Hole fillers, what does that term mean to you?
0

26 posts in this topic

1,095 posts

LINCOLNMAN'S recent thread on who does or does not buy hole fillers had a lot of varied replies and from those replies it would seem that the term "hole filler" has a very different meaning to everyone.  I posted that I no longer buy coins that do not match my set grade wise or visually but are only bought to not have an empty hole and would need to be upgraded at some time in the future (my definition of a hole filler).  The most notable coin that I purchased as a hole filler is this 1916D merc dime in VG8 that I bought to complete my VF-XF set, I then sold the coin a short time later because I just didn't like how it looked with the others, it is still a hole in the set but I'm ok with that until I can find one in the right grade range and look.

1916-D-obv.jpg.b15966affc6de7265e0f479a8447e619.jpg1916-D-rev.jpg.28b65f66dd64d678f86a4a9ece0ba5ab.jpg

What is your definition of hole filler and post a pic if you have or have had one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,564 posts

A hole-filler is a coin that you bring home and your wife says , "Why would you buy that "?

PS: I really like that '16D as a VG too !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
715 posts
On September 4, 2019 at 10:46 PM, LINCOLNMAN said:

Your example fits my definition perfectly. 

Ditto - I have quite a few hole fillers - I would include details coins as fillers even though they meet the rough grade for the set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,178 posts

To me, a hole filler is a coin added to a set but meant only as a temporary expedient until you can find and/or afford the coin you want to become a permanent part of your set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,047 posts

This is one of those tokens I talked about in Lincolnman's thread. It is from Vicksburg, MS, c1910.The obverse looks ok, but the reverse is scratched badly. I bought it because it is the only one from this store I have ever encountered, and it is one of only probably 3 or 4 known to exist at this time. (It is actually listed as unique, but I know of one more besides mine.) I may never get the chance to upgrade it, but I will be satisfied with it, just the same.

 

 

100_1602 (2).JPG

100_1603 (2).JPG

Edited by Just Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14,820 posts

A whole filler is a waste of money that you'll regret. It's something you buy because you're obsessive and have to have the whole filled, rather than having the patience to wait and buy what you really want. 

I don't buy whole fillers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,668 posts

I am never going to complete any of my primary sets, so by the US definition hardly any of the coins I buy are "hole fillers" since nothing or hardly anything better is available to be bought.  I have several duplicates which are all among the likely best known.  I keep all because the proceeds won't make any real difference to me.

The OP coin is much better than I have normally seen for a VG of this coin but it's an example of what I would never buy even if I collected the series.  Since most coins are not hard to buy, I would rather save up and buy an example I want to keep, as upgrading usually results in "slippage" which I would rather avoid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
421 posts

I have a few holes left in my Colonial Mexico City 8 reales sets that are very scarce to rare varieties that I would fill with any grade level and would not exclude "details" coins.   It all depends on what series you are trying to complete.

Edited by jgenn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
844 posts

If one has a certified collection do we count a missing variety (slab) as a hole ? And no I'm not buying filler coins that just tie up funds that could be used to acquire legitimate coins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
715 posts
1 hour ago, numisport said:

If one has a certified collection do we count a missing variety (slab) as a hole ? And no I'm not buying filler coins that just tie up funds that could be used to acquire legitimate coins.

I guess it would depend on whether it is a major or minor variety and how inclusive you want to make the collection. I would consider it a hole if it is part of the collection (registry set). 

In one of my collection a single date/mint has approximately 20 known varieties. Also - how do you handle die numbers that are stamped on a coin? I don't believe they are varieties, but would you collect all of them for a particular coin? Would they be holes? It depends again on how inclusive you want to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
844 posts
1 hour ago, Zebo said:

I guess it would depend on whether it is a major or minor variety and how inclusive you want to make the collection. I would consider it a hole if it is part of the collection (registry set). 

In one of my collection a single date/mint has approximately 20 known varieties. Also - how do you handle die numbers that are stamped on a coin? I don't believe they are varieties, but would you collect all of them for a particular coin? Would they be holes? It depends again on how inclusive you want to be.

Sorry if I misled anybody. I consider a date as a variety within a set in my '36 to '42 proofs. In Jefferson nickel proofs I consider 1939 and 1940 a collectible variety but not the 1941 'no AW' half since most have little or no trace of designer initials. One could go on and on with varieties but I just really meant that hole fillers don't need to be in an album, basically any set including registries. The nature of the words 'hole filler' sound like folder or album in a literal sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,668 posts
On 9/7/2019 at 10:29 PM, jgenn said:

I have a few holes left in my Colonial Mexico City 8 reales sets that are very scarce to rare varieties that I would fill with any grade level and would not exclude "details" coins.   It all depends on what series you are trying to complete.

You know this but there are different levels of quality in "details" coins.  If the coin is a nice one (by my definition), I would rather own one with noticeably more detail than a numerically graded one with a lot more wear, especially in my primary series where most of the coins have no color or toning.

Example:  The first of the three 1755 Peru one real (JM variety) I bought is now in an "XF details" holder.  It is a fully struck coin with gold and blue toning with the most noticeable wear on the two globes (on the pillar side) which are flat.  It has hairlines on this side but there is nothing wrong with the coin and it's easily better than the overwhelming majority of the low proportion from the original mintage which survive today. 

Edited by World Colonial

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 posts

As I started as a collector of die numbered Victorian British sixpences there was often no choice but to have a low grade 'hole-filler' as another example may never appear, although I have drawn the line at holed or very damaged coins. Out of about 600 die numbers for the sixpence for the years 1864 to 1879 I have 'upgraded' about 20 coins or so over the years. As my collecting interests have expanded into world coins I have found the situation to be similar and have started to buy 'hole-fillers' here aswell as there may only be a handful of coins known and the highest graded (usually as a raw coin) being only VG or Fine. If the opportunity arises to upgrade I will try and do so but will live with 'hole-filler' until then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,095 posts

Great replies and thoughts on this subject, thanks to all who have replied.  At one time I think the use of hole fillers was more accepted and used more widely; however the internet has made finding coins far easier than in the mail order days in years past.  And biased on my observations and discussions with collectors in general it seems that a high percentage of 20th century US coin collectors are less likely to buy a hole filler, which seems to correlate with the relative ease that many coins of that time can be found.  Conversely those who collect pre 20th century US, world, tokens, and medals are more willing to use a hole filler due to lack of availability and cost constraints; so it does seem that what a collector choses to collect may influence the decision to some degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,894 posts

IMHO, it has nothing to do with low price.  Rather, it has everything to do with accepting a coin in a lower grade or quality than one wants to.

For example: if you have a set of Mercury dimes, in mint state 65, but cannot afford a 16 D in 65, so you buy a 16 D in AU 58, instead.... Well, that is a hole filler.  It's an $11,000 hole filler :sumo: but it's still a hole filler. doh!  2c

Edited by Walkerfan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
467 posts
10 hours ago, Walkerfan said:

IMHO, it has nothing to do with low price.  Rather, it has everything to do with accepting a coin in a lower grade or quality than one wants to.

For example: if you have a set of Mercury dimes, in mint state 65, but cannot afford a 16 D in 65, so you buy a 16 D in AU 58, instead.... Well, that is a hole filler.  It's an $11,000 hole filler :sumo: but it's still a hole filler. doh!  2c

I dunno. I think of a hole filler in a more negative sense, as a pejorative. In your example, I would be content with a 58. If I filled the hole with less than an AU I would not be content (nor would I do it). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,894 posts
4 hours ago, LINCOLNMAN said:

I dunno. I think of a hole filler in a more negative sense, as a pejorative. In your example, I would be content with a 58. If I filled the hole with less than an AU I would not be content (nor would I do it). 

I partially agree with you.  I would be content with the best I could afford.  If that was an AU 58, then so be it.  Being incomplete would make me feel worse than not finding the ultimate example and leaving the hole empty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,668 posts
10 hours ago, LINCOLNMAN said:

I dunno. I think of a hole filler in a more negative sense, as a pejorative. In your example, I would be content with a 58. If I filled the hole with less than an AU I would not be content (nor would I do it). 

I don't consider an AU-58 16-D in a Mercury set a hole filler, not if it's still a nice example. It's ultimately a matter of intent (to replace or not) but I don't consider the quality difference between AU-58 and MS-65 to be so great here where it isn't acceptable, unless someone is now going to tell me that most AU-58 16-D's are usually actually much lower quality which is another issue entirely.  (That would be "gradeflation".)

Conversely, I would consider practically any other date in the series in AU-58 to be one in a MS-65 set because the coins are both not particularly expensive and common or very common.  The other exceptions would be the 21 and 21-D (semi) key dates.  Both of these coins are still quite expensive (to most collectors) in AU-58 and somewhat scarce in this grade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,178 posts
On 9/7/2019 at 8:02 AM, physics-fan3.14 said:

A whole filler is a waste of money that you'll regret. It's something you buy because you're obsessive and have to have the whole filled, rather than having the patience to wait and buy what you really want. 

I don't buy whole fillers. 

So you've never upgraded a coin in your collection?  If you did, then that preceding coin was a Hole filler even if you did not intend it to be at the time of your initial purchase. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
467 posts
2 hours ago, Mokiechan said:

So you've never upgraded a coin in your collection?  If you did, then that preceding coin was a Hole filler even if you did not intend it to be at the time of your initial purchase. 

I agree with p-f's rather blunt, but IMO accurate, definition. I also agree with your statement. I just upgraded a DB 10c from 8 to 15. Transaction cost will be at least 10-20% no doubt (GC has it). The 8 was an unintended hole filler, and was the result of impatience. Not the first time nor probably the last time that I'll make that mistake. I do admire collectors who bide their time to find just the right coin. Not my nature, I look for a satisfactory coin depending of course on scarcity,  and I'm too damned old now to take the most rational path to completing my objectives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14,820 posts
3 hours ago, Mokiechan said:

So you've never upgraded a coin in your collection?  If you did, then that preceding coin was a Hole filler even if you did not intend it to be at the time of your initial purchase. 

I disagree. A hole filler is a coin that you buy with the intention of replacing it. I have upgraded plenty of coins, but when I bought the original coin it was intended to be a part of my set. It was not just some temporary thing until something better comes along. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,178 posts
On 9/18/2019 at 5:23 PM, physics-fan3.14 said:

I disagree. A hole filler is a coin that you buy with the intention of replacing it. I have upgraded plenty of coins, but when I bought the original coin it was intended to be a part of my set. It was not just some temporary thing until something better comes along. 

we'll have to agree to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
498 posts
On 9/18/2019 at 5:23 PM, physics-fan3.14 said:

I disagree. A hole filler is a coin that you buy with the intention of replacing it. I have upgraded plenty of coins, but when I bought the original coin it was intended to be a part of my set. It was not just some temporary thing until something better comes along. 

I have to take @physics-fan3.14's viewpoint here. I've been collecting for 56 years, and yes, I have a few pieces I acquired when I was 10 that don't satisfy me any more, and they've been upgraded, but as an adult I've never even once been tempted to fill a hole in a set with an inferior piece. It's just not in my DNA, just as it's not in some other people's DNA to allow an empty hole to stare at them. I love those empty holes. It makes it easy to compare them to what's up in the next in-person auction I'm going to. There's one coming up on October 12 and I've identified 53 possible lots I might bid on. But they are pieces that will use up my budget for the month after 3-5 lot wins, even ONE in a few cases, and then I'll just leave and wait for another day. Patience is ultimately your friend and haste is your enemy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0