25 May 2016

Authenticating coins

Coins-United States | user_4648

I am preparing to sell parts of my collection but I want to authenticate four or five before hand. I am aware I can send them to NGC but wonder if there are sources closer to home. I live in the Pacific Northwest.

24 May 2016

Why Numismatics?

Coins | Pliny The Elder

I believe that finding a hobby is essential to a healthy outlook on life, and with coin collecting you have a hobby that inspires and teaches it's participants. A handful of change can tell a long story about silver shortages, wars, celebrations and important events. But that story starts with each individual collector, each entering into the hobby for different reasons. For some, coin collecting gives us respite from a world that often is overly involved with the concerns of others. It brings our thoughts into focus in a specific area that holds great interest to one's self. Whether it be gryphons or gorgons, watchful eagles or possibly trees, a person can find an area of coin collecting that brings great joy into not only their life but into the lives of others. Some coin collectors spend long hours studying their collection, reading numismatic material, furthering their knowledge of their particular area of numismatic interest. There are die combinations to learn about, hordes that have been studied, legend variations to look after, and all happening while one tries to fully enjoy their coins. It can get confusing as coin collecting often involves more than just looking at your coins, but this is a hobby and it is only important to enjoy it and to have fun. Along the way of coin collecting fun, though, you will start to notice variations in your coins that you have and you will want to know more. Why did this particular coin have this type of legend, and this other one shows a different style? Outside of the pretty images and silver and gold content one eventually learns that any serious numismatic pursuit involves a lot of counting and cataloging things. Now that doesn't mean if you are bad at math then numismatics is not your pursuit. It does involve some level of mathematics, but this area of math is practiced only in a fun way, trust me. You do not jump right in counting coin types in hordes and learning about die combinations, but it comes eventually because it just does. Because numismatics, besides being about math and about coin COLLECTING, is also a scientific pursuit. You can get our your microscope as well as your cotton gloves, because your coin collection will become a classroom over time. Through your study of your collection you will learn about how environment affects some coin surfaces. You will learn about toning of coins, about patinas both natural and artificial. You will learn a lot about metal contents, and what is expected for certain issues. Flow lines and clogged dies, various makeup of coin hordes, there is a great deal to know. But outside of this scientific aspect of numismatics there is still even more. Coin and currency collecting also holds a high level of interest to those studying history. In cataloging one's collection, specifically identifying details on your coins, getting to know them each personally through hours of hands on learning, weighing and measuring, and always studying, one becomes an actual numismatist and not just a coin collector. Through this study a coin collector becomes more expert, and sometimes a collector finds theywish to share what they have learned with others. This hobby is so expansive, and includes a type of people that for the most part are dedicated to furthering the intellectual advancement of mankind. Some collectors feel that the need to share their knowledge with others is important, and it grows this hobby in ways that are hard to quantify. There are many reasons why people choose numismatics, and for some those reasons shift and grow over time. One might start off collecting silver, then graduating to Franklin Halves only, then slowly moving into Civil War Tokens. By the time old age is reached there is a lot of experience to share, and that becomes the next level. You have a nice collection. You have learned so much about history. Your scientific pursuit in this hobby has been so very rewarding. You are ready to help others. One might get into numismatics for a variety of reasons, but with time, the reason one stays is to help others. Have fun collecting.

22 May 2016


| user_8029

Sorry, my spreadsheets did not did not format correctly, so I did not include them. In some cases, the bibliography did not come out correctly, but i cannot change that.

22 May 2016

NGC Canada W SP coins

Coins | user_2428

I have collected NGC Canada specimen coins for years. I finally saw & purchased my first W mint specimen.

21 May 2016

My YN Literary Awards Submission Part 2

| ShriekenGriffon

This is the 2nd part of the blog I posted yesterday. I have heard very good comments about it and even if I don't win anything I know I am pretty good and can get better. Here is the rest of my submission:

20 May 2016

My YN Literary Awards Submission

Young Numismatists Exchange | ShriekenGriffon

For this blog, I am sharing what I wrote for the 2016 YN Literary Awards. I worked about 15 hours total on this with all the research and thinking what to write. I will do this in 2 parts o 2 seperate days because it is kind of long and I don't want to overwhelm some of you and hope it aught discourage people from skimming through it. Hope you guys enjoy and without further ado, here it is:

20 May 2016


Coins | Mike Burn

I read an article today. Now they want to do away with these sets. You know it's time we find out who ' they' are. Because if they do away with these sets lets do away with collecting. Why bother? Everyone says we need more young people in this hobby. Well this is just another part of the great plan to do away with everything. We all know young people make at least a hundred thousand dollars a year. They can afford gold slab coins. Oh they can go to the auction houses. I mean how much more do you want to do away with. Proof sets will be next mark my words. I guess they forgot how they got there start. Collecting with dad and grandpa. Do you forget those days? They were fun weren't they. Or do you forget since you only collect expensive coins. You don't need a set from the mint. Just the expensive stuff.

17 May 2016

My Take on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar

Coins-United States | coinsbygary

The 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar commemorates the 1825 founding of Fort Vancouver by the Hudson’s Bay Company and it’s first administrator, Dr. John McLoughlin (1784-1857). The obverse features a left facing bust of Dr. McLoughlin based on a sketch by Vancouver, Washington native John T. Urquhart.[1] The reverse features a frontiersman clothed in buckskins standing in front of the Fort Vancouver stockade with the Columbia River and Mt. Hood in the background. Portland, Oregon native Sidney Bell is credited with the coin’s original design and Laura Gardin Fraser with modifying the motifs and preparing the final models.[2]Interestingly, Laura Gardin Fraser nearly missed out on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar. After rejecting Sydney Bell’s models, the Federal Commission of Fine Arts sought medalist Chester Beach who himself designed the 1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half-Dollar to modify and complete the models. However, Chester Beach was unavailable and Laura Gardin Fraser was commissioned with the task on June 15, 1925. Subsequently, She finished the new models by July 1 and the first 50,028 coins (28 for assay purposes) were ready for delivery on August 1.[3] Because of their love and admiration for the old west, both James and Laura Fraser were adept at modeling subjects relating to western themes. Accordingly, it is probably for the best that the commission fell to Laura as I will detail in the following paragraphs. To understand Laura’s rendition of Dr. McLoughlin on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar it is important to understand the man.In the October 1925 issue of the Numismatist, Portland resident George A. Pipes wrote the following about Dr. McLoughlin. “Dr. McLoughlin was truly a great man. He ruled this great territory as an absolute monarch, a benevolent despot, Haroun-alRaschid reincarnated. He was able to convince the savage tribes of Indians that he and his company intended them no harm. If an Indian did wrong to a white man, he was punished, and the same punishment was administered to a white who wronged an Indian. He forbade the evil practice which had existed theretofore of trading "firewater" to the Indians. He dealt with such justness toward these savage tribes that for hundreds of miles around they acknowledged him their Big Chief and lived in peace and quiet among the whites.”[4]Laura Fraser’s rendition of Dr. McLoughlin’s bust features him as an older man, and as such someone who is dignified and demands respect. Dr. McLoughlin’s high cheek bone and deep eyes show him to be determined. His thick eyebrows remind me of someone who is wise or in deep thought. Furthermore, Dr. McLoughlin is dressed in clothing that seems to suggest that he was a shrewd businessman. Consequently, when you read Dr. McLoughlin’s biography, the image of his bust on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar is exactly what you might expect to see. These then are all the little things an artist can subtly add to their subject in order to portray a certain image without significantly altering the subject.I do not know for sure what changes Laura Gardin Fraser made to the reverse motifs of this coin. However, according to the US Rare Coin Investments website she added the frontiersman to the original design.The most prominent device on the reverse of the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar is the frontiersman. Ergo, he is symbolic of the type of person who traded furs in the mountainous regions of the Pacific northwest during the early to middle 1800’s. That his head has an appearance of towering higher than Mt. Hood shows that he is more than equal to harshness of the environment in which he lives. He is tall and stocky, indicating that he is strong and physically fit. He is wearing a coonskin cap with a full beard and a stern face proving that he is resilient and ready for any adverse weather conditions he may encounter. His buckskin clothing has the appearance of authenticity as the edges are tattered. His leg muscles are well defined and powerful such as what he would need to traverse rugged terrain. Finally, the frontiersman is standing with his rifle in a position of readiness to defend the fort behind him. This man then is a representative type of the 1,000 white men who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company under Dr. John McLoughlin.Finally, I’m not sure how this coin may have turned out if Chester Beach finished the models. However, I do know that Laura Gardin Fraser executed the design features of the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar well.