What are some different types Of Sports Cards?

Think a sports card is a sports card?  Far from it.  There are a ton of different types of cards that you could find.  Here’s a few:

Retail Card—these are cards that are sold to major retailers like Kmart.  The cards will often have the name of the store printed on the card as well.  You might even find a card from a now-defunct retailer.

Insert Card—these are cards that are inserted into packs at a staggered rate (like one card being inserted into every 24th pack).  There is also a number on the back of every sports card.  The number on the back of the insert card will be different than the normal set numbers.  The normal set numbers will appear as 1-400 (or however many cards are in the set), the insert cards will have a number like ST1, or PL1.  When you buy a pack, you never know what kind of insert card could be in there.  There even could be a player who became much more famous later on.

Sell Sheets—these are not cards at all.  They are ads that are sent to distributors for cards that are for sale to the public.  This would show what cards you could get in the set and would show the players that are featured in the set.  You could get these ads from a sports cards dealer for pretty cheap, or even free if the retailer is going to throw them away (it never hurts to ask them if it’s possible for you to have it).  They’re also great to display along with a complete team collection!

So, what’s the rarest card that you’ve ever found?

What happened in in the year 1900?

Not too long ago, I was looking up some information about an item that I was going to put up for sale on Etsy.  While looking around, I found some fun tidbits about the year 1900.  Here’s some of the things that I found:

On March 15th, the Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing the United States currency on the gold standard.  The United States printed the words “Gold Certificate” on them, and these notes are highly collected today.

On June 25th, The Daoist monk Wang Yuanlu discovers the Dunhuang manuscripts, a cache of ancient texts that are of great historical and religious significance, in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, China.  These manuscripts include works ranging from the Buddhist religion to history and mathematics to folk songs and dance.

On November 3rd, The first Auto show in the United States opens at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

What kind of fun facts have you run across when you are looking for more information on an item?

Whimsies for every type of collector

Glass workers spent their “off” hours after completing their regular work schedule creating unusual glass objects known as whimsies.  This includes candy-striped canes, paperweights, pipes, hats…the list goes on and on.
 

A whimsy can also be an item that is made of a product that you usually don’t see it made out of.  This can be something like a Fenton plate made out of hobnail pattern slag glass.

Whimsies were often taken home and given as gifts to family and friends.  They can rarely be attributed to a specific glasshouse or glass worker.  Some say that color or style indicates region or factory, but no one has come up with a perfect identification key other than to talk to the person that actually made the piece.

Highly collectible and usually pricey, whimsies can be a fun collectible.  What examples have you found?

A lesson learned on reproductions

While shopping at one of the local antique malls in my area, I happened onto something that could be a very good thing. It happened to be an R S Suhl shaker, or even possibly hat pin holder.

With the price being right, and some wear being present on the bottom of the shaker, I went ahead and bought it.  When I went to find out what I could about the mark (so I could list it online), there was a little voice in the back of my head that was saying that something was not right.

And then I found a shaker just like the one that I have.  I was thrilled!  I started to read what was posted online about it, and sure enough, that little voice I was hearing was right.  The thing was a reproduction and possibly even an outright fake.

The lesson I learned?  A little research and knowledge can go a long way in the long run.

Just how do I take the best photographs of jewelry?

When it comes to selling jewelry, it is often said that a picture is one of the best-selling tools that you have. There will be times when you produce nothing but blurred, out-of-focus pics, or photos that show the item off-center.  A simple tripod will help you eliminate these problems.  But what other tricks can you use?

I often use a mannequin arm to highlight the beauty of a bracelet or ring, and a bust or a necklace display.  Another option is to use a real-life model for the jewelry.  This could be your sister, brother, or even one of your children.  This type of display helps the buyer know what the jewelry could look like when they have it on before they purchase it.

Don’t be afraid to play with the settings on a camera.  We all know that digital cameras come with a macro setting.  But be sure to try other settings (for night shots, fireworks, or even snow pictures).  You never know which setting will show off a piece’s best attributes!

Take a ton of pictures along the way.  Play with the angles of the photograph, and even use the flash of the camera.  You can even put a table lamp near the jewelry near the jewelry to help give the stones in the piece more of a sparkle affect.  What works for me is to use natural daylight.

I even play with the background as well.  If you have something that has a silver tone to it, a dark backdrop behind or underneath it really plays up the shine.  A piece of construction paper can be all the backdrop you need.

Another way that you can make those pictures “pop” is to take a piece of glass (this can be from a picture frame that you are not using anymore) and lay it on top of a piece of colored construction paper.  The reflection of the jewelry can be picked up in the glass.  There is a product called a light box, which can produce a “halo” effect around something like a pendant.  Instead of investing tons of money on this equipment, a flashlight can come awfully close to doing the same effect.

So what kinds of tricks do you use to take photos of jewelry?

Online Photos

Have you thought about selling off some of the items that you have around the house?  If the answer is yes, how do you go about getting the photos to the online selling site like eBay or Etsy?

You must have a digital camera.  There are many options on the market, like a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex camera that has interchangeable lenses) or even a point and shoot digital camera.

Any digital camera will give you the ability to upload photos to a selling site.

The site that you choose for selling your item will have instructions for listing and uploading your pictures.  If you are familiar with uploading pictures to a blog, it’s always a very similar procedure.

Selling sites make all of this very easy.  Don’t be afraid to try your hand at online selling.

My tip to you is this:  your computer has a limited amount of room to store your pictures, and the pictures can be pretty large (especially if they come from a DSLR camera).  If I were you, I would be sure to back up all of them.

What kind of camera do you like to use?

Tips for a successful garage sale

I see them everywhere, especially during the spring and early summer months.  Garage sales are fun to go to, but how do you have a successful one of your own?

One thing that helps is to put out a lot of signs where you are most likely to snag the most traffic.  The signs must be visible from the street, and even give the address of your sale.  It even helps to give the time and dates of your sale.

The next thing you need to do is to make your merchandise accessible.  The items that are not in the sale need to be either covered with a sheet or tucked away somewhere else if possible.  Dust or clean the things going into the sale.  A clean, well-organized sale does so much better.

Do not overprice your items.  We have all gone to sales where the garage sale prices were higher than the original sticker price—and we have left shaking our heads in disbelief.

For your own safety, do not allow strangers to enter your home to use the bathroom or the phone.  They just might be casing your house to see what you have for the possibility of a robbery.

Be willing to entertain a good offer (not 50 cents for a 50-dollar item).  If the offer is a little low, you can always give a counteroffer.

Be friendly with the people that come by—but do not sit and stare at your customers.  In a way, they are your guests.  But at the same time, do not allow bad manners (it’s your sale after all). If you are willing to do this, your garage sale will be a hit. You might even just sell out of everything!

There was a Seated Liberty design on United States coins?

This was an actual design that the United States mint produced from 1836 through 1891.  The design was produced at the main mint in Philadelphia, as well as the branch mints in San Francisco, Carson City, and even New Orleans.

This design was put on the half dime (which later became the 5-cent piece), dime, quarter, twenty cent piece, half dollar, and even the dollar.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Because there were so many years and denominations, this gives you a massive assortment of coins to choose from to form a collection.  Each denomination has its rare examples (it could be a rare year, mint mark or die variety), so it might take some hunting and some saving on your part to find them.

The design itself even gives you another way to collect them.  In 1853 and 1873, weights of the each of the denominations were changed by the U.S. mint.  When they did this, they added arrows around the date.  These arrows were then removed in 1856 and 1875, so you could collect either or both styles.  A lot of the times, you will see the coin being described as “with arrows” or “without arrows”.

You can see that the coin pictured above is the “without arrows” variety around the date.

This design also has some stars near the edge (this is on the same side that Miss Liberty is on).  These stars were then replaced with rays around Miss Liberty in 1860.  Like with the arrows, you will sometimes see these coins described as “with rays” or “without rays”.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The “with rays” variety can be seen on the photo above on the eagle side.

“Buy the book before the coin” is a famous saying to keep in mind when you are about to embark on collecting this design.

Have you run across this design either at a flea market, antique mall, a show, or even a coin shop?

Two Cents worth? Yep

Did you know that there was actually a 2-cent coin that was produced by the United States mint?

The Two Cent piece officially ran from 1864 to 1872, but there was a copy made for collectors in 1873.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused any and all government-issued coins to vanish from circulation (they were hoarded by the public) Even the Indian Head cent—which was made of bronze—was pretty much gone from circulation (The Coinage Act Of 1864 authorized the cent to switch to a bronze composition and the production of the Two Cent coin).

Even though there were other mints actively producing coins at the time, this coin was only produced at the mint based in Philadelphia.  What this means is that there will not be a mint mark anywhere (which is the way this mint was marking the coins until 1980).

Two of the more famous die varieties happened in 1864.  One is called the “large motto,” and the other is called the “small motto.”  These two varieties deal with the motto, “In God We Trust.”  The words IN, GOD, and TRUST has some small differences, while the word WE has the most differences.  It all hinges on the size of it, and it is very noticeable.  The WE on “large motto” is larger than the WE on the “small motto.”

Large motto photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com
small motto photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The “small motto” is much scarcer than the “large motto.”  The best idea is to keep an eye out for it in case you might walk across a case full of coins at a mall, or happen to be at a coin shop or show.

Have you seen one of these really cool coins?

Look at all of the different colors on glassware!

Pink, green, black and even red are only a few colors that you will see on glassware.  There are so many that it will make your head spin!  Here are some of the colors that you may have not heard of:

Jadeite—this is a type of glass for the table made of Jade-green opaque milk glass.  Jadeite was popular in the United States in the mid-20th century and has a blue variety that’s called “Azur-ite”.

MONAX—this is a translucent white glass that has a faint blue hue when held up to the light. This unique colored glass is sometimes mistaken as milk glass (which is whiter in color).

Ruby Flashed glass—this is created by coating a clear glass with one or more thin layers of colored glass (this is also known as flashed glass).  The colored glass can be either partly or completely etched away by using items like acid or sandblasting.  This results in spots where the colored glass has been removed.

This is a ridiculously small portion of all the colors that you will run across.  What have you seen?