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 →