I always thought it to be a shame if a person only grows older without growing any wiser. People often classify such a person as a fool. Concerning my relationship to coin collecting, wiser after so many years has finally come!
After going trailblazers buying Morgan Dollars several years ago, I had lost interest in the series and finally sold off much of my collection in 2017. Now my interest in Morgan Dollars only includes the following: MS-65 and higher Morgan’s, GSAs, and Carson City Morgan’s. The rest, more than 40 coins in all, were sold, most at a loss to acquire the coins that today represent my real passion.
At that time several years ago, I was adding Morgan’s to my collection at a rate of two or three coins a month. E-Bay was an addicting and all too easy venue for me to buy coins. It became as if, “I see, I like, I buy.” Never mind if I saw a coin, bought it, and only a few days later saw one I liked better and bought that one. I often rationalized that purchasing the new coin was subsidized by the old coin. To tell the truth, I was compulsively and indiscriminately buying coins. This no-win situation only robbed me of my numismatic passion and subsequently turned me into a numismatic fool.
My Laura Gardin Fraser collection has taught me the patience needed to not only enjoy coin collecting but to do it at a pace that is both reasonable and results in buying quality coins that will never need to be upgraded. You see, when the coins and medals you need in your collection rarely make an appearance on the open market, you have to learn patience. Patience then is a good indicator of passion. If I have no patience, I have no passion resulting in burnout. So far, I haven’t lost patience with my LGF set and now don’t expect that I will. In fact, I just picked up two scarce pieces at bargain basement prices, one with a mintage of only 30! I will post more about those later.
That said, I will not be branching out into other numismatic ventures other than the following:
• Allegorical and inspirational women featured on worldwide coinage. Since my wife’s mother died of breast cancer, I will be buying the “pink” gold half-eagle going on sale by the US Mint in March.
• Seated imagery featured on worldwide coinage.
• A US gold typeset featuring all the major varieties from 1834-1933, less the 1907 high relief St. Gaudens double-eagle. (Only the prohibitive price tag keeps me from acquiring that one.)
• High-grade Morgan dollars, Carson City dollars, and GSA’s.
• Final upgrades to my 7070 US type set purchased on my behalf by a dealer friend of mine.
• …And of course my Laura Gardin Fraser coin and medal set!
My dealer friend buys attractive coins for my 7070 type set from my want list in the grades that I can afford. My want list is a five year plan to acquire the coins that I will never have to upgrade and so finally complete a set that I will be proud to own going into retirement. This dealer friend also attends all the coin shows that I cannot. Thus, I am learning to patiently acquire coins via one of the oldest of collector venues, “The Coin Show.”
Coins shows also give my dealer friend a chance to sell or trade my old coins at the best price possible. Therein is yet another opportunity for me to learn patience especially for my VG-10 1893-S Morgan. My friend held that coin for close to a year before finding a suitable buyer at the January FUN show.
In 2017 I spent most of the proceeds of my Morgan sale to purchase coins to fill my gold type collection. Now only the no-motto half-eagle and no-motto Indian Head Eagle remain. Additionally, I am waiting until the spot price of gold goes much higher to sell the gold coins I purchased long ago and recently upgraded. This again is another opportunity for me to learn patience since many of those coins I purchased when gold was close to $2000/oz.
In 2018, I expect my new purchases to be far fewer as I move more towards quality over quantity. So far this year with the proceeds from the 93-S Morgan I bought a beautiful E-bay purchased MS-64 1908 no-motto St Gaudens Double-Eagle and a FUN show pick-up, MS-66 1913 ty 1 Buffalo Nickel for my 7070 type set. I purchased both these coins with a couple hundred dollars to spare.
Needless to say these two coins are not subject to upgrades as they are absolutely gorgeous for their grades. Through the patience of selectively purchasing only those coins that fit my narrowly defined passion, have I finally become wise.