|The Winslet Collection|
|A History of U.S. Coins|
|NGC Graded Coins|
A new web site will be developed to parallel the book titled: "The Winslet Collection - A History of U.S. Coins".
(The following article is a story about my coin collection and tells why I began the pursuit back in the year 2005.)
" Whats Your Passion? - Complete It, and They Will Come "
December 13, 2007; Story by Greg Potter (MetLife, Inc.)
Its highly likely that right this minute someone, somewhere is taking an all-expenses-paid journey through the past that literally shimmers, courtesy of MetLife associate Kristen Winslet, the World Wide Web and "The Winslet Collection."
From 2005 through 2007, Kristen built The Winslet Collection by gathering specimens of virtually every U.S. coin minted at 50-year intervals from 1800 through 2000. Today, she shares the results of her work with all lovers of history and, of course, coins via a special Internet site that she designed by herself. Its pages are much more than just an engrossing look at how U.S. coins have evolved over the years they are also a testament to Kristens training and discipline as a professional project manager for MetLifes Project Management Office, a part of the Financial Management Group.
Kristen works as IT Governance's Sr. Business Consultant "As a project manager, I like to get an idea, draw it out and complete it," says Kristen. "So I approached this from a project management perspective. With something as potentially expensive as coins, you dont want to reach beyond your means so that you can never reach your goals."
A Treasure Trove Filled with Gold Coins To set her own goals, Kristen reached back to her childhood. While still in grade school, Kristen conceived the idea of owning a complete set of coins minted in 1800, 1850, 1900 and 1950 nice, round numbers.
"Of course, the problem with coin collecting is, once you get started, youve got the bug," says Kristen. So although she has kept the core of her collection true to its original "project scope," she has added other intriguing numismatic collectibles to The Winslet Collection, such as coins from famous shipwrecks, minting errors, two-cent pieces, three-cent pieces, patterns (experimental coins that the U.S. Mint makes to "try out" different coin designs) and more.
In addition to the sheer joy of collecting and displaying her coins, theres a more serious side to Kristens hobby. "Ive always been interested in history and, along with it, artifacts and dates," she says. "So I thought: what better way to preserve history than through coins? Also, Im an avid investor and want to make sure my future is taken care of. Since I dont own real estate, and saw what the dot-com bust did to the stock market in the late 90s, I started collecting bullion coins for my investment portfolio in 2005. At that time, my broker had just begun collecting Morgan Silver Dollars. He said, You might want to think about getting a set of those and that got me started on collecting U.S. coins." Today, Kristen considers her collection basically complete, with the exception of three highly sought-after pieces. Two of them are from famous shipwrecks.
"I really want to complete the shipwreck section of my collection which consists of coins from each of the major, well-known wrecks so I need coins from the S.S. Yankee Blade and S.S. Brother Jonathan," Kristen says. "But theyre really rare."
In addition, Kristen would love to add the $4 Gold Stella coin to her collection but says its cost will probably keep it out of reach for her.
Recovered from the S.S. Central America Shipwreck Among her most interesting coins is the 1882 Liberty Nickel Pattern. In the first year of its production, 1883, this nickel did not have the word "cents" engraved on its "reverse" (back) side only a large Roman numeral "V." Since $5 gold pieces were in circulation at the time, some people gold-plated the nickel and passed it off as a $5 piece. The coin thus earned the name, "The Racketeer Nickel." The U.S. Mint quickly caught on and, in the latter half of 1883, included the word "cents" on the coin. Kristen has specimens not only of the original pattern, but the early mass-produced coin without "cents" plus the later version with "cents." "But theres more to the story," says Kristen. "That coin ceased production in 1912. In 1913, someone was touring the Mint and Mint representatives stamped out five nickels with a V on the back and a date of 1913. So there are five coins out there with 1913 stamped on the front a year after production ended. One of those coins sold at auction some time ago for $1.8 million!" x x x
Recovered from the El Cazador Shipwreck
Ironically, what began as a way to invest for her future has so captured Kristens heart that she now plans to pass her collection on to her niece and two nephews rather than sell it.
"Im actually rebuilding my investment portfolio," she says, "and pretending the coins dont exist. If I have to sell them, I will but Id rather hand them down."
What advice does Kristen have for those starting out in the coin collecting field? The project manager in Kristen comes out once again:
"First, make sure you define the scope of what youre collecting because, with coins, you can really go crazy. Second, if you want a consistent look to your collection, decide which grading company you want to have grade your coins because different companies seal coins in different holders. Other than that, good luck!" To view The Winslet Collection, visit http://www.thewinsletcollection.com.
Copyright 2007 (MetLife, Inc.)