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Somewhat surprised and vaguely amused by having survived my first half-century on Planet Earth, I am determined not to predetermine anything that happens during the second half. Heck, the original formula has worked so far - why mess with it?
A few years back, I became a Born-Again Numismatist through the whimsical purchase of a DMPL 1885-O Morgan as a gift. The coin (which has, due to divorce, departed this mortal coil as far as I'm concerned) was an absolute headlight, the ultimate expression of the "O Look! A Shiny Object!" syndrome which so defines my path in life. In typical fashion, I dove headlong into waters of unknown depth without considering whether or not I could actually swim. It became apparent that my initial intent to assimilate it all immediately was, in fact, going to happen in the opposite fashion, and I am now a VAMBorg.
One day, I was researching a random purchase and stumbled across Rob Joyce's 1921-D VAM pages. "Hey!" I said, "coins that don't get no respect, just like me!" That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. In short order, due to 40+ hours a week of prowling Ebay with sheer anal concentration, I'd accumulated about 100 1921 Morgan varieties. Along the way I discovered that it was just as much fun to photograph my coins as it was to collect them, so of course it was also necessary to buy a dSLR and a good macro lens. The only thing better than a crystal-clear pic of a Morgan is a crystal-clear pic of a Morgan which is too large to show more than half of it at a time on a 20" LCD.
"Microscope? I don't need no stinkin' microscope."
One morning, I woke up, refreshed Ebay before even hitting the boy's room as per normal habit, and had an epiphany.
"Oh, wait. I'm broke."
That led to the Great 1921 Variety Auction of 2007, in which I liquidated 65+ 1921 VAM's in 3 months. More than a few of them went to names I now recognize here on VAMworld, and it certainly seems that in the aftermath of the sale it's become much more difficult to cherrypick a 1921 VAM from Ebay. What is it they say about what a dog doesn't do where it sleeps? Having priced myself out of the market, I now concentrate on lurking the periphery of the scene, accumulating knowledge and regurgitating it (sometimes even accurately) at the coin forum where I moderate.
What I like to collect:
See the above "shiny object" reference. Currently concentrating on 1921 and Long Nock Morgan VAMs, Bust Halfs, 19th-century European copper, 18th-century Talers, Wide AM Lincoln Cents and miscellaneous roadkill.
Apparently, second-known examples of Discovery VAM's. So far, I'm pretty sure I've been "that guy" for at least two. It's my dream to be that guy for the 1921-D VAM-1X.
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