A Couple of My Non-Card Hobbies


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So, I have several different hobbies that I really enjoy. Recently, I had a couple nice additions to some of my "non-card" collections that I thought I would share. I figured you guys might find them interesting.

This first one is a recent coin purchase. I love coin collecting and have done so since I was very young. Over the last decade, I have developed a deep love for German coinage. Specifically coins from three different eras: Kingdom of Prussia (1702-1918), Deutches Reich (1871-1948: "German Empire" - basically the empire controled by the Kaiser, The Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and the Post WWII occupation), and Modern Germany (1949-Date).

Recently I picked up a very nice silver 3 Mark coin. It is from 1913 and was minted in Berlin. This coin was issued to commemorate Wilhelm II's 25 years as emperor. This coin was made as a circulating coin but also a small number were made as "proofs" for collectors. Proofs are made a bit differently to ensure a higher quality product. My coin is a proof and only 6000 were made (for cards that's a lot...for coin's its not). 200,000 of the circulation strikes were made.

Although in 1913 Germany was a united empire, all the larger denomination coins were minted by the individual states. So, this coin was issued by the Kingdom of Prussia. You will notice on the obverse of the coin (front) it says "Wilhelm II Deutscher Kaiser Konig von Preussen." This is translated as "Wilhelm II: German Emperor and King of Prussia." Because it was issued by Prussia, both titles are listed. Coins issued by other states showing their respective monarch only say "King of [state]."

I also recently finished a challenging TTM space autograph project. This is a cover signed by the entire crew of the STS-28 shuttle mission. This mission flew in 1989 on the Space Shuttle Columbia and transported a classified DoD payload. I feel fortunate to have completed this crew as most collectors find this one quite challenging. All autographs were obtained through the mail and I am very appreciative of the astronauts being so generous to me.



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Richard, did you see the link to the PSA story about astronaut autographs?
I did...I mentioned it a PM I sent you. Neat article. I really like the link with the guy with the huge collection. Definitely bigger than mine (although I have autographs of most people who flew).

The link in it to the guy who has a massive collection is pretty cool. He claims to have an autograph of every person to fly in space but to be honest I'm a bit skeptical. There are 2 people (both members of the 1971 Soviet Soyuz 11 crew) who's autographs basically don't exist. Most people consider anything signed by them other than official government documents to be highly suspect. His are on a commemorative postal cover.

Outside of those two guys, the hardest autograph to come up with is Anatoli Levchenko. He is nearly impossible to find. Here is the example from my collection which I purchased a few years ago from a well known dealer. I really like it because it is dated when it was signed...only about a week after his flight.

The Russian's have a tradition where they don't sign autographs before a flight. That is why the 2 Soyuz 11 guys are so rare...they were rookies and died on their mission. Levchenko was part of a group who trained to fly the Soviet shuttle. They were part of a classified unit who trained away from most of the cosmonauts. He was scheduled to be the backup commander of the first shuttle mission so he got to ride on a Soyuz flight to get experience prior to the shuttle mission (Soviet flight rules required 1 experienced cosmonaut on every flight). Because he spent most of his time training apart from the other cosmonauts, access to him for autographs was very minimal. He died of a brain tumor only 8 months after returning from his only flight. So, a very short signing period combined with very limited access makes his signature extremely rare.
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