Do You Have a Favorite Series? (And Why?)
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My favorite series is the US Liberty Seated series. I like the artistry, especially in proof; the fact that the series straddles an important period in US history: and the many denominations and types represented.  

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I do, two of them, which is probably unusual with ancient collectors.  My favorite series are the Roman Empire silver denarii of Empress Faustina the Younger and her daughter Lucilla.  I enjoy these series because the artistry of the coins is absolutely amazing and Faustina and Lucilla were very interesting people who definitely shaped history.  They also represent the end of the era of the Five Good Emperors in Roman history, so like your Liberty Seated series, these coins come from a very important period in history, though Roman history instead of US.  There is also the fact that though the denarius had been debased some by the time of Faustina and Lucilla, it wasn't severely debased yet, so these are very attractive coins that still have a high silver purity, which in turn means that they've weathered the ravages of time pretty well, definitely much better than later, heavily debased Roman silver coinage which was actually mostly copper.  And, lastly, I have an affinity for smaller cute little silver coins and denarii of this time range between 18 and 20mm, so they fit that bill too.  Just a ton to love about these for me.  Though, I should add that I'll never really know if my collections of these coins are truly complete or not, but that's the ancients game :)

Edited by Mohawk

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I also enjoy the Liberty Seated coinage, beautiful design and it covers an interesting span of history.  If your not I would recommend becoming a member of the LSCC, great organization for fans of the seated series.  But my favorite series will always be Lincoln Cents primarily the wheat backs, president Lincoln was a fascinating man at an important time in history.  I have many books on Lincoln and have read them cover to cover multiple times, it is not the most stunning design on any of our coinage (far from it really) but the history behind the man is very compelling to me.  I completed my Lincoln registry set a couple of years ago (the last coin a 25-S is in PCGS so it cannot be displayed here) but I still look at and on occasion upgrade the coins in my set as well as find nice raw coins for my dansco.

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Spanish colonial pillars, by far.  Of the five denominations, I don't actively buy the 8R unlike most collectors.  The entire broader series totals about 400, excluding varieties.  .  All four mints for all four minor denominations range from quite to extremely difficult to complete.  Due to the number of coins (20), Potosi (Bolivia) is the easiest to complete but not in any decent quality.  Outside of Mexico, the minor denominations are disproportionately damaged or very low quality.  Many of the dates are almost impossible to buy at all.

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31 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

Spanish colonial pillars, by far.  Of the five denominations, I don't actively buy the 8R unlike most collectors.  The entire broader series totals about 400, excluding varieties.  .  All four mints for all four minor denominations range from quite to extremely difficult to complete.  Due to the number of coins (20), Potosi (Bolivia) is the easiest to complete but not in any decent quality.  Outside of Mexico, the minor denominations are disproportionately damaged or very low quality.  Many of the dates are almost impossible to buy at all.

Those minors are tough, World Colonial, you're absolutely right.....that's quite the pursuit!  I commend you on taking on such a difficult project.

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1 hour ago, Mohawk said:

Those minors are tough, World Colonial, you're absolutely right.....that's quite the pursuit!  I commend you on taking on such a difficult project.

Thanks

I have no realistic prospect of completing anything other than denomination sets by mint.  This was my goal prior to making this series my first priority. 

Earlier this year, Spanish auction firm Cayon sold a mostly complete set but the quality was very poor, by US standards.  I am primarily buying Lima and Potosi coins because Guatemala is both too expensive for my budget and not available.  Of the approximately hundred coins for these two mints in all four denominations, there were a handful of high quality coins, two 1754 Peru half real I would grade better AU (and probably TPG eligible) and a Peru 1753 4R that I would grade AU details.  I didn't bid because Cayon insisted on a deposit and I didn't want to bother with it.  The coin I actually wanted to buy the most was the 1763 Peru 2R that I would grade VF details.  A nice coin but with surface issues.  I'll probably regret it later, as there is a good chance I'll never see some or many of these coins again, problems or no problems.

Other than this collection, Patterson (sold by Bonhams in 1996) is the only other I know that was mostly complete.  I own most of the better quality date/MM combinations in the NGC and PCGS populations, though there are opportunities to upgrade.  Of those available, I believe there are nine I don't have.  Also aware of a few ungraded examples out there which I either missed or was outbid.

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Draped bust large cents.  I just find the design very appealing.  It was used on several series, but I think it just works best in copper.  The half cent is nice but the larger size of the cent shows it off better.

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Seated half dimes because they are cute and affordable (exept for 1870-S)

I also like seated coins of other denominations, but many of them are out of my budget.

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Mercury Dimes  because Mr. Weinman packed such exquisite design elements (obv and rev) onto such a tiny planchet. 

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18 hours ago, Coinbuf said:

I also enjoy the Liberty Seated coinage, beautiful design and it covers an interesting span of history.  If your not I would recommend becoming a member of the LSCC, great organization for fans of the seated series. 

I am seriously considering joining LSCC, a powerpoint for their site recently provided proof that my 1861-O SS Republic Half Dollar was in fact a CSA issue.  I am a big fan of the Liberty Seated design in general.

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23 hours ago, Coinbuf said:

I also enjoy the Liberty Seated coinage, beautiful design and it covers an interesting span of history.  If your not I would recommend becoming a member of the LSCC, great organization for fans of the seated series.  But my favorite series will always be Lincoln Cents primarily the wheat backs, president Lincoln was a fascinating man at an important time in history.  I have many books on Lincoln and have read them cover to cover multiple times, it is not the most stunning design on any of our coinage (far from it really) but the history behind the man is very compelling to me.  I completed my Lincoln registry set a couple of years ago (the last coin a 25-S is in PCGS so it cannot be displayed here) but I still look at and on occasion upgrade the coins in my set as well as find nice raw coins for my dansco.

I have collected Lincolniana for many years, including Lincoln cents  - sold recently on GC, alas. OT, my dad worked as a housekeeper for Julia Taft Bayne while he was a student at the University of Illinois. She spent time with Lincoln's kids at the White House and met Lincoln. She wrote a little book called "Tad Lincoln's Father" and made a name for herself as a lecturer. Took me a bit to track down a copy. Not much of a read, but a nice family heirloom. Oddly, this isn't what got me interested in Lincoln - I've always been an avid admirer and reader as well. Many years on I was discussing Lincoln with my dad and he says something like "oh, yea I worked for a lady who knew Lincoln". A taciturn fellow, my dad. 

Edited by LINCOLNMAN

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World Colonial.....

I'm in somewhat of a similar boat as you regarding completion but for a very different reason......I'll never know if my sets are complete or not as the Romans didn't leave minting records of that type that we are aware of.  But things like that are fun because they're projects which sustain you over a long period of time and give you a lot of enjoyment.....at least, that's how it is for me.  I also agree with what you said about the Cayon auction thing.....I myself do not enjoy auctions in general.  I just want a dealer to give me a price, I give them the money and I get my coin.  Auctions can be a real pain in the butt and, personally, I don't like the tension of the bidding process.  I'm sure I've missed out on things I'll regret later because of this but that's another nice thing about the denarii of the two empresses I collect......the fact that they are common (especially in the case of Faustina the Younger.....she was a prolific issuer of denarii, let me tell you.  She and her husband Marcus Aurelius seem to have put a serious dent in the Iberian silver mines.) means that a missed opportunity doesn't mean that another opportunity on the same coin type won't come up again in the future.  I think that with what you collect, any collection at all that goes beyond the issues of Mexico is something impressive. 

Edited by Mohawk

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Mine would be Bust Halves. I just like the design, and the fact I can buy the same date over and over and still add new Overton's/ die states to my collection. 

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The reason that I like Walkers is because of their beauty, rarity and history.  

The early to mid dates are very challenging and with differences in strike and toning each coin can look very unique.

Finding well-struck, lustrous, original examples is not for the faint of heart.

They can be collected on many different levels depending on your resources.  

Edited by Walkerfan

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5 hours ago, Mohawk said:

World Colonial.....

I'm in somewhat of a similar boat as you regarding completion but for a very different reason......I'll never know if my sets are complete or not as the Romans didn't leave minting records of that type that we are aware of.  But things like that are fun because they're projects which sustain you over a long period of time and give you a lot of enjoyment.....at least, that's how it is for me.  I also agree with what you said about the Cayon auction thing.....I myself do not enjoy auctions in general.  I just want a dealer to give me a price, I give them the money and I get my coin.  Auctions can be a real pain in the butt and, personally, I don't like the tension of the bidding process.  I'm sure I've missed out on things I'll regret later because of this but that's another nice thing about the denarii of the two empresses I collect......the fact that they are common (especially in the case of Faustina the Younger.....she was a prolific issuer of denarii, let me tell you) means that a missed opportunity doesn't mean that another opportunity on the same coin type won't come up again in the future.  I think that with what you collect, any collection at all that goes beyond the issues of Mexico is something impressive. 

Lot of variety in Roman coinage...it's something on my list to consider if I ever decide to "move up" the complexity scale of collecting.  Others are Byzantine silver and bronze, Crusader and medieval Europe.  Definitely interesting and challenging.  But I don't really have an active second "go to set" now as I believe you do for interim "action" when I cannot find anything.

I prefer to buy my coins at auction.  My comments were specific to this one firm.  Not sure why they required a deposit, as it's not like the amount I was asking to bid was material.  I'll buy my coins from dealers but I will usually have to pay more, since most of the coins they have come from the same auctions I compete in.  As an example, one dealer has a coin where I was the under bidder last year.  They paid somewhat less than $3k for it and are now asking almost $6k.  Same coin in the same holder for over double the price.  It's probably the best one of this date/denomination combination in existence but I think it's overgraded.  If I get a second chance to buy it near the last auction sale, I'll probably buy it but no way at anywhere near their ask price.  My guess is that they will hold on to it looking for the right buyer but I think they will have an almost impossible time getting their price, unless a prospective buyer is unaware of the prior auction result. 

They also have a second coin I want where I was one of the under bidders but their ask price is also too high, as it's the most common date from this denomination (in higher quality) and I am also dubious of the assigned grade.  The coin previously sold ungraded (where I missed it) for around 15% of their ask price before they bought it in the TPG holder.  They had it for about six months, couldn't sell it, offered it through another auction firm where it failed to meet their reserve and it's back on their website at a slight discount to their initial price.  I suspect it will sit indefinitely, as I don't think it's worth what they paid for it.  I'll buy it if I can get it close to my initial bid, around 75% of their cost.  Otherwise, I'll just wait another 5+ years for another one.

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On 6/10/2019 at 8:16 PM, World Colonial said:

Lot of variety in Roman coinage...it's something on my list to consider if I ever decide to "move up" the complexity scale of collecting.  Others are Byzantine silver and bronze, Crusader and medieval Europe.  Definitely interesting and challenging.  But I don't really have an active second "go to set" now as I believe you do for interim "action" when I cannot find anything.

I prefer to buy my coins at auction.  My comments were specific to this one firm.  Not sure why they required a deposit, as it's not like the amount I was asking to bid was material.  I'll buy my coins from dealers but I will usually have to pay more, since most of the coins they have come from the same auctions I compete in.  As an example, one dealer has a coin where I was the under bidder last year.  They paid somewhat less than $3k for it and are now asking almost $6k.  Same coin in the same holder for over double the price.  It's probably the best one of this date/denomination combination in existence but I think it's overgraded.  If I get a second chance to buy it near the last auction sale, I'll probably buy it but no way at anywhere near their ask price.  My guess is that they will hold on to it looking for the right buyer but I think they will have an almost impossible time getting their price, unless a prospective buyer is unaware of the prior auction result. 

They also have a second coin I want where I was one of the under bidders but their ask price is also too high, as it's the most common date from this denomination (in higher quality) and I am also dubious of the assigned grade.  The coin previously sold ungraded (where I missed it) for around 15% of their ask price before they bought it in the TPG holder.  They had it for about six months, couldn't sell it, offered it through another auction firm where it failed to meet their reserve and it's back on their website at a slight discount to their initial price.  I suspect it will sit indefinitely, as I don't think it's worth what they paid for it.  I'll buy it if I can get it close to my initial bid, around 75% of their cost.  Otherwise, I'll just wait another 5+ years for another one.

Hi World Colonial,

You know, I think you and I had a similar discussion regarding auctions once before.....at least I seem to remember us doing so at some point.  I think that there's no right or wrong answer there.  Auctions are right for you but not for me.  It all works :).

As for an interim active set, I don't really need one right now.  Originally, Lucilla's denarii were going to serve that purpose while Faustina the Younger's denarii would be the main focus.  But after I bought my first Lucilla denarius, I fell just as in love with it as I did with the ones I have from Faustina.  I figured that ,hey, Lucilla is Faustina's daughter and her coins are just as beautiful, so I expanded the scope of my set to include both Augustae in my main pursuit as one combined collection.  So, I don't have a fall back right now but, as I said above, Faustina the Younger issued a lot of denarii in the three decades she was an empress, so I'm not at a point where I need a fall back yet.  Lucilla issued considerably fewer denarii than her mother because she was only an Augusta for four or five years and she also held that rank while both her mother and father were still alive, so she never really got the chance to be as prolific as her mother, but Lucilla still issued about 34 or so types of denarii in those years.  But, eventually, I likely will have to have another project...maybe the copper coinage of the pair will be it. Or possibly the silver coins of Crispina, who was also part of the family through her marriage to the Emperor Commodus, who was Faustina the Younger's son and Lucilla's brother.

Roman coinage is very cool....I think that this is the very happiest I've ever been as a collector in the continuous 20 years I've been actively pursuing coins.  I really love my Romans and I'd recommend a few to anyone.  There really is something for everyone in Roman coins and many are very affordable, which would allow you a fall back set while still preserving funding for your main pursuit.  Just a thought. 

It's always interesting talking to you!

~Tom

Edited by Mohawk
Typo

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I'm not sure I have a favorite anymore. I suppose I used to like Cal golds, as the repros were one of the first things I encountered as a budding YN.

I have to agree with the opinions on ancients. I really like the Imperial stuff. There' s something way cool about seeing a three horse chariot with 'ROMA' crudely written under it.......

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5 hours ago, thebeav said:

I'm not sure I have a favorite anymore. I suppose I used to like Cal golds, as the repros were one of the first things I encountered as a budding YN.

I have to agree with the opinions on ancients. I really like the Imperial stuff. There' s something way cool about seeing a three horse chariot with 'ROMA' crudely written under it.......

Indeed there is, Beav!  All ancients are pretty cool, but Roman Imperial issues from the beginning of the Empire until around the end of the Severans have a unique charm all their own. 

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On 6/10/2019 at 8:15 AM, toyonakataro said:

Seated half dimes because they are cute and affordable (exept for 1870-S)

Sounds like one of the reasons I like the denarii of Faustina the Younger and Lucilla.  They, too, are little and cute, especially when you place them next to a Sestertius.  When I was a collector of US coins many years ago, I liked Half Dimes and Silver 3 Cents because they're little and cute.  One of the few US coins from those days that I still have is my 1851-O 3 Cent....it was one of the very few that survived the purge.

Edited by Mohawk

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My favorite is the $2.50 and $5 Indian gold quarter and half eagles.  I love the incuse design (yes I know it's not technically incuse but it's commonly referred to as such), love the design history, and it just screams "gold treasure" to me.  A kid I knew in elementary school inherited one and I thought it was the coolest treasure in the world.  I completed the $2.50 set a few years ago (AU58-MS61) and it remains my favorite.

 

1926 Full.jpg

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I don't think I have a single favorite. I seem to be more of a type-collector overall. I have my 10G set and my Zimbabwe sets but I collect those for reasons other than the design itself - mostly family history / the historical context of the series. Absent that, I don't think I'd heavily collect those series / designs.

I love the Walking Liberty Half, The Mercury Dime and the Standing Liberty Quarter. I have type coins of both the first two. The Standing Liberty Is a on the list of goals for one of these days when I stop getting distracted by other things. Unless I reach a point in my life were I just have a lot of money, I can't see myself building up those series / sets. They just wouldn't mean enough to me to make the expense / investment worth it.

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Early Commemoratives.

Each one has a separate story to tell.

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