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RuralRon's Blog

26 Jul 2020

What makes a variety? Is this one?

Coins | RuralRon

What exactly is a variety? How do they differ from errors? Why are some coins that are obviously different considered neither.As a fairly new collector these are areas of great confusion to me. This was compounded by receiving a couple of rolls of Kennedys in a lot purchase.It included two rolls of 1996's. When opening the package I noticed one of the rolls had broken open. Picking up the first loose coin I saw what looked like a large scratch. Needless to say I wasn't happy. Upon examining the coins I have two rolls of coins just like the one in the picture. It appears to be a scratch in the die but I am not sure. Any ideas of what I have here would be greatly appreciated. I bow to your great knowledge!

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22 Jul 2020

A First Year of Collecting- Short Sets Everywhere!!!

Coins | RuralRon

As promised there will be a blog about truly weird world of short sets but today's will not be it.Earlier today it dawned on me that I joined NGC a year ago today. Seems a good day to evaluate the condition of my collection.I finally found a 49D Franklin MS65 FBL to complete my collection of MS65 business strikes! Four more proofs and I am done.Some of my favorite coins include a 1905 Lewis and Clark dollar( heads on both sides), an 1893 Isabella quarter( Only commemorative quarter, First female, Only foreign head of state to appear on our coinage), The prettiest toned 1935 Connecticut you are likely to ever see(LOVE THAT EAGLE!), and my complete collection of 2009 Lincolns ( #8 on NGC registry). I have flitted around and assembled some short sets, completed my Peace dollars, and accrued a number of interesting coins. Not really sure where all the Canadian, British and Dutch coins came from! Amazing the stuff you get in junk lots. Over the year I have been able to refine my taste in coins and have a much better idea of what I want to collect. I find that I have limited interest in moderns preferring to stick with older coins. I still shop for raw coins but my focus has been on graded coins for about six months now. I recently picked up a 1926 Sesquicentennial in the raw just because the back is the prototype for the Franklin. It has been a year of solitary collecting. I live in very rural Kansas. No clubs and the closest coin shop has spotty hours when there is no pandemic. Worst of all my first coin show was cancelled. When my NGC membership got close I felt it was time to join ANA. I had tried the forums on NGC and found that most of the members really didnt want to help. They were condescending and could care less if they gave an answer lacking in facts. I was more than pleasantly surprised at the welcoming reception and helpful attitude of the folks here. Finally a group of people who share my enthusiasm and communicate that in a positive way! Thank You All! A quick tabulation and I think my collection is worth around $20k. I have done a lot of collecting this year. Much more than I ever planned for! Any of you who read my first blog will note that I said nothing about those nickels. They can sit in the box until they are sorry for what they started!!!! Next- Short Sets! I promise.

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21 Jul 2020

A Year of Collecting- Trouble in Paradise

Coins | RuralRon

Deciding on my first deliberate collection of coins was going to focus on Flying Eagle cents, Two cent pieces and Peace dollars I quickly found out what all experienced collectors know. It doesnt matter if a series is two hundred coins or just three at least one of them is going to be a Stopper. You know-The one that make you question your sanity! For the Flying eagle it is the 1856. While my purchase of rolls with them on the ends I was able to get a number of 58's in varying conditions and acquired a couple of 57's as well. Resigning my self to the fact that my interest in them would likely never extend to purchasing a 56, I determined to have a two coin series. Being a bit less than focused I picked up a couple of two cent pieces around the same time. Getting them for the novelty at first. The more I researched them more respect I gained for this lowly coin. Any idea how many hours it takes to find a true small motto that isnt labeled as such and in raw condition? I would tell you but then we would all be depressed. Best keep that stat to myself! Hours of blowing up pictures and even having to resort to using a magnifier on the computer screen. I got it in a group of coins. More on that in a minute! I went after the others with a will. Then it came to a screeching halt at the 1872. For over a year now I have been looking and will buy a graded one when I do buy. Made a rule for myself early on that I wont spent over two hundred dollars on a uncertified coin. I have since violated that rule but for the two cent pieces that is where it stands today. Now as to that group of coins. It is like the universe was messing with me. It contained a three cent silver, a three cent nickel and a half dime! More stuff to look at and worry over. And the universe wasnt done messing with me. I looked at all kinds of thing in my search for Peace Dollars. Found several in those framed "Coins of" things. One day while looking I ran into one but that is not a Peace Dollar in the slot! Hello Trade Dollar! Bought it. More to study and yet another short set.Peace dollars have their own stoppers as well. The 21 and 28 seem to be the toughest for most people. I got lucky or maybe all that studying was starting to pay off. Got them at prices that are well under what I believe they will grade. For me the 35 was a problem. Purchased a graded MS62 last month to finish my date/mint mark collection. Next- All These Short Sets?

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20 Jul 2020

A Year of Collecting- What to Collect?

Coins | RuralRon

As a result of getting the giant lot of coins I had to do a lot of research. It wasnt just a gold coin and a few silver eagles. There were a large number of raw coins too. Sometime during this process, without my consent or knowledge, I became a coin collector! What to collect and why? The exposure to the different length of series and the designs of some of the coins got them off my list quickly. I know I am going to disappoint many folks but most Buffalo nickels have bad strikes, Standing Liberty's quarter obverse is poorly designed and ugly and everybody and their brother is collecting Morgans. Pennies? Yes, I still called them that. Short sets? Weird coins? Depression coins? Civil War? Pretty coins? Well since I was aware of the shortcomings of my knowledge it was sure going to be inexpensive. I am sure you wont believe me but there are some very cool, historically significant, weird and beautiful short sets! Now at this point I should mention that a prudent attitude caused me to go with raw coins exclusively. Why? They are cheaper and I needed to practice grading. Have you ever seen those ads with a Flying Eagle cent on the end of a roll of Wheats? Yep! Got me some of those! Even I could put together two coins eventually. While doing this I decided to also collect two cent pieces because they are so cool and have historical significance, and, Peace Dollars since I think they are one of the more beautiful coins ever produced and I could afford most of them. Next-Trouble in Paradise!

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18 Jul 2020

A year of Collecting- The Large Lot

Coins | RuralRon

Hello Again, First I would like to thank everyone for the kind reception my first blog generated. This is a continuing blog about my first year of coin collecting.I suppose a bit about myself is in order at this point. I am a 65 year old disabled veteran who took up coin collecting in July of 2019. Any of you who read my first blog know how I got in this condition. I decided to start my collecting activities with odd denomination coins. Flying Eagle cents were my first. Nice short set and easy to acquire in lesser grades. Spending hours on Ebay looking at raw coins and looking particularly at collections/lots. Spending a lot of time in PCGS photograde and NGC coin explorer I was able to learn a great deal. From the info in my account it looks like my first purchase was a lot of 100 slabbed coins. International Numismatic Guarantee, Junk that is now in a box for my grandsons! Not too expensive of a lesson. Working this way I was able to start on my two cent pieces. Was even able to pick up a small motto at a reasonable price. I even picked up a 1820/19 cent at a very low price by paying very close attention to the details apparent in the pics. Then came the ad that changed everything. I was loaded with a number of Silver Eagles and numerous raw coins. With one gold coin that appeared to be graded but the pictures were not the best. A bit of avarice seems to have come into play here. These were not coins that I intended to collect or keep. Just thought I could make some money to support the rest of my collecting. Needless to say I won the lot at around a thousand dollars.Now I know many of you have had the same feeling I had when purchasing material for you collection. Have I Lost My Mind? Having no real idea of what was in the lot and not knowing what I was doing could have been a true disaster.I have been told many time that it is better to be lucky than good. It certainly came into play with this bunch. As you can see from the picture above the slab I thought was PCGS in the pics turned out to be yet another unknown third party grader. I am learning!!! Upon receipt I was a bit concerned. Evaluating the rest of the lot gave me a bit of comfort. Now I will admit here that I find no interest in the Silver Eagles. I dont collect them because I think of them a collectables and not money. Turns out that they saved my bacon. Many were signed and desirable making them easy to sell. This where I discovered the cost of selling on Ebay. OUCH! Luckily I recouped most of my expenditure for the lot with just these coins! I sent the gold piece to NGC. Came back as MS62. Not great but not bad considering , with ,the added benefit of making me feel better about the whole purchase. I was able to trade the gold for a number of other coins for my collection at the local coin shop. I was fortunate to break even and have a number of the "leftovers" still residing in my collection. The pucker factor was high on this one! I realized that I could have lost hundreds of dollars on this one. Needless to say I am still collecting and have spent many hours educating myself. Currently watching all the good videos on this site. It is so much nicer to have some confidence when making purchases. Next up- Deciding what to collect.Thanks for reading this. I look forward to your feedback.Ron

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17 Jul 2020

A Year of Collecting- The Beginning.

Coins | RuralRon

Hello All,In this, my first ever blog, I would like to describe the journey through my first year of coin collecting.It all started a little over a year ago when I ran across a roll of nickels in my sock drawer. But this was no ordinary roll of nickels!Back in 2004 I spent a great deal of time in Denver helping my Mom after the death of my Dad. Having grown up in the neighborhood it was a good time to reestablish some old friendships. One of these was a friend who worked at the Denver mint. Somehow I ended up with a roll of Keelboat nickels that he gave me(A week before before they were issued to the banks!) It ended up in the sock drawer for and was undisturbed for fifteen years.I ran across it and a couple other coins one day and out of curiosity decided to look them up on PCGS. WOW! The prices floored me. I thought about it for a month. Knowing these were some of the first minted I figured they were good strikes as had a good chance of high quality coins. So I got my magnifier out and broke the roll. Dazzled by them I started sorting them out. Just looking for the ones without any marks. At this point I know nothing about grading or toning. I do notice that they have a pretty blue hue around the edges. Taking the best five I bought some flips, joined NGC and sent them in. Hoping for a ms68 but calculating that one ms67 would pay for the endeavor. At this point I am strictly looking at this as a monetary opportunity. The waiting was the hardest part.I deliberately didnt look at the grades online. Wanted the surprise! Got back four MS67's and one 66.AND I WAS HOOKED!!!Next episode-A large expensive lot.Hope you enjoyed this.Ron

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