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 →
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 →
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 →
What is a “Gorby’s Penny-Picker Cash Cow”, and why would I want one?
Okay, fair question, and here’s the best answer I can give you at the moment — a Penny Picker Cash Cow is a fair booth. Of course, it can be applied anywhere, in a store, apartment or traveling bus.
First of all, don’t bother to register the concept — it’s not new, but it might be new to you, which is, technically, new.
So, of what precisely does a Penny Picker Cash Cow consist?
First of all, shouldn’t you be asking whether this Cash Cow is a Work Thing or a Business Thing?
Well, it’s both. You earn a livelihood from your Bodhisattva work, and it takes several very specific forms — obtaining coins, sorting coins, searching coins, grading coins, packaging coins, selling coins and teaching coin search to others.
When you send in your $450, I buy a bag of wheaties and search them to cherry-pick anything EF and above, and put those in a different container. The lesser quality coins are placed in your “Search Bag” or “Go Fish Bowl” in your fair booth or shop or waiting room. Continue reading →
Most silver half dollars run from about $35 for something decent all the way down to crap coins at $8 bucks apiece, if you don’t mind the fact that the coin is unrecognizable and basically worth the silver scrap price and not a lot more.
Even cheaper is the half dollar you get from your local grocer or bank clerk. You’ll need a half dollar in order to learn the very first trick a performing magician learns, which is called “The French Drop”.
The French Drop is the Very First Trick You’ll Ever Learn, if you learn from a pro, and learning The French Drop requires a specific and very serious and very official Initiation into the Order of Performing Magicians.
I’ll give specifics in a moment, but first, let’s examine the concept of coin magic itself:
One of the most natural and easiest tricks for which to find a prop is a coin trick. Almost everyone has a coin of some kind or another. The most common coin for the French Drop is the U.S. Half Dollar, but there are plenty of other coins and plenty of good reasons to use an unusual coin. Continue reading →
I am, indeed, a post office — that is, I’m designing stamps that can be used as postage … or as collectibles.
I don’t care much to see someone spend $2 on a 70 cent stamp, but if it’s a collectible, it makes no difference, and in fact, the more the initial offering goes out for, the more likely it will rise to the expectations of the collectors. Continue reading →
“Hi, I need some cash fast, and I’m on the street selling these things for which I usually ask fifty bucks, but like I said, I need some cash, so I’m selling them for only $3 bucks apiece, metal ebmossings mounted in a coin flip, like you see here. Can you help me out? How many would you like?”
Metal Embossing? It’s cheap, and it’s a total cinch to make ’em, and a total cinch to sell ’em, when you know a few tricks of the trade. Metal embossing is a terrific way for a new artist of ANY age and persuasion to get out there with their artwork, and it’s a great way to get your art into multimedia without a lot of fuss and horrible expenses.
For an established artist, it’s a no-brainer. It puts your art into an affordable category for an original work of art. Usually it’ll be a signed and numbered multiple, which this isn’t. It’s a total original, and an established artist can ask the moon for these things.
Doubt it? Imagine what the price would be for a coin-sized embossed metal piece if you could PROVE that it was made and signed by Picasso? How about Rosenquist, or Lichtenstein, or Warhol, or Basquiat?
Take an “ordinary” penny and put it into a high-energy static electrical field, encapsulate it and surround it with a permeable foamy material, and you have the start of an improvised magical weapon, which can be set up and activated with a Cloud Chamber or any imbuing device.
This was my mother’s sterling silver example of her modernist jewelry teacher, Art Smith’s “Calder” necklace, 1953; Smith was inspired by the Alexander Calder show at the Modern. I’m currently engaged in creating Modernist Pendants out of copper, brass, silver and 18 karat gold (it’s very yellow, as opposed to 14k). There are just too many of them to photograph and put up on eBay all at once, but I’m heading in that direction. You might want to market my Modernist Pendants, Ancient Style rings and earrings, and more. Inquire of me if you’re at all interested. Stock can cost anywhere from about $100 up to whatever you want to fling in the face of fortune.
In addition, I’ve waded into my library of 7,000 volumes, and pulled out more than half for sale; here are the details: Continue reading →
Give your family the ultimate Christmas gift — you and your kids can build a family business together. Tune in to the workshop this morning to find out exactly how to achieve this for little or no cost. See You At The Top!!! — gorby