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My likely slow to develop "Box of Ten"

stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
edited October 18, 2020 8:47AM in U.S. & World Currency Forum

Hey guys,

I used to be heavily into notes here. I'd love to expound on why I dropped out, and why I'm back, but if I do that, this thread will go into information overload. But in simple terms, I do love the aesthetics of notes, but it couldn't keep me in the hobby in the face of competing interests.

In a way, I have the same feelings about coins. And my coin interest was rekindled due to the "box of twenty" concept. The concept of box of twenty collecting came from the idea that a person could collect twenty (usually slabbed) coins in a 20-slot box like those provided by the NGC and PCGS grading services. You build a collection of quality coins limited to 20 coins, and once you acquire 20 coins, you can only improve your collection but you must maintain a total of 20 coins. This makes you focus on quality instead of quantity. In simple terms, whenever you add a new coin, you must sell an old one.

I find that this style of collecting really suits me. I have some coins out being graded, but I've pretty much hit the threshold of 20 coins, and I'm really happy with the results. It's important to use care when filling the box because your number of slots is limited. I've been selling off some of my less-interesting coins to fund that project and I'm confident the end product is something my heirs will appreciate, instead of the hodge-podge of loose coins I did have.

So you can guess where this is going. I do have a special place in my heart for currency...especially large size with a few exceptions. And I have quite a bit of somewhat so-so currency left over from my last effort that I can sell off to fund this venture. But balancing that with the expense of the notes that I'd like to work toward, this has to be a smaller venture. So, I'm going to tackle a "box of ten" of currency. Ok, there isn't really a box, but I might eventually get one. So here is my first purchase. (seller's photo).

Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq

Comments

  • mbwizkidmbwizkid Posts: 665 ✭✭✭✭

    Interesting way of collecting. That ship has already sailed for me.

    AKA - Steve in Tampa

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The box of ten or twenty concept isn't a widely used one in currency collecting but it does have it's appeal. There's no reason why such a box couldn't be in addition to other currency items or collections that one pursues. But ONLY a box of ten or twenty makes one focus, think, evaluate and choose one over another instead of both. Certainly something that all collectors should consider and decide and a different approach.

    Now with that lovely black eagle $1 note as a first, your box can still take many directions. Nice high grade circulated large size type seems like a good collection but a broader approach may be high grade type notes from all eras of US currency-colonial through modern. And, of course, there are many other possibilities.

    Are you going with large size type for now? Any thoughts about your next purchase?

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • WestySteveWestySteve Posts: 741 ✭✭✭
    edited October 19, 2020 8:49PM

    That’s a good question. Bear in mind that most every note I buy will get upgraded at some point if I stick with this so I need to focus on bargains. But I also want to take pride in the note, which is a tall order. Thankfully there will always be sellers who don’t appreciate what they have or are in a hurry to sell.

    In the short run I definitely want to go after large size, but there are a few small size notes that I want like the red seal funny back and I really like the small size $20 gold note (in particular) for some reason.

    My next one will probably be a high-grade PPQ horse blanket to give my wallet a chance to cool off. I used to have one that was embossed so heavily I swear are you could cut your hand on it and the beauty of the reverse of these is under appreciated. But if some of my More expensive eBay “junk” sells suddenly I might hunt down something a little more expensive and save the horse blanket for later when money is tight. I’m intrigued by nice circulated examples of the less expensive large size gold notes. To me, they just seem spectacular relative to their price. So they are on my radar.

    But yes, in general I’m looking at circulated large size notes with good paper quality. It never ceases to amaze me how inexpensive a nicer problem-free circulated large size note is relative to their rarity. I mean...sure...you guys have them...but most people don’t have one stashed in a cigar box like they do with coins. And if they do, it’s probably a ratty horseblanket with tape on it. I plan to seek out cleaner looking notes with minimal staining. There is a lot of latitude in the eye appeal of the VF to XF grades without much change in price. I like notes that technically have that extra fold but you need to look hard to see it.

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 41,746 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the idea. I know little of currency, being pretty strictly a coin guy, but I think the "less is more" idea of a small, higher-quality collection is a good strategy, and I would imagine it could be applied just as well to currency as to coins.

    Or any collectible, for that matter.

  • WestySteveWestySteve Posts: 741 ✭✭✭

    Hey Lord M. IMHO, you’re missing out. Currency is just as great as coins. However, like coins, it’s easy to get side tracked and buy a lot of “cigar box fodder” like I did. If you do decide to try it, limiting yourself in some fashion or otherwise putting great thought into each purchase is just as important as it is on the coin side. (again, IMHO)

  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Oops. If I confused anyone, WestySteve and me (Stevereecy) are one and the same. I don't want two usernames, but somehow I wound up with them when I recovered my "new" username on my phone and it found an old one. Sorry for the confusion.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • mbwizkidmbwizkid Posts: 665 ✭✭✭✭

    Why are you going back-and-forth with the two member names on the same thread ?

    AKA - Steve in Tampa

  • YorkshiremanYorkshireman Posts: 3,615 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Always loved the Black Eagle notes!

    Yorkshireman,
    Obsessed “Master Collector” of pieces of history.
    Hunting for Latin American colonial portraits



    Yorkshireman's Box of 20
  • WestySteveWestySteve Posts: 741 ✭✭✭

    @mbwizkid said:
    Why are you going back-and-forth with the two member names on the same thread ?

    When I got back into coins a long time I couldn’t remember my old membership so I made a new one. Turns out my old address was created on my work email. Somehow logging in on my work phone triggered it.

    I need to get rid of one of these accounts. I’ll probably use the oldest one. It’s a shame you can’t change your name here when you realize posting in your real name might not be a good idea.

  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    OK this is weird. I was watching YouTube videos tonight. There is a video called “collecting and investing in paper money pt1” created by CGC. Yeah, that CGC. It’s obviously an older video.

    Anyway, during the discussion, they covered the topic of how to collect. And the guy on the video recommended a “dirty dozen” approach which is exactly like the box of 20 concept except with 12 notes.

    Struck me as interesting and coincidental.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Note #2 (seller's photo). I'm going to try to be somewhat picky on the purchase of my notes. This one seemed really clean and had good eye appeal for the grade. I'm also going to try to stick to notes that are somewhat harder to find in my price range. So I'll try to avoid notes that are prolific. So far, this is fun....I'm enjoying the hunt.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • mbwizkidmbwizkid Posts: 665 ✭✭✭✭

    Handsome note Steve, congratulations bud.

    AKA - Steve in Tampa

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 7, 2020 10:48AM

    Steve,

    Looks to be in the mid VF range to me, and nicely ORIGINAL. I like it a lot.

    Both are excellent additions and your strategy of avoiding the most common stuff is quite sound and wise.

    This box is going to be a great way to introduce others to our interests. It's a good, valuable tool. It's visually attractive and the facts associated with them can be quite interesting. And other collecting possibilities can be explained using these.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Thanks. It did strike me as original and I’m hoping that it will get a Q designation when I have it graded. I also think it’s in the middle of the VF range.

    Funny you should talk about the history of the note. I watched a video about Martha Washington and learned a lot of interesting stuff. I didn’t know that her marriage to George was her second marriage and she had four kids when she married him. And George was thought to be sterile, which they believe was from a childhood disease so they never had kids of their own. She was also a wealthy southern plantation owner before marrying George with all the negative connotations associated with that.

    I do think this method would be a good side venture for the coin guys. Ten notes (or a dozen) isn’t a big, distracting, endeavor. It’s fun!

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • mbwizkidmbwizkid Posts: 665 ✭✭✭✭

    Well said Steve. Congratulations on your newest addition.

    AKA - Steve in Tampa

  • numbersmannumbersman Posts: 958 ✭✭✭✭

    Great note,I love Marthas! Still,don't get your hopes up for the "Q" when getting it graded...there are a few things I can see from the pics that will prevent that.Overall,the grade will VF20 pretty easily with a great shot at VF25,but no Q.

    Collector of numeral seals.That's the 1928 and 1928A series of FRNs with a number rather than a letter in the district seal. Owner/operator of Bottom Line Currency
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited November 8, 2020 6:28PM

    Ok. I can accept that. What are you seeing? Like to know what to look for in the next raw.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • numbersmannumbersman Posts: 958 ✭✭✭✭

    On the front...a small "X" (ink or pencil?) towards the bottom under the "D.C.". Also a small light brown stain at the top of the P in "Payable" that can also be seen on the back. On the back, dead center, is some paper disturbance (pinhole or tear?).Also, the right 1/4 of the back appears stained/toned and so is the center fold (on the bottom half of the note).

    Collector of numeral seals.That's the 1928 and 1928A series of FRNs with a number rather than a letter in the district seal. Owner/operator of Bottom Line Currency
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Ok. Thanks. Does each issue disqualify it, or a group of them tip the scales? I saw these issues but figured if I didn’t try to fix them, they would be OK for a lower grade Q.

    Appreciate the info.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Hmmmm, had a thought that if it didn’t get a Q, I might send it to be stickered. It impressed me as still being nice for the technical grade.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Hmmm...Comparing back and forth, I can only find one good picture of a slabbed "non-details" 25 Martha note. Here's the backside. Pretty sure mine falls between a VF25 and a VF30. Check it out.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 8,332 ✭✭✭✭✭

    :)

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    It finally showed up. Not gonna lie...it was cool seeing it raw.


    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited November 24, 2020 7:30AM

    Well that clearly didn't work. I vowed to decrease the amount I'm spending on each note. Instead, I just put 60% down to layaway my most expensive note to date. And ironically, the lowest grade. Ah well. The pain I'm feeling in my pocketbook will all be worth it when I get it. Pictures will pop up when it's paid off in a week or two.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited November 25, 2020 6:41PM

    Note #4: Well, nothing like an unexpected inflow of cash to help out your collection, right? That was the shortest layaway ever. I got this one from Northeast Coin for what I thought was a fantastic price, so I'm happy to promote their business. I was specifically looking for a VF20 because it was the lowest grade that would make me happy but was still beyond what I want to spend on my initial 10 notes. Next one will be cheaper.

    I knew I had to buy it when I saw the PPQ designation. I didn't see any other VF20's in ppq in the marketplace during my search. The back is awful dusty, but from an optimistic point of view, the front is clean...maybe it laid face down somewhere for several decades. I'm happy nobody pressed or cleaned it though...I love the originality.

    Thanks for following along this thread. After my next note, I'll do a half-way point group photo.

    Seller’s photos

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited November 27, 2020 4:02PM

    Note #5 (Seller's Photo)

    Another raw note. Finally something that doesn't break my bank account. Found this on Vcoin from Harford Coin. Looks like a no nonsense XF40...maybe an XF45. I've always liked this note...it's jarring to see Jackson on a $10. A pet peeve of mine is when the white area in the middle of the reverse has staining. This one seems pretty fresh. I'll have this one graded eventually.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • NoGoldNoGold Posts: 14
    edited November 29, 2020 9:18PM

    "My likely slow to develop "Box of Ten" is already 50 percent complete in under 2 months.
    What will you do when you achieve your ten notes? At the rate you are going that could be by the end of December. Would it be better to save funds and buy a higher grade type note rather than multiple lower grade notes? Just my opinion. Collect what makes you happy.

  • Funny you added that Montgomery note, bc i was gonna mention adding a hometown national to your"box" of 10/12

    Nice stuff, have fun!

  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    Thanks. I looked up my Hometown national and we only had one bank and it would be thousands of dollars. It’s one of the really rare ones unfortunately.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevereecy said:
    Well that clearly didn't work. I vowed to decrease the amount I'm spending on each note. Instead, I just put 60% down to layaway my most expensive note to date. And ironically, the lowest grade. Ah well. The pain I'm feeling in my pocketbook will all be worth it when I get it. Pictures will pop up when it's paid off in a week or two.

    Now I had guessed that your next choice might be an educational or rainbow or maybe a gold certificate of some sort. A tougher national type didn't even occur to me but it's an excellent choice and a great example for the grade. The centering is great (unusual on hand-cut nationals) and I like the unusual red signatures. The soiling on back is slight.

    The 1918 FRNs are a beautiful series and also an excellent choice.

    When you reach ten, are you going to upgrade and/or replace with more desired types or expand to 12, 15 or 20? Any thoughts yet? I guess that you need to see if ten is enough once you get there. It might be tough to "kick anyone off the island" with these excellent choices.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited November 30, 2020 7:07AM

    @NoGold said:
    "My likely slow to develop "Box of Ten" is already 50 percent complete in under 2 months.
    What will you do when you achieve your ten notes? At the rate you are going that could be by the end of December. Would it be better to save funds and buy a higher grade type note rather than multiple lower grade notes? Just my opinion. Collect what makes you happy.

    Well I was concerned that my box of 10 would be like my box of 20 coins where I would lose interest and drop the collection for a while and then come back to it a couple years later. I said “slow to develop” because I was hedging on my constantly changing level of interest. But I’m really enjoying these notes and finding it to be a lot of fun. Every time I get a new one in the mail it just makes me more excited about the next one so I’m adding them quicker than I expected. The visual impact of having the note in your hand is so cool. I really don’t know why I stopped collecting notes.

    Your other question about why not just save up to get more spectacular notes is a fair question. With the box of 10 method, When I hit ten notes I will begin to upgrade. Though I am certainly not forced to. I could put some of my notes up for sale before the box is full or trade two for one etc. So I might upgrade some earlier. I’m considering doing that with my black eagle. So more spectacular notes are planned but just not right away. I certainly am enjoying what I have though. Compared to the fodder that I used to have they’re pretty cool to me. FWIW, I’ve been judicious in my buying so I don’t expect big losses during upgrading.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • NoGoldNoGold Posts: 14
    edited November 30, 2020 6:25PM

    I'm glad you are enjoying your purchases and you were judicious in your buying. Losing money when you resell can easily sour the experience. I've started and stopped over the years because of this. By the way the color on your $20 gold note is outstanding.

  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭

    @NoGold said:
    I'm glad you are enjoying your purchases and you were judicious in your buying. Losing money when you resell can easily sour the experience. I've started and stopped over the years because of this. By the way the color on your $20 gold note is outstanding.

    Thanks but that’s the sellers photo. Unfortunately when it showed up it didn’t look that good. Somebody might’ve got a little carried away with contrast and image lightening. Still a good looking note at a good price though so I kept it.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited November 30, 2020 9:23PM

    @sellitstore said:

    Now I had guessed that your next choice might be an educational or rainbow or maybe a gold certificate of some sort. A tougher national type didn't even occur to me but it's an excellent choice and a great example for the grade. The centering is great (unusual on hand-cut nationals) and I like the unusual red signatures. The soiling on back is slight.

    The 1918 FRNs are a beautiful series and also an excellent choice.

    When you reach ten, are you going to upgrade and/or replace with more desired types or expand to 12, 15 or 20? Any thoughts yet? I guess that you need to see if ten is enough once you get there. It might be tough to "kick anyone off the island" with these excellent choices.

    Sorry I missed your response. I haven’t decided about 10 or 12. But I do plan to stick to that ceiling. After doing quite a lot of shopping for large size notes I’ve noticed that the prices seem to run in “bands”. $300-$500 gets you into better notes (which has been a painful revelation) but the quality really jumps when you get into the $800 range. I’m scared to look to see what’s beyond that band.

    Interesting that you are trying to predict my next acquisitions. You almost nailed it with one of your guesses but the older nationals make great type notes besides their obvious draw. I might be predictable because, due to budget constraints, my choices are limited. I can say that I amazed myself with my national purchase, it was a great deal so I don’t see upgrading it anytime soon.

    I learned when you’re limiting yourself to 10 notes some of them have to do double duty. For example, I do like the 1923 one dollar horse blanket, but I also need to have stars and color varieties so I likely won’t get a common version of that note...I’d like the horse blanket to tick at least a couple boxes. Likewise, one note might have to represent a series, so if I do get an educational note it probably won’t be the one dollar note because I know I’ll likely own only one at a time. There’s no reason why I won’t end up with the five dollar note, which I love, because the upgrade process will make that feasible.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
  • NoGoldNoGold Posts: 14
    edited December 1, 2020 8:48AM

    "Thanks but that’s the sellers photo. Unfortunately when it showed up it didn’t look that good. Somebody might’ve got a little carried away with contrast and image lightening. Still a good looking note at a good price though so I kept it."

    I was thinking the color was too good to be true. That's always a problem buying online versus making an inperson purchase. Unfortunately most of us are making online purchases due to Covid.

  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2, 2020 10:36AM

    Note #6 (Unexpected and Controversial)

    OK, here's one you didn't expect: (Seller's Photo)

    This is definitely a note that Sellitstore didn't see coming :smiley: ...a small size note

    I love Lime Green Seals. I used to have some, including a great note that I bought from Numbersman years ago (a Dallas $5), and like a dope I sold them. Wish I had kept it, and I'll bet Numbersman feels the same way. , Since I know I'm going to be sending notes off to be graded anyway, I'm taking a chance on this one. The price on this, coupled with the strong embossing, makes this worth the gamble. FWIW, I've confirmed by more than one method that this would definitely be assigned the LGS designation.

    On the way to purchasing this, I asked a few of you guys (privately) for opinions on grade (thanks!) and the opinions were all over the map. I heard every grade from VF+ to mid-AU. Most felt this is a likely PPQ/EPQ, but you never can tell. Along the way, while dickering with the seller about the grade, I think I made a new friend in the process, which was a nice dividend.

    It needs to be stated: I will not monkey with this note. It will reside in a holder until I send it in...no pressing or anything like that.

    So this note is much like that internet dress that everyone argued about the color on....how do YOU grade it? I'll eventually find out. And even if I could predict the grade (which I can't), it's hard to figure out the value, since there is a serious shortage of these Atlanta notes. This one adds some color and fun to the collection.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    Always interested in a great deal on slabbed type coins with eye appeal and slabbed large size currency that's ppq
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