Whenever I get a new coin for a set, provided it’s a smaller set that doesn’t require pulling out 20+ coins, it’s always fun to pull out all the coins in the set and look at them together. It can be a lot of fun with the larger sets too but it can also be a lot of work to find them all amongst the other coins, get them out and, eventually, put them all back.
When I get the new coin in for such a set I try to get new pictures done and this usually leads to new pictures being taken for the whole set.
Even if the pictures themselves aren’t the best in the world I think it makes the presentation overall a little more appealing if the pictures are at least done consistently with each other. The quality of the photos is something I’m still working on in this regard.
I’m not bad as a portrait photographer and have been paid to shoot tradeshow images for oil field services companies and symposia photos for universities. I have a really nice micro lens that I’ve used to take great shots of small figures in a light box. Coin photography is something I still struggle with. The reflective surface and the while holder with NGC just makes things hard.
Looking at the group of coins together, it’s pretty easy to see that I’ve been favoring older holders – old “fatty” holders in particular - with this set. I had been doing it mostly to make the set a little more visually consistent across all the coins in it – not always easy given how much the NGC slab in particular has changed over the years. I've also at time really liked the idea of building the set mostly with coins with 9-digit serial numbers mostly starting with 195 or 196. I had to give up on that a little bit when this 1888 came up for sale. Beggars can't be choosers in such cases. I was just thrilled to see a high grade 1888 at all and there's no way for me to even know if there is an 1888 out there in an old fatty holder still (if there ever was).
One of these years, when the set is complete, I’m hoping I can send them all in for re-holdering. It would be great to get them all into the same type/generation of slab, with the same label design, with the same invoice number and numbered chronologically from -001 to -010 (or -011 if I actually ever manage to find an 1877/9). I think that would be the ultimate way to show off the set visually. It might even be fun to have a custom label made for them at that point.
Given a long background in art and photography, presentation is and probably always will be important to me I think and when getting the coins graded the slabs themselves inevitably become part of the discussion of presentation.
Since I have tomorrow off for president's day I'm probably going to take some time and try for new pictures of these things. I guess we'll see how the pictures come out.
Maybe it's me, and maybe it's just the visual effect of having less white and more space around the coin, but when I saw the 1888 in the new holder it almost made it look bigger than the others.