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

Unplug



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).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wheat pennies have arrived!

I will keep this short because I don't want to get in trouble with the boss (my wife) for blogging on Valentines Day.

The wheat pennies I mentioned last week arrived today!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Odds and Ends 2/9/17

No big topic this week, just a handful of smaller ones.

ANA Intervention Letter

Welp, the ANA saw it. A few days after it was posted I received an e-mail from Kim Kiick, Executive Director of the ANA, expressing interest in discussing some of my observations and ideas. There has been a little back and forth. It has only been a week, so we'll see where it goes. They seem particularly interested in offering up free information.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

An Intervention Letter to the ANA

Dear ANA,

I meant that, what I just wrote above, calling you dear. You are dear to a great many collectors, myself included. For 125 years you have been the go to resource for numismatic information and education, not that I need to tell you. Lately though, there is a lot of talk about declining membership and your relevance in general. That's why I am writing this letter; I don't want to see you disappear. You are capable of so much and it hurts me to watch you dwindling away. In the past I had turned a blind eye to your suffering and said things like, "If the ANA is determined to kill itself, that's its business." No longer. You need an intervention.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Odds & Ends 1/28/17

I've picked up on, or been outright told, about a few tidbits of numismatic goings on and wanted to share.

CoinZip.com

On the surface they list coin shows and auctions, as well as house extensive dealer and coin club directories. This alone makes them extremely useful, but the fun doesn't stop there. If you have a coin club, the folks at CoinZip will help you set up a website completely free of charge. They even get you set up on social media if you need help (the social media help applies to dealers, too).

Sound good? It is. But we're not done yet. CoinZip also boasts an online auction platform.

N.C.N.A. Annual Coin Show and Auction

I'm not in North Carolina and my guess is you aren't either (I know I will be wrong in some instances, so just go with it for now). For the first time, the North Carolina Numismatic Association will be hosting an online coin auction in conjunction with their annual coin show. Here is a clip from the information I received:

Each consigned item will be photographed, described in detail, and displayed on www.coinzip.com/auction and www.NCNAonline.org/auction.

Interested bidders can register and place bids in advance of the coin show dates. During the N.C.N.A. Annual Coin Show & Convention, all consigned items will be displayed for viewing at my CoinZip show table. Computers will also be available for customers to bid during the first two days of the coin show. At the close of coin show on September 9, 2017, the online auction ends and high bidders are notified by e-mail. Winning bidders have the option of attending the final day of the show, September 10, 2017, to pay and pick up their merchandise, or send payment with added shipping costs to cover their mailing expense.

Lookzee App

This is more of an update than new information. The app is still in beta testing for iOS (Apple mobile devices). The website is live, though not super functional yet. They're getting a foothold on social media. You can Like/Follow them on:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How Many Coin Collectors Are There?



In a recent post on Coin Update, the editor asked a question: How does someone count the number of coin collectors who do not belong to the ANA? Those of us who do our buying largely online, or from the bank, and never bothered to join a group where we would be part of a head count. (See the full article here. Editor's note is at the bottom of the article.)

A few ideas come to mind...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Truth About Raw Coin Values. Period.

by Daniel Malone



Regardless what source you use for your coin value information, you might be making a huge mistake. Most collectors don’t read the fine print and don’t realize that no matter if it’s the Red Book, Coin World, Numismadia, PCGS Prices, NGC Prices, Grey Sheet, or any other website price guide or publication; all of them are values for certified and graded coins.

You read that correctly; no price guide is based on raw coin values and there are no exceptions. Don’t believe me? Just pick your favorite price guide and look for the fine print and you will find the disclaimer.

How do you find out what your raw coins are really worth? Well, there are three methods. You can visit ebay, search for the coin you want to research, then scroll down on the left side and click the “SOLD” listings. It is here where you will begin your journey on finding the value of your raw coin, but wait, it’s still not that easy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Reaction to Mark Salzberg's PCGS Article



I read an article yesterday by Mark Salzberg from NGC about a correlation between PCGS certified coins rising populations and dropping values.

Read the full Salzberg article here.

In his piece, Salzberg asserts the PCGS has lowered its grading standards in the past five years to allow for higher grades to be assigned. The entire time I was reading the article I couldn't shake the idea that something was amiss. Obviously, NGC and PCGS are competitors, so one company's Chairman writing about the other company is always suspect. Since the post took a negative tone toward PCGS, while sprinkled with compliments for NGC, it became apparent that this was a take-down piece. The goal of a take-down piece is to lower public opinion of an individual or group, take them down a peg.

Knowing that, I wanted to point out a few things about TPGs in general.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

IN GOD WE TRUST - Some Perspective



I recently saw a short video on Facebook about keeping IN GOD WE TRUST on U.S. currency. It said something to the effect of, "The U.S. should keep IN GOD WE TRUST on our money. Share if you agree."

My first thought is, "Is there a serious chance that Congress will vote to remove our national motto from our currency?" Probably not; too many people would be voted out of office on the next election cycle if that happened.

My second thought was, "IN GOD WE TRUST has only been the national motto for about sixty years." While the motto's relative newness shouldn't detract from its meaning, intent, or power, I cringe inwardly when I see it presented as something that has been with our nation since the Revolution.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coin Giveaway # 3













Happy New Year! Time to give away another coin. The Stamp and Coin Place has put up the sweet Morgan pictured here.

To enter to win please do the following:

Like our Facebook page.

Join the email list. You can click the Sign Up button on the FB page or sign up here.


Share this post and comment once you've shared.


If you already like the page and have joined the list, please just share this post and comment to enter.

A winner will be chosen on 1/20/17.

We can only ship within the U.S.

*****Please Note***** Your name will be announced on our FB page if you win.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Game of Coins



Why are there no numismatic games? I mean, aside from flipping a coin, a total classic by the way, there just aren't any good games featuring coins. This seems like an opportunity for entrepreneurial minded collectors.

Numismatic games would give collectors a new way to interact with our hobby. Imagine if your coin club held a game night. Cool, right? I would be more tempted to join a club (there are no clubs in my area, so it's really not an issue but I'm just saying) if there was a game night. Instead of a lecture, we could talk coins over a game.