Custom Sets Question
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To go big or stay focused?Congratulations to all the registry participants and winners. Now that the 2015 awards have been decided we can take a peek at the judges' selections, and with 90,000 registry sets out there, I know I will be viewing most of these for the first time.Like many of you, I spent a good portion of 2015 creating, organizing and polishing my sets. I've become a big fan of custom sets and I added four last year. I especially like the control we have over the size of our sets and I've kept mine pretty small and focused. The gallery page, where you can see fifteen coins (30 individual photos) at once including the owner's annotations, is my favorite way to view a set. But I will admit that I'm not likely to go more than two pages deep. Personal preferences aside, I wonder if keeping my sets so small was the best approach.One of the custom sets I created last year is the pillar dollar companion to my 8 reales busts of Charles III. Although they are chronologically adjacent, the pillar dollars are more desirable to collectors and I (and my wallet) opted for a lower average grade. But now I wonder if I should have combined them together. After all, many of the top custom sets feature considerably more coins than I am contemplating.I would like your opinion -- should I keep my Columnarios de Carlos separate or roll them into the Amazing 8s?Here's one of those pillar dollars from the Viceroyalty of Peru, Lima mint and a link to the set.Columnarios de Carlos

 

~jack

 

17167.jpg

 

 

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First things first, congratulations Jack on your award, it is well deserved! Also your pictures are excellent. Your photography skills are developing rather nicely. Good photographs are an integral part of a good presentation.

 

As to your questions, there is no right or wrong way to set up your custom sets, it is up to your personal preference. That said, let me answer your question as a person viewing somebody elses set for the first time.

 

I like to view a set in it's whole in one sitting. When viewing a very large set I will often quit after viewing only a few coins. However, there is a way to have your cake and eat it to. For instance user Spencer Collection won the award for best overall custom set. That set currently has over 800 coins in it! There is no way I will view such a set in one sitting, in fact I may view only 10 coins before moving on. What he does though is break up his larger set into smaller subsets. That way I am more likely to view his sets in one sitting and... view a more narrowly defined set that keeps me focused on the goal of the set. Check out his custom set page when you get a chance. Otherwise, I will view sets in multiple sittings of the people I know on the boards. For instance, I will view The BRG Collection's, multiple award winning HORSES set in more than one sitting.

 

BTW, my congratulations go out to the BRG Collection for the only two-time award winning set that I know of. The award is well deserved and HORSES is certainly deserving of both awards, most creative and most informative.

 

As to the other things, the custom sets used to be limited to 150 coins and now the lid is off to as many as you want. Don't try to second guess what the judges are looking for. Yes they do give awards to owners with larger sets but many of this years other winners have smaller sets also. Thus, I don't think the size of a set is necessarily one of the factors they are looking for. When I design a custom set I try to have it stand alone as a full set regardless of the number of coins, but leave it open ended to add more coins along the way. I think this is more of what the judges are looking for.

 

A complete but small narrowly defined set is the type of set I like to view best. It keeps me focused without intimidating me. Otherwise, my seated imagery set is divided into sub divisions within the set such as are divided into separate continents. This way if it is described in the set description a viewer can go to the slot name where I have the coins divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North, South, and Central America. (I know Central America and Oceania are not continents, but you catch my drift).

 

To end this let me say that I am looking forward Jack to what you have in store for the future. Again congratulations! Gary

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Thanks for pointing out what Spencer Collection has done, Gary. Separate small sets and one set to rule them all!

~jack

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