The nice thing about being rich and famous is that you can afford to be overly eccentric, and a large part of the public won’t laugh at you. That’s why these guys buy ridiculous things at even more ridiculous prices – just because they can.

This list comprises of such things that we might never be able to – or want to – afford in this lifetime. But at least they make great pieces of info for Trivia Night or Pop Quiz games.

 

‘Dead Shark’ art

A few months ago, the news media was swept by an artist who created a very controversial art piece. It is basically a dead tiger shark, which some say was already dead when the artist added it in a tank full of formaldehyde, a toxic substance used to preserve all kinds of dead bodies. Others are not so sure.

“Dead Shark” was designed by an English artist named Damien Hirst in 1991, but recently, it was bought by an anonymous hedge fund manager, who clearly didn’t know what to do with his money, for 12 million USD, making it one of the most expensive art pieces in the world.

‘Insurance.com’ & ‘Insure.com’

Honestly, no one would have thought that common domains name will get so expensive as they are today. And most certainly nobody thought they would become some of the most valuable things in the world.

Two well-known domains, Insurance.com & Insure.com, were sold for the ridiculous sum of 35.6 Million USD and 16 Million USD. This only shows you that the insurance business is very lucrative if the elite can afford to spend this crazy amount of money on a few words.

 

Designer shoes

How many pairs of designer shoes would you buy for $2 million? To one person, the answer was one. The glitzy shoes made their debut in 2014 when America’s Got Talent Nick Cannon appeared on the stage wearing the colorful Tom Ford shoes.

Later on, they were valued at $2 million by experts, after the Internet went crazy for them. The sparkling pieces contain at least 14,000 full-cut white diamonds set onto white gold, making them the most expensive shoes ever crafted.

Say yes to the expensive dress

And while we are covering this topic, we should also mention the most expensive dress was appraised at $4.8 million. The revealing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” piece the beloved Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to serenade our ex-president John F. Kennedy, was sold at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles last year.

The previous record holder was held by the iconic white dress worn by the same blonde bombshell in her “Seven Year Itch” motion picture, which only attests that her popularity didn’t decrease even years after her tragic death.

 

 

In my experience, coins are special since most people collect them due to the desire to own bits of history. There is a collective fascination in owning these portable items. Coins are miniature works of art, they show how we’ve evolved, and have a beauty all of their own.

Collectors love looking at these shiny metal objects and also filling their albums with them because they give a sense of pride. The pieces are not only mediums of exchange, but they are also fascinating proofs of our ingenuity as a species.

Beauty is in the numbers

The world’s first coins, according to historians, were minted in ancient Lydia, or what is now known as western Turkey, around 700BC. They closely resembled our own currencies, but at first, the pieces weren’t super embraced, as people still used cattle and other goods to trade.

Speaking of numbers, according to the Royal Mint of The United Kingdom, in 2014, there were more than 29 billion coins in circulation in Britain. This number is surprising especially since coins like the penny are worth less than what it costs to manufacture them.

In the year if 2017, the United States produced over 8 billion circulating coins, which is insane since most people can’t stand them. These new pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters, and dollar coins are all manufactured at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, all highly guarded facilities.

 

They are popular among collectors

The most thriving coin collecting scheme by any Mint in the civilized world was the 50 State Quarters affair in the USA. It was created to support a new generation of enthusiast coin collectors, and it instantly became the most successful and appreciated numismatic program in history.

Roughly half the population of the country is estimated to have collected at least one-quarter of the series. Needless to say, they are now highly sought-after and very pricey – that is you can get your hands on them, as collectors don’t put them up for sale very often.

The world’s most expensive coin

It was a rare flowing hair silver dollar, a piece that experts assumed to be the first one to be struck by the United States Mint. Recently, it was sold for over $10 million, a sum which includes commission.

Another rare coin, the British 1933 penny, was sold for an outrageous sum. There was no actual demand to strike pennies in early 1933, and as a consequence, you can barely find any on the market. If you find one by mistake, you can consider you’ve stricken gold even if they are made of cheap metals.

The Royal Mint Museum and as well The British Museum were given some of these rare coins to keep. It is thought that no more than six or eight were struck in total, a thing that explains why they are so rare and expensive. All of these things added up explain why coins are special and treasured by collectors.

 

 

Numismatics is the collection of currency, including coins, paper money, tokens and other related objects. The discipline itself also includes the study of money, and in retrospect, it is almost like an art form which began with the creation of money. Many objects have been accepted as coins in the early ages, such as shells, metals, cocoa beans and even large stones.

A numismatist is described as a person who studies coins or collects coins. It can be an expensive endeavor, as some coins are known to be sold at exorbitant sums, which exceed the one million dollar threshold.

 

Are numismatists and collectors the same?

The short answer is that they can be the same, but in some highly specialized instances, they may not be. Some individuals simply collect coins, with no expertise at all. They are just average Joes with a passion for money, which explains why this art is so popular. There are other experts who not only collect money but study it too.

The two definitions can be used interchangeably, as most people do, although in some instances they have to be used separately, as numismatists care more about the chronology of things and about accuracy than they do about excitement.

 

Why is this hobby so attractive?

Simply put? Because it is stimulating and educative. There are plenty of benefits to numismatics and coin collecting, and they play an essential role in advancing the accumulated knowledge of coins and currency in our societies.

Believe it or not, professionally collecting coins can be something very fruitful if you follow the right steps. Many coins gain value over time, so even if you invest quite a large sum in them, you’ll most likely double the money you make in a few years.

There’s also a lot learned from collecting these small pieces of history. Studying the coins you buy and their past can lead to fascinating discoveries and to you learning about history and politics. They are especially well suited for history buffs.

Other people invest in them because they have a taste for rare objects. Some coins can only be found in amounts that don’t exceed the number ten, although those belong in museums and not in private collections. Getting your hands on them can also be challenging, which is another factor that adds to the appeal of coins.

The bottom line is that coin collectors have been around us since before the Roman Empire, and they are not a dying breed. On the contrary, they are becoming wealthy individuals, especially those who own collections passed down through the generations, as those have an immense potential if they are complete and if they contain rare coins.

 

You might have inherited a stamp collection from a family member or friend who decided to give everything away. Now, you are stuck wondering if what you received is really worth anything. If you know next to nothing about stamp collecting or philately, do not despair. Finding the value of your entire stamp collection or just a single postage stamp is not that nerve-wracking.

First things first. You ought to know that you can obtain a general idea of stamp collection values simply by adhering to a few common sense rules. That said, you also have to accept that those rules merely serve to help you determine what is invaluable in all likelihood, which means you have to be willing to perform your own research to achieve precise value assessment.

 

 

While you can find countless stamp collections everywhere, you have to understand that the majority of them were generated simply for the fun it elicited in those who created them. So money-wise, don’t get your expectations too high regardless if what you have looked really ‘ancient’.

During stamp collection fairs or shows, you are likely to encounter plenty of dealers intending to see stamps. There may also be expert stamp collectors there who provide free collection valuations. You might be able to get some valuable advice on what your own set is possibly worth during such events.

Be realistic. During such events, despite plenty of participants lugging their collections to be assessed, a tremendous majority of them, or 99 percent of cases, learn that what they own is actually not worth that much at all. That would be a letdown if you only came to these occasions hoping to fetch big money for what you have put together.

 

You can start the valuation by yourself by first determining if the person who passed the stamp collection to you was a serious collector, a stamp club member, or was in the stamps business. This certainly points to someone who knew valuable stamps when they saw them. However, if the person was in it purely for fun, think again.

Some value indicators include multiple stamp albums, which mean the person was a serious collector, ergo, a potentially more valuable collection. The more stamps in each album, the better. This demonstrates thoroughness about the items.

Because most stamp albums are chronologically created, the older and more valuable items land on the first few pages. If there are more stamps on those first few pages, the higher the potential value of the collection is.

 


If the collection has more used stamps than unused ones, don’t expect a high value.

How the stamp is mounted in the album also shows value. If the item employs a device called a stamp hinge, which is a little glue cellophane that attaches the stamp to the album page, it means the item is of little value.

Mounted stamps are those that are placed inside some kind of plastic envelope, with a clear plastic front and black backing. With plenty of the stamps in the album mounted in this costlier manner, you could be looking at higher value items.

An even more expensive type of stamp mount is the full-page one. Slid into rows, the stamps are placed in pages with black plastic behind them plus clear plastic up front. This protects the more valuable ones because no glue is used to prevent damage. This indicates the stamps are valuable enough not to be mounted by ordinary means.



Full sheets of a whole series of stamps placed as one complete piece, without separations, and mounted in the album, exhibit some value. It also indicates the collection, in general, is of some value.

It is still best advice to have a trusted expert in stamp collecting assess your collection even if none of the above indicators show up.






 

Owning a coin collection is a sign of valuing the art and the history. We use money as a method of payments and transactions but the truth is that how often do you pass by a coin on the street and think of how did it get there or whom did it belong to? This behavior is normal because people have been thought to appreciate money as an object and not as a form of beauty. A coin collector, on the other hand, sees beyond that and knows that each crack or chip has an untold story ready to be guessed. Evaluating your coin collection is a tale of making an assumption and seeing value where nobody else sees. If you want to know how to appreciate what you have stocked until now I will give you a few precious tips that you should take into consideration.

First, do your research. Learn about each coin that you have and see if you can find interesting facts about it, like how many copies are left, when was it made and so on. It is very important to keep them in your collection I a specific order. Of course, the most valuable ones will always find a way to stand out.

 

 

Hold back your desire to clean them or even worse, to polish them. Making them shiny and new will decrease their value substantially. By applying substances on the coin surface, you destroy the patina and therefore its ability to stay intact for a longer period.

Use a good magnifier to observe the fine details and try to see the beauty in every coin. Admire the work of art, the lines, the small features or anything that catches your attention. Make notes of everything you see, including imperfections. Some buyers like coins that aren’t perfect while other have a fixation with the toning. No matter what, always keep your collection up to date and write down information or observations. You can build a personal system and follow the rules or simply make coin cards. The more details the merrier.

Look at the coins from your collections and see if there are signs of wear. Learn to distinguish between color fading and wear signs. Pay attention to everything and examine the coin using a circular method, clockwise. This is very useful because you can focus on one part at the time instead of wondering your eyes on the entire layer.

In the end, don’t forget that each coin has its worth. Maybe you have coins in your possessions that belong to someone dear but can’t be sold for much. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep it in your collections. You evaluate a collection both mentally and emotionally.

 

Sources we recommend: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/appraising_coins/

http://numismax.com/how-to-get-an-honest-appraisal-of-your-coin-collection/

 

 

As some of you might have inferred from my last post, I am a proud collector of coins. However, my interests do not limit to this, as I also enjoy collecting stamps and other fascinating objects, a passion that will maybe talk about in another blog entry. However, because I take my passion seriously, I also made a few investments in the devices that I use to study my proud possessions. Therefore, there was a time when I had to make a series of choices between different technologies and devices, and one of those particular decisions was choosing between a digital microscope and a dissecting one. So, because I think there are people who struggle with making this call, I have decided to give you a hand and help you make up your mind about what model you should choose.

To make it simple for you from the beginning, your decision should be guided by a simple criterion: how exactly do you intend to study your specimens? The reason why I am saying this is the fact that the main difference between a digital microscope and a dissecting one is the fact that a digital microscope was specially designed to be used with a computer. So, in case you want to thoroughly document the particularities of the sample/object you are studying, this device seems like a better fit.

Moreover, the price is also an important aspect. While dissecting microscopes are a tiny bit more expensive, as they are seen as lab equipment, digital microscopes are commonly low priced and considered commercial. As a result, by choosing a digital microscope you will be able to settle for a device that doesn’t require you to make a big investment. However, keep in mind that cheaper does not mean less capable. Quality, in this case, should not be inferred from the price. A well-equipped digital microscope is just as capable as a dissecting one.

Another major difference between the two is the fact that stereo microscopes, ( also called dissecting microscopes) and digital microscopes magnify the observed image in two different ways. While the stereo model multiplies the magnification in the lens by the eyepiece magnification, the digital model does not have this option. In the case of digital microscopes, magnification translates in how many times is the image made bigger when projected on the monitor. As studies show, the magnification number of a regular stereo microscope is in average 40 percent less than that of a digital one.

So, these are the facts, from here now the decision is all yours. So, think about what type you think best suits you and make your choice!

 

 

 

Coin collecting is a hobby many take up as children and carry out throughout their adult lives. I for one can still remember the first coin my grandfather gave me from his own collection and how much that simple gesture meant to me, as it transformed me into an avid collector. No matter how you came to love this hobby, collecting coins is an activity closely linked to the pleasure of paying attention to each and every detail. To me, searching for the history, the individuality of every coin is something that offers me both satisfaction and delight. However, to be able to do so, a coin collector needs the right equipment and, sometimes, knowing what to buy I a tad difficult. Therefore, today I have decided to share with you the story of how I managed to get a great microscope for coins.

Before settling for a microscope, I have to admit that I was still in doubt either or not I really needed such a device. The reason why this happened was because I ever actually knew whether or not I wanted to make such an investment. So, as a result, I decided to do a little net surfing and I have soon realized the extent of the many advantages a microscope for coins has to offer.

Next, I started searching for interesting features I should look for in a microscope. Soon, I had a new revelation. My new acquisition had to be easy to use and offer a generous magnification rate. Also, because I want to share my collection and discuss certain coins with fellow collectors that are not in the same state as I am in, I needed a device that I could easily connect to my notebook, be able to take photos and make small video recordings of my coins.

Another feature I realized I had to pay attention to was the size of the device. Because collecting coins has become an important part of my life, a few years ago I actually designed a small workshop where I keep my collection and spend time analyzing different coins and research additional information about them. So, another aspect I had to have in mind was the size of the device, as I wanted it to perfectly fit my work table.

Lastly, another thing you should keep in mind is how much exactly you want to invest in your new device. Because I’ve been in your shoes, I suggest you don’t rush into making a big investment. So, don’t buy an expensive device if you will only use it once or twice a week. Although more expensive models come with additional features, a model bought at half the price is equally capable of offering you the magnification range you need to enjoy studying your coin collection.