The James J. Gammalo, Sr. Memorial Collection
My grandfather got me interested in coin collecting back in 1975. I remember he gave me a well-worn Buffalo Nickel with no date on it and said he used to get this kind of nickel in his change when he was a young paperboy back in the early 1920s. It was this coin that got me hooked on the hobby at the ripe old age of five. I still possess that nickel and although it isn't worth much more than its metal content, the coin is priceless to me. Since the Buffalo Nickel was my grandfather’s favorite coin series, and since he was just a normal man of humble means (an “everyman” if you will), I decided to put together an Everyman Set of AU Buffalo Nickels to honor the influence that he has on me as a collector and as a human being. Although he passed away in 1986, not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and the positive influence he had and continues to have on my life. Coincidentally, my grandfather was born in 1913 - the first year of the Buffalo Nickel series.
I knew from the outset that Buffalo Nickels present a couple of challenges for the collector beyond the acquisition of the key dates. First, there are the numerous weakly-struck dates scattered throughout the series, most notably the branch mint coins from the late '10s to the late '20s. Finding a well-struck example of some of these coins is a daunting task to say the least. Then there’s the issue of impaired luster that many of the dates notoriously possess. Putting together a perfectly matched, highly lustrous, well-struck circulated set of these coins can literally be a life-long endeavor should one wish to pursue it.
If anyone reading this owns any of the existing AU58+ coins (or can put me in touch with anyone who does) I really would like to acquire them.