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Upgrade or new addition to the collection?

I seem to have spent many pleasant hours going through the listings for the various January auctions and have identified 100's of fantastic coins that would be great to add to my collection. Unfortunately the reality of my available funds has now kicked in so 4 or 5, or maybe even just one missing coin is a more realistic proposition however this does present an interesting dilemma.

Do I upgrade an existing coin or fill an empty slot in one of my sets?

Even within the lower denomination coins, which I tend to collect, many issues do not appear very often at all in raw state and the graded examples, if there are any, even less so. As a result I am leaning towards the option of filling an empty slot. As my original collection was made up of attempted date runs of raw coins, typically in VF, joining the Registry has prompted some upgrades to nice AU/MS examples however as the numerical grade is often just 'opinion' l am less concerned about a minor improvement such as MS63 to MS64.

As the vast majority of the sets in my collection have none, or only a few graded examples, the satisfaction of completing a Registry set is not yet a deciding factor. Due to the very low populations of many world coins there are also numerous sole top population coins available throughout January and these are very tempting - but which ones? As I will be bidding live I expect the realised prices and the relative dates the different auctions take place on will make the decision for me. An added complication with world coins is the order in the catalogue (Mexico is usually after France etc, unless the auction is also sub-divided by continent) so do I go for 'earlier in the alphabet' or save the money and hope that the later lots do not go for silly amounts and end up with nothing as happened in the Heritage sale earlier this week!




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An unexpected challenge in collecting world coins

The recent thoughts by Revenant1 on their choices following the eventual appearance of not one but two examples of a long sought after 1877 Netherlands 10 Gulden coin prompted me to post my first journal entry although the nature of my dilemma is somewhat different.

As a collector of world coins one of the challenges over the years has been to improve the quality of my collection, however, the number of suitable examples appearing at auction here in the UK is extremely limited with the consequence that most of my purchases are from auctions in the US and continental Europe with some from even further afield (e.g. Australia, Hong Kong and Japan).

Although the Buyers Premium and shipping costs can vary dramatically between auctions they are known in advance,  whether the purchase will incur import duty should also be considered in what is now very much a global past-time, however the recent biggest uncertainty is currency valuations which seem to be more eratic than ever. Having recently paid invoices in USD, Euros and Swiss Francs my dilemma is do I pay immediately to get the coin in my hands as fast as possible or wait a few days and hope the exchange rate moves in my favour? or risk it going in the wrong direction - as the £ seems to be doing a lot at the moment.

As coins often provide a tangible insight into the ever-changing history of the world, coupled with (many) years between the appearance of some issues which then may or may not match availability of funds, I expect I will probably carry on regardless and live with the 'excitment' of the currency markets. I can not see myself returning to collecting only UK issues although I would appreciate a more stable exchange rate rather than having to contend with +/- 5% depending on the day of the week!




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