Monday February 24

Andy’s Blog February 21, 2014

by CoinsofAmerica

Coin Collecting 101!

Although today’s blog does not quite encapsulate an entire college-level coin collecting class, let’s consider today’s blog to be an abridged version of my famous lecture about coin collecting.  Follow these rules leads you down the road to success.

Education and optimal viewing conditions represent the most important factors in becoming a successful coin collector.  You need knowledge about collecting, and you need to see your coins.  While this sounds simple enough, let’s examine both points in detail.

Obtain a Red Book (otherwise known as A Guide Book of United States Coins by R.S Yeoman).  This is the BIBLE for all U.S. coin collectors.  Included in the book are mintage figures for all U.S. coins, grading instructions, high quality color photos, written summaries of each design, an introduction to American numismatic history, retail prices for all coins in all grades, and comprehensive listings for all colonial and American coins from half cents to fifty dollar gold pieces.  Believe it or not, the Red Book is the #1 best-selling non-fiction book in the English language in the United States (and has been for decades).  Now that is shocking!

Your job is to page through the Red Book and drool on the pages.  Look at the pretty pictures and generate a list of coins that might be fun to collect.  Use the prices only as a rough guide.  You may pay more or less for a given coin, but remember that you always receive what you pay for.  I suggest paying a bit more for a truly beautiful, high-end coin no matter what you decide to collect.  There is no such thing as a good deal in numismatics.  If a coin appears to be a bargain, then something must be wrong with the coin.  No exceptions.

Obtain a high quality magnifying glass.  I recommend using a high quality seven or ten-power magnifying loupe.  Pay more for a truly exceptional magnifier if your budget allows since seeing the coin is, well…pretty important!  I utilize seven-power magnification for everyday viewing but switch to ten for inspecting small details and varieties.  Higher magnification than ten-power falls outside industry standards.  Don’t go there.

Lighting represents your final essential ingredient for successful collecting.  Purchase an adjustable table lamp rated to accept a one-hundred watt bulb.  Install a clear incandescent 100-watt bulb (not frosted, halogen, soft-white, or fluorescent), turn off all overhead lights, close the drapes, and look at your coins.  Now you are operating at the industry standard for optimal coin inspection.

If you purchase a Red Book, use a high-quality seven or ten power loupe, and use a one-hundred watt clear light bulb in a dark room, you are ahead of 99.99999999% of coin collectors in the United States.  The book teaches you about numismatics and gives you a game plan, while the loupe and light allow you to see your coins.  Sound too good to be true?  Give it a try.  Trust me, you will not believe your eyes when inspecting coins using proper magnification and lighting.  Your high quality coins will shine, while your “bargains” will…uh oh…you’ll see.

I pressured Coins of America into stocking loupes and Red Books, so I want every one of you to have these tools within a month.  This is not an optional assignment.  If you are looking on this web site, then you must be interested in coin collecting.  If you are interested in coin collecting, then you must own the fundamental tools.  Get your supplies by clicking here:

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Wednesday February 12

Andy’s Blog February 12, 2014

by CoinsofAmerica

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  The following represents secretly-recorded excerpts from recently leaked conversations between Andrew Kimmel and his psychiatrist, Dr. Penny Klickter.  Publication of this material is strictly forbidden, so don’t even think of telling your friends.)

AK:      Uhhh, doctor, I feel kinda funny about saying this, but I’m a coin nerd.

Dr. K:     This wasn’t easy for you to admit, was it?  However, it’s important that we confront our personal demons at some point.

AK:     Yes, DEMONS!  I’m dreaming about coins all the time.  I see them at the store, on the ground, in my piggybank.  I, I…(sobbing)

Dr K:     It’s okay. Take your time, Andy. Understanding the problem represents the first step toward peacefully resolving otherwise unresolved issues.  Let’s start from the beginning.

AK:     (gasp)  Allright.  (sniff, sniff)  A few years ago I saw some shiny golden colored dollar coins for the first time.  And, and, I didn’t know what they were, so I began to save them.  It was around Presidents’ Day, and my son was studying American Presidents in a U.S. History class.  I was younger then…naïve…and weak.  WEAK, I TELL YOU!!

Dr K:     Take your time.  Breathe slowly.  Better now?

AK:     Yes, I think so.  I began to line up my Presidential dollars on the kitchen table.  Then I sorted them according to their condition.  I stacked them, read all the edge lettering, and arranged them according to date.  My wife decided to give me a coin album to display the coins.  They looked shiny…glossy…alluring.  The day after placing the coins in the album I visited the bank.  The bank.  The bank…the buhbuhbuh…b…b…

Dr. K:     Andy, are you okay?  Stay with me!  We can work through this!!!  What happened?  Tell me, NOW!!!

AK:     What did I see?  What did I see?  An entire display case filled with Presidential Dollar coins housed in pretty packaging!  I think they called them “Legacy Sets” or some similarly evil name.  That’s when my breakdown happened.  Right there, on the blue linoleum floor in front of the lollipop basket and complimentary dog snacks.  When I saw those awesome Legacy Collection Presidential Dollar sets, I just sorta flipped out.  Why me?  Why now?  What does it mean?

Dr. K:  It means that you appreciate history.  It means that you want to own something beautiful.  You want to learn.  These are good things, Andy.  Now tell me, what do the coins look like?  Can you talk about that?

AK:     Well, they are golden-colored and a bit larger than a quarter but smaller than a half dollar.  “E Pluribus Unum” and the date are located on the edge of the coin, and the Statue of Liberty appears on the reverse.  When you stack them all up, they form this cool-looking column of gold.  There is one coin for each President with new coins coming each year.  What I really like is…is…Doctor?  What are you doing?  Why are you looking at your pocket change?

Dr. K:       Uhhh, what’s that?  Hmmm…I have a Presidential Dollar right in my pocket.  It’s actually kinda neat.  I can see why you like it.  I think that’s George Washington, right?

AK:     PUT IT AWAY.  QUICK!  Don’t touch it.  Forever will it consume you. Once you begin…

Dr. K:     Yeah, this could become pretty fun.  What was the name of that set you mentioned?  Legacy or something?  Where can I find them?  Tell me about the sets, Andy.  Tell me.  TELL ME!!!!!

AK:     NO, I’ll NEVER TELL.  They are all mine.  MINE!!!  You’ll never find them.

Dr. K:  Ohhh yessss I willll.  They are mine now…gimme that!!!

(This represents the last intelligible portion of the conversation.  Only garbled grunts follow.  Neither Kimmel nor the doctor have been located to comment on this exchange, but you can find Legacy Sets right here at MPI coins:

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