What You Need to Know: Thoughts on the US Type Set
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TomB   
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This might be viewed as an odd topic for a "What You Need to Know" thread, however it seems that not only are a number of folks actively engaged in building US type sets, but other members also appear to be poised to take the plunge. Keeping that in mind, I thought it might be useful to share my experiences and to invite others to share their strategies and images. In this manner, we may be able to help those who might otherwise go less prepared into this endeavor. Sprinkled throughout this thread will be some scans of coins in my set, which illustrate the quality that one can obtain for approximately $100 per coin.

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My opinion of the US type set is that it is the quintessential set for the dedicated non-set builder. That is, those folks who would otherwise be bored or lose interest in longer sets might do very well to look seriously at the benefits of a type set. Speaking for myself only, I fit the non-set builder category quite well because I have only completed three sets and two of these required two coins or fewer (Draped Bust/Small Eagle quarters and Flowing Hair halves). The third set (Barber halves) was a behemoth of a 73-coin effort that left me bedraggled and certain that I would never want to go through that level of series dedication and commitment again.

 

Currently, there are at least three major players in the market for US type set albums and these include Whitman, Dansco and the now defunct Library of Coins albums. Though no longer manufactured, there is still a significant supply of the Library of Coins albums and they are quite well known. Of these, Dansco is by far the most popular choice among US type set devotees. The familiar blue Whitman Classic albums are attractive, sturdy and made to the same quality standards as the Dansco albums, but are produced as a non-customizable two-album set that includes all the US type coins including the prohibitively expensive Draped Bust/Small Eagle quarter and half dollar and the Gobrecht dollar. If one were to buy the most generic issue for each type and were to put VF or better coins in these Whitman Classic albums then the entire set, once completed, would run far in excess of $100,000. This is enough to deter most any US type set builder from starting a set in this album. Similarly, the Library of Coins albums were available as a non-customizable two-album set, however this set included many fewer of the earlier, more expensive type coins and is much more attractive to most collectors. The Dansco entry appears to have embraced the best of both worlds since it has the ability to add or subtract pages that are dedicated to various niche areas and, in its basic format, has done away with the prohibitively expensive type coins that would mightily intimidate most people. To be consistent with my own raw US type set, and with market saturation, I will write about building one of these sets using the Dansco format.

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There are certain peculiarities, or areas of consternation, inherent in pursuing a complete US type set in a Dansco album. These include the fact that early copper, especially prior to 1840, had slight variances in diameter and the holes for these coins are larger than is typically needed, which results in loose fitting pieces that will need a shim. Similarly, production of Capped Bust half dollars resulted in slightly different diameters and this can lead to difficulty in getting the coin seated into the hole. Small coins affected by this include the three-cent silver, which in my experience was near impossible to fix in place without being either at a maddening angle or hopelessly caught between the cardboard page and outer page sleeve.

 

Less of a quirk and more of a philosophical problem I have with the Dansco set is the omission of many important coins that fall within the date range of coins presented in the album. These albums are most complete from 1830 onward and may be finished in their entirety without any contribution from 18th century coinage. Major 19th century types missing entirely include the large sized Capped Bust dimes and quarters, all Draped Bust silver coinage and Gobrecht dollars while only one slot each is present for the three distinct types of three-cent silver and for the two types of Reeded Edge halves. There are also fewer coins needed to fill out the myriad Seated dime, quarter and half entries than is typically accepted, though most folks would not complain about this feature. Puzzling, though, is that the very important No Stars Seated coinage has no representation. Certain underrepresented 20th century types include the Peace dollar series where there is only one slot for two major types, the Standing Liberty quarter series that has two slots for three major types and the odd array of Kennedy half dollar and Ike dollar choices. The Kennedy half dollar has two slots for use between its three metallic compositions, similar to the Ike dollar where slots for the two metallic compositions are insufficient. The additional page for Bicentennial coinage and other modern issues can hold the 40% silver issues of the quarter, half and dollar. However, this creative squeezing in of various metallic composition types is inconsistent with the metallic composition slots readily made available for the Indian Head and Lincoln cents and for the Jefferson nickel. Of course, a limit must be drawn somewhere for a commercially viable product and Dansco seems to have made the correct choices because it has clearly outpaced its competition.

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Lastly, and this is not a holder-specific issue, be extraordinarily careful when removing the plastic sleeves that surround the coin slots. I have seen scores of otherwise problem-free and attractive coinage marred by carelessness that has introduced hairlines. One may use camera lens-quality tissue to push the coin in evenly, and these coins placed deeply into their respective holes are safe. Move the plastic sleeves back into position when the coins are safe.

 

Now that we have read about what coinage types are missing, and other quirks, it is now time to discuss what issues are present in this album. My basic album, which includes a page for Bicentennial and other modern coins, holds 76 coins. That is quite a few coins to find, though finding many of these at or near face value is not difficult. There are three slots for half-cents, 12 for cents (four large cent slots and eight small cent slots), one for the two-cent piece, two for three-cent pieces, 12 for five-cent pieces (four half-dime slots and eight nickel slots), eight for dimes, one for the twenty-cent piece, 11 for quarters, 15 for half dollars, 10 for dollars and one slot for a bullion coin. It is also easy to add niche areas such as an extra page for a gold type set. The ability to customize the content of the album, to a degree, is one of the great pleasures one will encounter if this set is undertaken.

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It is my experience that the Classic Head half-cents and large cents as well as the Seated Liberty dollars will be the toughest coins in the set. These will likely not only be the most expensive coins, if the set is undertaken at a uniform grade level, but they will also be the most difficult to find in original, problem-free and attractive condition. Outside of these four pieces, there are no extraordinarily difficult coins to find. The early copper also has a tendency to be slightly porous or pitted, especially the Classic Head designs. Some of this is unavoidable because striking of these coins on inferior planchets resulted in poor quality. Patience, however, can lead to choice coins. The small cents provide their own challenge, especially with the copper-nickel coinage. Flying Eagle cents and copper-nickel Indian Head cents should not look exactly like other small cents when it comes to coloration. These pieces were originally a more even tan and less bright orange or red than later composition cents, due to the nickel in the alloy. Even on well-worn pieces, the color should be somewhat different in the majority of cases, when compared to copper or bronze cents. Oftentimes, finding slightly corroded copper-nickel cents is due to the coin having spent time buried and is not due to improper planchet preparation. Generally, the best looking copper pieces are those without dark spots or verdigris on the surfaces and finding later date copper in this condition is easier than earlier types.

 

An odd and unfortunate phenomenon that I have witnessed many times is the presence of unnaturally white, flat looking half-dimes. The half-dime series have appeared to suffer this dipped-out fate much more readily than other denominations except for perhaps the early half dollars. Regardless of whether or not the set is a circulated or mint state and proof ensemble, the coins should reflect a combination of age and usage in their appearance. It might be most difficult with half-dimes, but it is worth the effort to have the coins look original. Encountering a weak strike on the early nickel series is common. Nickel is a very hard metal and the striking pressure needed to bring out the relief was not always present, which resulted in flat looking coins. Attractive Shield and Liberty nickels might be tough coins to find. The twenty-cent piece is unique in American coinage because of the raised LIBERTY on the obverse shield and grading these coins is somewhat different. This is another series where strike can sometimes appear quite soft. The greatest problem that one might find in the quarters is to find an SLQ that has a full, bold date, even in higher grades or on mint state coins.

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The half dollar slots are rewarding to fill because for the earliest coins required, the Capped Bust half dollars, usage was limited to bank transfer funds for many years and because of this, they escaped circulation. The Reeded Edge half dollars will be more difficult to find with full strikes and in any type of attractive condition. There are also four slots for commemorative half dollars and this opens up a wealth of opportunity to make the album individual. There are currently approximately 100 distinct commemorative half dollar designs, including both classic and modern commemoratives, from which to choose. Within the dollar category there are two very difficult coins and these are both Seated dollar varieties. There are one or two "generic" dates for the No Motto Seated dollars, but the With Motto Seated dollars should be found with greater frequency overall. The Seated dollars might be the most attractive coins within the entire album in very low grade, and this may be the only range that many folks will be able to find them. The Trade dollar might also be difficult, but later dollars are readily obtainable. A comparison of the Morgan dollar to its immediately adjacent dollar series of Peace and Ike is interesting and will show the incredible change in relief that the Mint decided to undertake with production of the latter two series.

 

Writing about my own set, I try to place original, attractive, problem-free circulated examples throughout the album. Inclusion depends on design as in the case of the large array of commemoratives to choose from, family history attached to the piece and any other personal reason. Examples include my three-cent nickel, which came from my maternal grandfather's mother (my great-grandmother) who had been desperately poor yet raised three sons on her own in the 1910s and 1920s after her husband abandoned her. It has always amazed me that she had nothing in her name yet kept this tiny coin. The silver Washington quarter, given to me by my maternal grandmother when my maternal grandfather passed away in 1990, sat in a wooden dresser drawer since its issue in 1932. He and I had been very close, and he had saved the piece for 58 years, so now it is in my type set. My mother-in-law came to the US from Japan in her late thirties and I have chosen an 1893 Japanese yen to reside in place of the Morgan dollar because it is a contemporary of the Morgan dollar, it reflects my wife's half-Japanese heritage and because I simply do not care for the Morgan dollar design. Somewhat more trivial examples include the 1883 Hawaiian quarter that resides in my State Quarter hole and the 1838-O No Stars Seated dime that sits within the With Stars slot or the Lafayette dollar that is present in place of a modern commemorative dollar. There are many similar examples throughout the album and this gives me great satisfaction when I look through it. Below are links to the two most complete pages from my album.

Quarters and Halves

Halves and Dollars

 

This set-trait invites a flexibility and independent thought process not often found in individual series. There are probably four important points that anyone who will attempt this album should keep in mind at all times. These, in no particular order, are-

 

1) Make your set your own set! That might read as a ridiculous statement, but the set has terrific flexibility and can highlight favorite designs, compositions or denominations; can teach history via the selection of specific dates; or might reflect important dates within your family. Think long and hard about what you want the set to be before diving into it.

 

2) This is a marathon, not a sprint. There are many sets put together in a very short time period and these generally look the part. Feel free to upgrade the coins in the album, but to fill a slot simply to upgrade later is not wise, be patient.

 

3) Think about the entirety of this set before you start, it can be extremely expensive if you want every coin to be a pristine mint state or proof example. Alternatively, it can end up looking ragged if some coins are on the lower end of mint state while others are highly circulated. The overall "look" of the combined individual pieces within the grade range or ranges chosen might reflect a desire to highlight blast white, attractively toned or original, circulated grey and brown examples. My set features original circulated surfaces, similar to the thrust of my previous What You Need to Know article.

 

4) Enjoy yourself!

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supertooth   
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Tom----As I finish my Walkers, I find myself buying type coins more and more. A set to be proud of. You will get a lot of praise for those images. Let me be the first to go WOW. Bob [supertooth]

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gary sullivan   
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My type set was completed several years before I even started to think about working on a registry set. It's a hodge podge of mint state to good, cleaned and original. I haven't gotten around to replacing the junk coins but the important thing is I have a book to show the grandkids and non coin friends the type of coins minted in the U.S. going back two hundred years. Good report Tom.

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ER   
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.............4) Enjoy yourself!

 

The most important aspect of this, or any other hobbies.

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EZ_E   
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Tom, I commend you for this article. It is extremely well written and is chocked full of sound, seasoned advice.

 

I had collected coins pretty seriously for a few years in my pre-teens but when I re-entered the hobby in 2002, there was a large difference. I then had a disposable income from my x-ray/cat scan profession. So, I was filled with enthusiasm but oh so out of touch with the hobby. As a result, I had acquired many problem or overpriced coins. Luckily, my education commenced both from hard experience and from many of the NGC board members. That is when my education actually began in earnest. I acquired more of an elitist's stance, striving for the best coin that I could afford at the time. Yet, even though I make an above average salary, patience is the key. Besides, if one could even afford to purchase an entire type set in the finest grades, it would be meaningless without the thrill of the hunt. This is perhaps the most rewarding aspect to the hobby. Patience to save the money and patience to find the right purchase. Without this ingredient, one's collection will be near meaningless.

 

So, back to my initial train of thought: In the beginning, my collecting habits were scattered all over the board. I bought a little foreign products, a run of US proof sets and some problem 19th century coins, etc. Heck, at the time, the slabbing game was a mystery to me. I was told point blank by a dealer upon questioning that all slabs were equal, graded and authenticated by professionals. Geez, what a line of bull! But newbies are the bread and butter of many, unscrupulous dealers, especially many of the large numismatic advertisers. I was proud of the purchase of an 1861 Seated Liberty Dollar graded AU55 by NTC. I still didn't have much of an eye then but I Was Impressed. What a big, old coin. Cool, eh? Nope! It had multiple rim dings when it was apparently dropped and flattened the sides where it fell. Sure it had great details but it was a problem coin not worth half of the $1000 that I had paid for it. Then, I started getting an eye for grading especially after attending an ANA coin grading seminar. I was further illuminated by one of the instructors that the coin had actually been bleached to darken it in order to hide hairlines and to make it appear more original. I also had a No Motto 1908 $20 St Gaudins at the time that was bodybagged by PCGS for improper cleaning. I couldn't tell. I was just overlooking what would now be plainly obvious to me. My eye was still untrained at that point. The instructor pointed out eraser marks on the reverse. That was the dawning of my numismatic abilities. So, sure, there is a learning curve that can be quite expensive when contrasted to rookie enthusiasm.

 

Now, nearly four years later, I have established a numismatic foundation. I can fairly accurately grade coins, spot a problem coin, note the degree of cleaning and/or hairlines, etc., etc. All of the previously mentioned points are critical to know BEFORE you jump enthusiastically into the hobby with both feet into water over one's head and teaming with sharks just waiting to prey on the unsuspecting.

 

With this long introduction in mind, now we get into the evolution of my interest in type coinage.

 

What compelled me to this area is that it still involves a wide array of coinage but it has a concentrated aim. Sort of like a shotgun. The load fans out to encompass a wide area but it is still directed to a certain target. That is type collecting in a nut shell. One becomes knowledgeable with about all areas of US coinage depending upon which path one decides to take.

 

There is the registry type collectors and participators. As Tom mentioned, this would be a huge and very expensive undertaking if one were to include all varieties of early US coinage. The 1796 quarter in good would be at least a $10,000 undertaking as well as the chain cent and various other contemporaneous coinage. This is what led me to collecting types as dictated by the Dansco Album contents. But first, let me expound some on the merits of the registry.

 

I, like others, initially kind of scoffed at the idea because of the idea that it catered to one's vanity: wanting to be the best. Sure, one can get caught up in that , but don't let it take away from some of the other advantages of the registry. In particularly, it allows quick and easy access to one's collection and maintains a record of it as well. I enjoy it because it allows me to visualize pictures of my coins and to share it with others. It also allows me to provide greater input on some of my posts by provided a link to whatever pertinent coin is being discussed. Afterall, the cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words has great merit. So, I am now a registry participant for these very reasons. Many of my Dansco coins have not been graded which precludes their inclusion in the registry but that is the way it is. As a result, I will eventually get the rest of my Dansco coins graded. This achieves both NGC/PCGS's goals and my own. The NGC customer service representatives are extremely helpful and prompt with any aid or questions one may have.

 

[Yeah, Dena! yay.gif]

 

My NGC Registry USA Type Set

 

Now, more about the Dansco 7070 Type Album:

 

As already mentioned, it is extremely helpful in directing one's collecting goal. It excludes some of the costly early issues and side-steps some of the more redundant types. This is fine with me. Personally, I think that some of the "official" types are unnecessary and borders on the anal. But, this is just my opinion. I could care less about the 1874 arrows Seated Coinage, the 3 types of silver trimes or the Type III Standing Liberty Quarter. I just don't care. I think that the No Motto and Motto types of the Seated Liberty denominations would be sufficient but there is also the 1853 arrows and rays (or 1854-55 arrows) types to be included. Too much for me but I must acquire them in order to fulfil the requirements set forth by the Dansco Album. However, I do wish that they had the slots for the Draped Bust Dime, Quarter and Half. But they don't and that is just the way it is. This, of course, does not prevent me from obtaining them but I am more concerned about finishing the album first.

 

My goal in descending order is to get proof issues when feasible, followed by mint state, then AU58 and finally, lower circulated grades.

 

Now the market is favorably priced to pre 1915 proofs and they are still an opportunity buy although the market is currently experiencing an upswing in this market. I was fortunate enough to have gotten some of my earlier proofs at decent prices. Some of them have experienced an appreciation of 50% or more since I started purchasing them in 2003. My most desired coin at the present is a PR 64 Cameo "With Motto" Seated Liberty Half but this is where the patience is inputted into the equation. "It will be mine, yes, it will be mine." grin.gifeventually...

 

Some denominations were not issued in proof at all and some (especially pre 1850 proofs) are just too darn expensive for me. So, then I will revert to a mint state example, preferable at least a 63 or higher. But some coins are nearly as good in AU58 if such an example can be found. This is extremely tough at times but patience, again, is its own reward.

 

I currently would like a nice, problem free and preferably original AU 58 Lg Planchet Bust dime, 1853 A&R's quarter and half, No Motto SL half and twenty cent piece.

 

I have been searching for the Bust Dime for over two years now w/o luck. At a coin show at the Tacoma Dome, I was on the hunt but instead ran across an 1820 Lg Cent that just sung to me. It was a Randall Hoard coin, mint state and had original red mint luster still present and was w/i my budget (even though I didn't have any idea what the heck a Randall Hoard cent was at that time. I just recognized eye-appeal). So, it is now part of my collection. So, there is an excellent moral here: Don't be so adamant on your goals that you won't deviate from your immediate goal as the opportunity arises. This is now my main approach to fulfilling my collecting goals. I keep my eyes open and when the opportunity and financing permits, I don't hesitate as long as it is a type coin which I need.

 

Some coins in the Danco 7070 are even out of my budget for an AU58 example. For instance, the Classic Head Large Cents of 1808-1814. Once again, Tom hinted on this subject. This is an extremely difficult coin to find in higher grades, especially one with a nice planchet since most come pitted and corroded to some degree or the other. My example is just a VF but the planchet is very nice for this type and, once again, it was an opportunity buy. I had been looking for one for over 2 years until I finally got an acceptable example from Mark Hooten on these boards. He had other Lg Cents on e-bay and I just asked him out of the blue if he had a Classic Head. He obliged me, gave me an excellent deal and a nice coin to boot. See, flexability is the key, tempered with patience.

 

I am not even adverse to eventually obtaining some earlier Draped Bust issues in the lowly grade of "good" or even "about good". At one point I would have scoffed at that idea! Hmmmpt, I'm an elitist I would have boasted. But, especially due to Goose3's example, I have found merit in these grades. Those earlier coins not only still maintain decent eye-appeal in the lower grades but it is much more economical as well.

 

Once again, as mentioned already, add your own personality to your collection. For example, for the 4 commemorative half slots, I paired the 1892 Columbus Half with the 1992 Columbus Half and the 1926 Washington Sesquicentenial Half with the 1982 Washington Half. For my collecting tastes, this provided semitry and brought things full circle.

 

In addition, I paired the 2001 Buffalo Commemorative Dollar with the American Silver Eagle since they both are reproductions of the two most popular coins the US has ever produced: the Buffalo nickel and the Walking Liberty Half dollar.

 

I then chose the 1997 Satin finish Jefferson nickel and the 1998 satin finish Kennedy half because of their low mintages and excellent potential for price appreciation.

 

I still have a little ways to go before I complete my album to my liking but I chug along just a little at a time. As a matter of fact, the 1930 MS65 FH Standing Liberty Quarter which I just recently purchased this week was my first type purchase for six months since I had other financial priorities.

 

This is one other major rule of thumb! Remember that coin collecting is a hobby and should be enjoyed as such. Don't set your collecting goals so high that you neglect other financial responsibilities. Once again, be patient.

 

The following is a thread which links images of some of my Dansco Pages. I have spent nearly 3 years just coming this far:

 

Thread which shows some images of my Dansco pages

 

Note that my collecting goal is not yet finished and that I do have some cheap fillers in some slots which I will eventually upgrade.

 

Another note: I personally have chosen to crack many high-dollared proof coins out of their respective slabs to place in this album. This is just my collecting choice and is neither condoned nor discouraged. But one does run the risk of damaging the coins either by slide marks, finger prints or spittle so one should be very, very careful. However, one advantage is that I am very selective of the coins that I buy. I most certainly do not want a coin that just barely made the grade because, when I eventually get my set regraded, I want to be assured that they will slab at least the same if not higher. So, I am never too bashful to pass on a coin or to send one back if I am not completely satisfied with it.

 

Which brings up another major point:

 

One should be very careful and selective about from whom one purchases their coins. There are many honest, reputable dealers in the numismatic community but there are just as many or more swindlers. So be very careful and don't be afraid to ask for recommendations from fellow NGC boardsters about where to go to acquire coins for one's collection.

 

And, finally, the last major point:

 

Regardless of your collecting budget, never settle for a problem coin. This is the absolute best way to loose money on your investment (And, yes, it is an investment of your time and money!) and to assemble a less than desirable collection. Always strive to obtain a problem free coins without any "buts". i.e. This would be a great coin "but" for..... Of course there are exceptions to this rule (like the Classic Head Large Cent) but there aren't too many of them.

 

Try to be somewhat consistent on the overall grades of the set, and, most of all, enjoy yourself!

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IGWT   
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What a great read! Continuing thanks to everyone willing to share their wisdom and experience.

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EZ_E   
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p.s. One more point to keep in mind:

 

Original, thick skinned, classic coins were not affected at all by the harsher environment found in an album vs a slab. They are protected where as the bare-naked coins are subject to tone whether for the good or for the bad. Remember this before you think about dipping or conserving a coin. Also remember that purchasing a stripped coin may also tone unpleasantly while housed or stored in an album.

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supertooth   
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Victor----Excellent----Exactly what any collector needs to read---The truth coming from the lips of another collector. Certainly will help others from making some of the easier mistakes of collecting. Well thought out on your part. Thanks for taking your time to present this to us. It follows well on the heels of Tom's thoughts. Bob [supertooth]

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Regis44   
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Tom & Viktor...Great exposition.

 

QUOTE:"So, I was filled with enthusiasm but oh so out of touch with the hobby. As a result, many of my purchases were made in ignorance. As a result, I had acquired many problem or overpriced coins."

 

makepoint.gif My path exactly until I found this board and then got outstanding and specific help from one patient member. Now I am on a firm course to narrow my focus and LEARN to grade what I want to collect. I've begun to really enjoy each and every search. Supprisingly, I am really pleased when I don't win an auction because I know that I bid the right amount for what it "actually is". I have a long way to go but, at least now, I error without over spending.

 

I sure appreciate and thank this board and my tutor (don't want him to get overloaded with supprise requests of his time).

Regis

Edited by Regis44

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MikeKing   
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Great posts, Tom and Victor thumbsup2.gif

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Bruceswar   
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Thanks for the great information Tom and Victor... Foe anybody who does not really know these 2 guys.... both are great stand up guys along with many others on the forums...

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EVillageProwler   
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Interesting thread, and excellent too. I offer a variant on Type Set building...

 

I have formed several complete (minus the real stoppers like a 70S dollar) marathon sets - classic and modern - and begun to realize that it's frustrating to have to buy a coin just to fill a hole. Take a MS61 1859O dollar - who'd care about that?!? Plus, it's a bit monotonous to look at an entire run of Seated Dollars. (Yeah, I actually do know how each date should differ in terms of appearance, but after a while it gets very boring anyway!)

 

What I do now is to go after noteworthy coins only. For example, for my Seated Half "set", I have only a few coins. But, these coins are key dates only, with the highlight piece being a high-grade circ key that has 2 attractive chopmarks! My sole Lincoln cent representative is an SVDB in 65BN that is vividly and attractively colored. (Always wanted one as a kid, but never could afford one!) My sole classical commem is a MS64 Lafayette with attractive peripheral toning (a huge jump in price at 65!). And, the core of my Capped Bust set has the Russ Logan provenance.

 

No longer will I spend my time and money on non-descript coins. They tend to be lousy investments financially and in terms of personal appreciation and enjoyment.

 

EVP

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Brotherman   
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Tom and Victor - THANK YOU! As one of the people that just started this very type set, your posts read as if they were written just for me! Packed full of information and a little encouragement

too. What more could you ask for? I'm in Lex. right now but I am so glad I took the time to check this site - I have bookmarked this page for future reference!

 

Hays

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jtryka   
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Excellent read and solid advice! Thanks guys!

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James_OldeTowne   
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Tom, this was undoubtedly one of the finest posts I've read in a while, and thank you for the obvious time and care in writing it.

 

I happen to enjoy collecting both sets and type coins, and so have benefitted from pitfalls of both. Your article should go a long way toward helping new collectors avoid some of those traps.

 

One tidbit of advice I would offer to those who use albums of the type with clear plastic slides (including Dansco): leave the slides protruding slightly when you store the albums. That way, if you need to remove it, it can be extracted by simply pulling on the protruding edge. If you insert the slide all the way in, you are obligated to push down on a window area - which will be directly above a coin. That runs the risk of imparting slide-marks on the coin. I've always been extremely careful about this, and believe that I have never caused slide-marks on any coins - and some of them are MS-67/68 and PR-68/69 crack-outs!

 

James

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chinook   
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Excellant read Tom!!!

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TomB   
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I'd like to thank everyone for the kind words about the thread and also for their participation in the sharing of experiences. Also, Victor deserves enormous kudos for posting so much useful information regarding this issue.

 

Similar to some of the other folks who post here, I also have a type set on the NGC Registry. Mine is here and will never crack the very top of the category. It is a fun set and is also a fun way to attempt to share knowledge. smile.gif

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Hoot   
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Tom and Victor - Superb! Both of you articulated well a great diversity of important points regarding type collecting. Thanks for taking the time. thumbsup2.gif

 

I also appreciate EVP's comment, "No longer will I spend my time and money on non-descript coins. They tend to be lousy investments financially and in terms of personal appreciation and enjoyment." Both Tom and victor also talked about this in their own way. Composing the set of decsript coins can be accomplished in any grade, and the resultant assembly will be an artform of continuity, as such.

 

My current approach to type collecting is found in my Transitional Pieces of 1836-40 Signature Set.

 

Hoot

Edited by Hoot

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EZ_E   
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Wow, Tom, what an amazing type collection!! You have some incredible coins, sir.

 

I think that the USA - 1C 1852 Grade MS 64 BN, is gorgeous and undergraded. This is the perfect coin for me since it is high end with great eye-appeal without the price tag a comparable MS65 RB would demand.

 

Coins like your 1796 Quarter and your 1836 dollar are amazing, scarce coins that I will probably never own and very seldom ever see. They, among others, are prime examples of how a well circulated coin can maintain incredible eye-appeal if original!

 

This is why a well organized registry set with photos is such an incredible opportunity for fellow collectors. It serves both to education and to motivate collectors such as myself.

 

Fantastic job, TomB! 893applaud-thumb.gif

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CTcollector   
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Tom B - great post and looks like some nice personal stories around some of your coins. It brought me back to how I got started collecting.

 

EZ_E - great contribution also.

 

For myself, I have recently decided to consolidate my proof and mint state date sets into one general US type set. I have concluded after many years of searching for particular dates in the seated and barber series that it is much easier to obtain one pleasing example for type versus many pleasing examples that are required for a date set within a particular type. Don't get me wrong, a complete US Type set will have its challenges, but I think it has a good chance at completion in whatever condition level you chose.

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MikeKing   
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Tom, I have to say that you've both inspired and taught me a lot.

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EZ_E   
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I have concluded after many years of searching for particular dates in the seated and barber series that it is much easier to obtain one pleasing example for type versus many pleasing examples that are required for a date set within a particular type. Don't get me wrong, a complete US Type set will have its challenges, but I think it has a good chance at completion in whatever condition level you chose.

 

 

This is part of the appeal of type collecting as well as gaining a general knowledge or more of all US issues.

 

thumbsup2.gif

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Oldtrader3   
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When I started building my first 19th and 20th Century Type Sets, I used the Capital Plastics, BVD holders (one of which is no longer available for the 19th Century coins, only the 20th Century Type). They have another holder for a combined set though. The advantage of these holders is that they are chemically inert and protect your coin's surfaces very well.

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shirohniichan   
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1) Make your set your own set! That might read as a ridiculous statement, but the set has terrific flexibility and can highlight favorite designs, compositions or denominations; can teach history via the selection of specific dates; or might reflect important dates within your family. Think long and hard about what you want the set to be before diving into it.

 

Yea, verily.

 

My type set is a transition year type set (i.e. only composed of two different obverse and reverse designs within one calendar year). Read my Numismatist article explaining it in detail here.

 

I ran into the same problem Tom noted regarding the draped bust half being too big for the Dansco album hole.

 

The stoppers in my set so far have been the 1793 large cents, the 1807 half eagles, and the 1916 SL quarter.

 

I have one slabbed set and one raw set for my Dansco (I thought it much more enjoyable to have lower grade coins where I could see them instead of locked away). Wherever possible I like to collect different mintmarks in the two sets (e.g. 1916-P dimes in my slabbed set and 1916-S for my album set). cloud9.gif

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Tyrock   
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  • Location: Rhode Island

I have a basic type set which started out in a Whitman classic album. It includes just one example of each coin from the half cent to the SBA dollar. With the Sacagawea dollar the set only needs 39 coins. Since I started buying certified coins for the set, I decided to slab the raw coins that I had and now I have a certified basic type set. I've expanded the set to include a gold type set. I only need a type 2 gold dollar and a $3 gold piece to finish it. I've seen the Dansco album and it makes for a beautiful set of coins. But I prefer the basic type set as it doesn't call for so many varieties. Another interesting point is that a type set can be as basic or complex as you want. It affords quite a bit of room for options.

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EZ_E   
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I have a basic type set which started out in a Whitman classic album. It includes just one example of each coin from the half cent to the SBA dollar. With the Sacagawea dollar the set only needs 39 coins. Since I started buying certified coins for the set, I decided to slab the raw coins that I had and now I have a certified basic type set. I've expanded the set to include a gold type set. I only need a type 2 gold dollar and a $3 gold piece to finish it. I've seen the Dansco album and it makes for a beautiful set of coins. But I prefer the basic type set as it doesn't call for so many varieties. Another interesting point is that a type set can be as basic or complex as you want. It affords quite a bit of room for options.

 

893applaud-thumb.gifthumbsup2.gifthumbsup2.gif893applaud-thumb.gif

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bsshog40   
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I guess this would count as a US type set. I have a mixture as does everyone but I am trying to aquire proof sets. I have started of course from the less expensive down and I know I will probably never complete this set due to the earlys going to be impossible to get. But I do have 1960 to date. The rest I will just try to get at the best prices I can till I can no longer afford them. I'm sure that I will make it to 1956, but from that date down will very likely be a challenge for me.

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Bill757-migration   
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First time poster. Long time collector, but very tiny consumer - no high rollers here...... ;-)

 

I just have one thing to add. I also started out with the Dansco type album, but kinda lost interest due to its restrictive design, like a lot of other posters have said. I started digging around, and came across what I consider the ideal solution, from a strictly collecting versatility point of view. I ordered a number of display trays, each one containing three rows of six square "holes", housed in a tray with a glass covered top. Each tray is about 3/4" thick, all together, and 8 x 14.5" width x length. The trays only cost me about $4 or $5 each.

 

This setup allows me to mix and match pieces in any way I want, with raw coins, 2x2 holders or capsules such as the Airtite brand. Given a little time, raw silver coins tone beautifully, and each square "hole" can hold more than one coin, if desired. For example, I have two sets of three coins side by side in two openings - WW II Australian sixpenses minted at Melbourne, Denver and San Francisco next to Mercury dimes minted at Phillie, Denver and Frisco. All 6 coins were in the xf range, and look really good together, not to mention the historical implications. 1945-S and 1946-S BU dimes in Airtites in the same opening, 1955-S penny and dime in Airtites in the same opening, raw 1917 type 1 and 2 SLQs in the same opening, etc.

 

I've since gotten carried away, and opened the whole up considerably, for example with WW I coins from all of the major combatants (such as a German one mark coin from each of the 6 Imperial mints).

 

Lets me play however I want. Mad scientist is fun......... ;-)

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