Why I like Walkers and my evolution as a collector
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From humble beginnings to where I am todayAs a grade school child of 8 or 9 years old, my dad got me started on classic coinage (Buffs, Mercs & Walkers among others) by giving me Blue Whitman folders and quite a few circulated coins for me to fill them with that he had obtained, in his younger days. I was never able to fill that 1938-D Walker hole and that really challenged and intrigued me. Those old blue folders listed the mintage numbers underneath that hole and it was LOW for the 1938-D and that also sparked an interest in me, as I was attracted to the RARITY of it. The old folders broke the series up into TWO separate editions. I believe it was 1937-1947 for part two, which I had, as a child. I had no idea that there was a whole separate PART ONE folder for the coins from 1916-1936!! When I discovered this years later, as a teen---I was blown away and dreamt about acquiring those early coins.....so RARE, so beautiful and soo very SCARCE in better condition. When I was about 26 or 27 years old; I started visiting local B & Ms again and I bought a raw 1940-S in XF for about 6 bucks! lol Then, I bought more and more raw coins from 1941-1947 in XF-AU condition. I also picked up a few 1930s Philadelphia coins, in the same grades. My local B & M guy (now deceased) had an XF 1938-D that I had always wanted for about $95 bucks, so I saved for it and I eventually bought it. He also had a 1917 P in 63 and a 1918 P in XF. I would look at them and just WISH. Not long after that, as I looked through Coinage and Coin World; I saw an ad for a 1917 S reverse in XF 45 from Paul Puckett. After a few pleasant phone conversations with him and his wife; I purchased the coin. Paul was a fair, kind and honest man....God rest his soul. Later still around 1996; I bought my first NGC CERTIFIED Walker coin---a 1916 D in MS 62 from The Arizona Numismatic Corp. (if my memory serves me correctly). It was softly struck (hence the MS 62 grade) but was 100% original. I held it for many years (about 15 years, to be exact!) before selling it to a fellow board member to help me purchase an MS 64 upgrade in 2011. All the while; I attended local and major coin shows throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the course of doing so; I met a wonderful man named Joe who was a dealer from New York. I struck up a great friendship with him and I bought many very nice raw XF/AU early dates from him.....a 1929-S (great coin), a 1917 D reverse and a 1917 P.....all in AU condition! He also had a 1938-D XF that was nicer than the one that I had, so I bought that one, too! I also bought a 1934-S MS 63 from him. I remained very close with him, until his passing about 4-5 years ago. He was so reputable that he bought back many of the raw coins that I purchased from him years earlier for more money and I used the funds to help me with building and improving my certified set.During the 1990s; I did A LOT of reading---mostly Coin World and Coinage and I was intrigued by Bruce Fox and his Walker book and his company Golden West Numismatics. I would drool over and wish I could own his raw Early Walker offerings in mint state. Around that time; I remember reading and fantasizing about an intact, all MS 65 or better, Walker set of NGC and PCGS certified coins that had sold for a then astonishing record amount of $250,000 ( it would be impossible to pay that today, as it's worth many times more, now)!I joined the NGC Registry in 2005 and I bought some certified MS pieces all in that same year.....a 1918 MS 64, a 1917 MS 64, a 1927-S MS 63, a 1938-D MS 65, a 1920-S MS 62 and a 1918-D MS 63. All of them came from eBay, except for the 1918 MS 64, which was my first ever Heritage purchase. I was dormant for about 4 years, as I was working on my career and paying off debt. I got really serious again in 2009 and I joined the NGC chat boards that same year. I wanted to realize my dream of building a FULL MS set of Walkers! I decided to start with the early dates, as they were the toughest and my favorite coins, in the series. That was the year that I bought my 1920-D MS 64 to get things started again. Fast forward 7 years later and I haven't looked back. I am very close to realizing this goal. I am almost 75% complete and I have all of the early coins but for the 1921-S and 1919-D. I am having a blast filling out the short set coins and the Philadelphia middle date pieces. VERY soon I will have 59 of 65 coins and be 90% complete. I also have over 100,000 registry points, now, in my Walker set...another milestone. In summary, Walkers still do it for me----their amazing and artistic beauty, their incredible RARITY (both conditionally AND absolutely) meaning that they have foundational rarity. Foundational rarity is a coin that just wasn't saved and has low mintage numbers to boot. Of course, I am speaking primarily of the EARLY Walkers but some of the coins from the 1930s are tough, too, especially the branch minted coins of Denver and San Francisco. They also have so much HISTORY associated with them, as well. Walkers are a joy to collect. They bring me peace, pleasure, friendship (of fellow collectors) and a potential investment return. I just love them and it is a long term venture for me. I am still always learning and also trying to help and to educate others, when I can. I am proud of my accomplishments but am also humbled by some of the great and more accomplished collectors out there---some here and some ATS and also many others who do not participate in the Registry programs or the chat boards.Here is my latest---the toughest Walker Philly coin from 1934-1947 in overall mint state condition and second in high grade mint state.My best to you all!

17666.jpg

 

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13,636 posts

You might also enjoy the book Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921. It covers the origin, design and initial production of the WL halves, plus the quarter, dime and 1921 Peace dollar.

 

[Disclaimer: I'm the author.]

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You might also enjoy the book Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921. It covers the origin, design and initial production of the WL halves, plus the quarter, dime and 1921 Peace dollar.

 

[Disclaimer: I'm the author.]

 

Thanks for the info, Roger.

 

That's right up my alley.

 

I'll have to pick up a copy, as I know that I'd enjoy it.

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Great coin bio Walkerfan! I enjoy following your pursuit of completing what is already an awesome set. Those of us who really like these coins but don’t have the budget to afford high grades can live vicariously through you! I completed a raw set a few years back but my 1916- 1923 dated coins are mainly just G/VG. Your point of functional rarity was very clear to me when I was trying to complete my set. According to the price guide 7 of the early dates go for 100-500 just in a Fine grade! The other issue I found was it was not that easy to find lower grade coins that did not have some kind of damage- not as easy as some might think. I can imagine that is it not that easy for you to find the early MS coins in the condition you want- especially at a reasonable price. Thanks again for sharing your quest with us- best of luck in completing your set! Dave

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Walkerfan,

 

That was a great journal and new addition. I have enjoyed your posts and coments over the years. Your set is swell and I believe that if you really put yourself to the task you could write a Walker book yourself. So many years of your life spent on one type of coin is a specialty in itself!!

 

Rick

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Walkerfan

Your post is truly inspirational. Your collection shows what a regular person can accomplish if they are focused and persistent. For a hobby nick-named the "kings hobby" you show the heights a person can attain if they are persistent. I can see that like myself, you're still living the dream! What a wonderful hobby this is. All the best!

Gary

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You might also enjoy the book Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921. It covers the origin, design and initial production of the WL halves, plus the quarter, dime and 1921 Peace dollar.

 

[Disclaimer: I'm the author.]

 

Thanks for the info, Roger.

 

That's right up my alley.

 

I'll have to pick up a copy, as I know that I'd enjoy it.

Buy all three volumes while you're at it; you're gonna want them. I like info about the sculptors as well as correspondence between mint officials. It's enough to keep you busy for weeks.

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Great read Walkerfan, and thanks for sharing. I looked at your registry set and that is exceptional- I especially like your insights on quality with the various halves in your set. This is quite useful as this is a series I collect too.

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Building a quality Walker set, when you're young, seems like an insurmountable task, b/c of financial reasons.

 

But, when you're older and you have better means, you find that it still takes many years, as you must search for the right coins.

 

Also, the more years that roll on by, the tougher (and more expensive) it becomes to find good coins, in the grades that you want.

 

To say that it would be 'difficult' for me to start over again would be a tremendous understatement.

 

I am really glad that I started, when I did, and I have been extremely lucky along the way.

 

I am so glad that I can make a positive impact here and I very much enjoy sharing my set and what I know about Walkers with you.

 

The fact that you appreciate it and can get something out of it makes me feel GREAT.

 

Thank you, guys, for your friendship and support----it means a lot to me.

 

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487 posts

great life's story and I agree, this hobby is a friend that leads us to many other friends over the years, and like a dog when you're blue, it's there to take your mind off the dregs of society!

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I really enjoyed your story and your dedication to this great series. You've shown that collecting can be a journey of discovery and joy. I love your enthusiasm!

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GREAT story, WalkerFan! Thank you for sharing with us!

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