Well I bit the bullet and finnally bought this coin from Sphinx Numismatics.....
I had been watching it for months, many months, as he relisted it several times... each time I was hoping the price would lower, but it never did .... So after losing a low grade Macrinus tet today on ebay due to my computer's internet dying right as I was about to enter my bid 10 seconds before the auction ended (I'm almost sure I would have won it considering the ammount I was going to use as my 'Max Bid' it ended up selling for $52USD) I'm kinda glad I didn't buy it now though here is the link:
Link to Macrinus Tet that I didnt get a chance to bid on due to internet issues: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270777712834&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
I still want a Radiate bust Macrinus tet for my collection, I love the radiate used on some of his tets, it has alot more points (7 or 8 i think) than the ones used on most other emperors or...
I was talking with a guy the other day and we were making rough guesses at what the actual population of a given Morgan date and MM, (standard business strikes), would still be in existence today. Basically rough guesses at the percentages left anywhere in existence. What's left that hasn't been buried, melted or lost forever.
I remembered reading something in the Red Book about some act that made them melt down a bunch of Morgans at some point in time. So I read it and it says the Pittman Act of 1918 caused 270,232,722 Morgans to be melted down.
I added up all the mintage figures and came up with a little over 570 million total minted, up to 1904. Which is key because the 1921s wouldn't have been in existence when the melt down went into effect.
So you take into account the 270+ million melted down in 1918 and we can note that, at maximum only about 300 million pre-1921 Morgans could possibly exist today. They melted 47% of them!
BTW, if anyone's curious, that...
Within each of your respective collections, there is undoubtedly coins of great value and beauty. But, I would imagine that everyone of us also has a coin (or coins) that we have acquired over the years (or decades) that have a special story that is worth a greater value to the owner of the coin than it could ever fetch if listed for sale.
I thought it would be fun to share some of those stories...so here is one of mine.
I first began collecting coins when I was in the 6th grade or so, that would have been around 1996. Not long after I started collecting, I found this little coin shop called "Al's Stamps and Coins." It was a smaller shop owned by an older gentleman (Al) who was semi-retired and used the shop to make a little extra money and hang around with his regulars (also older semi-retired guys...and me) and tell crazy old stories. In a lot of ways, it was like a scene from Cheers...except in a coin shop rather than a pub.
Al's shop didn't have the best inventory,...
I attended our local annual coin show yesterday and today. All in all I enjoyed the show except for an unpleasant experience I had today.
I was looking for something in particular and a buddy sent me to a dealer's table. It turned out the item was not to my liking. I am always on the lookout for nice counterfeits and I asked the dealer if he had any counterfeits. He said that he had two - a counterfeit $2 1/2 gold piece (not an Indian) and a very nice altered coin. (I don't want to go into any more detail about the coins because I don't want to even hint as to who the dealer is.) So I looked at the $2 1/2 and it is OK but not great. (By that I mean it would probably fool a lot of people but it was not good enough to fool someone that knows what to look for.) I asked his price and he said, "I bought this coin as a genuine coin. Another dealer told me it was fake. I paid $250 for it and I have to get what I paid for it." Really? OK. Melt on the thing is $180 and I am willing to pay...
I have often been a strong believer that marks in that marks in the prime focal area of a coin are essentially grade limiting marks. After all, how many times have we seen a gem coin with one distraction that prevents the coin from achieving gem status. Here is a good example of what I am talking about. This 1880-S Morgan Dollar was graded MS64* by NGC because of the significant mark found on lady Liberty's cheek.
Peace Dollars are often found weakly struck. It is not uncommon to find uncirculated Peace Dollars with incomplete reverse lettering and mushiness on the obverse. The TPG's claim that strike is an important factor in determining the grade of a coin. Yet they seem to contradict themselves when grading coins from a series that were often weakly struck. Take a look at the photos below. Shown are five gem state Peace Dollars ranging from MS65-MS67 in grade. I have organized them by strike. The top coin is the most weakly struck Peace Dollar I have ever encountered. The second coin is just a little bit better struck. The third coin has an average strike and the last two are fully struck.
1924 PEACE DOLLAR IGC
Shown with expressive and diverse imagery today, coinage started from very humble beginnings. The ancient author Herodotos wrote that “the Lydians were the first people we know of to use a gold and silver coinage”. Through hoard evidence and research, numismatists have confirmed that coinage did indeed begin in Asia Minor, likely in Lydia or Ionia.
The earliest coins were made of an alloy known as “electrum”, or “elektron” to the Greeks. Electrum is naturally occurring, found in riverbeds and in nugget form, and is composed primarily of silver and gold with trace amounts of platinum, copper, and other metals. The ancient Greeks referred to electrum simply as “gold” or “white gold” as opposed to “refined gold” which came later when dedicated bi-metallic currencies of pure gold and silver were created. However, electrum worked particularly well for coinage because it was harder and more...
Henry VIII (1509-1547)
Silver Testoon – A rarity struck just before Henry 8 death, it could also have continued to be struck after Henry 8 death
1546-1547, Bristol 2 years minting under (WS MOMOGRAM of Sir William Sharington)
*HENRIC 8 D G ANGL FRA Z HIB REX Ornate style with roses and pierced quatrefoils in legends. Pellet in lower left of double rose. Bristol Local dies, mm. -/WS monogram, CIVITAS BRISTOLIE, 6.88g, (S.2368, N.1843). A rose crowned between the letters; H. R. also crowned, the legend being CIVITAS BRISTOLIE, with three triple florets before each word. M. M. WS in monogram. It was, therefore, struck at the time when William Sharington was chief officer of the mint at Bristol. Bristol shillings have were not described in any of the works on the English coinage before 1855. The coin is the fourth coinage, or...
The lowest priced coin I got at the Fredericksburg show was a wire kopeck of Peter I of Russia. Oddly, within a week before I won another on eBay (for twice the price!) which arrived while I was at the show. The two make an interesting comparison of an issue where the dies were well over twice the size of the flans.
I recently made the switch from incandescent lighting to compact fluorescent and I thought I'd share some of the immediate changes I've noticed, along with a side by side photo comparison of a few toned silver coins. All photos below were taken on a point-and-shoot camera with two lights. The incandescent lights were ordinary 60W bulbs, while the CFLs were natural daylight bulbs with a color temperature of 5500K.
The first difference I noticed was how much brighter CFLs are than regular bulbs. The 15W CFLs I bought were supposed to be equivalent to a 60W incandescent, but in practice I found them much brighter. Brighter isn't always better, as too much light can wash out the color on coins with more delicate toning. I currently have my CFLs in adjustable-neck lamps with metal shades, so I may experiment with using just the bare bulbs to see if that diffuses the light a bit more.
Another big difference I found was how much easier it is to achieve correct white balance with the...
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