Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by jlueke

  1. Hmm, Art in Ocala, I bet I still have your address That's two references on the Numismatist so I will make a more detailed post soon. I just want to move the web page. Hopefully, I can get into the next set of volumes at some point in the future. Demand isn't strong enough to really focus on the project but I too love reading some of those stories. Thanks for the feedback
  2. Thank You. I am in the eastern Twin Cities metro. Based on your sig graphic you must be as well. Are you an US collector?
  3. Like many collectors I began with pulling coins out of circulation. When I was 11 a friend found a Mercury dime in change and showed it to me. The odd coin did not create an immediate reaction but the seed was planted. The following year at my grandfathers farm he gave me some Morgan dollars. I would keep a few but sell a bunch of them to the sun of my German oma's friends. The stage was set for what would become a lifelong habit. In my teens I didn't have a lot of money but I acquired coins here and there. A few acquisitions stand out even after two decades have intervened. One time I had my mom take me to a coin shop in Kingston, N.Y. It was the typical little shop with the typical coins. I had been reading Coins magazine and was convinced of the value of early 1960's proof sets. I came away with a 1961 set, for just under $10. Reading magazines also exposed me to advertisements and I responded to a few. Littleton began sending me coins on approval. I kept some, a few dollars stuffed into an envelope along with the coins I did not wish to keep. The only one I can remember now was an 1804 Austrian 6 Kreuzer. It was big, and nice, and old! The cost was quite affordable as well. The dark side of the coin market would strike me as well. An order for a XF Buffalo nickel resulted in a coin that was VF at best. A VF cost $20, XF $40. I still kept the coin being young and never too confrontational but I still hold a grudge against that merchant to this day. Eventually I found a coin shop and started hanging out there almost every day. I was exposed to half dimes, bust coins, even a few foreign pieces. One day a man dropped off a big set of old silver thalers. A few showed up in Krause as unique and none of them tested as having any silver in them. I took the to a local show for the dealer to see if someone wanted the batch. When the prospective purchaser asked me about the origin I told the truth and an apporpriate offer was made for a batch of counterfeits. I don't know if I did what I was expected to do, but so it went. My early twenties were chaotic and coinless. The unresolved issues of childhood expressed themselves, sometime quite unpleasantly, in adulthood. It took me to about age 24 to settle back into life. A career and spending money would follow two years later and my interest in coins would quickly follow. Almost as soon as I started buying coins, I started selling them as well. Modern bullion pieces in slabs bought in larger lots yielded small profits. I took a liking to bust halves and had some success finding AU coins undergraded as XF. However for every undergraded coins there were at least ten that had problems. Scratches, cleanings, or just overgraded coins. This became too much work. I collected bust halves for a while, thought about type coins, and then eventually moved on to Civil War Tokens. I love maps, newspaper articles, and photographs from the Midwest in the 1850’s and 1860’s. Civil War tokens fit right into this era. The tokens are less known, less written about than the main US coin series. This has appeal to me since it generates the idea that there are still things to discover. Bust halves are great in that every coin is just a little bit different. But, Overton, Breen and the rest have pretty much exhausted all there is to say about these beautiful coins. But even the tokens had been studied, perhaps there was something more exotic? Eventually I landed in Sasanian coins. The Sasanian dynasty were the last non-Islamic rulers of Persia or Iran. The history of the Arab conquest is another area that fascinates me. The Sasanians had almost completely destroyed the Byzantines (Easter Romans) only to be in turn nearly annihilated by Heraclius. I wrote about this recently in the celator http://www.celator.com. The Arabs under Mohammed rose right as the conflict between the two empires culminated. But even then, the Arab tribesmen lacked siege engines or the knowledge to use them. The stories of how cities like Alexandria came under Arab dominion are wonderful reading. Sasanian coins are less studied than most and thus offer more of the discovery of numismatics than any US coin. Now I have a stereo microscope, specific gravity testing equipment, and a small library on metrology. I’ve discovered some fakes that have slipped past prominent dealers. I have detailed measurements on almost 1000 Sasanian coins. I was even shanghaied to be the next president of the Twin Cities Ancient Coin Club, one of the most active in the country. And yet, still I struggle with what to collect. Am I a collector or am I something else? I do love coins, I love the knowledge they are tied to. If I had my druthers I would study, measure, and write about coins and history for a living. Now I am building up my websites, http://www.coinvalues.us and an ancient version soon to follow. I’ve combined by day job of database administrator and my hobby to create standardized databases of coin prices. I started with US because the programs and processes are easier but I hope to do as many coin types as I can. But what should I collect? One thing that appeals to me is combining geneology and coins. One coin per ancestor, with an understanding that some speculation is necessary as I go back to ancient times. Another idea is the coin per century set. That’s a nice one and one that can be upgraded or expanded. The problem is that such a set is not tied to anything, it has no internal cohesion. I think what I need is the framework of a story, a story that can then accentuate with coins. Maybe I just need to tell one story at a time.
  4. I have two of three (Breen and Taxay) and they are indeed excellent. The Taxay I also see occasionally used so it's areal bargain. Breen I think spent $90 on via abebook.com or bookfinder.com.
  5. This age of electronic media will likely change a lot of things over time. I really think that it can help authors by giving them more direct access, but the established sources of media and their vast marketing machines won't go away either. The legal situation will always lag behind the technology, and the technology is not yet quite sufficient for the needs of author and consumer. I like the temporary decryption idea, but how would you prevent someone from copying the temporarily decrypted data into a permanent location? It is all just 1's and 0's in the end. Most people who pay for something won't turn around and then give it away although they certainly could. The lawsuits are perhaps a deterrent but only in countries that would enforce them. Perhaps we are heading back to the days of Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn where the money had to be made up front and then the distributos quickly copied anything that was available.
  6. Oh, no! Sell your coins and buy books! You know, I mostly have. I've turned over the coins in my collection numerous times. The books on the other hand, I've pretty much kept. I've never had an urge to sell books, but I've sold a lot of coins. I bet that says something
  7. The last book I bought was the Syllogue Nummorum Sasanidarum Volume 3. Two of the 6 are now out meaning I have to spend at least another $600 to get the set. Maybe I should sell my library and buy coins
  8. One of the many good things about collecting coins is that you can pretty much meet all the experts, top dealers, and know-it-alls at the major shows. Not like politics where you spend $2000 and get an oyster. Here you can spend $2000, meet the person, and take home some sweet, sweet coins.
  9. Since the only US article I've evr written was about Standing Liberty Coins I'll go wth that. I'd take Bust Halves if you had him, it is my PC wallpaper
  10. Yes buy, buy! I actually have to reintegrate into my new web layouts as I get done. Generally speaking it would be great to have certain coin references as ebooks just because of the searchability. I contacted one author of a now out of print work but he really didn't see the need for an e-book. The conversions can be quite tricky plus copyright extend out for so long. There's articles I'd like to convert on metrology but a few were written in 1964 meaning the authors current heirs have the rights. Finding some of those people can be impossible. It would be nice to at leats have the holders reaffirm their rights and update their contact information every so often. Anyway, ebooks will become more prevalent. I'm sure our kids will be reading them on their phones soon enough.
  11. jlueke

    A Coin Room?

    I wish, I have a room but it's filled with magazines and auction catalogs in addition to my microscope and specific gravity testing equipment and the basic photo set-up. A classic study is a dream, but like you the kids will have to be gone.
  12. Well there is the focus aspect of collecting. Keeping things organized, allocating time and money etc. I know I still have way to much coin stuff that i can't really enjoy. So adding modern things would just make a bigger mess
  13. I think there is a definite issue of temperament and then there is the time/money/skill side. On the first point I am more like a dealer. I tend to get bored with any given coin or set of coins over time. Selling and then buying new ones is much more fun. I also like to do research to pique my interest. By now I've sold coins part time and online (mainly ancient Sasanian) for many years. I've gotten to the point where I can make some small profit but never enough to live by. There's a lot to learn in dealing and it's a lot of time and effort. The competition is pretty stiff as well. So now I'm working on my coin value web sites plus I will add some of my other content as well.
  14. I think you could deal in one area (say US coins) and collect somehting very different (Hunnic imitations of Sasanian coinage) and be O.K. You just can't collect things your customers like because you will sell those pieces.
  15. As the emporer says verdigris ( I am assuming you mean the green crusty rust like stuff) is a chemical reaction with the metal itself. Unfortunately copper alloys are quite suceptible and much touger to clean. If it's on an ancient coin you'd probably try to get the sport off via a solven + pick (tooth or brass). YOu'd still leave behind a shiny spot where the metal hadn't reacted.
  • Create New...