New purchase from London trip
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2 hours ago, Mohawk said:

Tell you what....if I ever end up in Mississippi, I'll let you know where I'll be....

If you do, be sure and let me know, too. :smile:

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35 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

If you do, be sure and let me know, too. :smile:

Bob.you can be absolutely certain that if I ever end up down there, I'll let you know also.....I'd love to meet you outside of the cyber-world as well!  You're my most frequent collaborator on the Newbie board.....I think we'd have a blast together too!  We definitely make a great team on here.  Imagine if yourself, myself and Don could all wind up at the same show....that would be a great time!  Who knows where I may end up for a conference one of these days......from what I've heard from my Dissertation Chair (who is also an assistant dean at my school), EdD's do get a chance to get around some, so I may have a realistic chance of getting down there at some point.  Also, as I said to Don, you have to let me know if you ever end up up here in New York as well, Bob :)

Edited by Mohawk

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9 minutes ago, Mohawk said:

 Also, as I said to Don, you have to let me know if you ever end up up here in New York as well, Bob :)

That isn't outside of the realm of possibility. My wife and I would love to make a return trip to Niagra Falls.

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Hey Tom,

I hope it goes without saying, but that sentiment applies to you too. I have learned a great deal about modern US coins and errors as well as Faustina coins from your posts. You obviously have a firm grasp on a large body of information and I always look forward to what you have to say. Ah yes, the Victorian India coinage is rather nice. I have been very tempted to add a few nice examples when presented to me. It’s hard to resist a nicely designed and well-preserved coin such as the 1/4 Anna pieces. I understand the delicate balance between quality and availability. I run into that same issue with some of the Soho pieces I collect. Most of the business strikes are very common, but finding eye appealing well-preserved pieces can be difficult. Of course, adding to the collection would be pretty easy if I had a larger budget and I could just buy without so much planning, but where’s the fun in that? The hunt is such a big part of the fun. 

I’ve found that exploring multiple paths is the best way to really figure out what you want to focus on. I explored several myself before I finally decided to commit to my current directions. I like the Jurassic simile! I can relate to her “process”. I am somewhat similar with my current approach but in the past, I had a very loose definition of what I wanted my collection to look like. Nowadays I have a pretty clear cut end goal to work toward. In reflection, I can say my prior “collection” was actually just a hoard. Isn’t it crazy how you can develop as a collector through the years? 

I think we could have a blast sharing stories about our collections. Part of the fun is sharing knowledge. That’s a deal! Madison is wanting to go on a trip back to NYC at some point so maybe I can align that with a show and we can do both. I’d have to do some saving to make that happen though. Seriously though, if you are ever in Mississippi or the Memphis Tennessee area please do let me know!

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49 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

If you do, be sure and let me know, too. :smile:

Bob, I sincerely hope that you would be able to join us of Tom found his way down to Mississippi. We haven’t had nearly as much communication, but I would genuinely enjoy the chance to meet you. You’ve always been very kind and you even took the time to let me know about local coin shows. I never thanked you for that directly, but your suggestions essentially lead to a few new additions. So thank you, Bob!

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1 minute ago, Just Bob said:

That isn't outside of the realm of possibility. My wife and I would love to make a return trip to Niagra Falls.

Very cool, Bob!  I love Niagara Falls, but I haven't been in many years.  My fiancee's cousin lives near there, in Buffalo, so he gets to go a lot....I will admit to being somewhat jealous of that.  Niagara Falls is beautiful, both on the American and Canadian sides.  I had my first absinthe ever in Niagara Falls....it was good stuff, but I like black licorice so I would think that.  No more absinthe though......apparently my liver wouldn't like alcohol and my blood pressure pills together.....damn genes and damn aging!

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6 minutes ago, coinsandmedals said:

Hey Tom,

I hope it goes without saying, but that sentiment applies to you too. I have learned a great deal about modern US coins and errors as well as Faustina coins from your posts. You obviously have a firm grasp on a large body of information and I always look forward to what you have to say. Ah yes, the Victorian India coinage is rather nice. I have been very tempted to add a few nice examples when presented to me. It’s hard to resist a nicely designed and well-preserved coin such as the 1/4 Anna pieces. I understand the delicate balance between quality and availability. I run into that same issue with some of the Soho pieces I collect. Most of the business strikes are very common, but finding eye appealing well-preserved pieces can be difficult. Of course, adding to the collection would be pretty easy if I had a larger budget and I could just buy without so much planning, but where’s the fun in that? The hunt is such a big part of the fun. 

I’ve found that exploring multiple paths is the best way to really figure out what you want to focus on. I explored several myself before I finally decided to commit to my current directions. I like the Jurassic simile! I can relate to her “process”. I am somewhat similar with my current approach but in the past, I had a very loose definition of what I wanted my collection to look like. Nowadays I have a pretty clear cut end goal to work toward. In reflection, I can say my prior “collection” was actually just a hoard. Isn’t it crazy how you can develop as a collector through the years? 

I think we could have a blast sharing stories about our collections. Part of the fun is sharing knowledge. That’s a deal! Madison is wanting to go on a trip back to NYC at some point so maybe I can align that with a show and we can do both. I’d have to do some saving to make that happen though. Seriously though, if you are ever in Mississippi or the Memphis Tennessee area please do let me know!

Hey Don,

No worries....it does go without saying that the same applies here as well.  And I've learned a lot from you as well, and even better, what I've learned from you I can use to help Candice with her coin love......how can I beat that?  I can't, especially since I'm a real rarity in the coin world.....a collector with a partner who is also a coin collector!  Though I'm still counting on you to convert Madison at some point so Candice and I won't be such unicorns anymore :devil:!  I'm so with you on those 1/4 Annas.....they're just gorgeous in nice Red-Brown uncirculated.  I have a few of them, more than I have of any other denomination and if I see nice ones, I always pick them up unless I'm saving up for a Faustina.  In that case, Faustina has to win out because as Candice says, I have a "Pictures of Lily" crush on Faustina the Younger....she's a fan of The Who, is my Candice.  I'm more of a Slade guy myself.  Though I enjoy her coins, too, I do not have a "Pictures of Lily" crush on Victoria.  But, back to the 1//4 Annas......that may just be my fallback set for when I hit the inevitable wall with my two Augustae.  Who knows.....I know I don't.  I'm just a dromaeosaur running about, leaping and flapping and seeing what I can catch, as I said before :)

I agree with you about the thrill of the hunt as well.....it really does add to it.  I've realized that it really wouldn't be much fun to go out and just buy up a bunch of coins all at once.  I find it to be much more fulfilling to hunt each piece individually, one at time, holding out until you find that one coin that fits your set perfectly and the acquiring it.  That's how I'm building my Faustina and Lucilla set and I can honestly say that I don't have a single bad coin.  And, from what I've seen of your collection, the same holds true of you also.  There's nothing like a beautiful set of coins carefully selected and lovingly curated.  Quality never goes out of style.  But, like you, I had my hoard stage as well.  When I first got back into collecting at the ripe old age of 19, my "collection" was a mess!  It was horrible.....it really was.  There was no order and no cohesiveness.  I think we all go through that stage to an extent, but I really could have been on Hoarders with what I was doing then.  Thankfully, I grew out of that in a few years and, now, I think in the past few years I've become a really good, focused collector.  It's been a journey, though, for sure!  Like you, I grew from basically a hoarder into a specialist with a defined specialty....and I really enjoy it.  I feel like it fits me and I know I'm enjoying the hobby more than ever before since I've started collecting my Romans.  From what you've said, your Peck set is like that for you.  It's a great pursuit to specialize in and very impressive.

It'd be fun to meet up here in NY....I've never been to NYC, but I'd love to go.  One place I've always wanted to go in NYC is the landfill.  Seriously.  This is because it's apparently the single best place in New York State to see Black Vultures and Bald Eagles (both of those birds REALLY love garbage).  But I'd plan my landfill visit when I wasn't meeting up with you and Madison ;)......Candice is stuck with me at the landfill though.  But she likes birds too (she HAS seen a Black Vulture, a fact which makes me horribly jealous!), so she'd be happy to do so.  As far as planning a return trip, just give me a few months to finish my damned dissertation.......that thing is going to rule my life until I finish it.  I know that you know how that goes :) 

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Well, it appears that we have been a good influence on each other, although perhaps not on each other’s wallets. You are indeed a unicorn my friend. I am working diligently to find Madison’s collecting niche but this has been a tough case to crack. Have you seen the ¼ annas in proof? I am not sure why, but almost all of the proof examples I have looked at have astounding color. I am not familiar enough with the series to state as a fact, but I wonder if the way they were stored had anything to do with it. Actually, to be honest I am not even sure what type of packing if any, these pieces came in. I think you have a pretty solid “fall back” set in mind. I can’t imagine having a nice set of these ¼ annas could ever be construed as a bad thing.

That is exactly how I feel as well. In fact, the custom set that I am building is centrally situated around that very ideology. Working on my collection would much easier if I had the resources and desire to simply troll major auction house listings for the coins I need. If I had the funds, building my set using this method would not be as challenging. Instead, I am taking the time to handpick each piece in this set by examining numerous raw examples and selecting one prime candidate to submit for grading. As some may have noticed, I note the coins I submit with the pedigree label containing my last name. This helps me reconfirm my commitment to the coin I chose. To this end, I have not experienced any buyer’s remorse with any of the coins I submitted. I like each and every one of them and without exception would be delighted to purchase them again. It seems as though our collecting ideologies are essentially the same. Although I suppose I should not be too surprised considering all of the other points we see eye to eye on. Like you, I have found so much more enjoyment from the hobby since I decided to focus my collecting goals to a specialty. 

Madison has been to NYC but I have not. The closest I got was the seemingly endless layover in JFK. She keeps mentioning us planning a trip to NYC but I believe our next major destination will be somewhere in Italy next summer. That’s a first. I can’t say the landfill would make my top 10 list. Your explanation makes sense and I appreciate the opt-out offer. I am pretty Madison would think I am crazy If I told her I was going to check out a landfill while vacationing in NYC. Oh no rush, we still need to recoup some money from our recent trip. I know all too well my friend. Just think how nice it will be when you are finally done with it! 

Sorry for such a long delay. The last few days have been chaotic at best. 

Edited by coinsandmedals

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Hi Don,

No worries about the delay :).  Just wait until I get my IRB application approved....then I'll have some long delays, I'm sure.  Life is busy.  Never worry about a delay.

I've never seen the 1/4 Annas in proof.....I'd imagine that they are pretty spectacular!  However, they are a bit expensive for me to do as a fallback set.  My Faustina addiction demands most of my collecting resources, and then Lucilla comes in second place, so it's business strikes for me with the 1/4 Annas.  But the business strikes can still be amazingly beautiful if they are selected with care, with nice color and strong strikes.  I know I love the ones I have....they're all Red Browns, but the color ranges are fantastic!  I especially love my 1880-C example, which is red but with streaks of blue and violet on both sides.  It'll be weird to move between old, crusty, green Roman coppers and nice Red Brown 1/4 Annas, but I think it'll also be fun.  It's fun to explore different things with different attributes, but I'll be honest, the 1/4 Annas are definitely on the back burner at the moment.  I have four different Faustina the Younger coppers and a Lucilla copper on my watch list at VCoins, and I'll have to work through acquiring them and selling enough stuff to acquire them first. 

I like your pedigree idea and your reasoning behind it as well.  It is a great way to reaffirm your commitment to the coins you select, which you should with what you buy.  You have an excellent eye and, from what I've seen, an excellent collection.  It truly is something to be very proud of.  Since I'm collecting raw now, I don't have that same opportunity but if I were to pedigree them, I'd likely use my online Mohawk alias, because it's how I'm known to the online numismatic community and it's also the name I use with my little eBay sales venture.  Maybe if I do go back to grading, I'll have the "Mohawk Collection" pedigree, but I doubt that will happen for me.  I'm really enjoying the simplicity of how I'm doing things now, but I've learned in my life with coins, I should never say never with things like TPG grading ;).  Though I can say that I'll never go back to US coins, that's the only never I allow myself with coins these days.  It's pretty cool that you and I do see eye to eye on so much with this whole coin game, though we collect some different things...though not as different as they seem at first glance.  I've found through my shared collecting experiences with Candice and now with you that the Roman and British markets share some important similarities with each other, both with how the markets work and in the historical context of the coins.  After all, the original English Silver Penny was essentially a Medieval rebirth of the old Roman denarius.

Italy sounds like it'd be a lot of fun!  I personally would want to go to Rome most of all.  I'd love to see all of the Roman ruins (surprise surprise).  I think it would be amazing to walk where Faustina and Lucilla had walked and to contemplate what the ruins looked like in their time, when they were whole, functioning buildings.  The Pantheon and the Colosseum would be my top picks, but the old Senate House and the Forum would not be far behind.  And, yes, we birders can be weird folk sometimes.  Not many people would want to visit a landfill for any reason, let alone to watch two modern dinosaurs squabble over and consume garbage, but I'd love it!  But there's a ton more to NYC I'd love to see as well.  I've always been fascinated with the NYC Subway stations.  Some of the older ones are almost like museums, with the preserved design elements from when the stations were built.  Another thing that absolutely fascinates me is that the old Women's Room in the Astor Place station has been converted into the coolest newsstand!  I saw a picture of it about seven years ago and I was awed by this really ingenious reuse of an unused space.  I want to someday to go into that newsstand and buy a Jolt Cola.  A weird aspiration, I know, but my own :).  I probably would buy two Jolts, one to drink and one to keep because I bought it in the cool newsstand that I saw online and was captivated by.

~Tom

 

Edited by Mohawk

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Hey Tom,

I don’t doubt that one bit. Waiting for IRB approval is always a weird limbo stage. Hopefully, you’ll get approval soon and the real work can begin.  

I’ve only seen one example in person and it was breathtaking. It had phenomenal toning and a strong cameo on both sides. Of course, it was one of those pieces that I looked at but didn’t bother to ask the price on. You can browse through the Heritage archives to see a few if you ever desire. The business strikes are just as nice. I like how the reverse design is somewhat similar to the reverse of the large Canadian cents. I’ve always had a weakness for the Canadian large cents. I had several of the specimen pieces way back when, but I sold them to raise funds for my first trip abroad. Had I stayed down the Canadian large cent path I can only imagine I would have eventually found my way to the 1/4 Annas. You seem to have a solid plan and an attainable goal so I am sure you’ll go a long way to building a fantastic set. 

Thank you for your kind words. I try to pick coins I can afford with my current resources that I think I’ll still be happy to own in 10 years. That’s not to say I won’t try to upgrade if I find a better example. I think it would be pretty cool to have the “Mohawk Collection” pedigree. If you ever end up taking the TPG route again I hope you strongly consider it. I can’t say I blame you for not going back to US coins. I don’t think I can say the same though. I still have a huge soft spot for EAC. I’ve noticed the numerous similarities as well. From what I can tell, it seems as though most true British collectors also have a side collection of Romans. I can see the allure but my hands are full with my current focus. 

I think we’ll likely end up going to Venice. We also discussed Rome, Florence, and Tuscany. We have some time to figure it all out though. I don’t think we can go wrong with any of those options. I’m confident I would have no luck talking Madison into a landfill visit but I’m confident she’d be down for pretty much anything else. I feel like NYC is one of those cities that could take forever to really explore. I truly hope Madison and I get a chance to check it out. 

On a side note, I will be presenting at a conference in Montreal this November. That is likely the closest I’ll be to NY for some time. If anyone is any recommendations for things to do or restaurants to try please feel free to post them here!

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1 hour ago, coinsandmedals said:

Hey Tom,

I don’t doubt that one bit. Waiting for IRB approval is always a weird limbo stage. Hopefully, you’ll get approval soon and the real work can begin.  

I’ve only seen one example in person and it was breathtaking. It had phenomenal toning and a strong cameo on both sides. Of course, it was one of those pieces that I looked at but didn’t bother to ask the price on. You can browse through the Heritage archives to see a few if you ever desire. The business strikes are just as nice. I like how the reverse design is somewhat similar to the reverse of the large Canadian cents. I’ve always had a weakness for the Canadian large cents. I had several of the specimen pieces way back when, but I sold them to raise funds for my first trip abroad. Had I stayed down the Canadian large cent path I can only imagine I would have eventually found my way to the 1/4 Annas. You seem to have a solid plan and an attainable goal so I am sure you’ll go a long way to building a fantastic set. 

Thank you for your kind words. I try to pick coins I can afford with my current resources that I think I’ll still be happy to own in 10 years. That’s not to say I won’t try to upgrade if I find a better example. I think it would be pretty cool to have the “Mohawk Collection” pedigree. If you ever end up taking the TPG route again I hope you strongly consider it. I can’t say I blame you for not going back to US coins. I don’t think I can say the same though. I still have a huge soft spot for EAC. I’ve noticed the numerous similarities as well. From what I can tell, it seems as though most true British collectors also have a side collection of Romans. I can see the allure but my hands are full with my current focus. 

I think we’ll likely end up going to Venice. We also discussed Rome, Florence, and Tuscany. We have some time to figure it all out though. I don’t think we can go wrong with any of those options. I’m confident I would have no luck talking Madison into a landfill visit but I’m confident she’d be down for pretty much anything else. I feel like NYC is one of those cities that could take forever to really explore. I truly hope Madison and I get a chance to check it out. 

On a side note, I will be presenting at a conference in Montreal this November. That is likely the closest I’ll be to NY for some time. If anyone is any recommendations for things to do or restaurants to try please feel free to post them here!

Hey Don,

It's funny that you should mention Canadian Large Cents.....they were an early pursuit of mine as well!  And, unlike most of my US collection, I still have them.  They're in an old-school Whitman Bookshelf album.  I never finished the set (and with my Faustina and Lucilla focus, I likely never will) but I still dig the ones I have, especially my 1858 and 1859 coins.  I love the design on those.  I like the Victoria ones a lot, but the Edward VII ones I don't like nearly as much and the George ones I'm kind of on the fence....I don't dislike them, but I don't like them the same way I like the Victoria coins either. I guess I have a weird relationship with those coins.  I couldn't even exactly tell you why I feel that way about the different coins of the different rulers, but it's definitely played a role in my collecting.  I'm just a weird guy sometimes.  The 1/4 Annas, if I pursue them seriously, will be Victoria only, which is likely what I should have done with my Canadian Large Cents.  But, I was younger and I let the album tell me what I should collect......I don't do that anymore.  I tell the album what's going to be in it now, and that works much better :)   There are definite similarities between the Canadian Large Cents and the 1/4 Annas, but I've always felt that the Victoria 1/4 Annas are superior to the Canadian Large Cents in design and appearance in many ways.  I like empresses, and it's hard to find Victoria looking more regal than she does on her Indian issues.

If I do end up taking the TPG route again, I will start pedigreeing my Faustina and Lucilla coins, but I can honestly say that TPG grading would be way down the road for me.  There's another aspect to not doing now that I do ancients: the turnaround time.  It's something like 60 working days, and I don't have the patience to have my Faustina and Lucilla collection away from me for that long.  Also, I find that slabs impede the enjoyment of Roman coins of that era as they impede observation of the high relief of most of the coins.  I have to say, the fuller it gets, the more I like my simple stock book idea, at least right now.  But in the future, who knows?  But, I do know one thing for sure: I don't plan to become active in Registry collecting again.  I'm officially retired there.  I've won two major awards and I'm very happy and honored to have done so.  But I'm not the kind of guy who just keeps trying to win over and over again.  I'd rather retire at the top, graciously, happily and fulfilled in reaching my goal and step aside so others can have a chance to experience a big win for themselves.  At this point, I'd honestly be happier to see you or my other friends on here have a big win than to have another one for myself.  I don't have to be an active Registry collector to hang out in the forum here, which to me is the best part of the whole NGC thing.  

US coins are definitely over for me, unless they have birds or infants on them.  Then, I'd consider buying a piece here and there.  But, other than that, I've completely lost interest there.  In looking at the coins I enjoy collecting greatly, I completely understand why this has happened.  For me, most US coins aren't that aesthetically pleasing.  There are a few exceptions (the Draped Bust design, the Panama-Pacific Half Dollar, the Peace Dollar and the silver US/Philippines issues would be the list there.  And the Standing Liberty Quarter has a good eagle on the reverse) but that's a short list. Then there's the fact that US history is an area of history that has never interested me aside from some local history of the two states I've lived in; New York and California.  Also, I like having something that I have to research and really hunt for the data on.  US coins don't have that at a level I need for fulfillment.  Finding info on them is way too easy.  There is also the fact that so many people collect them.  I'm not the kind of guy who likes doing something that has been done many times, and collecting US coins is exactly that: doing the same thing again.  I don't even collect my Romans in a way that most ancients collectors pursue.  Most ancients collectors I know focus on collecting as many different rulers as they can acquire or as many different denominations.  I want a comprehensive collection of only two empresses.  As far as I know, no one has ever collected Faustina the Younger and Lucilla as a series, something which thrills me greatly! It's new, uncharted territory.  I'm a contrarian at my core, I guess, but I'm a happy one!

I don't think that there's a bad place in Italy to visit, honestly.  There's a ton of beauty and history across the whole nation.  Any part of it would be enjoyable.  I likely wouldn't like Venice though.....I'm scared of boats and deep water.  All of those canals and gondolas would be no fun for me at all!  Maybe I drowned on a sinking ship in a past life, who knows?  But anywhere else would be amazing!  As for Montreal, sadly, that is a city in Canada I have not had the pleasure of visiting.  My travels in Canada have all been in the provinces of Ontario and in Vancouver in British Columbia.  I'll be interested to hear your impressions of Montreal when you return!

As always, great to chat with you my friend

~Tom

Edited by Mohawk

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