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23 May 2021

Chronicles of a Numismatist: Seeking Alpha

Coins | user_14581

Good afternoon this Sunday. It is a beautiful day here in Florida and thought I would post when I have not posted in some time. I thought last year was nuts? It has been a fun roller coaster this year. I took 5 months to reflect on my collection. Last year I made it a point to halt coin buying to analyze where I have come from and what my future plans are. I am unsure how many of us do this, as I know many who enjoy the thrill of hoarding or mass collecting. While I have enjoyed the sheer enormity of what the collection grew to I determined it was unsatisfactory in the over all grand picture and purpose. I could keep what I have or I could use it... use it to seek alpha.This is where I am now. I am in the beginning stages of essentially trading many - for few, or one. Sounds crazy, Sounds Insane, however for me I want quality. Actually I am like Pokemon’ for coin collecting in that “I gotta have them all” but I want to begin a process that I am sure is riddled with the skeletons of previous coin collectors but understanding something that they obviously did not possess and that is contentment.Seems counter intuitive to be content while verbally spewing “I am seeking alpha”. But I present this alternative reasoning, non contentment breeds poor decisions; while contentment breeds long term alpha. I don’t want this shiny widget here, or this modern piece there, or this lack luster semi key over yonder... contentment in one piece at a time. If that piece which is to be next never arises then so be it. Would I then go for the next piece? At what cost? If the cost is to still move forward and not worry about the needed piece then possibly, but if the cost is due to a lack of patience and just an insatiable need to buy coins and fill up the collection then my answer is going to be- No Coin Purchase. This is different than just having a plan and a defined list of coins... this is absolute contentment. Getting the collection to a point where I say, content from here on out. Reviewing annually to see where I am versus where I still have holes and taking time deciding what would be the next strategic purchase. Maybe it would be 5 years in between purchases but the strategic opportunities at that moment far and away excel and exceed than in a short term “drug addiction” to buying coins.I am not saying I am through purchasing coins, I am saying I am quieting down the coin buying demons to allow for alpha in my collection. Pieces will be considerably more expensive, far more rarer and that much more out of grasp than I have ever purchased. But in setting a goal and going for it, it will manifest. I was able to acquire a clashed die 2016 Silver Eagle recently for a price, if stated, would cause everyone to seek their dentist due to lock jaw of a mouth wide open. Purpose is not to brag but to say I focused hard on that coin, researching and studying and watching and from a source totally unexpected I was able to acquire said piece. Such a dramatic error. But it taught me a lesson that because of due diligence and contentment, as I started this mental exercise, I was able to be relaxed and calm and ready for the ultimate purchase of my lifetime... well second one as I had just purchased the 2008 rev 2007 Silver Eagle MS69 for a redonkeytron price too. No, not ebay, Yes from reputable dealers. So for now I leave with this new approach for me. And so we are all clear, contentment means too.. If I were to never purchase another coin - then - I - am - content. (I am not there yet but that is the goal... total contentment).

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18 Jan 2021

Chronicles of A Numismatist: What it is all about

Coins | user_14581

Happy New Year Everyone. This is going to be one fantastic year. Last year, coin collecting wise, it was truly amazing. Adding to a collection that has now been defined and broken into 2 parts is exciting. I am well underway to have it spoken about and shown later this year or next year... what could I be up to? (Mad scientist voice and curling of hands together as I wrote that).So we all know the FunShow was cancelled this year. I was looking forward in the highest of excitements because I was going to attend the ANA Intermediate School of Grading. Bob Mellor and Steve Feltner, along with Bri, ran 2020’s Basics of Coin Grading Classes that have stayed with me since. I love coin grading. Some might love log home building, others might love transit trucking, but me my career is in finance where I buy and sell money at a Financial Institution I have found, as you already know, numismatics and inside my hobby the art/science of coin grading. Can’t explain it, you don’t have 3 hours to look at one coin and actually you want to be about 10-15 seconds at most per coin to give a grade. But then for me, I recorded the attributes of the coin in my mind so when I get the next one in the same category I quickly recall what defined a Mint State or About Uncirculated or Good and proceed to grade the new coin in my hand. It is fascinating, a challenge, and exciting. I decided I was going to have my own FUN Show, but didn’t know how or what it would be. Well my fiancé was staying with family out of our area for the holidays but was coming down prior to the New Year. She brought one of the Greatest Gifts she could and it was the 5 year old on one side of our family. She calls me “Abuelo” and she too likes coins. She has a small collection of pennies and change she likes. On this particular Saturday she and I were running all around the house causing hilarious havoc. And at one point my fiancé said to her, Ask Abuelo if he would show you some of his coins. She ran over and asked and I said sure. Went to my office and got the big red box, came back to the dining room table and proceeded to show her some World Coins I have. She is 5 so I wanted to see where this precious time would take us. I dumped them all inside of the red box lid and she said WOW. She said, Look at this one it looks like a flower, this one is shiny, etc. . Well, she didn’t know about etiquette and to ask first before touching coins, so I was fortunate to teach her. Which then lead to “How to hold a coin”. To follow with, “We don’t touch the obverse or reverse”. So after those basic lessons she started to look bored. I quickly organized the coins spatially apart from one another and asked her, Which one do you like Best? She picked a Bahamian Cent all Red Copper and Shiny. She then asked me the same question, and I picked a large Nordic coin. To which we both played this game back and forth for what seemed like an hour but probably several minutes but time stopped at that moment and all that mattered was her picking of a coin, answering why she liked it and then scoffing and laughing at the coins I picked because they were not pretty to her. By then my fiancé had come over and she too joined in and took the little one’s side of course, so it was 2 against one laughing at my selections. She said she was having fun and I told her she could have all these coins but they have to stay here for when she visits this year. She was so happy. Coin time led to StuffedAnimal Formal TeaParty Time, which then led to Who can run the fastest from the front door to the mail box and back - on an ice cream and tea time snack full belly... which please someone punch me the next time I give ice cream to a 5 year old. I was ready for nap time ( I had been playing with this ball of never ending energy for 3 hours and was beat) but ice cream apparently re-energizes all the engines and they , 5 year olds, jump higher than before and run around every where and talk faster than a tommy gun being fired, and that fun new game bores them after 2 minutes because Abuelo is not moving fast enough so he now has to be shown what the new running around game is and OH MY LORD!But... that quiet moment before the toddler jail of energy hell where coins were being shared and laughter and amazement of the shiny coins or the tiny coins and seeing her little fingers properly pick up a coin and look at a coin, for me, I was able to have my own home FUN Show and for me, is What It Is About. Giving back to a new generation of young numismatists. Fingers Crossed she stays with this hobby, because it is so rewarding to give back.

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18 Jan 2021

Chronicles of A Numismatist: Ringing in the New Year

Coins | user_14581

Good evening to all my wonderful friends and those who I may not know yet but soon well. I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Holiday Season (I had a wonderful Christmas) and a very Happy New Year.I would love to hear of any numismatic story you had of last year or the early part of this year. Could be about anything but would love to hear.Mine is a couple of mini ones: 1) I was very active on the auction blocks last year. I did not realize how much until I calculated the total at year end and it was over several 4 figures. Which to some might be a simple drop of a bucket on their purchase ( oh and I am not asking for you to share prices or expenses, that would be rude. I am giving mine because ... well read on) but for me “Whoa Nelly” had to be yelled. Whew, I had to reign in my bidding. I was not over bidding and at times I beat dealers who were bidding against me, you can tell over time. Now many of the purchases are Cherry picked opportunities so I do intend to reholder with correct attribution to then sell, but I had to draw the line and slow my roll. I am happy to say though I will be able to use my future earnings to officially fund the future cherry picks to flip and so on and so forth. This excites me.The other is about one of my favorite past times and that is antique mall/estate sale shopping. Sometimes you can find really awesome deals. One of my numismatic areas is in the hobby of numismatic books. So at this particular Antique Mall, in the area I live around, I was snooping at the beginning of the year and they had a huge store wide sale at this particular dealer’s store. I found over 13 total Numismatic books on USCurrency errors, past yearRed Books (Hard cover and spiral), Particular US Coins, etc. All for around 1-2 bucks a piece. Also, inside this dealer’s store they rent out spaces to other dealers and specialists and tucked away in a plastic bin, back room, In 2 huge Zip Loc Bags were a bundle of Numismatic News Newspaper publications and old Coin World Newspaper Magazine publications (both of these were printed on Newspaper stock and folded like a Newspaper) I mean a huge bundle of each and got each bundle for about 6$ a piece. I have yet to go through them, but I was so excited to see those and add to the collection. I am working on my office to re-organize but when I am through I will make sure to post pictures so everyone can enjoy. For me it is about not only the coins I am after but what part of my hobby’s history can I be the lucky one to find, acquire if possible, and conserve for future owners. It is such a blast. Well, time to go work on a few projects but until the next time, happy collecting.

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16 Nov 2020

Chronicles of a Numismatist: Finding Treasures In Darkness

Coins | user_14581

Good evening my friends. It has been far too long since I last posted. My apologies. Between this crazy pandemic, my Corporation assigning me a temporary home assignment and just getting back to normal is but a few reasons why I was silent for the time. However, throughout all the darkness I crouched extremely low, lit my lantern and crawled around the numismatic landscape looking for opportunities. And for me, treasures were found. The journey this year has been uplifting when it may not feel as much. One, I hope and pray you made it through safe and sound...both you and your family. Two, it has helped me in my collecting to see "The Bigger Picture". Whether it was life goals, collecting goals, career goals and any other goal which has been started 2020 has been able to show me the art of compartmentalism. Weighing an auction bid, or possible consignment, or coin purchase I am learning to take a step back and compare against any objective/ goal/ idea/ plan I might be building. And I can hear it now, "Dude you should have been already doing that" and to some degree -Yes, but difference I am slowed down now. I am calm. I am not anxious to feel as if I don't pull out my wallet I will miss out. Also, this period of history has helped to fine tune my research and vision. Again, slowing down to take the moments to research/look and study. For me searching for the positive in a negative environment is not easy, however it is healthy and helps to keep pushing through. I have been studying much on the Rev Type B Washington Quarter variety. It is fun to look at countless photos of coin lots to find that one specimen by which qualifies for crossing over or regrade submission. I was helping an acquaintance and his wife review their collection and we must have spent 3 hours. Towards the end she was giving me miscellaneous bags of coins to review. So she hands me this plastic sandwich bag and instantly I see a Morgan and a Peace Dollar. No major date/ mint mark but just felt great to see those after 3 hours. I continue to look at the coins and I see several silver quarters and low and behold I see a circulated 1964 Washington Quarter. Quick check reveals no mint mark and I glance upward and there is the wide gap Between E and S of States and I am elated. I then get to spend 15-20 minutes to explain to them what was found, some history about the coin and make a coin flip to house it in. Around an AU50 Grade. Being able to teach them the differences between the regular reverse and type B and show them the differences was so rewarding. So if you haven't had a chance, take a few moments and talk to someone about their hobbies and yours. Maybe you also might want to take a retrospective review of your collection or goals. Maybe just maybe it is taking a moment to find the Thanks and Gratefulness for this historical time period we are in. Not everything is negative. Some times you need to get really low, light your lantern, and just start searching. Treasures will come, give it time.

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23 Apr 2020

Chronicles of a Numismatist: Pandemic FUN?

Coins | user_14581

Greetings to my fellow Numismatists. As I am social distancing via the electronic papyrus format I was thinking, and YES - that - is - dangerous,during this pandemic and economic downturn can I have FUN? My answer is Yes. I am having FUN cherry picking online coin auctions and coin dealers. My thesis was during this time coin auctions won’t be looked upon favorably due to re-structuring of household expenditures and with the family being together seemingly all the time, it can’t be said “I need me time” when the new dynamic is to focus on building the family strength and bond. I believe new numismatists are being born by learning Daddy’s collection and helping him organize, or Momma’s and helping her organizing the collection; not purchasing coins. I am not seeing a deep slash in pricing as I did in 2013-14 when spot silver and gold was free falling and online coin dealers were discounting coins to levels 80-90% off in some cases.Instead, opportunities are abounding in researching coins and finding sleepers. These may not be a multi-thousand dollar win or highlight in a Regency Auction but this will be something that you can win, re-encapsulate if need be, possibly send for CAC, and see where it plays 5 years or so down the road.I found in an auction recently a 1964-D Kennedy graded I believe MS64, but a Double Die, graded by NGC and it sold for 1/3 or so the price retail. I didn’t win, but not upset seeing how I can’t win them all AND a 3 second to auction end -up tick - above my high bid had me tipping my hat to the new owner. But PCGS only has 4 in population and 8 in 65 with none populated higher. So my thought was to send in for cross over and at least guarantee grade the 64. What a deal! Again, the retail price around $100 may not have you popping corks of champagne and wearing goggles, BUT it is a scarce coin and something like that can easily become a Blue Chip in a collection several years from now. What if “you” are the lucky one where it gets graded 64+ and what if it gets CAC? At that point it is a great investment for not a huge outlay. How am I increasing this FUN even more? I found another opportunity “somewhere” and I asked my fiancé, “I am good at what I do in coins. I found a possibility here that I believe can be a GREAT win. Would you like to participate?”. She asked for more clarification, I explained, and told her the following proposition: If it works we split the price, I - Me - will pay all costs of cross over grading and shipping charges, and will not count those costs into the profit. Simply, she literally will get half the profit with only the difference of the initial price split 2 ways. She is not into numismatics. She has helped me tremendously and has been a huge Blessing as explained in a previous Blog I wrote, but she is not thrilled by it. This idea was several days ago, however this morning she was looking online and found a local virtual auction where they were selling coins... AND... she was asking my opinion on those coins... AND told me “Don’t you dare buy those coins, those are mine!” Haaaa! Ohh man, I Loved It. I may have created a monster. The neat part was I found silver certificates that were off center actually (these were further down the auction lot listings) and I just had to tip my hat to her. I may have inadvertently created a Numismatic Monster; from what started as a way for my Baby to make some possible extra money on the side that doesn’t call for any energy expense at all from her. And I never thought it would be “This Amazing” bringing her on board like this. This type of action is what I am seeing currently and something of excitement for me. I hope the Coin Gods look favorably upon me during this time while I create some interesting sub collections. Time will tell and I believe they will, if history repeats itself.

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13 Apr 2020

Chronicles of a Numismatist: Can’t Wait Part 2

Coins | user_14581

This is amazing. If you recall I had posted that I had a coin at PCGS that I was awaiting to continue processing once the virus and group restrictions were lifted. Well I checked my account with PCGS the next day or after and BEHOLD my coin was pushing through.It had been there for close to 1 1/2 months or close to it, and again the virus was at fault not PCGS so I was accepting the length of time. I just couldn't believe my coin was being processed. Whoever went that day to work the orders that were ready and possibly were waiting for initial processing I have to THANK YOU. You risked a ton by doing such and no matter what I am eternally Grateful. On this Post Easter early morning, Happy Belated Easter my fellow Numismatists, Thank You to everyone at PCGS and Collectors Universe. I pray all of you are safe and well.Below are the pictures of my Mint Error Strike Thru VAM (still researching which one) 1921-P Morgan Dollar. Enjoy!

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04 Mar 2020

Chronicles of a Numismatist: Passion to Finish

Coins | user_14581

I started my collection of Mint State IKEs back in 2014 and I am officially through as of February 2020. Why so long? Well, because I was building the type set in a +Grade designation from PCGS. The 71-S is 66+ and the 72-S - 76-S are all 67+ Graded. The length of time took from 2015-2020 because I had to wait for the 73-S+ Graded PCGS coin to come up for sale... the wait was definitely worth it.I thought of stopping the set at least 1-2x a year, if not more.The coin couldn’t just be any coin and I didn’t want to offset the collection by purchasing a 68 Grade IKE.I think looking back, and trust me easier now that I completed the type set, I might had waited for many more years. The fact that it was found and I was able to complete the set, I can sit back and look at them all on the table together with a huge sense of relief and fulfillment.

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02 Mar 2020

CHRONICLES OF A NUMISMATIST

Coins | user_14581

I am a numismatist. While I haven’t been in the hobby too long I have a research compulsive trait (like how I changed it from OCD?) that allows me the privilege to look at coin photos, go to shows, research famous numismatists, watch coin week and coin world videos along with ANA videos, read coin books, study coin grading,etc. all in the span of ... Every day.This is one of the areas of my life where my thinking is at piece, I ask many internal questions, and am able to research to find my answers. I also have an innate ability to overly believe in myself, which I strive to develop more everyday, for the gate way of possibilities through dreams.What are dreams? Finding a 1893-S Morgan Dollar in a box of items given to me or in the bushes outside (the likely hood is rare but if it can be a possibility why not me?) , Cherry Picking a dealer or an Auctioneer’s site finding a rare variety or error, being requested to help or appraise associates/ loved ones/ and strangers coin collection, etc..These are but a few dreams I believe of myself and know I can accomplish.

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