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Big Nub Numismatics's Blog

05 Aug 2018

Capped Bust Half dollars

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 15, and celebrated by going to find coins. To get a little discount, I brought my half dollars I bough for face value, and paid with them. With this in hand, I traveled around the coin dealers, until something struck my eye. Two very brilliant 1938-D buffalo nickels. Each had every minute detail, and made my other buffalo nickels seem unimportant for some reason. Full horns, shiny surface with no spots, and the small detail in the feathers. I thought I had gotten the deal of a lifetime, two of these for five Kennedy halves, until the dealer said," I am going to give you something you will never forget" and promptly handed me an 1836, lettered edge, half dollar. I had never seen so much kindness, I did not know what to say. I thanked him as much as I could, and I was ecstatic the rest of the day. I would grade it as Choice Very Fine 32. It's obverse is evenly colored, with the clasp bold, along with liberty standing out in front on the cap. what hindered this fine coin from probably making it to the EF-40 range was some even wear on the motto on the reverse. It was missing half the word Pluribus. The lettering on the edge was clear as day, and made me dive into the world of early half dollars.

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27 Jul 2018

Wonderful Finds

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

Today, after my paycheck was cashed, I found myself inside an antique shop in which my favorite coin dealers had a booth. After looking for about twenty minutes, I did not find a lot like usual. All I found was a 1909 Indian Head cent, and the second to last date and mintmark in my silver Roosevelt dime collection, a 1949-S, I only need a 1947-S now. The best thing however, was underneath some trinkets in the booth next to their's. Inside was a group of, not a proof set, of 1957. It included a proof-65 Franklin half, a proof-66 Washington quarter, a proof-67 full steps Jefferson nickel (too bad it was a proof), and my favorite, a proof-65 what ears reverse Lincoln cent, after paying for the items, only $33 for all of them, I made my way to the grocery store next door. I went in to get some meat for dinner, and after paying and looking through my change, I found a silver 1964-D Dime. What a lucky day!

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09 Jul 2018

Numismatic Book Review-Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

The Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting is sometimes referred to as the Golden book, for its golden cover. This book has been updated several times in order to keep up with modern numismatic trends and prices. The author, esteemed Kenneth Bresset gives a broad run down, and overview of this great hobby, and I would recommend strongly for the beginner. It gives you a small taste for each coin book published by Whitman including the red book, blue book, and ANA grading standards. This book also gives information on where to learn more about the hobby, and history of numismatics. Like the Money Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It provides stimulating images of coin shows, and stresses the importance of keeping your coins clean, and cared for as well as attending numismatic lectures and doing clubs. Another fast read, and great book from Whitman.

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09 Jul 2018

3 Dimensional Coinage

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

This may sound odd, since all coins are three dimensional, but not in the same way these coins from Somalia are. Imagine sitting down on a lovely pyramid shaped coin, and have it really dig into your leg. Or, even worse, to drop a spherical coin on a hill, and watch it roll down into a creek, never to be seen again. An odd step in coinage future comes the 3-D Somali coinage. Minted in 2008, and then again in 2014, these coins commemorate geometric shapes, and give honor to them. These geometric shapes are all in the denomination of 1 shilling, and are sliver plated with a cupro-nickel interior. Somali is already known for its oddly shaped coinage( and pirates), and this just adds to the numismatic history of Somali. I would not have thought of commemorating shapes, or making very inefficient ways to create currency. You could probably make ten of the same denomination for what they use here. Minted in the Year of Math, and embellished with the Somali coat of arms. This makes an interesting piece to any collection. These typically sell for around 40$. These oddly shaped coins come in as a cone, sphere, pyramid, and cylinder. More problems arise when thinking how to house a coin like this in a collection. What kind of holder do you need, and I doubt NGC and PCGS has slabs to fit these. Somalia has also minted coins in the shapes of animals, cars, and bikes, giving Canada a run for its money, To be honest I don't think they are that cool. I think colorized coins, and oddly shaped commemorative coins lose their numismatic value, but its based on each collector's opinion. Some other questions I have about this are how do they mint something this shaped, what kind of machine did they have to bring in? They must have just poured in the metal into the shapes, and the plated it in silver. Or a new technology may have been used. Somali has some weird coins, and is an odd country as well. Coinage fits the country. These coins are quite a curious enigma.Speaking of the Enigma, wouldn't that be a cool English commemorative piece, anniversary of Alan Turing's Enigma cipher, and the start of the computer. More on that in another blog. I can not find very much information on these coins. Even the mintages I have not found anywhere. I just saw these in a world coins book. If anyone finds more information on these coins let me know. I would love to learn more about these curious coins. Even the internet only has article with a few words about them.

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02 Jul 2018

Centless America

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

In 1862, the Civil War was far underway. Its effects were not just evident on the landscape, government, and production. The money of that time took a hard hit, and the people that used it. As the first Legal Tender notes were issued in 1862, the public lost trust in the economy. Citizens preferred the coins of that time to the new "greenbacks" which were not yet backed by the U.S., and many people went searching for the lower, and higher denominations and hoarding them. With the Union and the Confederacy struggling to pay for the war, and people hoarding, war bonds became the norm'. This was a terrible time in the economy. on April 20th of 1862, the Mint inventoried 940,379 one cent pieces. This was a good supply for the economy, and things were looking good. Until August 31st. On that day, only 368 one cent pieces remained, and the banks of the Union were panicking, adding to the already " Hard Times" Many substitutes came in through circulation made by shops and businesses, This led to famous series of tokens, and the back-in-time motion of our economy. Within months shells, and leather were used again as currency. In December it was no better, having only 254 one cent pieces left. With the war affecting overseas trade, the mint did not have sufficient supplies to mint the greatly needed cents. Most of the materials had already been taken from American soil, except for some small amount left in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and even this was depleted because of problems smelting the ore of nickel and copper.

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29 Jun 2018

Saving Space and Money

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

This week I decided to go through my collection and reorganize it. It was starting to overflow in my limited space. I went to Dollar Tree, and saw some interesting crafting containers. I bought a few, thinking they would fit some of my coins in round Kointainers. They worked extremely well. Since it was so cheap I decided to go back and look for more things. They had different craft containers when I got back, they were tubular. I checked, and they had no PVC in them, although if it is made with some other polymer, the affects may still be in the future. They had ones to fit nickels, quarters, halves, dollars, and various one ounce coins. They are about 10% cheaper than actual coins tubes, not a lot of savings, but I fid a lot more Dollar Trees than I do coin suppliers. Any way, I was wondering if anyone had ideas on how to save space in your collection? My reorganization still couldn't fit most of my world coins and stamps.

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28 Jun 2018

Coin Hunting

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

Last week, I had a very good time. My grandfather had saved every cent he had ever received since 1998, and kept them stored in jars.He gave them to me to look through, andI spent about ten total hours going through the 50,000+ cents taking out oddities, and filling holes in my collection. Among these 50,000 memorial cents were about 800 shield cents, and about 20 wheaties. The rarest coin I found was probably the 1933 wheat cent. I did not have this coin before looking through the jars, and I was ecstatic upon finding it. Most coinage during and after the Great depression had surprisingly very low mintages. In 1929, a total of 277,140,000 cents were made. In 1930 just a bit less than 1929, but in 1931,1932, and 1933, combined, there was only 64,864,000, less than 25% of 1929. This reduced minting of wheat cents caused these issues to be hoarded, and now very hard to find, and thus expensive. The one I found was only the second I've ever seen with my own eyes. I'm very glad my grandfather did not spend it. Have you guys ever found something like this?

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26 Jun 2018

Seated Liberty Dimes

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

Earlier today, I had some spare time coming back from a movie, and an odd antique shop passed in front of me. I quickly found a parking space, eager to get inside, hopeful of what I might find. When I got in there, it was basically any other antique shop, filled with old stuff people want enormous amounts for, except one display case. This display case, owned by my favorite coin dealers, had an absolutely great deal on seated liberty dimes. Six dollars a piece, all of them could easily grade above G-4, not the most attractive, but definitely the cheapest. I bought all they had. This selection included two 1853 with rays, an 1852, an 1842, and a common 1883. If you like this classic design from the 1800's, or you aren't familiar, here are some facts about these wonderful pieces of history.

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22 Jun 2018

The Very "Clashy" Flying Eagle Cents

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

Many people love Flying Eagle cents. The first of the small cents, and minted right before the civil war in midst of political uproar. Following the coinage legislation of 1857, Spanish coins and large cents were to be melted, and exchanged for the new Flying Eagle small cent. A wonderful design from James B. Longacre. The large cents with the rise of copper prices could barely make a profit. This, and the longing for U.S. currency to be the only currency used in America was the breaking point. This act was a turning point in America's financial independence. The flying eagle is quite interesting, with its 1856 proofs, undated examples, and strong strikes. Most interestingly though were the die clashes.In 1857, the new Flying Eagle cent had some problems bumping into other coins. Three different varieties of a clash with this new cent have been recorded, one with a seated liberty quarter, one with a seated liberty half-dollar, and one with a double eagle. I have only personally seen one of these, and it blew my mind how something like this could have happened. I think this is second in curiosity only to "mule" coins.The die clash with the quarter is very prominent along the reverse, and is known as FS-01-1857-901, or snow-8 1857. Coins with these die closes are prized, as only 81-106 are known to exist. This variety graded as MS-63BN can be worth $2,750. The 1857, obverse 50 cent clash is the most available, having a rarity of URS-11, of these die clashes, with an estimated 258-512 being made. Not exceedingly rare, compared with others, but is immensely hard to find. Most examples are almost exactly centered within the half-dollar, making it look like this "mistake" was intentional. The rarest, and most worn, are the 1857, obverse $20 clash. Having a rarity of URS-7, these are hard to find. These gold double-eagles have their busts interrupted by the mirrored flying-eagle design. About 50-75 of these exist. None are known to be above mint state, but one, if found, it could fetch over $15,000. These examples cannot be missed, every one of these are clearly punched by the flying eagle, and the one cent. Most of the partnered cents that show the die clash are not very clear. Only seen in the fields of the design is the information. You can easily miss the shallow seated liberty, and double-eagle design, they look somewhat like a break in the die. The way each example is oriented makes me think that this was not a mistake. The designs are almost perfectly placed together, making even more odd. Whoever was in charge of these did not do a good job, but I thank for this. Without this "mistake" these would never have been able to exist.

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20 Jun 2018

The Kennedy Penny

Coins | Big Nub Numismatics

After the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, the numismatic world lit up. A great president must be remembered on some kind of coin, like the Lincoln cent. That's exactly what they proposed, a cent coin with Kennedy on the obverse, and a tree design adapted from a 1915 commemorative quarter for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Production was underway, galvanic were made, and models were prepared, until an interesting article from Coinworld showed up from Q.David Bowers. He found that, although the most circulated denomination, the penny could not buy anything itself except a Disney peep-show, a stamp, and a gumball. He though that people wouldn't appreciate that coin as much for Kennedy as it should, so instead they made the altered design on the largest circulating denomination, the half-dollar. I personally like the design for the reverse of the kenned-penny better than the half-dollar, but it still show the likeness of one of our most beloved presidents.

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