Follow along as I build my (72 note) Confederate currency collection
I have become really intrigued by Confederate currency. I have been reading and researching as much as I possibly can and have decided that a 72 note collection will be my next project. I have never collected paper money so this will be a completely new road for me. I have a boatload to learn and look forward to sharing the knowledge as I acquire it. I plan to update this thread each time I add a note to the set. I will try to upload pictures and I may also throw in additional information (Why I chose the note, who it was acquired from, details about the note itself, or anything else that may be interesting about it).
Here are a few self imposed guidelines I have set for myself…
1- (Buy each type one time) I want to avoid buying a note and then having to upgrade down the road. I found this out the hard way while building my Liberty Seated Dollar collection. I would rather spend a few extra bucks upfront for a note that I really like and keep. Rather than just buy a cheap example to fill a hole only to regret the purchase later and want to upgrade. It was costly to upgrade my Liberty Seated Dollar collection along the way. It was very fun but financially was not the best move.
2- (Avoid notes with issues) For my collection I will avoid buying notes with any issues. I’m still learning what all these issues are and I’m excited to get to a big show to see and learn in person how to detect them all. But foxing, ink burn, pin holes, previously mounted, stains, tears and rust are all issues I will try to avoid. I also want to try and complete my collection without any cut cancelled notes.
3-(Dont pay up for rare varieties) Given the option of buying a rare variety in the same grade as a common variety… Assuming the notes have the same look and are graded the same. I would rather not spend the big money going after the rare variety. Now, if they were priced the same heck I’d take the rare variety all day long. But knowing my luck those opportunities will probably be very rare.
4-(Fricke stickers) I would like to build the entire set with notes that have been awarded a Fricke sticker. I will definitely be using these stickers as a guide in the beginning. With Mr. Fricke being a leading expert in the series I have a lot I can learn from looking at notes that he felt were worthy of extra praise. I understand this will add on to the cost of the notes I am buying but I believe this will save me in the long run (especially in the beginning) from buying notes with issues I was not able to detect. Eventually I am hopeful I won’t need to use his stickers as a crutch for my lack of grading skills and knowledge but I would like to try to complete the set with every note earning a sticker.
5-(Avoid counterfeit notes) I have no interest in collecting counterfeit notes. I have read that certain facsimile notes can be worth good money but I just don’t have any desire to go down this road. I’ll have my hands full just building the regular type set counterfeits just won’t fit in with what I’m trying to do.
6-(Only buy graded notes) I plan to stay away from raw notes. I think my OCD would prefer I stick with one grading service. I know all services are not perfect and they all have their own issues. But I prefer the look of the PMG plastic holder the best. While I would prefer to purchase a PMG note. I will not rule out the purchase of a PCGS note. Ultimately the eye appeal of the note is what is most important and is what my purchase decision will be based upon.
7-(Grade range) I hope to buy the highest graded notes that I can reasonably afford. This will obviously fluctuate based on what’s available on the market and how much hobby cash I have available when I’m making a buying decision. I anticipate UNCs for the common notes and VF- AU for tougher notes… and for the (6) rare notes I’d really just like problem free F-VF examples.
8- (EPQ/PPQ) From what I have read opinions vary on this. Some people swear by it and say it’s a must while others say it doesn’t mean much because the graders are not consistent. I really don’t have an opinion on this yet but for now will try to buy EPQ/PPQ whenever possible. They don’t command much of a premium from what I can tell so why not add the bells and whistles.
Since this is a long term set build the above goals could definitely change along the way. If it does change, I will certainly update the thread with the change and why I decided to make a change in my original strategy. Along the way if you would like to add to the experience of the thread please don’t hesitate to chime in. Heck if you happen to have some notes that you think I may be interested in please send me a PM. I have been in communication with Mr. Fricke recently but besides him I don’t know anyone in the paper money world. All of my friends and references are on the coin side of numismatics. Feel free to chime in with any and all questions, recommendations, critiques, information or history. I’m looking to learn as much as possible along the way. Hopefully this thread will be interesting and everyone can enjoy my adventure with Confederate currency.