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:

  • ARRANGE the G-4 COINS, the ones that don’t have any sign of quality or grade on them. They should be stored in easily opened and closed SQUARE TUBES — the kind I sell in our student store — and placed carefully in a divided coin-storage box, always stored by date and mint-mark in this order, left to right: “P”,”D”,”S”, meaning “Philadelphia Mint” which is no mint-mark whatever, then the coins mint-marked with a “D”, which stands for the Denver Mint, and then coins mint-marked with an “S” below the date, which means they were made at the San Francisco Mint.
  • REMOVE the TUBES one at a time and pour out a small number of coins in a small pile, about 20 coins maximum, in a semi-circle around the pad, leaving room to work in the center of the pad.
  • PICK UP one coin from each pile and place it in the center, building a neat stack for each pile of anywhere from six to ten coins, depending on the decade.
  • PACKAGE the small stack into a 2×2 square clear bag, and place that into your card sleeve in front of your vertically printed business card or backing card.
  • LABEL your packages immediately. Don’t trust to memory to remember what they are and what they’re supposed to say.
  • PLACE OR STORE your labeled product, which should be a starter pack for the TEENS, TWENTIES, THIRTIES, FORTIES and FIFTIES.

Here’s a quick rundown on which dates to include in which packets:

  • TEEN STARTER PACK — 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918 & 1919.
  • TWENTIES STARTER PACK — 1920, 1921, (NO 1922), 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 & 1929. The 1922 is always expensive and must be acquired separately and individually.
  • THIRTIES STARTER PACK — 1930, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 & 1939. TheĀ  1931, 1932 and 1933 are “premium” coins, tend to be more expensive, and will have to be acquired separately.
  • FORTIES STARTER PACK — 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948 & 1949.
  • FIFTIES STARTER PACK — 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 & 1959.

I suppose you’re wondering what to do with that face-down stack of “quality” coins, the ones that have ANY SIGN OF LIFE on them, meaning even one or two little lines on only one wheat-ear, and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts you’ll soon work out where the wheats wear down first, and where they end up last.

Don’t forget the SOURCE of these coins — these were all popped out of a page of some cheap coin album or cardboard “folder”, after they had captured the coins they actually wanted, which would be the 1909, 1922-d and “no D”, the 1914-d and of course all the “s” mint-marks they can score, plus the 1931, 32 and 33, and a couple of other coins you probably won’t miss until you go looking for them.

Don’t bother to light a candle for the 1909s VDB — you can’t count on those kinds of miracles to sustain your business over the years, and a coin shop depends on repeat customers, not newbies.

So your job now is to SEPARATE that hopefully huge stack of GRADABLE coins into their separate and appropriate grades. Always give yourself a “spread” by bracketing the value as you would estimate the winning bid RANGE of an auction piece, thusly:

  • AU-MS — Almost Uncirculated is pretty damned impressive, looks almost mint, and Mint State would be absolutely stunning and fresh, just as it came off the press. These are so rare that you will probably never use the bracketed grade “AU-MS”, but there it is, if you need it.
  • EF-AU — That’s Extra-Fine to Almost Uncirculated, gives you a LOT of room to make mistakes, but the coin should look pretty terrific in this grade range.
  • VF-EF — Ah, that’s more like what you’re likely to find in these “folder-dump” bags. Most of the remains of collections you’re seeing these days were assembled by folks back in the 1940s and 1950s, maybe into the sixties a few years, but bagged and sealed sometime before 1970, about half a century ago. This means that most of the coins will not be high-grade, because nobody put high-grade coins in a folder. Most of the coins will be brown, because that’s what everybody thought an old coin should look like, and nobody cared about grade or condition at that time, so you more or less randomly put the coin in that fit the date and mint-mark, totally disregarding the “look” of the coin.
  • VG-VF — Wow, what a wide range THIS can be! If there’s a mere scritchy-scratch on the wheat, anywhere on the wheat, you can, if you dare, call it “VG”, Very Good, which means “slightly better than no damn grade at all”, and you’re covered all the way to “VF”, Very Fine, which means that there’s some lines on at least one of the ears of wheat.
  • G-VG — Might as well give it up and throw these into the junk coin pile to be included in your STARTER PACKS, the ones you made up from the no-grade G-4 coins. Well, VG is not a whole lot better in most coins, but be careful — there are some hard-to-find dates and mint-marks that make it imperative that you find at least a LITTLE grade in the coin, because in certain dates, that can make a powerful monetary difference.

Now it’s time to PRICE your coins.

Always price your coins on the high side of the estimated range of grade, but then ALWAYS GIVE A DISCOUNT, right down to the lower end of that range of values.

You’ll get a better reaction by lowering the price than by having it low in the first place and having nowhere to go on the down side from that low price-tag. Don’t saddle yourself with a low price, don’t paint yourself in a corner and don’t leave yourself without options. Make a price in the middle, and be prepared to bargain all the way to that middle price.

If you don’t know how to haggle — meaning “to arrive at a mutually acceptable price somewhere in the middle between “bid” and “ask” — you can watch episodes of “Pawn Stars” or “American Pickers” or any of the picker or trader shows where there are two clear parties with two very disparate price points in mind.

You’re not going to have FUN with coins until you realize that coinology is a game, albeit a learning game, and a game of luck and karma.

Building a collection is only one of the many games you can learn to play with coins. You might find it interesting to focus down on one or two special issues and pursue those to the highest grades, because high-grade is another game, but requires a great deal more effort and sophistication of knowledge.

Specializing in ERROR COINS can be really fun, and in my opinion has the most opportunity for WORK efforts. It’s a very exotic and advanced area, but is well worth investigating, if you find ordinary coin collecting beneath your skill levels, and if it isn’t now, it should soon be, meaning that you’d be well-advised to get on your way toward the Ashram, and it might just be time to start to master the higher end stuff, starting with coinology.

I want to mention here that coinology is a kind of meditation. It uses, but does not rely upon, coins and numismatics for its applications. Time-binding is a direct result of coin-handling where the coins have a time-distance greater than ten years from the subject.

Ancient coins handle differently, and tokens and other quasi-semi-pseudo numismatics have a chance of being used psychometrically as well as in a time-bind connection between the present and the apparent past.

Coinology is the perfect tool for perfection.


  • ATTENTION levels are all automatically raised.
  • PRESENCE is automatically invoked as a result of time-binding.
  • WILL is invoked automatically because there is no urgent personal reason to continue the coin search.
  • WAKING STATE MOMENTS are automatically invoked by the time-binding effect.
  • PAST LIFE CONNECTIONS are made automatically, including noticing and perhaps keeping in a special collection, those coins you have held in your hands and spent or saved, in previous lifetimes.
  • VISIONS of events in the past, present and future will come to you as you work.
  • THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS can be enhanced greatly by coinology searches.
  • CLARITY is automatically enhanced by Coinology coin search techniques.
  • CERTAINTY is automatically brought about by coin search definitive moves.
  • WORRY is profoundly reduced by the simple action of handling a lot of money, whether it’s valuable or not, whether it belongs to you or not. Just handling coins causes relaxation and freedom from personal and social financial issues.
  • FRIENDS come naturally as you get out there with your coins and start meeting THE NICEST PEOPLE YOU EVER MET, because that’s a fact — most coin collectors are sensitive and considerate, just plain nice, and that makes it all worthwhile. You’ll have a LOT of great and interesting conversations with new friends.
  • MONEY will start rolling in when you start HANDLING money, and coins are a great place to start.
  • FUN will be the first and best result of Coinology coin searches.
  • SOCIAL events and connections will be immediately enhanced.
  • SAFETY will be immediately enhanced just by bringing your personal wealth level up just a bit, enough to get above the recent perturbations in the economic atmosphere. Just learning to handle and trade coins can help you in the new world situation we’re facing as we go deeper into the 21st century of the most recent Western civilizations.

According to the Jewish calendar, the current modern year of 2018 is 5778, leaving a lot of room for discussion. TheĀ  Hindus think it’s only 3102, and the Moslems say it’s Year 1439. Everyone has a different idea of how long people have been around and how long the Earth has been here, but nobody seems to get the real deal — that the world can’t be more than one day at a time.

See You At The Top!!!