Do I buy Indian Head Cents already PCGS graded, or send them in?

SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭✭

I’d like to build a set registry. This would be very long term because my budget is only $50-100 a coin. I know there are many that ungraded are worth far below the cost of sending them in. I’m discovering though that once in a PCGS slab in MS6x condition it seems really hard to find them for under $50 and often it goes higher if it’s a pretty RD or RB graded coin or obviously one of the key dates.

I’m new to coin collecting, only been at it a few years, so my grading abilities when looking at coins are not strong enough to tell the differences in high grades and if they’ve been cleaned or not I don’t think. I have purchased a couple books on grading and on the Indian Head cent to learn more though. I’m not sure I’d save much money in any event buying and sending in, but it would open up my selections of coins at coin shops.

Thoughts? Recommendations?

"We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

Comments

  • RayboRaybo Posts: 4,431 ✭✭✭✭

    I did a complete set of FE and Indian cents in AU-BU without any grading service help (thank you :# )
    I think I seriously started in about 1975 and finally purchased my AUish 1877 in 1984(?) for $850....WOW, that was huge for me.
    Get your grading eyes and just do it yourself....my X took off with my set after our divorce.
    Thanks for bringing up some great memories for me Sirius. ;)

  • logger7logger7 Posts: 4,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd work with a notable expert like Mr. Snow, etc. not sure if he deals in raw coins. Cents are some of the most subject to artificial processing and other problems that I have seen, compared to silver and gold coins, and harder to "see" unless you know what to look for.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 4,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    New to collecting--purchase already PCGS graded unless you are just filling Whitman folders. For the common ones get them in higher grades for a good collection.

  • keetskeets Posts: 21,471 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 7, 2018 7:24PM

    on the budget you stated in the OP you should be able to build your set raw working backwards, AU/MS into the 1890's, then XF/AU till about 1880. prior to 1880 it'll be in lower grades but you should still be able to find nice coins. there are, of course, some expensive dates.


    --- George Carlin RIP, he'd have a lot of fresh material if he was alive today!!
  • PhilLynottPhilLynott Posts: 480 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agree with others you will end up in a much better position when it's said and done just sticking with already graded coins.

    If you're budget is $50-100 a coin you can turn it into $100-200 a coin or $200-400 a coin by just waiting longer in-between coin purchases. Just takes a little more patience that way but IMO waiting a little longer to get a coin you'll love is a good way to go.

  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,616 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why add the expense of grading to a $100 coin?

    Step #1: Join the Fly-In club
    fly-inclub.org/

    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 4,633 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Of course you're going to be spending more than that on an 1877, but also, the '72 is difficult to find nice as well. Good luck and happy hunting!

    Collecting ... dust

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins.
  • jedmjedm Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the forum. I suggest that if you haven't already, you might consider purchasing "A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents" by Richard Snow. Have fun!

  • OldIndianNutKaseOldIndianNutKase Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 7, 2018 8:26PM

    Given your experience with the series, I would advise that you buy certified coins just to establish a baseline to the grading system. Purchasing RAW coins for certified coin $$ will probably not work out well for you, and the additional cost of certification will make the coin a loser for you.

    IHC's are also graded by color. Many coins that you might think are RD have been dipped to attain that look. For copper to be RD after 100+ years is at best improbable. More the better reason to buy some nice PCGS graded coins that will be proper for the grade and the color.

    Welcome to the forum. And thanks for your post.

    OINK

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 2,986 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I was building my IHC set, Rick Snow was a great help. I grew the set as he grew his books and I learned immensely through them. One type of education that is the least expensive and most rewarding is go to a large coin show and look at hundreds of coins, if not thousands, not just graded ones, but raw ones. Ask questions and you will be amazed at the education available just for the asking. IHC's were one of the most rewarding sets to build, in my opinion. Many, many can be picked up in AU for small funds and are more attractive than the MS coins, again my opinion. Good luck and show us your collection as it grows. Please learn the cleaned aspect of coins before sending any in to be graded.
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone for the reply’s so far! I’m glad to hear so far I’m asking the right questions.

    I did pick up Richard Snow’s book, and have already started perusing it and the fly-inclub.

    I come from a cameras background so I understand researching models, varieties, sales vs asking on eBay etc. I’m trying to make this more familiar to myself by going over all the things I’d be asking and researching if this was a vintage Leica. Rarity, condition, and eye appeal seem to be the big factors for both!

    What are the best ways to buy? I have two or three coin shops in my area. I’m very comfortable with eBay for cameras, but no experience with coin sales there. I’ve read there are also coin shows you can go to sometimes. I assume these are like the camera shows I used to buy and sell at all the time. I did download some of the PCGS apps which look like a good way to scan barcodes, or search by the number to verify it matches the coin shown.

    "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

  • rickoricko Posts: 67,868 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SiriusBlack ... Welcome aboard. You are beginning well... books, fly-in club...asking questions - this is the way to build experience and knowledge. Coin shows are great, both large and small...Coin shops can also be a resource. This forum is a tremendous resource since we have members recognized as the hobbies foremost experts. I also recommend buying certified coins as a beginner...not to say there are no treasures to be found raw - there are great raw coins out there. Just need the expertise to determine authenticity or 'doctored' features. Cheers, RickO

  • SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I forgot to mention, I do also have an inexpensive penny album with low grade, $1-5 coins that I started a few years ago just as a fun inexpensive way to get into the hobby. I had inherited some coins of little value, but they were sentimental so I popped them in there.

    "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭

    @SiriusBlack, @EagleEye is one of (if not THE) premier small cent dealers around, his advice is some you should follow. Going to a coin show and looking at dealers coins and auction lots is also very good advice.

    One thing you can try is to buy a small batch (5 or 10) raw cents that look good to you, and submit to PCGS. Be prepared for a lot of trial and error if you do this on your own without some guidance.

  • sparky64sparky64 Posts: 6,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome @SiriusBlack .
    I enjoy seeing the great advice you're getting.
    Good luck and I look forward to seeing some pickups.

    "If I say something in the woods and my wife isn't there to hear it.....am I still wrong?"

    My meager Washington Quarter Registry set

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 27,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My advice is to buy the coin in the holder that you want, and not depend upon getting the coins graded after you have purchased them raw. Look at it this way. If you buy a mistake that can't get a grade, or even if you buy a coin that grades lower than you thought it would, you have wasted some of your money. Why not buy the “right coin” from the beginning?

    It takes discipline, but I would advise you to set aside $50 or $100 a month instead of only spending $50 or $100 on each coin. Some months you won’t find anything you like. Other months you will be prepared to pounce to when the right coin is available.

    Dealers are best equipped to play the coin grading game. They often send in many coins for grading and their results tend to average out. They get the grades they expect, but also get outliers too in both directions. Some coins seem under graded, and some are over graded. When a collector is sending in only a few pieces, his or her odds of getting hurt by the under graded outliers are greater.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 5,841 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SiriusBlack
    Welcome to the forum, lots of good advice presented to you above, have fun :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you again for being so helpful! That’s good advice to set money aside regardless each week or month. On the times I don’t find anything I’ll continue to increase my funds and hopefully have more on hand if I find something special.

    "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 4,633 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sirus... what Bill said is spot on. After you get adept at grading the series... and issues within it... buy the coin, not the holder. This takes patience and restraint. As was said, there are outliers in both directions. I buy coins to fill in an album, so I'm obviously cracking out slabbed coins... but I only buy coins I'm confident will holder. The TPGs sometimes make mistakes too. It's rare, but it does happen.

    Collecting ... dust

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins.
  • SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkenefic said:
    Sirus... what Bill said is spot on. After you get adept at grading the series... and issues within it... buy the coin, not the holder. This takes patience and restraint. As was said, there are outliers in both directions. I buy coins to fill in an album, so I'm obviously cracking out slabbed coins... but I only buy coins I'm confident will holder. The TPGs sometimes make mistakes too. It's rare, but it does happen.

    I'm discovering as I look at coins that just because coins have the same grade does not mean they are all equal. I guess personal preference comes into play too. Which of course makes the price higher if the coin is more desirable looking even within a grade.

    "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 13,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

  • MikeInFLMikeInFL Posts: 10,148 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2018 1:34PM

    I think you are overvaluing the registry and slabs at your pricepoint. In short, you'd be paying a lot for the slab relative to the value of the coin itself. If you are dead set on a registry, I'd suggest you buy them slabbed as you likely don't have the requisite knowlege to effectively pick coins for grading. That said, I'd probably just build the set raw and in something like a Dansco if I were you and forget slabs and the registry. Alas, I'm not you, so I will simply welcome you to the forum and bid you good luck in whatever way you seek numismatic happiness. :) Take care...Mike

    Collector of Large Cents, US Type, and modern pocket change.
  • DMWJRDMWJR Posts: 5,851 ✭✭✭✭

    You should build a set from already graded PCGS coins. It's too expensive for you to buy the raw and submit, and "hope" they grade, since you are new to collecting. You will be far better off and happier if you just stick with already graded coins. For a set like you are talking about, I would look at NGC also.

    Doug
    The Ultimate Flying Eagles
    https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/showcase/3203
  • SiriusBlackSiriusBlack Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MikeInFL said:
    I think you are overvaluing the registry and slabs at your pricepoint. In short, you'd be paying a lot for the slab relative to the value of the coin itself. If you are dead set on a registry, I'd suggest you buy them slabbed as you likely don't have the requisite knowlege to effectively pick coins for grading. That said, I'd probably just build the set raw and in something like a Dansco if I were you and forget slabs and the registry. Alas, I'm not you, so I will simply welcome you to the forum and bid you good luck in whatever way you seek numismatic happiness. :) Take care...Mike

    I do also have one of the folder albums that I have been putting coins in for a few years now. Much lower grade, but fun and low cost! I'd like to do the set registry in edition to this one as a more long term, probably lifetime to complete because they Indian Head Cent is my favorite of all coins.

    "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

  • pocketpiececommemspocketpiececommems Posts: 4,445 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with the crowd that would purchase already holdered unless you want them raw for an album. Many times you can find a graded one for close to the same price as raw. Then you don't have to worry about sending it in and wait for a grade that you may not agree with.

Sign In or Register to comment.