I bought one of the first two large cents I ever saw, at a flea market in 1988. Couldn’t believe I was going to pay $6 for a penny! That 1834 MUST have been the oldest penny in existence! Saw in the Redbook that there were different sized stars for that date. Been hooked ever since.
I’ve been a professional landscape horticulturist since ’82, a copper bug since ’88 and a self-employed tree & shrubbery bed pest controller since ’89. I don’t like hunting and I do love NCAA football. I attend about ten coin shows each year. I believe in supporting EAC dealers and encouraging others who have an interest in collecting coins.
I provide R8 quizzes so beginners can see what collectible coppers look like and learn to recognize varieties; so I can share mine with some who appreciate seeing better coppers and with some who can feel proud to have mine beat—without the pressure of having to evaluate or make buying decisions; to promote die state collecting especially of middle dates; to provide some entertainment and to give back to EAC which has taught me so very much.
My clubs include the half cent, early, middle and late date collections lists and in Region 8, the middle dates with cuds group, the 1793’s group and the date set group.
My friends include John Wright, Bob Grellman, Paul Pattacini, Barry Kurian , many EAC dealers and all dealers who aren’t afraid to sell coins to customers who know what they are buying—fooey to those who are! My early date mentor was Jack Borckhart, middle date mentors PAP and RCB, and late date mentor JRG.
My strategy has been to get one of everything first, then update later, except with the most common varieties. Get the key dates early because their price skyrockets. Average or better ones increase in value, rough ones don’t. Big shows with 150 or more tables have availability, medium sized shows with 50 to 125 tables have occasional major bargains = cherrypicks but not huge availability.
The best numismatic advice I ever got was to sell some of my coppers to coin dealers so I could learn their opinions of my buying decisions. Go to all coin shows with in 3-4 hours drive. Learn where to sell your coins. Buy the book by the time you get your 20th coin.