Monday, December 14, 2015

One From Every Country #13: Bavaria

I have debated how I wanted to handle the next country, because there are multiple ways I could have done it, and each are equally valid.

In the land now known as Germany, the country wasn't unified into what it is today until 1871. Before that, it was a collection of various states, free cities, etc. and each issued their own coins. They continued to do so even after 1871 for the higher denomination coinage, up until World War I when Germany was essentially decimated by making all the wrong decisions in the war. Obviously, I am simplifying this greatly, as it's just a quick essay on the coin  here.

That left me with some options for the German States coinage I have. There were a LOT of various German states that issued coinage and I have only a handful of them present in my collection. Should I...

  • List them as German States, which would group them all together in alphabetical order,
  • list them under the name of each state
  • list them as a combined unit of "German States" 
  • not even give the a separate listing, but consider them an offshoot of the listing for Germany itself? 
I chose to go with option #2, list them under each state. This idea was helped along by the fact that the examples I have for all of them predate the 1871 unification and list only the locale that issued them, not the all-encompassing Germany.

With all that said, the first one I have alphabetically is Bavaria. I have only one coin from the state, and I am aware that it was cleaned before I got it. I in fact received it as a gift from a fellow collector. Most of the states I have in my collection are represented by a single coin,  with the exception of Prussia, which I have 4 of at the time of this writing (11/20/2015)

The pfennig was the lowest denomination in the German States, and after the 1871 unification the only pfennings issued would be by Germany itself, the states no longer minted their own.

It may not be clear to tell from the scan, but this example was minted in 1858. It was the first year for the final type issued by Bavaria. I know that scans are not really the best way to capture the look of coins, but they have proven to be very difficult for me to photograph and scanning them does provide a uniformity to the entire collection- something I'm big on.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

New Background's meaning to me

I finally got myself in gear and created a background for this blog. I had actually made the scan years ago but just got it placed here today, December 5th, 2015. The Bicentennial Quarter means a lot to me. I save everyone I find as a tribute to my dad, (I've got about 50 of them) who was taken from us by cancer.

He saved them when he found them, saying that they will be worth something someday. I couldn't care less about that, but I save them as a tribute to him.

This one was minted by Denver. Here's the full image. I removed some of the scanner scuzz to make the background.

Friday, November 20, 2015

One from Every Country #12: Barbados

Next up on the list of countries is Barbados.
One of the things I like about the Caribbean countries' coinages is that they have a lot of wildlife on the coins, not even counting the the coat of arms on many issues. This one features a sea gull, and I love sea gulls. To me, summer isn't summer unless I hear sea gulls calling.

I have 10 coins from Barbados in my collection ranging in age from 1980 to 2009. This one came as part of a three-pound sack of world coins I bought on ebay back in 2011. I chose it as the sample coin for the country simply for the seagull.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

First Star Note of 2015 (finally) found

It took until November 6th before we found the first Star Note of the year. For a while we were finding them often, then a long dry spell where there were none found...I think we found only two in all of 2014, and I am pretty sure that this is the first found in 2015, although to be honest my record keeping is subpar and it may not be. First one I remember, though!

It's in poor shape, but I don't care, I am happy to have it.
Surprised to see it still in circulation at least two series old. Surprised but happy, for now it's part of my collection, where it will remain for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

One from Every Country #11: Bailiwick of Guernsey

Been a while since I posted in this series, but my copy of Coin World came in the mail today and after reading it, it reminded me to post.

The next country in line is the Bailiwick of Guernsey. This is a country I don't know a whole lot about, and this coin is the only item I have from the country. I got this one for Christmas a couple of years back.
The coin in my collection is actually uncirculated, but my scanner has many issues and isn't really able to capture it properly; especially on the obverse.

This is one of many countries that has Queen Elizabeth II on their coinage, the back depicts a large crab which fits into the popular animal themed topical collecting habits of many collectors.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

One From Every Country #10: Bahamas

The 10th country alphabetically is the Bahamas, which has in my opinion one of the most interesting design themes. I have quite a few from the country, including more than one I've pulled out of circulation here in NY.

This example is a proof that I got way back in 2008 right after I got into the hobby. It's still in the factory packaging, and the issue appearing on the rim and some if the field is actually an issue with the packaging.

This is the only brass proof in my collection, and it looks spectacular.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Russian Wire Money - ID Help needed, please

I purchased this from a local dealer recently, but I need some help IDing it. I am not even sure I have the sides upside-right. Darn thing is tiny.

I know I have read an article on how to read these, but I don't remember where....if it was in The Numismatist, or online somewhere, so I am posting this up looking for help.

Thanks in advance!

Sorry for the crappy scans.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My oldest US coin- by a wide margin!

The majority of my collection is from the USA- they are very easily accessible, and in fact I've pulled the majority of them out of circulation, including every year of cent from 1933-2015.

But the majority of my collection is new. Post World War II new. I do have some older issues- and in fact my oldest issue since 2008 was an 1832 half dime that I purchased on my very first trip to a coin shop after I really, truly became a numismatist. (I had been collecting the State Quarters before that, but I don't truly consider myself a coin collector until April 2008. I didn't even know what mintmarks were for instance!) When I got that one, I had never heard of a half dime before. I just knew it was old and it only cost me $5. It's slightly bent but I don't care. It's not like I have not seen older US issues- I've seen, in person, as old as 1796, with the asterisk that I've also seen a 1652 Massachusetts shilling, technically a British colony issue.

For a time it almost seemed like I'd never get anything older than 1832. Until a few weekends ago, when I set my oldest US coin record by a wide margin- 1801! I have not yet scanned it and my pictures aren't great, but here they are-
 This first image shows the color best. It's quite dark, but at 214 years old, that's just right to me.

It's not in the greatest shape, but it was in my price range, which made me very happy. The scratches and dings it has don't concern me, I prefer circulated coins to mint state anyway. Based on the toning the scratches and dings it has have been on there a very long long, who knows? Large cents circulated up to the Civil War and this one looked like it circulated quite a bit...unfortunately there is no way to ever know.

I suspect this may be my oldest US for many years to come. The previous record stood for 8 years, and it would not surprise me at all if this one holds that record even longer- the 1700s in the US are just way too expensive for me. (another reason I love world coins- I can get back much farther in history, which is my main reason for collecting) and 1800 is right up there with them. But I love this one, and I am very glad I was able to add it to my collection.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

One from Every Country #9: Austrian Netherlands

This coin was a big deal when I got it. I had never held anything this old before, something from the seemed impossible to handle anything this old. When I was growing up, to me anything from WWII or older was a rare sight, but of course I wasn't really collecting too much back then either.

I would eventually learn that it is quite possible to get older issues, and in fact my oldest issue dates to the 300s B.C. today, when I got this one, it was my oldest by a wide margin.

It was the first coin I ever bought online, in 2008, and considering the condition, I probably overpaid at $20, but I still love it.

The Austrian Netherlands wasn't even around all that long. It was only in existence for 83 years, and in fact 1797 was it's last year of existence. It had ceased to be an actual place before that, as France seized it in 1794, but the Habsburgs held out hope of getting it back until 1797. Ironically, they didn't even want that area when it was created as an entity in 1714. (If Wikipedia is accurate)

Today it is Belgium, or at least part of what makes up Belgium, which, when this coin was issued, did not exist yet.
The denomination is kronenthaler, which means it is quite large. The large c under the portrait is the Prague mintmark. It is the only coin I have from this country, and as far as I know, is the only Habsburg portrait coin in my collection as well. (portrait coins are my favorites)

Monday, August 17, 2015

One from Every Country #8: Armenia

The first country that is not being posted in alphabetical order, Armenia would have been slotted in sooner had I gotten the coin scanned sooner. I received it for Christmas 2014, but I didn't get it scanned until August 2015. As I've noted, my scanner used for coins is not good so I put it off most of the time.

I generally only add to my collection at Christmas, and for Christmas 2014 I ended up getting 12 new countries, which is quite a lot at this stage of my collecting; 7 years in. While there are still plenty of countries left to add to my collection, the majority of currently issuing countries is now represented in my collection. I don't have exact numbers on how many currently issuing countries there are, or how many I need, perhaps someday I will figure it out.

The coin is uncirculated, which means it scans poorly- the low grade coins actually scan better. The higher grade issues tend to scan with lots of spots all over them that don't appear on the coin in hand. I remove most of them but it is impossible to remove them all. I do the best I can.

The denomination is 20 luma.

The other new countries I got for Christmas 2014 were: Bailiwick of Jersey, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Falkland Islands, Isle of Man, Lithuania, Laos and Uganda. They will appear in alphabetical order as I reach them in the OFEC project, and in fact, Bailiwick of Jersey will arrive within the next week or two.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Gifts from a World-Traveling Friend, Part 1: The Coins

A few days back I received a very nice gift package from a friend who is a world traveler. I know him from another hobby and I told him I would be very appreciative if he could bring me back some coins and currency...and he sure did! I got a nice box from him that included a lot of good stuff. So much so that I'm going to split it up into two posts, with the first being coins, and the second being currency. I have not even begun to scan the currency yet so it will be sometime in the future.

Scanning coins and currency is not a lot of fun- the scanner I use for them both is seriously damaged, but as it still turns on and works I'm too cheap to replace it. I have a backlog of stuff dating to last Christmas waiting to be scanned, but it's not usually worth the frustration to do so. But, occasionally, I'll feel up to it and pull out that scanner.

Below are the new coins he sent me-
Austria 1979 10 groschen

Belize 2012 dollar. This is only my second coin from Belize, and neither is round. Interesting to see how low condition some of these are, US coins that I see from 2012 are usually nearly new still.

Hong Kong 1991 20 cents

Hong Kong 1993 5 dollars

Hong Kong 1998 2 dollars

Pretty sure this is Japan but I can't read their writing- I have tried and failed.

Mexico 1998 10 pesos

Mexico 2011 5 pesos

Mexico 2014 peso. This is now my newest non-US coin.

Paraguay 2008 thousand guaranies. Not sure why they use mil for thousand.

Paraguay 2012 100 guaranies

Peru 2006 5 new soles

Philippines 2002 10 piso

Singapore 1989 dollar

Spain 2001 2 Euro. The largest Euro coin denomination, only the second or third in my collection.

Thailand. I cannot read Thai writing. I've tried, like Japan, often, but I cannot succeed. Any ID help would be appreciated!





Thailand 1996 bhat, a Circulating Commemorative honoring the current King Rama's 50th Anniversary on the throne. It was a one year type so I was able to determine what it was.

Turkey 2005 lirasi (?)

Turkey 2005 25 kurus

Turkey 2008 50 kurus. Note that the nickel (I believe) center is much more weakly struck than the brass outer ring.

United Arab Emirates 50 fils. I am not sure the year, I have a book that tells you how to figure it out but I have not gotten the book out yet. More importantly, this is my first coin from this country! It is the 164th different country in my collection, and someday you will see this coin again in my OFEC posts- although as I'm going alphabetically it won't be for several years!

USA 2007 D dollar, George Washington. In this country, it's REALLY rare to see these circulated, but he got this one in El Salvidor! Apparently they use them there on a regular basis, the circulation certainly shows that here. He actually got me three different US dollars but the other two were duplicates- both Sacajawea dollars.
In addition to the coins, there was also this token:
It is from a video arcade in Yangon, Myanmar! He didn't know that I also collect video game tokens, so that was a pleasant surprise for me. It's quite large- about the size of a US half dollar.

I really really thrilled with this package he sent me, and this doesn't even touch the world currency, which was either my largest or second largest single-day collection increase ever! Those will be coming in the future, although I can't say exactly when, but I am most appreciative.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

One from Every Country #7: Austria-Hungary

Back with another post, this time showing the Austria-Hungary combined empire. Most people would probably class these with Austria, or perhaps Hungary, but I am not most people and do things my way. In my eyes, the Austria-Hungary issues are their own separate entity.

The Austria-Hungary empire came into existence in 1867, and lasted until 1918, when it was broken up as a result of World War I. The history of the empire is somewhat convoluted and you can read more about it here and here.

This coin was issued in 1868, and it's a 1-heller, which is the lowest denomination they produced, I believe. It is the first coin from the 1800s to appear in the OFEC collection, but it is not the last.

It probably IS however the lowest grade, as it is worn nearly smooth on the obverse, and the reverse is so badly worn that I had miscredited as an 1858 issue- before Austria-Hungary existed as we know it! However, it is the only coin I have for the combined Austria-Hungary empire, so, it must be the example used in this rundown.

Originally the obverse would have had the dual-headed eagle that was a standard feature of Habsburg coinage.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One from Every Country #6 - Austria

I have a lot of coins from Austria. I prefer to buy by the pound, once a year on average, and there is always a wide supply of Austrian in there. This one, though, is an uncirculated example I was given as a gift. It's a 1993 10 groschen and is made of aluminum, my favorite coinage metal.
This design was used from the end of WWII to the dawn of the Euro. It looks better in person than it does in a scan, as well...but then again, they almost always do.

Monday, August 3, 2015

One from Every Country #5 - Australia

Back again with another update. Australia is a country I have several issues from, going back to the WWII era, but the one I chose to represent the country is a newer issue. I traded with a member of the Collector's Universe forum for it, I no longer remember what I sent to him. He lives in Australia so for him it was literally an item of his pocket change that he sent me.
Gotta love those kangaroos! I just wish it had scanned better.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

One from Every Country #4 Aruba

Moving on to the 4th country alphabetically, Aruba comes next and the coin is square! I have a few square issues- from Aruba, India, and possible one other that I can't remember off the top of my head. This was the first square coin in my collection. I received it as a gift from a neighbor who went there on a cruise, as I recall. Actually, come to think of it, that may have been a different year of the same design. I know I have more than one.

It, too, is made of Aluminum.

There's not really much of a design to it, the big deal is it's squareness.

The first time I saw this design it sure did make an impression on me, that's for sure. I had never seen any square coins before.

Friday, July 31, 2015

One from Every Country #3: Argentina

Been a while since I've problems and working on other things have kept me away from this blog, my scale modeling blog, and drastically cut down on my main focus, trading card blog.

I've been meaning to post again for some time and I'm finally doing it, and what better way than to get back to my One from Every Country collection?

The third entry, alphabetically, is Argentina, and it is the first country I have more than one coin from. It is also the first country from either of the Americas.

The coin selected is a 1950 20 centavos. I don't remember when I got it, but it either came from the pound of coins I get once a year or so, or I fished it out of my local dealer's 10 for a dollar bin. It doesn't really matter where I got it, what matters is what it is.

The reverse of the coin is not really's just a poor scan. It's typical brass color in real life.

This coin is actually in really good shape, which is somewhat of a rarity in my collection. I tend to favor the circulated items. 

Argentina has issued one of the coins that is high on my want list. They issued a coin in honor of Eva Peron - Evita - right around the turn of this century. I'm not going to cry if I don't get it, but, I still want it. Sorry, that was a bad pun!

If anyone ever actually reads this, I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Must post an Ireland coin today!

I have a bunch of Ireland issues, dating all the way back to 1766, although most of them are Euro era. With today being St. Patrick's Day, I decided to post one. I have selected a 5 pence piece of 1975 for today.
 My scan album shows 33 issues from Ireland in my collection- I had a friend who is from there that I would trade with, but have since lost contact with him.

Hope you enjoy the scan!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One from Every Country #2 - Andorra

Here is installment #2 in the One From Every Country chart. Today is Andorra, and it is represented by a centim from 1999.
It is the only item I have from Andorra.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Currency: 1944 Germany 5 mark

While my previous posts have been about coins, I also collect currency, and I thought I would post about one today.

This issue is for Germany, and was issued in the Allies. After we (the Allies) liberated various parts of Europe, we printed money for them, as the Nazi issues fell out of use quickly.

This is one of those pieces.

What's more, my grandfather brought this home from his time in the service. So it's very important to me! I also have a French issue in the same style that I will show soon.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

One from Every Country #1. Algeria

Everybody always says on the coin forums, to pick a subject and stick with it, ignoring everything else. I can't do that. I WON'T do that. They call it "focus", I call it monotony. I like having a wide variety of different things in my collection. As I've added more world coins to my collection, usually by the pound, I've added lots of different countries to my collection. I've found that to me the most exciting new additions are when I add a new country, so I decided, eventually, to work on a listing of One of Every Country, or OFEC, for short. I still mostly add by the pound, but on the rare instances where I don't, I tend to look for a country I don't already have before anything else.

Some countries I have lots of, some I have only one example. For this project, I pick one representative issue, and put the scans in a separate folder.

For countries, I define it as each different named issuing entity. I don't combine countries as they change names, for example, Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic and Czech-Slovak Federal Republic all count as a separate country. Other people may do it differently, but it's my collection, and that is how I do it. It is also not limited to any specific time frame, either. As I progress through this project more than 2000 years will be covered.

I sort the scans for this project alphabetically, and first up is Algeria.
Algeria - 1964 - two centimes

This is an aluminum coin- my favorite coinage metal. I actually have a better example than the one shown, but I have not scanned it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The One that started it all

Sort of, anyway. As I mentioned in the introduction, I had a brief dalliance with the hobby in 1995 and 1996, but then nothing until 1999, when I began collecting the State Quarters. But I wasn't a real numismatist yet then. I didn't even know that mint marks existed, or what they stood for, for example.

Then, in 2008, we found my late father's collection. He had stored it leaning against the back of our heating unit- not a safe place, and it may still have been hidden there if we hadn't had to replace the unit in 2008!

Among the small collection were a handful of assorted pieces he had pulled from circulation throughout the years, mostly wheat cents, but 4 of these....
WOW! I had never seen anything like this before. I had never seen a US dollar older than a Susan B. Anthony dollar, but these were amazing. I was hooked after spending the rest of the night looking at his small collection, and I've been a member of the hobby ever since, in some form or another.

Odd fact though....I've never added another Peace dollar to my collection since then. The original 4 remain the only ones I have. With how much of an impact it made on me, and the fact that I consider it the best looking US issue, it is kind of surprising. This one scanned the best of the 4, I don't actually remember which one I saw first- but they all were seconds apart. Both are 1922 and 1923s.

Thanks for reading!