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Upgrade or new addition to the collection?

Entry posted by ColonialCoinsUK · - 110 views

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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Well, I suppose if you upgraded a coin you could sell the coin it's bumping out and buy something new? I guess it depends on what you're buying and selling though.

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I generally lack the patience to wait for the right coin, in the right condition at the right price.  In fact, when I have jumped on a scarce issue, one that I haven't seen offered in a few years, I almost invariably see a slightly better one appear in the next few months. Just my luck I guess.  From my experience, I would suggest that you not try to fill an empty slot just because one shows up for auction unless you really think it fits your criteria for appearance, condition and price.

Edited by jgenn

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6 hours ago, jgenn said:

I generally lack the patience to wait for the right coin, in the right condition at the right price.  In fact when have jumped on a scarce issue, one that I haven't seen offered in a few years, I almost invariably see a slightly better one appear in the next few months. Just my luck I guess.  From my experience, I would suggest that you not try to fill an empty slot just because one shows up for auction unless you really think it fits your criteria for appearance, condition and price.

I agree.

An upgraded coin is much better than a low grade hole filler.

I guess it all depends on your collection spending budget and wants which sometimes really blow your collection budget out of the water. :tonofbricks:

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6 hours ago, Six Mile Rick said:

An upgraded coin is much better than a low grade hole filler.

It might not be a hole filler though. I agree that a hole filler would be a mistake, but if I have a choice between filling a hole with a coin that I like in a grade that I like for the hole vs upgrading something I'm probably going to fill the hole. Of course, this partially assumes that the coin that would be getting the upgrade is a coin that I'm happy with and not a hole filler itself.

But I usually don't buy hole fillers and I rarely do upgrades. The two are probably linked.

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