Friday, July 21, 2017

Variety Has It's Time And Place

Most collectors amass coins by adding different dates and different mintmarks to their collection. For example, a set of Morgan Dollars is not complete with one single 1881-dated coin struck at the Philadelphia Mint. As a true collector, you also need... 

  • 1881-CC mintmarked coin, stuck at the Carson City Mint
  • 1881-O mintmarked coin, struck at the New Orleans Mint
  • 1881-S mintmarked coin, struck at the San Francisco Mint 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

20th Anniversary Platinum American Eagle Release

20th anniversary edition American eagle in platinum showing lady liberty side

The U.S. Mint will soon release the 2017 version of its 1 oz Proof Platinum American Eagle coin. These coins are the U.S. Mint’s answer to the popular Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf and Australian Platinum Koala coins.

The cool thing about the Platinum American Eagle Proof coins is they are the only U.S. Proof coins with a reverse design that changes annually.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Scandal? What Scandal?

I've been hearing rumors of a possibly scandalous coins with Miss Liberty exposed.

When I began collecting coins back in the 1960s, I tried to read everything I could get my hands on and learn as much as possible. I was definitely bitten by the “coin collecting bug” and wanted to know everything I could.

One design I always liked was the design of the Standing Liberty Quarters. There was an allegorical representation of Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. But there were two versions of designs that were made for the obverse. The one used in 1916 and in early 1917 displayed Miss Liberty with one exposed breast while the second version had her completely covered, not in flowing robes as she wore in the first design, but instead covered in chainmail armor – quite the major difference.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Chief Engravers of the U.S. Mint

This was originally a page I set up on the site. Thought I would share as a post, too.

The Chief Engraver is the person who is in charge of coin design and engraving of dies at all four United States Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point. The position was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of Treasury that produces circulating coinage for the United States. As of 2015, the position is vacant.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Are Third Party Graders something to fear?

Did you know that coin professionals are afraid of Third Party Graders? Strange, right?

I came to this realization while in the process of outlining the coin book I am writing. I wanted to include a bit about the theory that TPGs exercise some degree of control over coin values through their certified dealers. I asked nine coin pros (I think they all sell coins to some degree, but all make money from numismatics) for their input on the TPG controlling the coin market theory. What better way to arrive at my own conclusion than by consulting those whose opinions I trust? Of the nine people asked, one was willing to talk about it.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


See the title of this post? Sounds strange coming from me, doesn't it? I'm the guy incessantly talking about how to blend numismatics, the internet, and technology. So, what gives with writing a post called "Unplug"?

At the end of the day, coin collecting is a tactile hobby. The greatest joy doesn't come from looking at hi-res images online, it comes from feeling the weight of a coin against the pads of your fingers. Picking up a coin and watching the light dance on its surface as you rotate it is the numismatic equivalent of fireworks. Examining a coin in detail, learning its history, reading the lore behind it, and coming to understand the coin in a way not many others have; well, that's romance.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The hobby needs more writers

I will keep this short.

Do any of you want to write about coins, collecting, or anything related thereto? If so, do you? If yes, awesome! Please share because I'm always eager to read new ideas. If not, why not?

The reason I'm asking is because it occurred to me that posting some pages of writing tips and tricks might benefit collectors who also want to write and write well. Or, at least, write as well as me. Whatever that's worth!

If there is a reasonable amount of interest I'm happy to do it. If there is a lot of interest, I'm also happy to speak with some of my writer friends from my past life (as a fiction writer) to see if they want to contribute advice.

Please let me know. You can comment below, get at me on Facebook or Twitter, or email me with the form to the right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A different kind of coin club

I recently blogged about ways to promote collecting. One of the ideas was to start a coin club that had no membership fees and a flat power structure (no hierarchy). Since then I have heard how I was wrong. I've heard how fees and the typical structure are essential to a coin club's existence; they are inseparable. While I appreciate those who try to correct my misguided ways (and thank you for reading), I'm not going to roll over and call it a bad idea without exploring the how it might work.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sorted the wheats

Top row from left to right are teens, twenties and thirties. P,D,& S mints of all decades. There were 1909 and 1909 VDB, they are with the teens.

Bottom row from left to right are steels, forties, fifties, and AU/BU. There were a good amount of BU steel. Most of the copper BU are from the fifties.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Real world numismatic promotion ideas

There is a lot of talk floating around about how to get people my age (34) and younger interested in numismatics. When I say "talk" what I mean is questions. There are not a lot of ideas being offered up to answer those questions. It's like everyone sees the problem but no one wants to, or is capable of, thinking beyond the boundaries of how things were done in the 1980's. It's maddening! But, I refuse to believe we are a hobby completely populated by shruggers. In the interest of doing my part, here are some ideas to promote numismatics in the real world (not online).