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Everything posted by mmarotta

  1. Been noted... He earned his doctorate at MIT in 1957 after completing a bachelor's in chemical engineering in 1953. Though he did work as an industrial chemist specializing first in fermentation and then in radiation chemistry, he and his wife sold coins and stamps from about 1960 forward. His books on Civil War Tokens were co-authored with his father, Melvin, whom he corralled into numismatics. In the current 3rd Edition of Civil War Tokens by Q. David Bowers is a nice story about how QDB met Fuld when the latter was a student at MIT.
  2. Whitman just released the 3rd Edition of A Guide Book of Civil War Tokens by Q. David Bowers. This has an essay, "Reminiscence" by Dr. George Fuld who just passed away last week.
  3. Cute! It is obviously a novelty piece. "365 Happy Days." What could be better? (I think that the printer's name is at the bottom center. Can you read it?)
  4. Interesting. Thanks once more for the summary. Perhaps the root of the problem is the confusion between hobby and investment. If you like something and want to own it, then you do. When it comes time to sell, we all like to show a profit, but the fact is that not everyone else shares your values. For investment in collectibles - as it is to equities or land or whatever else - the way to get ahead is (1) turn it over; (2) turn it over often; and to do that you must (Zero) buy what many other people want. "Buy and hold" is Warren Buffett's famous strategy, but, really, you are hoping for the rising tide that lifts all boats. If you make 1% per day for 300 days, you increase by almost 20 times or 2000% for the year. The alternative is to find one thing that will appreciate 2000% in one year. Change the parameters as you wish: buy a Van Gogh and hold it for 50 years, and you may fall far behind the repeated daily working lifetime purchase and sale of petrol if you owned your own service station. It is an axiom of the Austrian school of economics that no replicable formula for success exists. We know the failure modes, especially in retrospect. How do you succeed in business? Know accounting? Yes. Know sales? Yes. Know the material? Yes. Work hard? Certainly! But many people do all those things and still fail and others lack some element and still succeed. (Did Bill Gates ever learn bookkeeping?) So, too, with rare coins. Every dealer has too many coins they cannot sell. They stay in business (and keep body and soul together) only because of the coins that other people do want. If anyone knew exactly how to bring those into alignment, everyone would be rich. The one thing that does seem to make a difference and is also impossible to bottle and resell is true passion. I write. I meet many people who say they want to do it. I tell them to do it. I do not know what else to say. Either the flame burns, or it does not. So, too, with numismatics as a market. If you love the buy and sell, you will prosper far better than someone who just "wants to" but has no passion for it.
  5. Thanks, SouthCape! Nice summary. Allow me a quibble. I take your meaning and I agree with the plain text. However, a coin (or anything) with an old pedigree and a hiatus or lacuna where it has been a long time in one collection will fetch whatever price the market will bring. A dealer's evaluation may or may not predict the actual market. Look at any significant sale and you will see some items selling for far more than the estimate. For me, perhaps the most famous tale of woe was the literature sale of Aaron Feldman. Feldman was an American dealer who is credited with the line, "Buy the book before you buy the coin." The sale was a disaster. Literature is a tough sell. Just to say, again, I take your point: previous records point to present prices (usually).
  6. ... well, yes, just like the original fakes of Montroville Dickeson for the 1876 Centennial, or for that matter, the 1913 Liberty Nickels and the 1804 Dollars. In the "Popeye" movie with Robin Williams, Shelley Duvalle, and Ray Walston, Popeye's only picture of his father is a piece of cardboard with the words "Me Pappa" written on it. Get a piece of paper; write "Higley Copper" on it. Something is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it. So, yes, lots of things are pricey and collectible. And yet we condemn the "Buy It Now and Spend More" Cable TV Shows. That seems like a contradiction to me. I mean, if the Centennial of 1876 is your thing, with posters, buttons, mirrors, tickets to events, old newspapers and magazines, and all that, then, OK, get a DIckeson copy or get one of each. But, really, fakes are fakes, no matter how old they are. And, yes, I accept circulating counterfeits as real money.
  7. Agreed. Perhaps useful as play money for kids interested in history. Like a replica of the Declaration, the kind of thing for an elementary school show-and-tell. Tons of these and others similar were made 1974-1976 for the Bicentennial.
  8. Thanks, QX! Yes, I accidentally double-posted. When I deleted the duplicate, the pictures went away in both, and now when I try to edit, I get a system error. It happens. Constantius - yes, this discussion goes on and on... In addition to a few Republican pieces, the only Roman Imperials I own include on of Marcus Aurelius, the Philosopher-Emperor, played by Alec Guinness before he became Obi Wan Kenobi, One of my Christian friends pointed out that Marcus Aurelius was not so high-minded: he allowed the persecutions to continue. The citation to a "Thundering Legion" of Christians in his army is likewise disputed. Even though, I have a Seated Half Dollar from 1857, I do not condone slavery. My Mercury dimes all have a fasces on the reverse. What does that say about Woodrow Wilson ... or me? But we all draw the line somewhere. I was just going through my tokens and came upon several from 19th century British co-operatives. We ourselves have been members of food co-ops in every city we lived in and we served on a board. I worked with the Bay Bucks Community Currency project when we lived in Traverse City. My libertarian friends just do not understand...
  9. Do you feel that eBay has really cleaned up its act over the past two years? So, is this coin genuine? ttp://www.ebay.com/itm/1798-Large-Eagle-Draped-Bust-Silver-Dollar-PCGS-VF-35/360766764261?hash=item53ff5ff4e5 I have to ask and I have to apologize for having to ask. I actually hold several ANA certifications and I have written for the ANA, Coin World, and several others. But US is not my interest area, and I never, ever shop on eBay, so I have no experience judging the content. This coin just looks fake and therefore I suspect that the PCGS holder is a fake as well. But I could be wrong (easily), so I am asking. The reason why I even am looking is that although I am a committed libertarian, I am writing an article about the risks of a laissez faire open market with caveat emptor as its only control. In other words, I think that despite recent improvements in eBay, I can find tons of fakes on eBay, but on Wall Street such scandals are infrequent but large - Enron, Worldcom, Madoff. And, finally, I have to apologize for starting yet another "fake on eBay" thread. But the question remains: Is eBay truly safer than it was two years ago?
  10. As an Objectivist, I have my standards. This is my one communist coin. It always reminds me of the scene in Animal Farm where the farm cats are trying to talk the wild birds into being comrades. I was in Europe in early 2000 and drinking with some Russians. I knew that times were tough for them, I asked some direct questions about the old days versus the new. "How do you know so much?" they asked (as Americans are universally regarded as ignorant). I replied, "In college, I was a communist." They broke out laughing. "Yeah, so were we!" That being as it may, I just want to note that I have no Nazi coins. When I started in numismatics and bought bulk lots, if I came upon a Nazi coin, I threw it in the wastebasket. I still would. A Leipzig Goethe or Trade Fair commemorative, or Sandor Ko"ro"si Csoma from Hungary 1984, well... I'd have to consider the upside of the philosophical problems.
  11. Nice coin. Toning always worries me, but, then there is an old joke about the collector who did not like that toned coin and wanted one blast white instead... so the dealer goes in back and comes out with one brilliant and shiny.... "No, I guess I liked the other one better." The excellent photograph presents a Mint State coin. Very pretty.
  12. Wow... you made the album... I am impressed! You said that you are an engineer, but clearly, you have the The Knack.
  13. I am curious about the folders. Who made them? Were they a product of the USSR? I ask because of some of the terminology. It is a niggling little point, perhaps, but we in the West call the bad guys "Nazi Germany" not "Fascist Germany." The distinction is important. I can understand the USSR wanting to distance itself from National Socialism ... lest there be any misunderstandings... Also, Lenin wrote a minor essay called "Social Fascism" in which he denounced right revisionism as "socialism in name, Fascism in reality." That dialectic echoed the old radical imagery of the radish: Red on the outside but White on the inside. Normally, things like scepters and eagles and orbs carry only so much meaning, but with Marxism-Leninism, everything is meaning. So, I was wondering where the folders were made.
  14. I am impressed with the videography and the overall aesthetic presentation. The motion will provide a vehicle for the narrative. The imaging is crisp, also, and that is important because it delivers to the subconscious of the viewer that the information presented is factual. The overall whiteness substantiates the silver of the coin. All in all it is evident that a lot of talent and experience went into this work. Thank you. I look forward to the final edit. Misha
  15. I just found it ironic, is all. I know that CoinPeople earns revenue from advertising and that you have no control over the content. For several days, I have been pursued by a church here in my area. So, I understand. I just found it ironic. I captured the screen and I am going to use it in an essay for my libertarian friends who assure us all that an unregulated market is always good for everyone. (I mean I accept that as a generalization... but only as a generalization...)
  16. The coin probably saw the Battle of Lepanto. If it was not there at the moment, whoever held it cared about the outcome and rejoiced in the victory. The issue of bronze is interesting: in this case, as it indicates a general prosperity in Venice. Bronze can be a hard-times currency, but I believe that Venice was clearly doing well.
  17. I just brought home from the library Zecca: the Mint of Venice in the Middle Ages by Alan Stahl.
  18. Yesterday, I was at the University of Texas library and looked through several "numismatic dictionaries" but none that met the requirements as described. QX wants to look up "brockage" and see a table with the word in several languages. Conversely, he wants to have an index of some kind where the word Matrize (f) G. takes you to some entry like 638 where "die, lower" is given in several languages. So, far, no joy... Just to say, I lost an argument with my brother over German dictionaries. He ripped the Langenscheidts apart and insisted on Barron's or Oxford (I forget which). I have an Oxford here, also, but ithe Langenscheidt's actually has the right words as "Münz-Stempel" for die, but also has die Matrize for the lower die, a more technical understanding ... which you would expect from the Germans, after all... Oxford calls it only "Techn" and gives "Prägestempel (m)". I do not know which is the more correct for numismatics, though I lean toward Langenscheidt's. When I worked on a project for Carl Zeiss here in the USA, one of my assignments was to translate user manuals. I did the one from German to English all right, but we hired a professional firm to do the English-to-Spanish. The translator and I had several discussions about technical language and he finally ignored me and did it his way and I took the blame for not managing the project well. Just to say, every technology has its vocabulary and idioms.
  19. Sorry... trying to post images. They are about the size of US Half Dollars, metal-ceramic cores with plastic over, like casino tokens. I thought I had this done twice... apparently not... It is one of the reasons that I stopped participating here: the interface does not like Safari. OK! Got it, like Chief O'Brien at the transporter! (Also, I am on my PC now with Windows, not the Mac with Safari...)
  20. They build a two-story dungeon in a convention hall. You and other adventurers take about 45 minutes to navigate the adventure. These mark your tools, weapons, armor, etc., and you find more treasure in the dungeon.
  21. Check the ANA and ANS libraries and see my reply to you on CoinTalk. These dictionaries do exist. If you want a comprehensive one to meet your own standards, you may need to create it. But, as I said, as a technical writer myself with an interest in numismatics and some facility for languages I can help, if you want to make a project out of it.
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