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Upgrade or new addition to the collection?

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ColonialCoinsUK

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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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A bit of an update: I have only bought two coins so far - but bid on many!

Although both of these fill empty slots with the top graded examples I have so far successfully managed to not buy a coin which starts a new graded set so many of my raw sets are still that way, although the Goldberg sale later today may change thatxD. It hasn't helped that Heritage have started adding coins to their website for the April 30th sale and there are a couple there that I have been after for a while - one of which, due to a lack of funds, I was outbid on at a UK auction last year so part of me is now trying to save up to have another go as the UK appearance was more than 10 years since the last time it showed itself.

I hope everyone got at least some of the coins they were after.

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Do a bit of both! hahaha. I'm finding myself in that dilemma and am trying to do both which can be difficult

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Well......I'm glad that with my main classic coin pursuit, late Ottoman, this isn't a question you have to ask.  With a few exceptions, once you find a nice, high grade example, especially in AU or MS, it's likely the nicest example you'll find for years, if not the nicest example you'll ever find.  And for key dates, once you find an example, not even a high grade example, just an EXAMPLE, you likely have the example that will be in your collection for as long as you have it.  I have to say that I like that aspect of Ottoman collecting as it keeps things simple.....no questions about upgrades or anything.  Just be glad to have the coin.

I'm not sure what you collect specifically, but I think you have to do what feels right to you.  But I think I'd worry about completing the collection before upgrading. 

Edited by Mohawk

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11 hours ago, Mohawk said:

Well......I'm glad that with my main classic coin pursuit, late Ottoman, this isn't a question you have to ask.  With a few exceptions, once you find a nice, high grade example, especially in AU or MS, it's likely the nicest example you'll find for years, if not the nicest example you'll ever find.  And for key dates, once you find an example, not even a high grade example, just an EXAMPLE, you likely have the example that will be in your collection for as long as you have it.  I have to say that I like that aspect of Ottoman collecting as it keeps things simple.....no questions about upgrades or anything.  Just be glad to have the coin.

I'm not sure what you collect specifically, but I think you have to do what feels right to you.  But I think I'd worry about completing the collection before upgrading. 

Given the very low populations of some issues I find the same applies to many world coins, particularly minors, and not just for high grade examples - although no where near to the extent it does with ancients! This is an area I have always read lots about but find the complexity and diversity a bit overwhelming so never actually started anything serious - and some of the prices for top examples scare mexD

I did pick up another couple of coins for empty slots at the Goldberg sale last night - both the first graded examples for raw sets which I was trying not to do, one was the only known MS example of that particular issue which is my excuse. As usual I was outbid on a couple of others and it wouldn't surprise me if they now appear in a Registry Set at some point. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Glenn Onishi at Goldberg for fantastic customer service when the PC gremlins appeared during the on-line live bidding.

Edited by ColonialCoinsUK

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10 hours ago, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Given the very low populations of some issues I find the same applies to many world coins, particularly minors, and not just for high grade examples - although no where near to the extent it does with ancients! This is an area I have always read lots about but find the complexity and diversity a bit overwhelming so never actually started anything serious - and some of the prices for top examples scare mexD

I did pick up another couple of coins for empty slots at the Goldberg sale last night - both the first graded examples for raw sets which I was trying not to do, one was the only known MS example of that particular issue which is my excuse. As usual I was outbid on a couple of others and it wouldn't surprise me if they now appear in a Registry Set at some point. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Glenn Onishi at Goldberg for fantastic customer service when the PC gremlins appeared during the on-line live bidding.

Yes, the surviving populations of many classic world coins are very small.  And I understand that world coins can be intimidating, but they are worth trying on if you ever feel the desire to.  Though collecting Ottoman is very challenging as Ottoman coins have one of the smallest pools of surviving coins of any area of world numismatics, it's also a lot of fun because of the challenge, which is completely different than US coins (I'm from the US).  With US coins, I've found that aside from extreme rarities, it's more a matter of getting the money to buy the coin together than actually finding the coin.  If I had the money, I could likely buy many 1916 Standing Liberty Quarters, 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cents and 1889-CC Morgan Dollars within a couple of weeks, if that.  However, with Ottoman, the challenge is actually locating an example of the coin.  A great example is my 1327/9 5 Kurush, which is a fairly major late Ottoman rarity.  I had been looking for an example of this coin for about four years when I found one in 2014.  It;s an ex-jewelry piece, but I didn't even blink.  I had the funds, so I went for it.  I'm glad I did.  I haven't seen any other examples come up for sale since then.  That's the kind of challenge I enjoy.

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Hi how are you? I'm still learning this site and splitting my time between here an the ANA. There it is  much easier to post a picture. I didn't know you had auctions . That's how the whole Coventry set was done. I'm retired also since 1995. An 82 year old man was to that driving a big truck and hit  me in my company car. Ended a wonderful career. Of course my house and salary was gone. So I have been collecting on a budget. So I know what you mean when you want to buy one or two. The Coventry set was done in five years but not for lack of money. I just couldn't find them So I said I'm not buying anything unless I really like it and it catches my eye. This allowed me to save and believe it or not the other coins I wanted were still there.We say buy what you like. Find a workable budget cut some corners and you still can do it. I know you can we all can. Never buy anything just out from the mint. We had the Apollo 11 set come out the retailers went nuts with prices they have already dropped. So you wait. I bought a set of that series that sold out  immediately. There was a reverse clad done for the first time in a  Kennedy coin clad no less. I found one on eBay good seller I check the all out. With a great price. Some are charging 299.00 for the one coin. So that's how I shop. Budget, coin,mintage, how long before they drop, and I check all my sellers I have had for years. So keep going we retire but we don't die. You like it just get more selective. Good luck . Mike

 

 

 

Edited by MIKE BYRNE

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4 hours ago, MIKE BYRNE said:

Hi how are you? I'm still learning this site and splitting my time between here an the ANA. There it is  much easier to post a picture. I didn't know you had auctions . That's how the whole Coventry set was done. I'm retired also since 1995. An 82 year old man was to that driving a big truck and hit  me in my company car. Ended a wonderful career. Of course my house and salary was gone. So I have been collecting on a budget. So I know what you mean when you want to buy one or two. The Coventry set was done in five years but not for lack of money. I just couldn't find them So I said I'm not buying anything unless I really like it and it catches my eye. This allowed me to save and believe it or not the other coins I wanted were still there.We say buy what you like. Find a workable budget cut some corners and you still can do it. I know you can we all can. Never buy anything just out from the mint. We had the Apollo 11 set come out the retailers went nuts with prices they have already dropped. So you wait. I bought a set of that series that sold out  immediately. There was a reverse clad done for the first time in a  Kennedy coin clad no less. I found one on eBay good seller I check the all out. With a great price. Some are charging 299.00 for the one coin. So that's how I shop. Budget, coin,mintage, how long before they drop, and I check all my sellers I have had for years. So keep going we retire but we don't die. You like it just get more selective. Good luck . Mike

 

 

 

I am definitely collecting on a budget. Thank you for showing how perseverance can lead to a great collection. Good advice!

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I saw that picture on the ANA blog. It so easy here I will have a heart attack. I have up touch the wrong key it's gone. So when singing is up I don't brearhbonih

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