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Steve D'Ippolito

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Everything posted by Steve D'Ippolito

  1. TWO dollars? Wow. That's a new one for me. I've had plenty of clerks figuring they were dollars. Perhaps you're in an area where Sacajaweas and Presidential dollars circulate at least a little bit? (Apparently cities in the East that have more mass transit use those coins somewhat with their rail systems.)
  2. That is surprising...I wasn't aware that the mint was making any other than for mint or proof sets any more. Clearly, they made enough to ship 'em to Ecuador. Edit: Apparently in recent years you could also direct order small numbers of them, but you'd pay nearly double.
  3. I hit three coin shows a year, the two ANA ones, and the Colorado Springs Coin Show. Maybe I'll do the Denver Coin expo too. I've noticed an interesting pattern...unless it's a truly spectacular piece (which goes into "Platinum Night" where they sell absolutely no platinum), Heritage can actually be relatively cheap, because most of their customer base for that sort of thing is dealers, and they want it at wholesale. At least that's my theory; I've done OK at their auctions. (Note to heirs: Do NOT consign my stuff to Heritage....you won't even get wholesale for a lot of it.)
  4. I suspect that it's 10kt or so plating. Once upon a time, I got a piece of gold bling from my employer when I hit 25 years. I figured it was 10kt gold plated, snorted derisively (if you're going to put a microscopically thin layer of gold costing all of a dime or two on a piece of pot metal, at least make it more than 50 percent pure!), and it really didn't look all that golden. Then I finally realized it was solid 10kt gold (plenty heavy). But the gold looked awfully...tan at that level of (im)purity. I'd actually would rather have gotten a smaller item with a higher percentage of gold in it, so it would at least look like it was gold!
  5. Oh, I guess I was a bit ambiguous...I'm thinking the pin bar might be solid brass. After all, they could hang anything from it, a bronze medal, silver or... On the other hand, they could have made it match whatever hung off of it, silver, bronze or gold. The first option would be something someone might do for efficiency/economy's sake. You'd certainly know. The medal itself--I agree it would make no sense to brass plate silver. That was my first thought, but as I was writing I thought better of it and tried to efface that from my post (I guess unsuccessfully). I have three medals, gilt silver...and the gold has developed bright red and purple splotches. Rather alarming! It turns out the gold plating is very thin (thin enough that when someone did an X-ray fluorescence, it could "see" the silver under the gold), and the silver is toning under the gold. Based on that experience, I'm thinking something similar could have happened to the back of the medal, some of the gold plating rubbing away (someone proudly wore it a lot), and the silver tarnishing through the now-thin layer. Was there any indication of the purity of the gold plate?
  6. It'd be nice if they didn't have to get into politics just to ensure that old traditions like these got to continue.
  7. If it is gold over silver, I wonder why it has blackened areas. The pin bar (if that's what it's called), I would guess is actually brass. The back of the medal itself, I am guessing, has had some of the plating rub off and the black there is silver tarnish. (I learned recently silver will tarnish even through a very thin layer of gold; thicker plating will block it.) Brass or gold, it's a beautiful design and no doubt someone wore it proudly!
  8. I did, but it was directly off a dealer's site (one I have trust in), which to me is a bit different from buying off ebay from "who knows who?" It was effectively no different from mail order from someone's price list would have been fifty years ago.
  9. I showed a friend of mine the 1909 cent and he launched off on a tirade about how he never finds stuff like that. The very next day he found a very, very worn 1924 dime on the sidewalk. I tell people this now at club meetings and tell them if the want to rant and rave at me about how they never find cool stuff, I am here to serve.
  10. Yeah, I had that ("medal turn") in the post originally but must have edited it out before I hit post (it was originally twice as long and quite repetitively...repetitive). Good catch!
  11. Spotted another one. As I mentioned before I became aware of three "new" types I was missing at Summer Seminar, and one of them I filled at the ANA show. I filled another one on Monday.
  12. I see that St. George's helmet is unusually well defined too. Looks like, for whatever reason, the coin is fully struck at the top. Perhaps the planchet was slightly thicker there. (For any non-Russian-specialist who might be reading this and thinking I got something wrong, Russia used (and still uses, as far as I know), "coin" turn where the top of the coin on one side is opposite the top of the coin on the other side (and you flip a coin over left-to-right), unlike the case with US coinage, where the top of the reverse is opposite the bottom of the obverse (and you flip a coin over top to bottom). So the helmet and crown are indeed directly opposite each other.
  13. For a long time I simply accumulated the state quarters. I had some vague notion of keeping a roll of the the best ones from each mint & for each state. I finally just gave up trying to keep up with it, dumped the whole mess into an ammo can, and went to the bank, which has a machine in the lobby that issues a receipt you can go deposit in your account. It was $1000.75. Nice, when one is unemployed (as I was at the time).
  14. I do remember those medals--I was a tourist once at the UN. Odd to have one turn up in such a place, eh? Cool find! 81 and newer? That's an unusual distribution. Generally you can tell when someone stopped putting coins in a jar, because there's nothing newer. Nothing older? That would mean someone was systematically filtering out coins older than a certain date--easily done if someone's not putting wheaties in that jar, or something like that, but 1981 is an odd cutoff for that (and besides, it's more likely they'd be saving the wheaties and spending the rest). Now if it was 81 and older it would make sense, someone saved coppers and spent zinkys (and decided to forgo 1982 because they couldn't tell the difference and would rather let a copper go than have a zinky be in their stash).
  15. Of course, I say this... but just paid well over Redbook in a hard fought auction earlier this week. I finally got the piece on Friday morning and...yes, it does deserve that premium I mentioned. I'll likely post a photo later, in a different thread (I take photos after dark to avoid ambient light pollution).
  16. Some of the price guides (like the new CPG tabloid and the listings in the back of The Numismatist) give retail prices which are top dollar. It's not unusual to beat those prices. True of the Red Book, too. Apparently the big auctions at the ANA can be happy hunting grounds for such deals. I've often stepped into the room, waited for my lot to come up, then only have to up the book bid once to get the coin, and the book bids are extremely low (like, 2800 on a coin CPG says is worth 5650). Of course, you have to add 20 percent to the bids for their commissions. It's harder to find something appreciably below the gray sheet numbers. Of course if there's something special about the coin over and above its slab grade (e.g., a CAC sticker or lots of eye appeal), expect to pay a premium. Regardless, congrats on your purchase!!
  17. Here are some pics of the you-don't-believe-it.
  18. Another year, another ANA World's Fair of Money, another fall spent eating ramen and/or macaroni and cheese because I spent "too much" at the show.... And my task became harder because I took the type collecting class at Summer Seminar, and discovered there were three types I ought to have included all along, and one of the coins I did have (that I was already suspicious of) should be replaced. On the plus side, one of the ones I thought I urgently needed to replace, isn't so urgent any more. A net three steps backwards, just like that, and now I am missing 15 coins instead of 12. The mildly annoying part is, it went from being a 100 coin set--nice and tidy, satisfactory to my mild OCD--to being 103 coins in the finished set. I had a possible line on a no drapery half dollar--the toughest thing I still need for my 1800-1964 non-gold type set. But it turned out that consignor didn't consign one, so I was free to go to Plan B. Start with an 1864 "No L" cent. This is one of the three types I realized I needed to include. After all, if VDB on a 1909 Cent makes a difference (and I regard it as significant both in 1909 and in 1918), the L should, too. Fortunately, the No L 1864 cent is cheaper than the one with the L: There are something like ten non-urgent upgrades. I count them as "filled" but if I see a better strike, I jump on it. Well, here's one: Now we move on to the Big Deals. I hit a couple of the auctions. Don't ask me why there were no less than NINE 1836 Reeded Edge Halves in the Heritage auction, but I went for the (nominally) third best one, because I can't afford this in Unc, and the AU55 showed less detail than the AU53. I had to run down the hall from the Goodfellows meeting to bid on this. I got it for a LOT less than retail. Not so ironically, the AU55 I passed up went for a bit less than this one. I went back to the Goodfellows meeting. The auctioneer complained that I came in, sat down, and bid on one coin and left; I told him I'd be back. I did return a few minutes later and scooped up this: There was one in MS64 as well but I actually liked it less...the obverse toning was ugly blotchy. (The reverse, however, was simply incredible.) This time the market disagreed with my judgment, and the 64 went for a LOT more money. Finally...the coin I realized needed to be replaced back at Coin Camp...is now replaced. At a much higher grade, and this one doesn't have that "I'm probably artificially retoned" look to it. Sorry about the beat up slab: And now for a delicious macaroni and cheese dinner, as I now have 11 coins missing....
  19. I know this is way late... but if it's not in a catalog, the most likely explanation is it's fake. The portrait is atrociously executed and the lettering doesn't look right either, at first glance. If I really wanted to nail that down, I'd go look at photographs in Brekke of contemporaneous coins, but the style strikes me as WAY off.
  20. It is a damned good photo! For some reason, most people go to great lengths to avoid those black proof fields, but I like the effect. I was able to get them once or twice without any sort of axial lighting at all; just by angling the light properly.
  21. I just this last summer took the photography class at the ANA Summer Seminar (a/k/a "Coin Camp") and it was quite helpful. I was probably getting decent shots on half of my coins beforehand; now I can get something out of many more of them. It's certainly tricky photographing coins. Most "normal" photography rules don't apply.
  22. WOULD you believe...about four months ago...a 1909 cent? (No VDB, no S, but still....!) 😮 I told people at one of the local clubs that the small earthquake at about 20 minutes of 8 the prior Thursday was caused by my jaw hitting the floor.
  23. I was trying to put it the way the Manx were thinking of it. But yes. The further you go back, the more you realize that no matter who you are or where you are, SOMEONE back there seized the real estate that eventually you ended up owning, from someone else. (With very, very few exceptions--I don't believe even the North American "First Nations" are necessarily simon pure here; they had 15,000 years to war on each other before Europeans arrived.) You may have bought it from someone who bought it from someone who bought it from someone, etc.... but go back far enough, the land was forcibly taken from someone else by conquest.
  24. I used to tell people (who weren't collectors!) not to buy coins for me for presents. Invariably they'd pull some overpriced piece of trash out of the Sunday supplements; not only is it more than likely junk (on their budget), they paid way too much for it. I'd be cringing inside as I put a piece of junk aside knowing they'd wasted a bunch of money on it. I have sometimes made a gift of a coin that would have some particular significance to the recipient even though they aren't collectors... e.g., a coin from the German city where they were born. That sort of thing. (But at least I didn't egregiously overpay for it.) If I were close enough to a coin collector that we were into exchanging gifts, and we knew each other's tastes, it'd be a different story.
  25. And just to complicate things more: You know how the Irish will complain about the "bloody Brits" from time to time (meaning the UK)? Someone told me once that the Manx will actually complain in the same way but use the word "English." They think of themselves as the real Britons, the Celts who lived there originally. The English are those doggone johnny-come-lately (4-500s AD) German invaders. Can't really say they don't have a point.
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