Well my Mercury Dime album set has been a lot of fun to assemble. I have ( for the most part) avoided my usual trap of assembling a set and then "just" upgrading this coin and that coin for another with a little more luster/detail/tone etc etc.
I have upgraded about 3 coins of the teens and early 1920's for coins that have a touch less wear. For Page 1 of my Whitman, the general goal is full rims and dates--Page 2 I'm looking for some fasces details/lines and Page 3 ( the late 1930's and the 1940's years) I set AU/BU standards.
I just purchased a nicely detailed and problem free 1921-D. The coin is in an NGC slab so I'll have to crack it out for my album. I usually am averse to doing this but since the coin is very solid for the grade and problem free, I have no issue with liberating the dime.
Of course that leaves me with just the 1916-D. I have $600 set aside in paypal. I had some unexpected expenses recently but managed to raise the funds for the repairs and left the remainder for the "coin budget." I'm hoping to find a higher detailed G6 or VG8 in that range ( or a little more), which would fit nicely with the min standards for the coins on that page of the album. I never really liked having a bunch of VF/XF quality coins on a page and then a lone G6 which stands out like an ugly eyesore ( even if the G6 is more pricey than all of the rest.)
As a side note, I left my Indian cent registry listing up for now although I also created a Custom Set for the series. This enables me to continue to work on the set and have TONS more options for quality coins. I'm not gonna beat a dead horse but there are probably 9 PCGS Indian Cents for every NGC coin and as a collector, to limit myself to a particular plastic holder in lieu of collecting quality coins would be silly. I recently found an 1890 cent MS64 BN that fits my strict parameters and also has the look I love so this leaves me with only the 1892 and 1894 to finish my little indian short set.
Happy hunting everyone---collectors adapt and the journals will always be a useful place for me to archive my collecting over the years ( although 10 years of my past journals have sadly disappeared since my registry name and chat board names were sl8ightly different--very disheartening.)