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Building a Type Set - What Coin Would You Buy?

MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,503 ✭✭✭✭✭

I'm looking to add a Three Cent Nickel to my type set. I like truly rare (not just conditionally rare). The rarest seems to be the 1877 but there is some discrepancy about how many were minted. I like finest known. Fortunately, I can afford to buy a finest known circulation strike but that seems like a lot of money for a coin just to represent the type. I like old holders. I can buy an old holder proof issue of an otherwise common date. I only want one coin for type. What would you buy?

Building a Type Set - What Coin Would You Buy?

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  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,503 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Please vote. I would really appreciate your opinion. Thanks.

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,257 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 6, 2021 5:18PM

    For me, it’s more about what attracts my eye regardless of rarity, grade, age of plastic or proof/mint state. So none of the choices fit my priorities.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,275 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Old Holder Proof

    I went with old holder proof. The reasons for this include that I believe the relative difference in appearance between a proof and a business strike for this series is greater than with many other series and that the proof coins can be truly pretty whereas the business strikes face much more of an aesthetic challenge. Also, selling an old holder coin can be much easier than selling a newer holder coin and this is magnified in less robust, or popular, series. These reasons lead me to believe you may end up with the more aesthetically pleasing coin that has the easier exit strategy wrapped up in one package.

    Good luck!

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

  • BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 30,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 6, 2021 5:28PM
    Any Circulation Strike - Stay away from proofs for a type set

    Is it a Business Strike or Proof type set you are working on?

    I personally would want to include a proof in an otherwise business strike type set.

    As per the 3 Cent Nickel I'd go for a very eye appealing common date.

    If you like rarity spend those funds on a issue from another series with more collector interest than in this one.

    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
  • WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 6, 2021 9:42PM

    My choice wasn't listed. I would choose key or better dates in high quality grade.....Not finest known but choice to gem (63-66). I would do mostly business strikes with just some proofs.

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set:


  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,024 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have collected type coins since the mid 1960s. I have the only complete type set on the NGC registry. My set of coins from 1792 to the modern issues is rated #3.

    I would never fill the three cent nickel slot with an 1877 because you will pay five or six times what you would pay for a common date. That coin is one of the “easy ones.” Unless you have or are willing to pay a few to several million million dollars, you can’t have a collection with any depth.

    One collector who did this was Leland Rogers in the 1960s. I am sure there are some wealthy collectors who might be doing that now, but most us can’t.

    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. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 6,346 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 6, 2021 8:38PM

    As suggested already, I would first consider whether a Proof or a Business Strike best fit my set (for me it would be a Business Strike).

    Then I would consider the best and most attractive I could afford (within my budget), but if staying with the Business Strike, I would be targeting something with a little more overall and conditional scarcity, while still being a coin that theoretically was intended for circulation. I have a really nice 1870, however, there are a couple other dates in the 70's I would probably target if I was to upgrade.

    my 2c ... or 3c as the case may be :p

    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”

    Todd - BHNC #242
  • HoledandCreativeHoledandCreative Posts: 2,618 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1877 - Proof Only and rarest.

    I finally found a slightly used 1877 3¢ as a filler for my set. I prefer the keys for the type set. Also, I prefer holed but not all coins are available holed or plugged.

  • ShaunBC5ShaunBC5 Posts: 1,548 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1877 - Proof Only and rarest.

    If you’re just going for an example of the design in your type set, I really like the proofs of these (only have 1, but I really like it). If you’re going big, go for the ‘77.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,386 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Old Holder Proof

    Old holder and proof is a strong combo for me. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, Jzyskowski1, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Any Circulation Strike - Stay away from proofs for a type set

    For a general type set, I would get a nice circulation coin..... Unless you are building a registry set... then of course, the choice would be different. Cheers, RickO

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Any Proof or Circulation Strike that looks nice but doesn't cost much. No need to spend a lot on a type coin.

    I'd never spend a lot of money for the rarest coin for inclusion in a type set. If you really want to buy the rarest one, I believe it is one of the low mintage circulation strikes which has the lowest number of estimated survivors to my recollection. I can never remember the date without looking it up.

  • yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,025 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Finest Known - Get the best you can afford, even for type.

    I am all about value... my modest Type collection started with a cherrypicked Kennedy Half AH.

    Cherrypicked varieties allows for alot a flexibility, satisfaction, and enjoyment.

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2021 8:19AM
    Any Proof or Circulation Strike that looks nice but doesn't cost much. No need to spend a lot on a type coin.

    It’s just a 3-cent nickel. I’d simply get a nice one and save the money for something else truly special.

    IMO, there’s no reason to spend a lot on this type coin.

    Small eagle half dollar - that’s different. ;)

  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 20,071 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Deep cameo proof of any date

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd go with what looks most consistent with the rest of your type set.

    What have you and what would you like to do when you run into other situations like this?

  • rheddenrhedden Posts: 6,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2021 11:47AM

    The primary market for 3c nickels is collectors who want to own a single example of the type. Those who seek a complete date set are few and far between. Therefore, in order to sell the coin in the future without taking a bath, you should buy a standout example that another type collector will want.

    My answer: Mint State, colorful toning, PCGS holder, and CAC sticker are a must.

  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Knowing me, I'd probably buy a decent low ms grade common date 3CN coin raw and stick it in my 7070 album.

    Knowing you, it will be a probably be a gorgeously toned high grade rare date 3CN with a famous provenance, and probably also in a nice older holder with a sticker.

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought a nice toned PF 66 CAC for my type set as well as a nice MS 64 for my first year type set. I buy PF for type but have other sets that capture MS examples in somewhat lower grades that serve as type. Birth years, first year of issue, last year of issue, etc. I also put PF and MS year sets together to do multiple duty, focusing on transition years such as 1874, 1883. Adds to the challenge and fun. Your idea of focusing on rarity, old holders, etc. sounds interesting as well.

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Any Proof or Circulation Strike that looks nice but doesn't cost much. No need to spend a lot on a type coin.

    The thread deserves a photo. Here's the one I picked for my US type set:


  • PTVETTERPTVETTER Posts: 5,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Finest Known - Get the best you can afford, even for type.

    Eye appeal should be your #1 concern!

    Pat Vetter,Mercury Dime registry set,1938 Proof set registry,Pat & BJ Coins:724-325-7211

  • RollermanRollerman Posts: 1,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Any Circulation Strike - Stay away from proofs for a type set

    It depends on the size of your coin budget and how you intend to house the type set. If you have lots of $$ buy only high grade slabbed coins and keep them that way. Otherwise, and this is my preferred method, buy high VF to AU and house them in an album. I'd much rather look at an album of coins rather than a bunch of slabs. I like displays and I'm old school also. I do have a couple of year sets that are slabbed, so I'm not against towards slabs.

    "Ain't None of Them play like him (Bix Beiderbecke) Yet."
    Louis Armstrong
  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Any Circulation Strike - Stay away from proofs for a type set

    I'm doing a 7070 with lightly circulated business strikes. If I personally had the funds for it, I'd do an Old Holder Proof set.

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
  • dpooledpoole Posts: 5,940 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Old Holder Proof

    I'd go for the deep cameo proof.

    1877 is a proof only year, but is not "the rare one." The rare one is the 1865.

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