Not quite yet an adult but definitely a coin dealer.

Not quite yet an adult but definitely a coin dealer.

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Not quite yet an adult but definitely a coin dealer.

Charles Jonath: Alright, we got Curt Gamer, young dealer. Curt, are you still 17 or where we at right now?

Curt Gammer: I am 17. I am 17. 6 months left till adulthood.

Charles Jonath: Wow, man. That's great and I'm looking back on here and it says, you started buying and selling coins since 2010. Like, I want to, okay, I want to hear, you probably, I know you've heard some of the other podcasts and I always do this origin story thing. But I want to hear like exactly how you got in the coins and what led you to be like oh my God this is what I want to do. I'm going to start buying and selling these things, or did it happen organically like just take us back to the beginning.

Curt Gammer: So, I started collecting when I was around 6 years old. I always had this fascination with history both world and US history. And I would be glued back before the History Channel was all ancient aliens. They used to run these fantastic documentaries and I used to in front of the TV for hours and when other kids were listening to SpongeBob or Cartoon Network. I'd watched these documentaries and I was obsessed. My mom recognized that and she gave me a small collection of coins that was left to her by her uncle and she didn't really have any an interest in them and thought well maybe I'd enjoy it.

And something in my brain when I was holding a coin it was a British half penny from nineteen thirteen. A coin worth like maybe a dollar or two now, not even. But the fact that I was holding something at the time about 100 years old blew my mind and I treasured these kind of basic world coins. I kept them in a drawer and I presented them quite nicely and I started checking my change. So, at the lunch line at school when I was in kindergarten and first grade, I noticed that the older pennies the older scents had actually a wheat reverse. And I made my parents, God bless them take me to a pawnshop where I dump all these wheat pennies on the table and the guy basically told me they're worth nothing.

But I started buying wheat pennies from my local students for 2 cents each and then selling them to my grandfather for 3 cents each. So, he was actually my first customer.

Charles Jonath: That's awesome.

Curt Gammer: Yeah. So, I threw in the buying and selling since 2010 there, because it's more of a technicality.

Charles Jonath: A funny thing is that's about the spread on the wheat pennies too. I think it's like bid is 2 cents and then offers like 4 cents.

Curt Gammer: Yeah. No, I mean I was getting market price my coins even then.

Charles Jonath: That's great.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, so my relationship with coins has always been sort of based on a business type of relationship. I can never say I had too large of a personal collection and more just I always had sort of a standing inventory selling, buying my friends silver Roosevelt Dimes and Mercury Dimes for a dollar and then taking them to the pawnshop and selling them for two. Again, using my parents as a shuttle, but I probably spent more on gas getting there than I did in profit, right.

Charles Jonath: Sure.

Curt Gammer: It wasn't really until the pandemic had started and I was more divested into the internet where I found this sort of great group of people. And prior to that in 2019, I actually ended up winning a scholarship to the A&A Summer Seminar.

Charles Jonath: Oh, wow.

Curt Gammer: I'm actually I'm actually losing.

Charles Jonath: I'm familiar with it.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, I'm jumping around here.

Charles Jonath: That's fine. No. I mean tell us about the summer seminar. Like how was that? What was that experience? Because I've never really talked to anyone that went to it although I'm familiar with it.

Curt Gammer: Okay. So, the summer seminar is unlike different programs they have now. It's mixed between adults and kids, but they have certain different facilities for the kids and adults. And so, I was 14, the only person below 30 in my class for counterfeit detection. So, I was in 8th grade and I was looking at omega counterfeit $20 gold pieces and trying to develop a way, train my eye to spot them. Not like I was able to handle any at that time, but you understand the point. I found out about the summer seminar when I attended my first coin show when I was 9. And the dealers there were sort of impressed by my knowledge a little bit and they recommended that I went there. But it wasn't only, it took a few years of convincing to let my parents let me go out to Colorado and learn.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: So that was really neat. It was really neat. It was a big step and I still keep in contact with a lot of the kids I met there as well.

Charles Jonath: That's so cool. That's one good thing about like your generation is like you guys are already plugged in, like with the internet and everything. So, it's easy to keep in contact, I think.

Curt Gammer: Oh, for sure. The amount of networking and friendships I've been able to achieve just on social media alone it's incredible. It's nothing like this ever before in history has been created and I think it's fantastic.

Charles Jonath: No, it's definitely true. So, did they allow you to, like with that program stuff you were handling real coins?

Curt Gammer: Yeah, real coins passing around. The instructor was Bob Campbell who was a former president of the American Numismatic Association himself. And with him, I actually developed a little bit of a full. I don't want to say it's a 100% accurate way but this pretty much the best way to detect gold dollars, type one gold dollars. I found out when I was 14 that most counterfeits didn't actually have the engravers initial L for long acre in the truncation of the net, most counterfeiters forgot that. So, I was able to knock out probably every counterfeit during the course, which is really great.

Charles Jonath: That's great.

Curt Gammer: Catching little details like that.

Charles Jonath: Little details like that, right. Yeah, because some of them are probably really good, right.

Curt Gammer: Oh, yeah, I still get fooled, usually the only problem I have nowadays is with colonials. I've missed I think one or two colonials in the past year and I've gotten burned, but other than that…

Charles Jonath: Those are tough.

Curt Gammer: I think I'm better at detecting counterfeits than I actually am at grading and probably that's due to that that course giving me that exposure.

Charles Jonath: Interesting.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, but from there I went to the local and regional point show in my area and then we all know what happened in March of 2020. Everything shut down. So, I was forced to go back in my room on my computer on my phone and I was thrown into these different social media groups with other young collectors and dealers and such. And those opportunities I started the GammerCoin Instagram page in April or March of last year. So, it's been over a year now I've been on Instagram as a dealer. But even before then, I was actively trading, buying and selling through my personal account.

Charles Jonath: That's so cool. Just right over Instagram, right?

Curt Gammer: Yeah, because there was no, I mean the shops were closed. Coin shows were closed. It was really bad.

Charles Jonath: Yeah.

Curt Gammer: So, that social media really gave me that platform to grow my business and to grow my knowledge. And also on Instagram was the coin shop that I'd never been to or ever heard of prior to this. Witter Coin run by Seth Chandler and I watched him and his employees grow and build their shop for months prior to they, them announcing the Witter Coin University program. I believe it was February of 2021.

Charles Jonath: Sounds accurate yeah, I mean it's relatively recent but it's an amazing organization from what I hear. I mean I know the guy behind it, Seth. So, he's amazing he's a really talented.

Curt Gammer: He's phenomenal seriously a master at his craft. And when he developed that program, I nothing… I'm sorry. Can you hear me?

Charles Jonath: Yeah, you just cut out for a second, you're okay.

Curt Gammer: Sorry, yeah, my feed cut out as well. Your screen's black but beside the point that program Whitter coin U, I think was the first of its kind completely dedicated towards young numismatics. I had had previous experience at the summer seminar, but like I said there wasn't too many kids. The adult per children ratio was pretty off. Whitter coin U allowed me to be submerged with 25 other passionate young collectors and dealers from across the country.

Charles Jonath: It's cool.

Curt Gammer: It was phenomenal.

Charles Jonath: It feels more like school to you, right. Like a college.

Curt Gammer: It was like, I've been to Disney World before and given the chance I'd go to Whitter coin U again time and time again. Seriously.

Charles Jonath: That's great.

Curt Gammer: The fact that they had established industry leaders that were willing to train and help and answer questions as professors and with sets influence and the behind-the-scenes tour of his coin shop. It really allowed me to sort of, I had always entertained the idea of selling coins professionally but my parents were always pushing me towards a more traditional career.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: The Winter Coin U really allowed my parents and I to both accept that, hey, I can actually make that turn this into my living and follow my passion. So, that was a great turning point in my life for sure.

Charles Jonath: No, it's a very, can be a lucrative field and you can make a living in it. It depends on the direction you want to go. If you want to start at another company and then work your way up, there's that option or you can go into business for yourself. I think it really has both sides because there are bigger companies in the coin industry that do hire.

Curt Gammer: For sure. I totally would have loved to work at a numismatic firm like that, but the fact that I'm from Northeastern Pennsylvania and there's no real dedicated coin shops in my area. Again, the gold and silver and the pawn exchanges. Things like that. They were never really up my alley. Again, no disrespect to pawnshops but it was never really the sort of setting I'd like to find myself and it was numismatic oriented.

Charles Jonath: It’s a different type of company.

Curt Gammer: 100% and it's not something I would see myself going into as a career.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: So, there was no numismatic firms really that I could travel to as a kid without his driver's license when I was 14, 15, and 16.

Charles Jonath: I know.

Curt Gammer: So yeah, exactly.

Charles Jonath: Is there a local coin shop in your area or?

Curt Gammer: I think the closest one is about an hour and a half away? About an hour and a half. Which is the commute, even now is a bit long each way and it's three hours of driving.

Charles Jonath: How far are you from Philly?

Curt Gammer: About an hour and 40 minutes?

Charles Jonath: About an hour and 40 minutes. Inland or yeah, must be, right?

Curt Gammer: Yeah.

Charles Jonath: Inland, Pennsylvania, yeah, like towards like what like if you go out towards Allentown or where exactly.

Curt Gammer: Are you familiar with the Scranton, Pennsylvania, the office?

Charles Jonath: Yeah.

Curt Gammer: So, yeah, like probably about 45 minutes away from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Charles Jonath: Got it. Okay. Got it.

Curt Gammer: I live actually on the side of a mountain in the Poconos.

Charles Jonath: Oh my gosh. Okay. Alright. So, there's no coin shops out there. I mean, you're.

Curt Gammer: No, it's quite remote I have to say.

Charles Jonath: Smaller town.

Curt Gammer: But so, it was fault you know, being isolated from physical numismatic locations like that, definitely put me on a different path and it's what allowed me to become an independent coin dealer. I feel like I think working for someone else would be a great route for anyone including myself but that's just not what faith had for me at the moment. So, being basically by myself isolated here in the mountains allowed me to work on my personal career and personal reputation a coin dealer.

Charles Jonath: That's incredible and you know what? You said a very interesting thing and it's true. Faith didn't allow that for you. I think just because of your predicament or whatever, it's going to make you fill the role of that. You might be the potential main local coin guy there.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, and I sort of fill that shoe. So, I've been driving pretty much every weekend to appraise different collections and I do a lot of estate buyouts of coin collections. Which allows me to come into the most you unique and unusual coins. I kind of have a reputation for selling definitely off types and things like that.

Charles Jonath: Very cool.

Curt Gammer: Different foreign and different. I mean the stuff that comes through my hands is just very interesting. It's not always the most expensive stuff but it definitely is some of the most interesting.

Charles Jonath: That's very cool. So, are you have a website or are you on Google like how do people find you typically in the area?

Curt Gammer: I am on Instagram and I do advertise the local cork Boards at grocery stores.

Charles Jonath: Oh okay.

Curt Gammer: So, I have flyers printed out. Things like that. Online advertising isn't something I've broken into quite yet, online marketing. I've toyed with the idea of renting out a billboard but I need to think about the cost effectiveness of that.

Charles Jonath: Yeah. Probably Google would be a good place to start. I think you could be on like Google My Business or something like that. I think since the pandemic now they allow you to not have a physical location anymore.

Curt Gammer: Oh, I didn't know that. That's really cool actually. I have to check that out.

Charles Jonath: You might want to look into that but yeah, I mean…

Curt Gammer: Who will my Business they call it?

Charles Jonath: Yeah. Believe it. In the coin world, newspaper too. I mean, we're still, there are people that have coins that still read the paper. So, there's that.

Curt Gammer: Well, you need to think about the demographic that's usually sitting on these older collections and they typically are older folks and they do read the newspapers. So, yeah, the newspaper advertisements are definitely a good idea as well.

Charles Jonath: No, for sure, man. So, I want to hear more about your experience at Witter University, because that's, how was the whole experience like flying out there to California going through all the courses. What were the courses like? I mean, I want to know all that stuff.

Curt Gammer: Okay sure thing. So, the experience itself was really anything unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. I had never been to California even or San Francisco. So, the whole setting was so unfamiliar and exciting as it was and the generosity of the fun to send my myself and my mother out on a trip across the country was really something. So, before I'd even touched down in the hotel or that they based it out of they had a sort of ball slash meeting room rented out. It was quite large and there's a projector and different tables where everyone could sit at.

So, before I even entered the room, I was already enamored with my surroundings. And I instantly started seeing people since they recruited mostly off of Instagram. This year they sort of started advertising in in coin magazines for it and other resources. So, I'm excited to see a lot of kids that weren't previously on social media getting accepted this year, but I digress. A lot of actually everyone that was accepted last year had Instagram accounts and I had pretty much known every single one of them prior to that. So, it was really nice meeting my friends that I had known online for months at that time in person. So, that was great.

So, before class, it was even in session. I was already having a blast. And then the moment we all got seated down and the professors made their introductions. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. But yeah, it was really something. The course was 25 kids and I believe, well there was Doctor Kevin Hoffman now. Mister David McCarthy of Kagans mister Jim Stoutcheck of Heritage Seth of course, and mister John Brush and also different people that would come in and speak. It really allowed myself who didn't have too much exposure to the industry prior to that, really gain a lot of insight on the different fields. I mean coins the as an industry is small relatively compared to others.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: But there's such a diverse host of roles and positions you could fill. There really is something for everyone especially professionally.

Charles Jonath: Correct. So, what were the courses centered around? Did you guys cover grading?

Curt Gammer: Yeah, so US so there was a focus on US type coins mostly and there's different histories about the designs, different mintages. What to look for, dealer ethics, collector ethics? How to build your collection? What kind of coins to look for regardless of your taste, solid for grades, solid for the price? How to negotiate at a coin show, coin show etiquette as well? Just a great general sort of 101 course that everyone could take something from.

Charles Jonath: That's great. So, it was just one giant all-inclusive course or did you have different like classes during the day?

Curt Gammer: So, it was one course and also like specialized different trips at night. So, class would end, I think it started at 8:00 and ended at oh God 2:00 or 3:00 or 4:00. I can't remember for the life of me. But it ended in the afternoon. And after that we'd have time to get dinner and we would be able to go out to dinner San Francisco. I don't know if you're familiar, but it has a wonderful food scene and I'm a total foodie. I love to eat. It's like my second biggest passion. My stomach doesn't appreciate that. But yeah, I love to eat for sure.

And so, the restaurants that I was able to experience and the different tourist sites was really something. And then after that period ended, there were different field trips that we could go on. So, we visited the old San Francisco Mint things like that. We would have different appointments actually would go in pairs to Whitter coin Shop and work behind the scenes actually as sort of part-time employees at Whitter Coin. It was really nice.

Charles Jonath: That's so cool. That's great man and then so you went, like was it a different course the following time you went or is it sort of the same course and then you just get a refresher?

Curt Gammer: Well, I don't really know to be honest since last year was the first year, they had it and I was accepted gratefully so this year. So, I believe that there's sort of going to be a general course and then it's going to be a larger pool of students going from 25 kids from last year to 40 now.

Charles Jonath: Wow.

Curt Gammer: So yeah, they're having in a general course and then I believe 15 or so in a more advanced specialized course. I don't really know too many more details about it, but all I know is I'm really excited and looking forward to it.

Charles Jonath: That's awesome, man. When's it going to be?

Curt Gammer: The last week of July?

Charles Jonath: The last week of July. Okay, cool. So, yeah, it's coming up and you'd be right in the heart of your summer and everything.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, for sure. It was a great trip.

Charles Jonath: It's awesome, man. So, what are you gravitating towards these days? Like, what do you like the most to deal in? Like, what type?

Curt Gammer: That's a great question. So, a lot of, a big part of my business model are these estate buyouts and these collection buyouts. So really, it's just whatever I happen to be buying at that time.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: It can vary from I actually have a few coins on my desk would you like me to show you?

Charles Jonath: Yeah, let's see.

Curt Gammer: These I just kind of have laying around but these kind of represent three distinct ways of purchasing coins.

Charles Jonath: Very good.

Curt Gammer: So, the first one is this very flashy. I don't know if you're able to see it quite well.

Charles Jonath: Yeah.

Curt Gammer: But this is a solidus of Justinian the first.

Charles Jonath: Wow. Nice Brazilian.

Curt Gammer: From 527 to 565. So, not too shabby for 1,500 years, right.

Charles Jonath: Yeah, not too bad for a local collection, right?

Curt Gammer: Yeah, for sure. I actually I actually bought this coin at a local point show.

Charles Jonath: Oh, I don't show okay.

Curt Gammer: In the affirmation. But this came out of an old collection. So, it was like the second level of consumer here.

Charles Jonath: Got it.

Curt Gammer: So, this goes to show you just kind of the fresh collections in my area that you can purchase. So, I bought this coin as soon as it was graded by NGC ancients and you have this sort of perfect surfaces of this very fine style coin. You have Justinian with the cross of Jesus Christ.

Charles Jonath: Yeah. I like the new ancient holders for NGC. Now they're giving you.

Curt Gammer: Oh, I love them.

Charles Jonath: All the details on there like.

Curt Gammer: A full attribution. So yeah, the country. This is of the Byzantine Empire. Justinian the First, the ruler. When he ruled since these coins are mostly undated obverse facing bust the reverse angel, that's this guy here. And he's holding the cross and also a Byzantine standard Konob which is Constantinople Midmark basically.

Charles Jonath: It's cool they put the strike quality on there too. The strike quality, conservation method. I mean it got really detail.

Curt Gammer: So, this is a choice MS with these five out of five strikes and a four out of five surface. Look at that contrast here. You can even see it in there, okay. This collection actually I have.

Charles Jonath: Four out of five are really, four out of fives and the five out of five are great coins, when you really get to see the whole strike nice on the end.

Curt Gammer: For sure. I actually prefer a high strike rather than a high surface grade, because it used to be a really choice coin. This is still a complete choice MS gem, but a five out of five, five out of five in this style would probably reach about 20 to $22,000 in an auction setting.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: Where I'm only asking about 13 and a half grand for this piece. So, there are definitely better arbitrage opportunities in your lower surface grade coins.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: This coin is actually something I purchased out of a local collection and got this graded myself. This is finest known for the date and I think there's one 62 in another year 1681 but I would much rather a 58 than a 62. This is a 1683, 6 pence of Charles the second and I love the surface condition. Isn't that super flashy?

Charles Jonath: Yeah. Very excited.

Curt Gammer: I just was to show you, and from Northeastern Pennsylvania. I have no idea how this coin made it to my backyard but here it is.

Charles Jonath: Who knows? It was probably there from God only knows.

Curt Gammer: Yeah. It could've come over at any time which I absolutely love about it.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: During 1683, Pennsylvania was actually quite literally the frontier beyond Frontier.

Charles Jonath: Exactly.

Curt Gammer: So, this comes to a point a time where my where I lived used to be pretty much the Wild West.

Charles Jonath: That's the cool thing about being on the East Coast, you have all that. You have a long-standing history there.

Curt Gammer: 100%.

Charles Jonath: Great for coins and the going into the south I mean you guys are in like the heart of where the local coin the great collection where they are sitting.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, this is where the history happened really.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: So, that's not to disparage the west at all. I mean you still have phenomenal history.

Charles Jonath: Oh, we have different stuff.

Curt Gammer: This is actually a coin I purchased off of Instagram. So, this kind of shows you the variety of ways I purchased coins. So not only are these coins varied in both design, type, dates, but they're also varied in the ways I acquired these pieces. You have coin show, personal collection buyout, and Instagram. And that just goes to show you that choice pieces are everywhere and you just kind of need to look nowhere to look for them.

Charles Jonath: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly and know what you could do with the that particular coin. That's what it's all about. You know what I mean?

Curt Gammer: Exactly.

Charles Jonath: The opportunities that can come from anywhere from other dealers. They could come from collectors, Instagram, local collections, it doesn't really matter. I mean, a coin like as long as you know what to do with that coin and you have, you can make a spread on it. You're in the game.

Curt Gammer: 100%. Yeah, that's basically the essentials to it.

Charles Jonath: Nice. So, what personally, what type personally do you like? Is there like one thing you're like, oh my God, I really, if I ever had to build a collection myself, this is what I would build.

Curt Gammer: That's a really hard question.

Charles Jonath: Yeah, it is tough.

Curt Gammer: And it's something I think about often and it's a conversation I have both of my colleagues and my friends all the time is what series do I like the most. Because again, basically you have to chase attractive coins for cheap prices when you are a dealer like this.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: Not so much a collector Building it for yourself. But I would say if I were to ever retire and sit in my study and have a tray of coins out. I would love. Are you familiar with the classic head type series of gold coinage? 1834 to 1839. Beautiful designs. Sort of that milled coinage look that you get from the Liberty Head. But it's that kind of Jacksonian twist on a classic design that gets me so excited. Another feature of that series is that then come in four different mints. You have the Philadelphia Mint, Charlotte, and Delagina. As well as the New Orleans.

Charles Jonath: [INAUDIBLE 26:14]

Curt Gammer: For sure.

Charles Jonath: I like the fives in that series.

Curt Gammer: The fives and the quarters are both incredible. So, Quarter Eagles. I like the fives as well more personally because I always prefer larger coins over smaller ones that just my personal preference.

Charles Jonath: A lot of people. A lot of people like, people think that scale is they're like, oh, it's not a big deal but I think it is. I don't know. Something about, especially when you talk to the collectors, like, I know my clients, like, the people that are getting into coins and start trying to build collections, when they see the scale in their hand. You know what I mean? Like, sometimes, it's hard for them, they don't want to spend a lot of money on something very small. It's just in the brain.

Curt Gammer: No, I understand that. Smaller coins, miners as we call them in world coins. Fractionals, fractionals off of the main denomination offer an opportunity to get lower mintage coins in better surface condition for cheaper. Because the crown sizes typically always sell for more. But miners provide a great value, whereas to me a larger surface area of plant sheet is more impressive to me when the 27:28 planchet is in good condition. So, I mean okay so you have, look at more proof Morgan dollars versus proof barber dimes or seeded dimes. It's much harder to find a really gem great color proof Morgan that it is a proof seeded dime and prices reflect that. Because it's harder to keep a large crown size coin free of hairlines and free of rim dings and marks and other things.

Whereas a tiny coin you can kind of slip it into an envelope and forget about it. Although that is a generalization, you kind of understand the point.

Charles Jonath: No, yeah definitely. I mean the scales yeah, I mean because a lot of those bigger coins people, it's a dollar. It was money back then, like people wanted to spend them then not just stick them in a drawer somewhere and keep it. Curt actually cut out on us. I think he's having some technical difficulties, but we'll be back up shortly. Thanks.

Curt Gammer: Sorry, there's a there's a windstorm in my area.

Charles Jonath: Oh, really?

Curt Gammer: Yeah, I actually had to go outside and try to mess with the power box and I think I got my power on it.

Charles Jonath: Nice. Sorry.

Curt Gammer: It is ridiculous. I literally live on the side of a mountain when I tell you that. I'm not joking.

Charles Jonath: No, I am too. Like here in the desert like it's crazy that sometimes when the wind really kicks up.

Curt Gammer: Yeah.

Charles Jonath: It's just bad like howling and everything all my outdoor furniture goes flying around.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, and there's a ton of trees in my backyard. So, when it gets really bad the tree will fall down. We have to pray that it doesn't hit the house.

Charles Jonath: Oh amazing.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, one time a tree fell out on our deck. So that was a great summer project to rebuild that.

Charles Jonath: That's great. Alright.

Curt Gammer: Yeah.

Charles Jonath: I'm cutting small pieces.

Curt Gammer: I’m not actually [INAUDIBLE WORD 29:05] kind of guy. So, can you imagine me trying to rebuild a deck? It was not good.

Charles Jonath: It's good experience though I think. Yeah. I mean I had to do stuff like that too. Putting up drywall and all kinds of things.

Curt Gammer: Oh yeah.

Charles Jonath: You'll learn one day when you have your own house it never ends. There's always a project around. So, learn that stuff from now because you're going to need it later.

Curt Gammer: Yeah bet. I totally bet. Yeah. God home repairs. Jeez Louise.

Charles Jonath: I know right.

Curt Gammer: Hopefully I don't have to wear much about that anytime soon.

Charles Jonath: Yeah, buy new.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, oh God for sure. Unless I like watching home development TV, I guess, right.

Charles Jonath: Well, some people are super into that stuff.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, like house whiffing and things like that.

Charles Jonath: That's not me, right. Probably not you. So, no, you were talking about the dyes, right?

Curt Gammer: Yeah. Well, not so much the dyes as it as it is. To me, personally, a well-surviving crown-sized example of coin is far more than a miner. Because miners were so often saved or although on the other hand, you have when it comes to gold especially, you have the fractional issues like the quarter eagle and the gold dollar changing hands much more than you would say a $20 lib or going to the Spanish colonial market 8 escudos versus one of escudos or two-escudo doubloons. They circulated much more frequently as did the crown size pieces. So, it's kind of…

Charles Jonath: That's how people got paid. You know what I mean? Like when you were working mining for gold, like they were paying in that small denial. A lot of times fractional was the very common.

Curt Gammer: They were the workhorse is like they describe them as. So yeah, so there really is something for everyone. I mean I could see both having great, sorry forgive me. I definitely see both having a positive and negative pros and cons.

Charles Jonath: Yeah. It's subjective. It depends on what you can appreciate, like I don't know. For me like the older proofs, I love the older proofs. Because those were coins collected by collectors back then which is impressive to me.

Curt Gammer: And then you also have the argument for business strikes would be it's kind of, for a lot of dates especially in the US series, it's harder to find a well, an uncirculated jammy business strike as opposed to the proof of that year.

Charles Jonath: Very true. Yeah. Very true. Especially those high men state ones. It's incredible. Someone kept that all those years. You see it in those 67s and stuff like that. I mean.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, right. I guess like when we go into the mid-19th century late 19th century, the only coins readily available are the Morgan’s in 67, 60 to 67+ that can be had for a couple grand in most cases. But to find a nice, like are there barbers graded in the 7+. I've seen proof 7 barber halves.

Charles Jonath: Yeah.

Curt Gammer: I don't know. They just don't really see them. Because they circulated again. They were kind of I mean Morgan’s were kept in bags and locked away in vaults for decades where barbers were released in the circulation and heavily spent. It’s hard to come across a gem a real gem barber half or quarter even a dime.

Charles Jonath: Yeah. The quarters are really nice. I think I had a Quarter and 67, 1870s. I don't remember the exact heroes. Seated quarter.

Curt Gammer: Seated, yeah. That's sick. I love that. I actually just wanted auction a really stunning proof 67. It's eighteen 67 seated quarter with this beautiful rainbow iridescent toning.

Charles Jonath: Really?

Curt Gammer: So, it's I get that back from the auction house. I'll be listing that for sale on my Instagram and other social media.

Charles Jonath: Nice. So, you're buying coins out of auction too, smart. How do you feel about that? Do you feel like you could still you could still find deals, right? It's getting harder.

Curt Gammer: It's really hard. I mean even in the foreign market where you think some coins would slip by, it's really hard to find good value at auction these days. Because every choice coin is selling for a record price. For that proof 68 I had to shell out 7 grand more than what the last sales pump for that coin was, because that's just the way the market Coached. You know, so.

Charles Jonath: Yeah. It's true.

Curt Gammer: You have to pay out, if you want quality at auction these days.

Charles Jonath: I know. I mean, I'm able to do it as long as people are still paying me more so.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, exactly. That's the thing. So, it's not like, I mean, personally as an investor, I don't know if I would personally pay a record price for anything.

Charles Jonath: It's hard to say. It's like coming from having experience finance and stuff like that. It's very difficult psychology for people to buy into a rally in market because you're like, oh where are we going to be here? How much higher can we go? But usually, the case is a lot higher, right. Like when you're in the trend of something it's good to stay with the trend. There's an old saying it says, the trend is your friend until it bends.

Curt Gammer: Yeah exactly. The trend. I've never heard that but yeah, it's very true. The trend is your friend. Yeah, it's great. For sure.

Charles Jonath: The main thing is to stay with great quality coin. Like as long as you're in really great, you have really good quality. I think you're going to be okay and you'll be able to.

Curt Gammer: Exactly. That's the thing. So, my biggest advice to the investor to the collector to the dealer is stick with quality choice pieces.

Charles Jonath: Yes.

Curt Gammer: I mean, there's something of those three coins I showed you just now. There's one thing in common and that's that they're all super PQ, super excellent choice examples for their grades, for their types, and for that price market.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: So, I mean, as long as you're getting, I mean, good value stays a good value in any price point at any market. So, stick to well proportioned, high-eyed appeal, attractive coins but also mass appeal and you're never going to go wrong. That's my opinion. I mean, obviously, I don't have as many years in this business as pretty much everyone else. I'm pretty green.

Charles Jonath: You're working.

Curt Gammer: I found that to be true in my short time here so far.

Charles Jonath: Yes. Well, then you know what? That's a valuable lesson you learned early on because it's going to service you well. I think, one, you're going to benefit from you're doing all the right things, because you're like taking A&A course was great first of all. And then going to coin shows, talking to older dealers, really listening, taking in the right information, then going to wither you on top of it. I mean, you're going to have the benefit of having a lot of people with the experience to guide you.

Curt Gammer: 100%.

Charles Jonath: Then save you from making most of the mistakes we all had to make early on, you know?

Curt Gammer: I would not be here without an entire, they say like it takes a village to race. There's an entire army behind me of mentors and people who have helped me along the way every time I stand. I've been setting up at the same coin shows I used to frequent as an 8, 9, 10 year and it's kind of like reaching full circle. Because now when little kids come up to my booth at a coin show to make sure to give them something. I always have a small bucket of foreign or cheap oak coins, so I can kind of give this a kid or a new collector to try to spark that same interest that hooked me when I was just 6 years old. It really is a circle and I really am so proud to be continuing my journey through this hobby and through this industry.

Charles Jonath: That's awesome man. That that's great stuff to hear. So, I wanted to ask you too about like foreign stuff. Are you dealing in that at all or you just primarily focused on US?

Curt Gammer: Oh no not at all. So, I'm kind of priced out of most of my tastes in US numismatics. I mean it's pretty hard before I mention my enthusiasm for classic head type gold coins. Well, the thing is I always look for good value when buying from my inventory for buying from my customers and clients. Sardinian or other European coins of the same weight or similar weight standards in the, I'm laughing because I'm thinking about how undervalued some European gold coins are from the same time period. You can get a choice AU20 franc from Napoleon.

Charles Jonath: Yeah, it's Bullion.

Curt Gammer: The greatest military leader of all time for a couple grand versus if that was a US coin with a similar US leader on it contemporary. I mean it would be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Think about what Liberty Head Half Eagles sell for a turban head half eagles and quarter eagles sell for, where you could get a contemporary European piece for a fraction of the cost. So, I actually have sort of made my way and especially the foreign market rather than US. Because I'd always look out for a good value.

Charles Jonath: You know what it is Curt and I'm curious to get your opinion on this. I just think that the US is it's more of a supported market in the sense it has more tools, more collector history, more resources behind. I mean I don't think it seems like foreign has bits and pieces of everything, but there's no one real central location where you could find it all together and then the price guides.

Curt Gammer: The infrastructure, like how you put that, the infrastructure for foreign numismatics it's not there yet. As I like to say it, because I think that myself, I mean people will come and pave way for sort of the standardized market for forum.

Charles Jonath: I really hope so.

Curt Gammer: I believe that the grading services opening up brands offices in Europe and in China, Hong Kong has definitely made that first step into commodifying.

Charles Jonath: That's smart. I mean NGC really should that's their competitive edge, I think. I think they should really get involved in that and build that up. Start doing price guides for all this stuff like better updating it.

Curt Gammer: There's some, I'm not going to say any names but there's a prominent three letter price guide for foreign coins that desperately needs to be updated.

Charles Jonath: Right.

Curt Gammer: Because in this fast-paced market that the prices are either way too high or way too low. So, if we can get some serious price guides. I mean also we can't just look at all foreign coins because that's hundreds of or thousands of countries even over a span of thousands of years. I mean look it's a behemoth to try to codify, and get that into a sort of a standardized market. Where we set our sites sort of, okay let's start cataloging coins after 1800 or after 1750. Milled coinage from a few major nations that we can kind of track down varieties. And those steps are already being taken place taken.

Charles Jonath: Or countries where there's a lot of action, I think too. Like France Italy China obviously.

Curt Gammer: Sorry, what was that?

Charles Jonath: Countries where there there's a lot of action already like Chinese coins or German coins.

Curt Gammer: I mean look at obviously they’re the gray sheet sort of the dealer price guide right, has expanded two foreign. Coins but the thing is they're not biting off more than they can chew, they're focusing on I think right now they're on Canada and China. And they're just kind of focusing on that right now, you have the yellow sheet or the red sheet they call for China. And then they don't have, I don't know if they have a color for Canada yet. But addendums to their normal grey sheet and that standardization as long as you like don't take the whole problem on head first and sort of start breaking it down into different countries and date ranges. We can definitely get onto that sort of commodified level the US market is on.

Charles Jonath: Yeah, I'd love to see that, man. I'd love to see a lot of these subsets, these types of coins that people collect like get more support, get more infrastructure behind it like Ancients is another thing. Imagine having what like a coin fact for Ancients.

Curt Gammer: Well, that's the thing so Ancients are a completely different beast. I mean Ancients and foreign and US coins I believe they're two different animals almost as if they were a different hobby.

Charles Jonath: Yes.

Curt Gammer: Ancient coins are more comparable honestly to the current market than they are numismatics. That's how far off the charts, because you could have just that just steady in the first solidus, I showed off earlier. You could have that there's so many more variables to ancients like.

Charles Jonath: Yes.

Curt Gammer: The finest of style. So, you can have the same type, but if the dyes are the engraver paid more attention to the dyes and made it more fineness of detail and centering when striking, that can completely alter the market price for a coin surface condition strike as well. And there's also so many.

Charles Jonath: Well, imagine they were all hand struck.

Curt Gammer: Exactly, they're all handmade and handcrafted. They truly are pieces of art rather than sort of the machine-made US and their contemporary foreign coins circuit, their counterparts. So, it's much harder to standardize the ancient market I believe than your sort of 1,800 to modern day foreign coins. And I don't think they'll ever be really a great standardized way to price an ancient coin. The best way I can find out how to buy and sell my Ancients at are I go through auction records for the same type and try to measure okay, well my coin is much nicer or this coin's much nicer than mine and sort of go from there. Sorry, what was that?

Charles Jonath: By eye.

Curt Gammer: Yeah, exactly.

Charles Jonath: That's what, you know what man? This is like it's very cool to see. I'm like I'm very impressed with not only your knowledge of coins your passion for coins. But also like you have a broad range of like; I think you have a really good understanding of the industry which is very cool.

Curt Gammer: Well, I would go as far to say that, but I definitely I've been lucky to be exposed to so much at such a young age. I believe that through the years my, I mean you called it a passion. My parents would like to call it an obsession rather. But yeah, my passion for numismatics and also the people around it. I mean it's not so much the coins I'm so attracted to. It's the people and it's the support system that has always been there for me. And the sort of the camaraderie and fraternity that I find in coins that is really priceless and I don't really think that exists near any other hobby.

Charles Jonath: Well, I'm proud of our community, man. That just hearing your experience.

Curt Gammer: Its definitely should be, it’s phenomenal.

Charles Jonath: That's great man. So, how do we find you online? Is there something specific like if people want to reach out to you or is it just your Instagram or just tell us?

Curt Gammer: Okay, so my Instagram handle is @Gammercoin. My phone number is 570-578-4050. Call me anytime. I'm always on call if you have question about coin or question about a collection. My Email is cjgammer@gmail.com. Feel free to reach out at any time. Shoot off some questions or to inquire about a coin that you're looking to sell or buy. Please reach out.

Charles Jonath: That's awesome man. That's great. Well Curt it was a pleasure man. It was awesome talking to you.

Curt Gammer: Thank you so much for having me.

Charles Jonath: And I hope to see you in person sometime soon. I don't know. I'm going to be in, I don't know how active you are going to be in shows. I'll be in at Fun in July if you're going to be there.

Curt Gammer: I'll have a table at Fun.

Charles Jonath: Okay cool. Well, I'll see you there.

Curt Gammer: I'll be able to meet and maybe have an update video.

Charles Jonath: Yeah, I know definitely. We'll go grab a cup of coffee or something.

Curt Gammer: For sure. Alright thank you, Charles.

Charles Jonath: Take care out there. Be good, huh?

Curt Gammer: Thank you. You too. Bye everyone.

 

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