Mail Bag – Tell Us About Your Collection

Today’s Mail Bag question comes from Angel who asked a lot of questions about my own coin collection. After reading it, I realized that, while I have shared tidbits about my collection, supplies, and other things related to it, I’d never really gone into any detail.

Angel writes,


I want to know more about your collection. When did you start? How many coins do you have? What made you start? Do you have slabbed coins? How do you store them? Do you use flips? What’s your most valuable coin? What was your first coin purchase? What was your last coin purchase? What’s your favorite coin? How much time do you spend on your collection each day? Do you use software to catalog it? Have you ever bought a bad coin?



Whew! That’s a lot of questions Angel, but I’m happy to share. Again, some of these answers will be repetitive as I’ve answered some in various posts over the past year.

  • When did you start? I started collecting in 1986 while I was still in high school. I started like most people, collecting coins through change. I worked in a retail store so access to looking at coins as they came into the till made building my collection pretty quick and easy.
  • What made you start? My grandfather had a small collection of Lincoln Cents and Mercury Dimes. When I saw the Mercury for the first time, I was stunned at its beauty and it got me hooked. It was also the point that I realized our coins changed throughout our nation’s history
  • Do you have slabbed coins? Yes. I have nearly the entire Presidential Dollar set graded by NGC and various other coins, mostly bullion. All my graded coins are from NGC.
  • How do you store them? I store them in BCM 2×2 3-ring pages in archive binders (designed for 35mm slides).
  • Do you use flips? Yes. I use the Guardhouse flips that I featured in a Today’s Deal a couple of days ago. By far my favorite flip option out there.
  • What’s your most valuable coin? 1955 Lincoln Cent Double-Die in MS-62 Red for non-bullion coins.
  • What was your first coin purchase? A 1986 American Eagle silver from a local coin shop in Dallas, Texas. I saved for WEEKS to get it!
  • What was your last coin purchase? That was yesterday when I bought the New Jersey American Innovation Dollar Reverse Proof.
  • What’s your favorite coin? I have a sentemental draw to the Mercury dime for the reasons I mentioned above. But I’ve always loved Walking Liberty Half Dollars. I think they are one of the most beautiful coins ever produced.
  • How much time do you spend on your collection each day? It is actually easier for me to measure that “per week” as I tend to travel a fair amount for business during the week. But I would guess 4-5 hours per week
  • Do you use software to catalog it? Yes, I use CoinManage from Liberty Street Software (Review)
  • Have you bought a bad coin? Yes, a 1916 Mercury Dime. It was advertised as being AU but when I got it, it was EF at best and had been cleaned. Reported to eBay and got a full refund.

Thanks for the questions Angel and for taking time to ask them.

Now it is everyone else’s turn! Answer the same questions in the comments below!

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