Quality, multiple sets and financial reality

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ColonialCoinsUK

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My last journal entry highlighted that completion of my Spanish Charles IV 2 reales Registry Set may be somewhat of a challenge and this prompted me to look again at how practical this would actually be.

As mentioned before only 19 of the 41 issues have graded examples and of those only 11 had mint state examples, often as a single coin, making completion of a graded mint state set extremely unlikely, the equivalent raw coins also seem to be lacking. Assuming the coins actually exist for such a set a typical price for the whole would be £18450 as such coins would be about £450 each covering the hammer price, buyers premium, tax, shipping, import duty and for only a few auction houses a bank transfer fee. The last one really annoys me as it is completely unnecessary with modern online banking practices (tsk), fortunately it is not the norm at all although I am not sure how to change it. As I am in the UK all of these will also be subject to the prevailing exchange rate at the time as world coins, even British colonial issues, are very difficult to get here at home.

A set of raw coins in VF is much more realistic and at £2870 (£70 per coin) much more affordable, particularly over time, coupled with the fact that VF may the finest known for some issues the prospect of completion of the set is also much higher. As a result I do have quite a few raw coins in VF/EF particularly for those issues where there are no graded examples at all so at the moment I have the makings of a 'mixed set'.

I am sure that I am not alone in that I do not just have a single set but multiple sets* and those are in varying degrees of completion and this situation just places further restrictions on the available funds and the chances of completion of any one set - but coins and their history are just so fascinating and diverse. :bigsmile:

The advice always seems to be 'buy the best that you can afford' and I generally agree with that however, at times, the 'gaps' really bother me!

* $15million should be enough to try and complete the Napoleonic sets :roflmao:

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Especially when talking about 200+ year old stuff, circulated coins have character! They look cool. We get hung up on mint state and having the highest grades but the circulated coins are fun too.

I think a set of these in VF and XF could be great and you could and should take great pride in it if you build it.

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It's really nice to have a matched set of anything.  If you are unable to complete a matched set of Uncirculated examples due to circumstances such as a smaller budget or .......  Then I agree with Revenant and shooting for a nice VF or XF set would be just as enjoyable. 

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The holes are all in my head, not a whitman book.  I think we can all find peace in acceptance that we are getting a lot of nice coins that illustrate a series or period of history without having every date or variety.  We can't all be Brent Pogue.  And I agree w/ rev., once coins are a couple hundred years old, circulated condition just lends credibility to the coin.  Chopmarks are even making a comeback

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Thankyou all for your thoughts and as most of my collection is raw coins in VF/EF I tend to agree - the 1801 on the pic is not remotely mint state but it is not far from being the finest that I am aware of. There have been a number of 2 reales collections to appear at auction over the last few years, date runs are extensive but not complete and almost all of the lots have been in VF with very few examples in uncirculated which means they were actually used on a day-to-day basis which I like - quality 8 reales seem to be more common as they tended to be used for trade and weren't subjected to so much wear and tear. Having started with British coinage 'named collections', including sixpences, are usually made up almost entirely of high grade examples and given the power of the Spanish Empire I found this uniformly lower grade surprising even though it was generally an earlier time period. An initial review of auction records suggests that lower grades overall is typical and any uncirculated examples really are rare with the final issues of Ferdinand VII giving the best chance of acquiring one in this condition.  To complicate matters further price guides/references do not usually highlight, or even take into account, the survival rate at all, or include a complete set of varieties that exist, for example the 1791/0 issue is not included so the full set is actually larger! xD

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7 hours ago, ColonialCoinsUK said:

 To complicate matters further price guides/references do not usually highlight, or even take into account, the survival rate at all, or include a complete set of varieties that exist, for example the 1791/0 issue is not included so the full set is actually larger! xD

One of the things that tends to frustrate me with my Netherlands 10G set is that NGC includes a separate slot for the 1879/7 variety. That coin seems to be fairly rare. It's hard enough just trying to get mintstate examples of some of the 1880s issues, but getting that variety? I would be thrilled just to have a complete 10-coin date set. Sure, I'd love to get that variety if I ever get the chance. But I am NOT holding my breath for that to happen any time soon. 

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18 hours ago, Revenant said:

One of the things that tends to frustrate me with my Netherlands 10G set is that NGC includes a separate slot for the 1879/7 variety. That coin seems to be fairly rare. It's hard enough just trying to get mintstate examples of some of the 1880s issues, but getting that variety? I would be thrilled just to have a complete 10-coin date set. Sure, I'd love to get that variety if I ever get the chance. But I am NOT holding my breath for that to happen any time soon. 

I am very familiar with such a situation! Over the years of searching for varieties I have found that auction houses quite often miss them and now that the photos of the lots are quite good it makes it possible to realise this and bid accordingly :ph34r: - unfortunately sometimes other collectors also notice and some lots go for way over their estimate to the apparent surprise of the auction house! The same applies to coins in TPG holders where the TPG does not yet highlight the variety on the label, they have only recently started doing this for British sovereigns where the varieties are extremely well documented and have been for a long time so I am sure they will eventually for all world coins. My next Journal entry was to be on just such an example however getting the pics to make the difference easy to see is proving problematic - as I spent the money on coins I still haven't got a decent camera etc xD

It may therefore be worth keeping a close eye on all the 1879 10G's irrespective of what the actual auction listing says - I hope you find one.

[Edited to add: Heritage Auctions Europe 12th November 2019 had four 1879/7s lots 204 to 207 which hammered at 240 to 280 euros each so they are out there!]

Edited by ColonialCoinsUK

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Given I was outbid, sometimes dramatically, on a number of lots at the Aureo & Calico auction yesterday I think my estimate of £450 per coin for such sets was a bit low xD:/

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