVENESS, HUMOR." sort of conveys my feeling about numismatics, although I do need to work on forgiving myself for a few coin buying blunders. Placing pets into loving homes is a great endeavor. Thanks for the heartwarming story.
  10. I agree that the population reports are not very representative of coin existence for non-U.S. issues. However, the auction results are quite useful in that they represent the prices that (predominately) U.S. buyers are paying for these world coins.
  11. Yes, I started seeing previous auction results and population reports for world coins just recently. You must be logged into Heritage to see the reports.
  12. jgenn

    (Mint) Life during Wartime -- Part I

    Thanks for your comment. Part II is all I have planned for now and it will be something quite different.
  13. What intrigues me the most about the coins in my collection is their place in history and the circumstances of their issue. I enjoy doing the research -- light research, that is, using online resources -- and I'm often surprised by the details that I uncover. Consider one of the most beautiful South American coins, the "sun face" issues of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, that we now associate with Argentina. If not for the shifting fortunes of war during the struggle for independence from Spanish rule, these might not have been minted. In the early 19th Century, the Spanish Empire was in turmoil. Napoleon Bonaparte forced the abdication of the Spanish King in 1809 and in Buenos Aries, the capital city of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a junta took control after the May Revolution of 1810. Many years of warfare between separatist and loyalist armies ensued, especially across the province of Alto Perú, the region that would eventually become Bolivia. Victories in September of 1812 and February 1813 left the independence forces in control of the mint at Potosí. Seizing their opportunity, the general assembly in Buenos Aires authorized the minting of their first national coinage and provided the design characteristics in April of 1813. Soon after, gold one, two and eight escudos and silver 1/2, one, two, four and 8 reales were being minted at Potosí featuring the sun face on the obverse and a variation of the newly created coat of arms on the reverse. I find it interesting that the activities of the mint during these transitions seems to have continued with a few obvious changes. The mint was the property of the crown so those with official positions may have retreated with the royalist army. The coins of the Provincias Unidas featured the initial "J" of assayer Jose Antonio de Sierra and not those of the royal assayers, Pedro Martin de Albizu and Juan Palomo y Sierra ("PJ"). The mines, however, were private ventures and, although the mintage is unknown, the quantity of coins that were produced suggest that ore extraction, smelting and refining continued as well. Since the mint's function was converting precious metal into currency, it provided a necessary service for the mining industry to fund their operations. Striking of the Provincias Unidas issues continued until November 1813 when military defeats caused a withdrawal from the area. The retreating general ordered the destruction of the mint but the locals disconnected the fuses from the explosives. The averted disaster was a boon for both sides as the mint was retaken and another issue of Provincias Unidas coins were produced between April and November of 1815 with the same design and the initial "F" of assayer Francisco Jose de Matos. The mint reverted back to royalist control and continued to strike Spanish coins until Bolivia secured its independence in 1825. Had the mint at Potosí not become available when it did, I wonder what the early coinage of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata would have looked like. Regular issues would not start until 1824 from the mint at La Rioja and with many, many changes in leadership since early 1813 it's unlikely that the same decision makers were in power. Fortunately, we can enjoy the sun face design, known as the Sol de Mayo from the story that the sun shone forth from the clouds at the declaration of the new, independent government in May of 1810. The design is similar to the heraldic device called the 'sun in splendor', notable for having alternating straight and wavy rays. Other coins of South and Central America are noted for their sun face theme. ~jack
  14. Our next meeting is quickly approaching! The meeting is on Tuesday, June 12th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center. The bourse floor is open starting at 6:30. The highlight of the meeting will be our largest and best auction to date. Please see the Auction Lot listing posted on our website at Fairfaxcoinclub.com. There are 71 lots. Highlights include 2 lots with $5 gold coins as part of a set; an essentially complete set of Uncirculated Lincoln Cents from 1941-1977 broken into two lots; a circulated Lincoln set 1909-1940 with many key dates included; and an 1864 L Indian Cent in AU-50. Much more, including several foreign, ancients and Romans, a mix of other U.S coins, and some wooden presentation coin boxes. Please look at the lots, come and bid, add to your collection, and help out the club as well. We'll also have a show and tell discussion on small copper cents by one of our busiest speakers!
  15. jgenn

    Collecting my older journals

    I apologize for slowing down the NGC Journals forum with my post that has all the links to my older journal posts. The site moderators had to revert my links to plain HTML because the link previews were not being handled in an efficient manner. Web devs take note: the link preview doesn't need to be dynamically generated for every page hit -- they can easily be cached. In fact, once the original post can no longer be edited, the link preview will never change.