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  1. I am relieved it is not just me I have also noted duplicate entries in the population reports. For world coins PCGS do seem to be better at adding well established variety information to the label though. I too usually start with Heritage before moving on to Coinarchives, Sixbid, NumisBids, acsearch, specific auction houses etc. One lot I am currently considering states 'the second known example' and I know I have seen at least three!
  2. My focus now tends to be the Napoleonic period which impacted a large proportion of the world so coins could be from anywhere - although I occasionally still can't pass on a British/British colonial piece. I buy lots from Heritage, Stacks, Goldberg and Stephen Album in the US and across Europe, I even bought a coin in the UK last week which was a first for quite a while - it was NGC graded already though! I agree that the photos from auction houses vary dramatically, and alot of auction houses do not mention hairlines which are not usual evident from the photo either but are extremely obvious with the coin in-hand.
  3. As a collector of world coins, and it appears therefore I am in the minority , I have coins in both holders although more NGC. The main reason I use the NGC Registry is it is a convienent way to keep track of some of my collection although all the standard varieties etc are not always included, or recognised, in the Registry Set which is why for some things I have several sets. I think the PCGS World registry (apart from very select sets) is not as logical, complete or consistent as NGC is at the moment. Compared to the NGC census I find some of the PCGS population reports extremely difficult to use as the entries are completely random with everything mixed up so you have to go through the whole lot to see what the population is for the coin you are interested in or even whether there are any graded example at all (for example Spanish coins, I could easily be using this wrong!).
  4. Many many years ago when I lived in London, and only collected British coins, there were plenty of places to go and spend time going through coins before selecting a coin for my collection. Now that I live a very long way from London and my collecting is now mainly world coins this is no longer possible as the availability of world coins in the UK is extremely limited, so if I want to spend a few hours looking through coins this tends to only be possible at dealers, usually on trips to France, Spain and Italy. As a result I tend to now buy only at auction, typically overseas, and graded coins or ones that are only available in lower grades as I find it extremely difficult to determine whether a raw coin is MS64 to MS67 from a photo - this is much easier by hand when you can view it at different angles and the lustre is easy to see. I suppose I could just go back to collecting British coins
  5. Fantastic results - how many coins do you have to go through before you find the ones you submit? I ask as it has been years since I got to see raw coins in the flesh before purchasing and the nearest place is in another country!
  6. In my case I expect coins are much much less than a quarter of purchases - here in the UK Ebay seems to be the main/only source for the various bits and pieces you can no longer get in the shops, such as a new heating element for the oven and some fence posts! Some things you can also get on Amazon but they are usually more expensive - so Amazon totals one purchase in the last few years and that was a book.
  7. It is good practice that auction houses cite references for the lots they are selling however, and it may just be me, but this can sometimes make research difficult for a number of reasons. 1) What is the actual reference? Fortunately, some, but not all, auction houses list the references used but do not always state which one the abbreviation used in the lot description corresponds to. For example, using ‘P’ and then citing several books with titles/authors/publishers that could all be the mystery ‘P’ is not very helpful, it would also be nice if everyone used the same abbreviation. 2) Using a reference that is prohibitively expensive. 3) Using a reference that is out-of-print that no one can get hold of! For most of my areas of interest Option 3 seems to be the situation that I am usually faced with and that can be very frustrating. As a result, this Journal Entry was prompted by the eventual acquisition of a copy of the two volume ‘Histoire Monetaire et Numismatique Contemporaine’ by Jean Mazard published in 1965 which corresponds to the ‘MAZ’ references sometimes seen in auction listings (or M, or Mazard, or MZ). Once acquired I always find it interesting to compare these older tomes to the more recent references as this not only highlights discoveries made since publication but that they often also contain more detailed and useful information – it also highlights that the citation used for some lots is wrong It is often said to ‘buy the book before the coin’ and I totally agree where this is easy to do – Gadoury and Le Franc publish regular price guides for French coinage largely negating the need for MAZ however it is nice to now be able to add this to my collection of books. I expect many of us are searching for ‘missing’ texts for our libraries and, once found, it is just as satisfying as tracking down that elusive coin – well almost.
  8. Whilst trawling a dealers inventory, looking for something else, I was very pleased to come across a 1809W 10 centimes (PCGS AU55 – main image), and I immediately bought this coin for my Napoleon collection as I was lacking an example from the Lille mint for this denomination. Why the instant decision? Having, decided to assemble a graded set of 10 centimes in 2012 I later reviewed the population reports (2017, included in the introductory text to my Registry Set) which not only highlighted that this would be a real challenge but that there were no graded examples of the 1809W issue at either service, plus the few examples that I was aware of were in VF at best and usually much worse even though it has one of the higher mintages in the series at 1,160,351. My journal article in January ‘If you wait long enough ….’ highlighted that I had been fortunate to acquire a newly graded 1808I example of the 10 centimes (the first at NGC, MS65 – there were already two at PCGS, both MS63). These two new discoveries prompted me to update my records for the Napoleon 10 centimes and this led to some interesting findings. In less than 3 years the number of 10 centimes graded, across all dates (1808-1810) and mints, has not only risen by 32% (65 to 86, almost equally split between NGC and PCGS) but the first examples of 1808B and 1809W have been added to the population reports – the latter being my new acquisition. It is no surprise that the most common issue, 1808A, has seen the largest increase with 9 mint state examples being added! I have included a more detailed examination as an update in the introductory text to my Registry Set. Although this study is only a miniscule, or even smaller, snapshot of the vast arena that is world coin collecting, the quality, ungraded coins appear to be out there waiting to be discovered. This surprising increase in graded examples coupled with the now routine appearance of graded world coins at auctions across the globe means that I am more than happy with my decision to transition my collection to this format.
  9. Couldn't agree more, I also started trying to put a variety set together for 1816 to 1970, usually in VF, trying to upgrade the Victorian and earlier examples has proved extremely expensive and difficult, graded versions even more so. Although MS63 seems possible for most of the issues, I know I should have had the 1893JH many years ago instead of more die numbers but I couldn't help myself!
  10. It is best to take care - COVID-19 is affecting everyone differently, the after effects can be much more serious than the initial infection. Your sixpence collection is much more complete than mine, I am sure you will complete it - I got distracted by die numbers and then Napoleon
  11. There has been a little benefit for us as we have certainly spent less on transport but this has gone on getting jobs done around the house - lots of people seem to have been doing this, in our case household bills have also gone up as everyone is now at home. If you had been furloughed at 80% of your normal pay then you would have less income anyway. Eating out has been replaced by home delivery now that this seems to be working again, it certainly has here!
  12. Extra money seems to have been a US thing? Having said that the UK has rent/mortgage holidays so people feel like they have more money available even though the back rent/mortgage will still need to be paid at some point. People are still prepared to pay for quality coins and the pandemic does not seem to have changed that at all - they are just rapidly moving out of my price range, even for some of the minors that I collect. At the top end of the market (which I can only dream about) it wouldn't surprise me if there was a bit of asset reallocation going on!
  13. It would be great to know whether they realised they were counterstamping a forgery or not, and whether they knowingly acquired it at the low silver content and then sold at full value due to the counterstamp. Is there comparable data for other examples? Although I collect Napoleonic coinage of the era my original British collection started in 1816!
  14. Unfortunately, things have not changed since my Journal Entry last month - How difficult can placing a bid be? In that never-ending challenge of trying to fill gaps in my collection several more very nice examples of coins, ungraded and possibly the finest available for the issue, have appeared and passed me by yet again. Typically, there were multiple bidders and they achieved 4x the top estimate and as the prices kept rising, I just couldn’t bring myself to bid again. As a result I thought I would take the opportunity to expand my library as some interesting books also appeared in the auction lists, one of which, although expensive, is still available brand new from the publisher and as this was the first time I had ever seen a second hand copy for sale I rearranged my plans and followed the auction online with the intention of finally securing myself a copy. I was very surprised when it hammered at 25% more than the cost of a new one! Having recovered from my disbelief I thought I can take a hint and ordered a new copy instead – ‘your purchase will not be shipped until September due to COVID-19 restrictions’.
  15. Nice coins - I only have the Series 1 lunar set, every now and then I consider sending them for grading and then never get around to it. My worry would be getting a mixture of 69's and 70's and then not having a matched set, which would mean I would then have to find more coins and then the labels wouldn't match either!