The Coin Blog
Numismatic news, opinions, and ideas.

Posted on Wednesday April 19, 2017

On 3/13/17 I announced that I was going to be spending a bulk of my time working on a numismatic book. Since then a couple of interesting things have happened. I've had conversations with two coin dealers interested in purchasing ad space on the site. One of those dealers is a friend who took a not-so-friendly tone when I asked a question about moving their ad below the other dealer's. I didn't do it, I simply asked if they would be okay with it. My friend had dibs on the spot in question, but I had to test the waters out of respect for the 2nd advertiser. I informed the 2nd advertiser of this and they were fine with it. After all, dibs is dibs. However, they wanted the chance to "buy up" to a higher ad placement later. That means a fight in the future.

Money can bring out the worst in people.

So, in true Talleyrand fashion, I am, "Setting the house ablaze in order to save it from the plague."

I'm done with thecoinblog. It's not worth the hassle. Hobbies should be fun and this one is beginning to suck.

I'll convert the Facebook page and Twitter account to align with the book. It will be called, "Not Your Granddad's Coin Book." (Yeah, the book is still happening! I forgot to mention that above.)

If I am struck with a particularly good idea for an article, I will submit it to another site to publish, most likely Coin Update. If I have an article that no one wants to publish (for instance, about dealers who scam people or anything remotely negative about TPGs - sue-happy bastards that they are) I will distribute it through the e-mail list. domain expires on 5/1/17.

Chief Engravers of the U.S. Mint
Posted on Sunday April 09, 2017

This was originally a page I set up on the site. Thought I would share as a post, too.

The Chief Engraver is the person who is in charge of coin design and engraving of dies at all four United States Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point. The position was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of Treasury that produces circulating coinage for the United States. As of 2015, the position is vacant.
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Are Third Party Graders something to fear?
Posted on Wednesday March 22, 2017

Did you know that coin professionals are afraid of Third Party Graders? Strange, right?

I came to this realization while in the process of outlining the coin book I am writing. I wanted to include a bit about the theory that TPGs exercise some degree of control over coin values through their certified dealers. I asked nine coin pros (I think they all sell coins to some degree, but all make money from numismatics) for their input on the TPG controlling the coin market theory. What better way to arrive at my own conclusion than by consulting those whose opinions I trust? Of the nine people asked, one was willing to talk about it.Read more »

Posted on Monday March 13, 2017

Steve Carell on leaving The Office "This is going to hurt like a m*ther f*cker."
I've been in a numismatic funk lately. You may have noticed the blog posts aren't coming quite so frequent as they used to, and when they do, they are lackluster (pun intended). I have considered trying to sell to someone, most likely a coin store that wanted to get some original content on their site. I've also considered simply walking away and leaving the site to dwindle and die. It is difficult and draining to constantly create new articles all on your own. (Special thanks to past contributors: Tim Stroud, Daniel Malone, and Chris Ireland.) I'm just one man with a wife, kid, mortgage, bills, and a demanding full time job. I'm tired guys. I'm just tired.Read more »

Posted on Thursday March 02, 2017

See the title of this post? Sounds strange coming from me, doesn't it? I'm the guy incessantly talking about how to blend numismatics, the internet, and technology. So, what gives with writing a post called "Unplug"?

At the end of the day, coin collecting is a tactile hobby. The greatest joy doesn't come from looking at hi-res images online, it comes from feeling the weight of a coin against the pads of your fingers. Picking up a coin and watching the light dance on its surface as you rotate it is the numismatic equivalent of fireworks. Examining a coin in detail, learning its history, reading the lore behind it, and coming to understand the coin in a way not many others have; well, that's romance.Read more »

The hobby needs more writers
Posted on Saturday February 25, 2017

I will keep this short.

Do any of you want to write about coins, collecting, or anything related thereto? If so, do you? If yes, awesome! Please share because I'm always eager to read new ideas. If not, why not?

The reason I'm asking is because it occurred to me that posting some pages of writing tips and tricks might benefit collectors who also want to write and write well. Or, at least, write as well as me. Whatever that's worth!

If there is a reasonable amount of interest I'm happy to do it. If there is a lot of interest, I'm also happy to speak with some of my writer friends from my past life (as a fiction writer) to see if they want to contribute advice.

Please let me know. You can comment below, get at me on Facebook or Twitter, or email me with the form to the right.

A different kind of coin club
Posted on Tuesday February 21, 2017

I recently blogged about ways to promote collecting. One of the ideas was to start a coin club that had no membership fees and a flat power structure (no hierarchy). Since then I have heard how I was wrong. I've heard how fees and the typical structure are essential to a coin club's existence; they are inseparable. While I appreciate those who try to correct my misguided ways (and thank you for reading), I'm not going to roll over and call it a bad idea without exploring the how it might work.
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Sorted the wheats
Posted on Sunday February 19, 2017

Top row from left to right are teens, twenties and thirties. P,D,& S mints of all decades. There were 1909 and 1909 VDB, they are with the teens.

Bottom row from left to right are steels, forties, fifties, and AU/BU. There were a good amount of BU steel. Most of the copper BU are from the fifties.
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Real world numismatic promotion ideas
Posted on Wednesday February 15, 2017

There is a lot of talk floating around about how to get people my age (34) and younger interested in numismatics. When I say "talk" what I mean is questions. There are not a lot of ideas being offered up to answer those questions. It's like everyone sees the problem but no one wants to, or is capable of, thinking beyond the boundaries of how things were done in the 1980's. It's maddening! But, I refuse to believe we are a hobby completely populated by shruggers. In the interest of doing my part, here are some ideas to promote numismatics in the real world (not online).
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Wheat pennies have arrived!
Posted on Tuesday February 14, 2017

I will keep this short because I don't want to get in trouble with the boss (my wife) for blogging on Valentines Day.

The wheat pennies I mentioned last week arrived today!!!

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Odds and Ends 2/9/17
Posted on Thursday February 09, 2017

No big topic this week, just a handful of smaller ones.

ANA Intervention Letter

Welp, the ANA saw it. A few days after it was posted I received an e-mail from Kim Kiick, Executive Director of the ANA, expressing interest in discussing some of my observations and ideas. There has been a little back and forth. It has only been a week, so we'll see where it goes. They seem particularly interested in offering up free information.Read more »

An Intervention Letter to the ANA
Posted on Sunday January 29, 2017

Dear ANA,

I meant that, what I just wrote above, calling you dear. You are dear to a great many collectors, myself included. For 125 years you have been the go to resource for numismatic information and education, not that I need to tell you. Lately though, there is a lot of talk about declining membership and your relevance in general. That's why I am writing this letter; I don't want to see you disappear. You are capable of so much and it hurts me to watch you dwindling away. In the past I had turned a blind eye to your suffering and said things like, "If the ANA is determined to kill itself, that's its business." No longer. You need an intervention.
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Odds & Ends 1/28/17
Posted on Saturday January 28, 2017

I've picked up on, or been outright told, about a few tidbits of numismatic goings on and wanted to share.

On the surface they list coin shows and auctions, as well as house extensive dealer and coin club directories. This alone makes them extremely useful, but the fun doesn't stop there. If you have a coin club, the folks at CoinZip will help you set up a website completely free of charge. They even get you set up on social media if you need help (the social media help applies to dealers, too).

Sound good? It is. But we're not done yet. CoinZip also boasts an online auction platform.

N.C.N.A. Annual Coin Show and Auction

I'm not in North Carolina and my guess is you aren't either (I know I will be wrong in some instances, so just go with it for now). For the first time, the North Carolina Numismatic Association will be hosting an online coin auction in conjunction with their annual coin show. Here is a clip from the information I received:

Each consigned item will be photographed, described in detail, and displayed on and

Interested bidders can register and place bids in advance of the coin show dates. During the N.C.N.A. Annual Coin Show & Convention, all consigned items will be displayed for viewing at my CoinZip show table. Computers will also be available for customers to bid during the first two days of the coin show. At the close of coin show on September 9, 2017, the online auction ends and high bidders are notified by e-mail. Winning bidders have the option of attending the final day of the show, September 10, 2017, to pay and pick up their merchandise, or send payment with added shipping costs to cover their mailing expense.

Lookzee App

This is more of an update than new information. The app is still in beta testing for iOS (Apple mobile devices). The website is live, though not super functional yet. They're getting a foothold on social media. You can Like/Follow them on:


How Many Coin Collectors Are There?
Posted on Thursday January 26, 2017

In a recent post on Coin Update, the editor asked a question: How does someone count the number of coin collectors who do not belong to the ANA? Those of us who do our buying largely online, or from the bank, and never bothered to join a group where we would be part of a head count. (See the full article here. Editor's note is at the bottom of the article.)

A few ideas come to mind...Read more »

The Truth About Raw Coin Values. Period.
Posted on Tuesday January 24, 2017

by Daniel Malone

Regardless what source you use for your coin value information, you might be making a huge mistake. Most collectors don’t read the fine print and don’t realize that no matter if it’s the Red Book, Coin World, Numismadia, PCGS Prices, NGC Prices, Grey Sheet, or any other website price guide or publication; all of them are values for certified and graded coins.

You read that correctly; no price guide is based on raw coin values and there are no exceptions. Don’t believe me? Just pick your favorite price guide and look for the fine print and you will find the disclaimer.

How do you find out what your raw coins are really worth? Well, there are three methods. You can visit ebay, search for the coin you want to research, then scroll down on the left side and click the “SOLD” listings. It is here where you will begin your journey on finding the value of your raw coin, but wait, it’s still not that easy.

Read more »
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