04 Feb 2020

Holding History

Ancient Coins | skywolf

Coin shows and swaps are a great way to expand a person’s collection. It allows you to see and handle currency firsthand, as well as converse with fellow collectors. I especially enjoy speaking with the more experienced enthusiasts who love to support the younger generation. There is a wonderful annual coin swap in my hometown that I enjoy visiting whenever possible. One year at the local swap I was fortunate enough to find a small number of Ancient Roman coins that had been unearthed at Hadrian’s Wall. This was an exciting find for me because I had never had such an opportunity before. The coins were not in very good condition, but it was thrilling to be able to hold something so ancient in the palm of my hand. To think of all of the ancient people who had held the coins before me was astounding and exciting. What was even better, was that I found them while digging through a half price bin. It is one my absolute favorite coin collecting memories and it even inspired my mom to write an entire time travel series based around my Hadrian's Wall coins!

13 Nov 2019

The Last Silver Peseta

Coins-World | coinsbygary

The 1933(34) Second Spanish Republic 1-peseta struck in Madrid has a mintage of 2,000,000. The 1933(34) weighs 5 grams with a silver fineness of .835 and is 23mm in diameter. The obverse features an image of Hispania seated on a plinth holding an olive branch. The legend reads The Republic of Spain. The reverse features the same coat of arms used by the Spanish Provisional Government and the denomination of the coin is 1-peseta. The engraver of the coin is José Eusebio Espinós Gisbert.

10 Nov 2019

The 5-peseta Coin and the Latin Monetary Union

Coins-World | coinsbygary

The 1870(70) 5-peseta coin minted in Madrid has a mintage of 5,923,455. It is 37mm in diameter with a silver fineness of .900 weighing 25 grams. The obverse initials L.M. underneath Hispania's feet refer to engraver Luis Marchionni. The initials S.N. along the lower left rim of the reverse refer to mint assayers Donato Álvarez Santullano and Rafael Narváez. The initial .M. along the lower right rim of the reverse represents balance judge Ángel Mendoza Ordóñez.

07 Nov 2019

1870(74) 2-peseta

Coins-World | coinsbygary

The 1870(74) 2-peseta coin minted in Madrid has a mintage of 14,892,932. It is 27mm in diameter with a silver fineness of .835 weighing 10 grams. The obverse initials L.M. underneath Hispania's feet refer to engraver Luis Marchionni. The initials D.E. along the lower left rim of the reverse refer to mint assayers Eduardo Díaz Pimienta and Julio de Escosura Tablares. The initial .M. on the lower right rim of the reverse refers to balance judge Ángel Mendoza Ordóñez.

05 Nov 2019

Watch Me Pull a Rabbit out of My Coin!

Coins-World | coinsbygary

It is likely that the 1869 1-peseta is among the first coins struck by the fledgling Spanish Provisional Government. This is primarily due to two factors. One, it was struck in 1869 and two, it is the only coin to have the unique obverse legend, "GOBIERNO PROVISIONAL." The legend on all ensuing issues of the silver pesetas is "ESPAÑA". Also, there are two small design features that only appear on this coin. The first feature is the stars on either side of the coins date. The other is a rabbit at the feet of a reclining figure of Hispania. Later in 1869, the legend of the 1-peseta coin was changed to "ESPAÑA" and the stars were moved to both sides of the legend. Lastly, the rabbit was removed from the design altogether.

29 Jul 2019

Maybe I'm in the minority...

Collecting Tips | user_80832

After reading exhaustive amounts of articles and book chapters on coin collecting basics, what to look for, and how to be a "successful" collector, I have reached probably the most unpopular opinion in all of numismatics. According to most everything I've read, you're only a successful collector if you turn your collection over for profit. And to me, that makes you a dealer, not a collector.Now don't get me wrong, I don't have any problem with collectors that buy and turn to make money to buy the next thing, but why does that have to be the benchmark for what makes you 'successful'? Can't buying what you like, regardless of potential financial gains, be considered successful?If you've been hunting for a particular coin for a long time and you finally find one, that's a positive result. Positive results to me equal success. Starting at your new purchase and then poring over sales records for the next several years to track margins over your purchase price sounds like a job, not a hobby. Like I said from the start, unpopular opinion.Think back to when you first started collecting things as a kid. Not necessarily coins, but if you started young, good for you. I mean collecting things because you thought they looked cool. I knew kids that collected bottle caps, buttons - the sew-on-your-clothes kind, rocks, bugs, the list goes on and on. Was that for profit, or because you enjoyed it? Just because we're all grown up doesn't automatically mean we have to be motivated by money. My grandfather was a lifelong mechanic, and he collected Studebaker cars/parts to build a completed car off his own. He didn't do it to try and sell it, he was motivated by his love of the car.I collect coins because I enjoy looking at them, learning about them, and sharing them on social media platforms. I collect for the artwork struck on the surfaces and because I enjoy history. I like to learn about the person(s) on the coin, what was happening in the country at the time it was struck. If there are animals or designs present, what, if anything, do they represent? Obviously from those descriptions, I collect coins from all over the world, and I do it for the variety. I collect for the love of the coins, not for any profit I could raise from selling them. Believe me, there isn't a lot of profit to be made unless there is some precious metal content and they can be sold for melt. (Just as an aside, I also am slowly building a "no gold" US type set, and I love Peace Dollars.)I consider myself a successful collector because I collect what I like, and I learn about what I collect. Each purchase still feels like an accomplishment. I see a coin that looks attractive in design and I purchase it. I don't worry what they've sold for in the past, and I don't worry what I might be able to sell it for in the future. I enjoy my collection in the now - now is when I'm collecting, now is when I'm learning, now is when I'm sharing knowledge and images with others. That to me is success.Anyone that my end up reading this will probably think, 'you're a novice collector', 'you're naive to what the hobby is about', or 'you're just a world coin collector'. And that's part of the problem with adding new collectors to the hobby; the, for lack of a better term, snobbishness of "serious" collectors that have been doing this for years. I personally don't belong to a coin club because I feel like I would be ridiculed for what I enjoy collecting. I was bullied enough growing up, I would hope at 40 years old, I could get beyond that. Maybe I could end up being the group's world coin guy, but maybe the derision of not focusing solely on US coins for profit because I live in the US would drive me out first.I went to my first ever coin show a couple weeks ago in Austin, Texas. It was a small show, but I enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately for me, I had one dealer that treated me as if I had spent to much time in his chair because I was looking at world silver, and as I sat back to check my phone for values on a coin I was considering, he said "thanks for coming by" as a way of chasing me off. I was looking at coins (not bullion) that he had listed at higher prices that some of his US items. The show was saved for me though, by another dealer from San Antonio, ANA Life member 6463 Patrick O'Connor. We had a nice conversation about pieces I was looking at on his table, and I made a couple purchases from him and his wife. All-in-all I guess it was a successful trip for my first show, but I was still left with a sour taste from that one interaction.Am I a successful collector? I believe I am. I am able to find what I like, buy it, learn about it, and enjoy the time I've spent. I post photos for others to see and I share some of the knowledge I've learned along the way. I encourage other people to collect what they like, not just what will make them money. Am I a dealer? No. I haven't ever sold any of my collection. To me that's the big difference. The popular opinion is that to be considered a successful collector, you have to be able to transition into being a dealer and sell your collection. I didn't get into this hobby to be a dealer, to worry about making a profit. I got into it to collect information, and the coins are vessels for learning that information. I collect because I love coins. I collect because I love the art they contain and the information they unlock. I collect because I love to. It may be the unpopular reason, I may be labeled unsuccessful or naive or even 'just' a world collector, but the knowledge and enjoyment I gain make me successful in my own right.

11 May 2019

Happy Mothers Day!

Coins-World | coinsbygary

Happy Mothers Day to all the ANA Mothers. Some years ago I may have posted this coin but I don't remember. That said the message of this coin is always appropriate and I dedicate it to mothers everywhere. Therefore, I am posting this coin and its story now.

16 Apr 2019

Let it Grow

Coins | skywolf

One day while sifting through my grandparent's coin jar I came across a penny that did not look like the rest. Pulling it from the pile, I turned it over and over in my hand fascinated by the image minted onto its surface. While all of the other coins in the jar had the heads of United States presidents on them (my favorite being Abraham Lincoln), this coin had two maple leaves. I immediately went and asked my mother why it was different and discovered that it was from another country. From that day forward I was hooked. What started out as one Canadian penny turned into over four hundred coins and my collection is still growing.I have grown my collection in many ways from a little coin shop down the way to traveling to other countries. My absolute favorite way to learn about and acquire new currency is by traveling. A country's currency is a window into their past history and current culture. I have traveled to and acquired coins from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, and Canada, as well as various locations within the United States of America including Washington, D.C. where I acquired several commemorative coins and tokens. My mother brought me back money from Italy and my cousin gave me coins from Malawi that he saved during a missions trip. My great-great-grandfather had a coin collection from where he had traveled to Japan and NASA, which was passed down to me. Other friends and family have contributed to my collection through their travels as well. I love learning about the countries of each coin's origin and the images upon their surface.Another way that I have grown my collection is through attending local coin shows. It is through such a show that I was able to acquire five ancient Roman coins from Hadrian's Wall. Though they are greatly degraded in quality, I could not resist the opportunity to include such historic pieces. As my mother has several degrees in history, anthropology, and archaeology, we spent many fun hours learning about the coins and life along the Wall. When we were in England we went to see Hadrian's Wall at Walltown near Haltwhistle and I got to see many more Roman coins in the museum there. It was great! I highly recommend growing one's collection through travel as you get to experience the culture that created the currency first hand. It is amazing! What is your favorite way to acquire new pieces? Tell me how you grow your collection in the comments below!

15 Apr 2019

From Penny Pirate to Coin Collector

Coins - World | skywolf

Ever since I was a baby my grandparents have kept a coin jar. Many times they would let me fill a bag with pennies so I could take them and spend them. Sometimes there would be a special coin with different pictures on it so I would keep it. Now I have over four hundred pieces of currency from around the world. In the future, I hope to have a lot more coins with even more interesting stories to tell.


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