Saturday, February 27, 2016

While looking through my old coins I found a couple of numismatic interest

I have spent the better part of tonight going through a shoebox full of old coins from my collection. They are ones I have ignored for five years or so. There were a couple interesting finds.

5 Advantages of collecting modern coins

Numismatics doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Coin collecting, even coin research, really only requires three things: Access to a computer (for research), Less than $200 (spread over time) to start, and Imagination.

What follows are 5 reasons why collecting modern coins, the kind we see every day, is a good gateway into the hobby.

They are affordable
Coins have been made in such abundance in the past forty years that they are inexpensive to buy in mint state. Also, the US Mint has hit their stride in creating proofs. Proof sets are incredibly popular. They are ordered by collectors directly from the mint and coin dealers order them in large quantities. Due to the demand,

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Coin collecting and photos - Numismatic photography

I wanted to take better photos of my coin collection to share with my new numismatic pals. So, last night, I borrowed my wife's camera and set to work. The following train wreck is the result.


 Attempt One.
 
You will notice the Liberty Nickel blasted the flash back at the
camera. Also, in my infinite wisdom,

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Coin collecting tips - buy coins like an insider: Part 2

Grading can be a challenge. Mint State alone has eleven possible grades. Did you think there were ten? Count 'em! (60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70) I employ a much simpler system when looking at a coin. I am a big fan of the Good, Better, Best system (as you may have gleaned from my post yesterday about strike quality) when it comes to uncirculated coins.

(Please keep in mind while reading this that the descriptions are for uncirculated coins only.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Coin collecting tips - buy coins like an insider

Being a smart coin shopper is simply a matter of growing your knowledge and being observant.



It is an oft lamented occurrence in the life of a numismatist to see a coin graded MS-65 with poor details. Using the grading system to describe a state of preservation vs. the overall quality of a coin is something that ruffles my collector feathers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Coins are good for kids

My 3 year old son is starting to show an interest in coin collecting.

I posted a couple days ago about selling two Morgan dollars and buying a few other coins, among them a Silver Eagle, at a coin shop in Sioux Falls, SD. I was excited about my new purchases and started telling my three-year-old son about it. Of course, he didn't understand everything I said but he comprehended that I was happy. And, as a side note, he was also happy because his aunt had just bought him a large plastic tyrannosaurus rex toy (he is very into The Land Before Time right now, specifically Sharptooth-- a tyrannosaurus, and also the villain).

Since it was sealed in a plastic capsule,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Coin collectors are often coin sellers by necessity

I said goodbye to one of my favorite old coins today, in order to help fund my coin collection.

I stopped by Coins & Collectibles at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls, SD. It was an emotional time. I had decided to part ways with my 1903-O Morgan dollar and a 1882-CC Morgan, as well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Coin collecting, silver proofs, and Black & Decker tools

When I began collecting the coins for my 20th Century type set, I thought, "What a good starter set. It'll take me a few months to complete, six months tops, and then I can move on to the next set." Not so much.

I found the Bicentennial Silver Proof set I bought just before I became a dad and tucked away my hobby. Since I've got an aggressive case of coin fever, I decided to open it up and make it a part of my Type Set.

 
I'm sorry about the poor picture quality. I take all my photos with my crappy quasi-smart phone.
 
So, the question becomes, "How to remove these three from their protective plastic capsules?"

How I started collecting coins

I have had a fascination with collecting old coins, and flirtations with the numismatic world, since I was 10 years old.
 
It began with my mother. She wanted to share a hobby with me and, I assume, wanted the end result to be worth something. She signed up for Littleton Coin Company's mail-order coin program. Once per month we received a small offering of coins to pick through, each sealed in its own little transparent plastic envelope. We only had to pay for what we kept and the rest were mailed back to LCC.
 
Sorting through all those coins every month was fun, but my favorite part was the catalogs. For a young collector like me, LCC's catalog was better than the Sears Wish Book (remember that monster?).