All posts by gorebagg

Sneak Peek

Not too bad for something that turned up in a pile of junk, eh?

Here’s a sneak peek at just one of the many hundreds of really cool and very richly rewarding coins that popped up in last night’s “Barf Bag” search — the coins were discards from other searches, deemed so miserable that they ended up in a bin and eventually in a bag, which I opened and am currently in the process of searching.

I’ve found a few 1924-d, some 1909 VDB and two 1909-s that have seen better days, but they’re readable enough to sell, although in this case, I’m not offering this grouping for sale — it’s intended as an example of what someone can accomplish in a single night, armed only with coin-knowledge and a taste for punishment.

Finding the goodies among the trash is sort of like dumpster-diving, and in a way, it bears some resemblance to it.

One thing that happens in a search like this, you never know what’s going to turn up.

It doesn’t matter whether the source of your search coins is a personal collection, institutional collection, just a bunch of coins that piled up in a jar somehow, or you bought them as a grouping of folders, or as a bag or box or rolls.

The end effect is the same — there’s some searching to be done. Continue reading

Don’t Buy! Just Look!

Gallery Space has a wide variety of high-end items on sale in support of the gallery.

Before you start in on my coins, my grading and my retail prices, lemme just say this — nobody in my shop pays retail.

Fact is, I don’t really want to sell the coins that I’ve jammed just about everywhere in the shop, at least everywhere that I can reasonably hope to have some viewers and some degree of safety against boosting.

Those coins demonstrate something very, very clearly:

If you know your grading, you can make a fortune in coins.

That’s a fact, incontrovertible and demonstrable. You simply buy coins at a flat rate price, then find the goodies therein.

Of course, you’ll need a trustworthy and reliable source for your coins, and most of the suppliers are cheaters or worse — it’s literally a jungle out there.

The high-grade coins have been thoroughly searched for everything — that’s where the money is.

The medium-grade coins just don’t sell, period.

The low-grade coins are plentiful in certain dates, but other dates and mint-marks are very elusive all the way to downright unavailable, like the newly-discovered element “Unobtainium” that nobody can seem to get hold of — I only have the one sample, and that ate a hole through my desk yesterday afternoon, on its way to the center of the Earth.

I’m afraid to go anywhere near the hole. I’ve covered it up with a tiger trap, so the next person who steps on it will have quite an experience, I’d imagine.

The Hole into Hell. Continue reading

Mindfulness And High Attention — MaHa

$45,000 page from Mint State Lincoln Set.

“Maha” means “Mindfulness And High Attention in my book, but in the Hindu scriptures it means “Great” or “Big”, as in “Big Ruler” or “Big Spiritual Guy”, as in “Mahabharata” and “Mahatma”, respectively, not to mention “Matahari”, which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject, anyway — besides, she was framed.

Okay, forget about Matahari. So what is “MaHa”, and how does it affect you?

MaHa is Mindfulness And High Attention. It is a spiritual technology that uses Special Directed Attention to accomplish its goals, which is to make you more aware, more conscious, more enlightened, more awake, more sensing and feeling and more dedicated to life beyond the box.

You will instantly FEEL BETTER and more centered, more poised, more assured and more certain. A profound CALM and SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT and SERENITY will come over you and stay around you in a protective bubble of peace and harmony.

You will experience a freedom from the time-binding of space-time, due to the time-bending properties of the coinage you are handling, with the quantum-entanglement connection to the time-frame of the coin.

My “MS-63 RED GEM” vintage Wheat-Backed Lincoln Cents are called “Clear-Channel Time-Benders”. The sense of freedom from the time-frame gives you a certainty on your soul-travel through ENDLESS time and space.

You will feel an INSTANT sense of SPIRITUAL FREEDOM from the confines of the organic world, or your money back. Come to think of it, you’re buying money, so you already HAVE your money back!

Jeez, you get a refund even if you’re satisfied??? You bet you do, and there’s even more payoff than that.

If you carry out your Coinology Course Assignments correctly, you will see a “feedback effect” — a definite visible and spendable result of your efforts, mainly in the form of money, specifically an income derived from the sale and trade of coins garnered through the skill-building exercises of Coinology, plus all the other invisible benefits of the practice, including just feeling better about yourself and your life and the world in which you find yourself living and surviving. Continue reading

Level 1 Lincoln Set

These Strange & Unusual Lincoln Pennies are only $5 each in the gallery.

You get the basic building blocks for a Lincoln Set, 1909-1929, which fits into the Littleton Green Folder.

When you’ve built the collection far enough, it will be transferred over to a Dansco album for resale, minus the key dates, but with all the semi-keys in place, but that’s not for now, not until you understand the medium AND the message.

So, here’s the rundown — prices are approximate and will vary SLIGHTLY, based on coin condition, but at this level, it hardly matters whether it’s a nickel or a dime more or less.

These are the basic coins you’ll need to fill in first: Continue reading

Stages of Coinlightenment

I hear you asking, “What are the stages of Coinlightenment?”, but shouldn’t you first be asking, “What the hell is Coinlightenment, anyway???”, or “How the hell do I use Coinlightenment?”, or “Why should I bother to mess with Coinlightenment???”.

I’ll answer your third question first. There’s money in them-thar hills, is why.

Coin Knowledge means cash in the pocket and a feather in the cap. You’ve found something, discovered something, uncovered a treasure in a penny.

Let’s take a look at your “Pilgrim’s Progress” toward Coinlightenment:

  • IT’S JUST A PENNY — This is the first dawning of an awakening consciousness. There is a realization that a penny is present, and that it is a penny, although at this stage, it’s JUST a penny, meaning that it is insignificant and generally unworthy of special notice.
  • IT’S A LINCOLN PENNY — In the Second Stage of Coinlightenment, one becomes dimly aware that there is an entire run or set or collection or something, related to pennies that look similar to this one.
  • IT’S A LINCOLN CENT — Now in the Third Stage, the consciousness is becoming aware of the fact that this is a particular issue of a particular type of currency.
  • IT’S A CIRCULATED LINCOLN CENT — In the Fourth Stage of Coinlightenment, the awareness of many different possible states and applications of a U.S. coin becomes somewhat present, along with a general concept of how U.S. copper coins are manufactured.
  • IT’S A CIRCULATED LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — In this Fifth Stage of Coinlightenment, one becomes aware of the special set of Lincoln cents that were made from 1909 until 1958, when the reverse design was changed from the double wheats to the memorial building. It is presently a shield, but this is soon to change once again.
  • IT’S A TEEN DECADE LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Now the dawning of true Coinsciousness is breaking upon your shining intellect — you are acutely aware that Lincoln cents can be sorted into decades, and that each decade has its own unique characteristics and expectations, such as distribution patterns, with the first year, fifth year, sixth year, seventh year, eighth year and ninth year being dominant in numbers, with the second, third and sometimes fourth year being on the scarce or downright rare side.
  • IT’S A 1912 LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — At last, you’ve taken the time and spent the energy to look more closely at the coin, now taking note of the date, but is there more?
  • IT’S A 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Aha! Now you see that it is not merely a common Lincoln cent, but a mint-marked coin, notably from the San Francisco Mint, noted for their continual screwups, resulting in many wondrous error coins, so many of them that you might wonder how they got past the guards at the gates, and most of them didn’t.
  • IT’S A HIGH-GRADE 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Okay, you can SEE that there’s grade here, but how much grade, exactly?
  • IT’S AN MS-65 RD 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT — Congratulations, you’re almost home! Keep struggling! Peer more keenly! Penetrate the Mystery!
  • IT’S AN MS-66 RD 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT WORTH ABOUT $13,000! — Now you’re just one step from the Ultimate Realization:
  • WOW! IT’S AN MS-66 RD 1912-S LINCOLN WHEAT-BACK CENT, POP 1, I’M KEEPING THIS!!! — You have finally gone completely over the top. You’re fully initiated and ready to handle the Bardos like a pro, and you are now doomed to be a hopeless Lincoln Set collector with no hope of recovery!

That’s right. From here, there is no return.

Continue reading

Teaching Someone How To See

Gallery window from the interior of the Mall.

There’s a world of treasure, real treasure, the kind you can take to the bank, and yet, it’s as-if invisible to most people, who look right past the treasures of life, in a bleak vision of the present.

It’s not that hard to transform the vision from “bleak” to “clear”, but it takes a bit of bait and the dangling of a hook to catch the fish, as it were.

What’s needed is a goal, and a goal doesn’t come about without a payoff.

The payoff?

Simple — Money.

Of course, that’s only the apparent payoff. The real payoff is an immediate improvement in vision, clarity and presence-of-attention, which is the kind of powerful presence that can be invoked through the use of special attentions, such as the ones employed in a coin search. Continue reading

Coin Search Step-By-Step

Here’s a rundown of what specific actions I take with a new bag or box or roll of wheaties to be searched. It’s basic, and of course doesn’t contain “The Moves”, which are derived from Magic in the Mirror — MiM — in order to handle the coins efficiently and effectively. I’ll assume that the coins are already separated out into decades. If not, they’ll have to be separated out before beginning a search, because you can only compare coins with other coins of the same decade, when grading, or you’ll get entirely baffled by the sudden changes in quality, so the general rule is ALWAYS SEARCH BY DECADE.

So, you’ve got a bag of TEENS, TWENTIES, THIRTIES, FORTIES or FIFTIES coins. Let’s begin a search on them. Put the bag nearby on the floor or on a very strong table.

  • FIRST ACTION — Open the bag.
  • SECOND ACTION — Reach into the bag and scoop out a handful of coins.
  • THIRD ACTION — Place the handful of coins on your right on the velvet search pad.
  • FOURTH ACTION — Put on your Opti-Visors. I use #7, fairly strong ones, these days.
  • FIFTH ACTION — Arrange the pile of coins on your right into piles of about 10 coins each.
  • SIXTH ACTION — Take the first pile of ten coins and FAN or SPREAD them out in front of you where the light hits them perfectly, so you can see every detail.
  • SEVENTH ACTION — FLIP or TURN OVER the coins so they all face downward, wheats up.
  • EIGHTH ACTION — FLIP your Opti-Visor down so you can see the coin’s surface through them clearly and easily, and CHECK THE COINS for any sign of “quality”, meaning that there are some lines still in the wheat ears. You want to take out anything that isn’t TOTALLY FLAT — absolutely every sign of value or quality.
  • NINTH ACTION — Place any GRADABLE coin FACE DOWN, WHEATS UP, on the velvlet pad, to your LEFT, in a separate pile.
  • TENTH ACTION — FLIP the remaining coins in the spread FACE UP, to reveal the date and mint mark, if there is a mint-mark. Remember that coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint never carry a “p” mint mark, although in other denominations there are exceptions to this rule, notably the wartime nickel.
  • ELEVENTH ACTION — PLACE the coins in the correct piles, starting with the lowest date on the left. All mint-mark coins should be stacked FACE UP in the far center, slightly to the right, building stacks of about 15 coins.
  • TWELFTH ACTION — Scoop up the stacks of coins into tubes and label each tube as you fill and cap it.

Now all that remains is to store the tubes in boxes until they are needed. I’ll now do a step-by-step rundown on how to handle the coins from search to sale: Continue reading

Gorby’s Best Grading Skill-Builder

If you ask me, what’s my best grading skill-builder, I’d have no hesitation in saying that it’s my 1940-1958 “s” mint-mark pennies, that range all the way from G4 to AU-57 and sometimes MS-60 BN, which is common enough to make mention of it.

The BEST GRADING SKILL BUILDER comes in packs of 100 coins at $25 per package, just a hair below my actual cost of acquisition of those coins.

Sure, I lose in the short run, but I assure you that I DO make it up in volume, and it’s not about net profit, it’s all about cash-flow, as any accountant will tell you.

If you’re planning on using these coins to help others gain these skills, you don’t sort or pre-sort these coins, except to build your own skills — they should be poured out onto the table for the trainee just as they came to you in the plastic ziplock baggie. Continue reading

How To Turn a Penny Into Dollars

Okay, you have a bag of “wheaties”, which means a bag of Lincoln Wheat-Ear Back One Cent pieces from one of three U.S. mints — Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco.

Of the three, you could always count on the mint in San Francisco to develop lots of mint errors, notably involving the mint-mark.

In the Philadelphia coins, there are no mint-marks, but on the other hand, there are lots of opportunities to strike it rich with DDOs, which is to say, “Doubled-Die Obverse” errors, which means that the die got struck twice during the creation of the die from the HUB — it’s all very complicated, but you can find out about the process by reading the Mega Red coin book, which I think you’ll find surprisingly good reading, if you’re at all interested in the history of the coins and the mints that made them AND the horses they rode in on!

You’re dealing here with circulation coins, not special coins issued by the mint to make money for the politicians, such as the “proof sets” and “eagles” and special issue “collectible” gold coins, and other equally miserable excuses for collectibles.

If you mark something as “collectible” and everybody collects them and keeps them totally intact and pristine and mint-condition, guess what? They’re not collectible at all, because scarcity is a powerful driver in the collectibles market, and that’s just not there when everybody has one. Continue reading

Salt the Mine

Okay, here’s my entry into the coinology marketing field:

GORBY’S PENNY PROSPECTOR

It’s a packet, pouch, box or clear bag with a bunch of ordinary wheaties pennies — a carefully calculated mix of teens, twenties and thirties Lincoln Wheat cents.

Please note that I have avoided the nicer-looking but generally worthless later Lincoln cents, the forties and fifties. You can buy them by the shovelful in mint condition for very little, so why muck about looking for and through them for the coins you really want?

My thought is that the price would be slightly different for a bag of 1910’s, 1920’s and 1930’s pennies, but like a crackerjack box, each bag is GUARANTEED to contain at least one, and sometimes two or three, PREMIUM COINS. Continue reading