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What "Rules" do you have in place for yourself in buying and selling coins?

braddickbraddick Posts: 23,114 ✭✭✭✭✭

Another thread regarding "I broke my own rule..." got me thinking.
What rules do you have in play for yourself for this hobby? For example, you perhaps
don't purchase modern coins. Or, you don't buy any problem coins.
I am curious about the rules you have in place for yourself that you just won't break, and if you do break them,
for what reason?




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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 6, 2022 2:05PM

    My only rule is to not pay more than what I feel is a fair price in buying. In selling, once it no longer fits my collection, sell it for the best price.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For collecting, I buy what I like. For selling, I buy what I expect I can make a profit on.

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    tommy44tommy44 Posts: 2,193 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rule #1 Don't spend the grocery money on coins
    Rule #2 See rule #1

    it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide

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    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From a collector standpoint in no particular order:

    • Is it a type coin I like? Generally don't want small coins
    • Is it a duplicate? (Usually don't want to duplicate since I usually buy for type)
    • Does it have strong eye appeal to me? (does it excite me?)
    • Does it add to a couple of coin projects that I've undertaken to build?
    • At the price point, does it matter if it's CAC approved? (Most of my collection has been anointed)
    • Do I want to sacrifice the budget in lieu of other coins that could be acquired but won't be because I bought this coin?

    Ah, that's 6 rules! I think that's enough. :)

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My rules would be:
    1. For silver, only Dan Carr items.
    2. For gold, only items that better my gold type set and must have CAC sticker.

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,767 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No fingerprints, minimal or no spots, the coin must be appealing to me, those are my only three rules.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    dunkleosteus430dunkleosteus430 Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 6, 2022 3:25PM

    I haven't really been thinking of rules until recently, but I think I should stick to buying 20th century coins for money purposes. Besides, I like them!

    Young Numismatist

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    BustDMsBustDMs Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do I need it?
    Do I want it?
    Can I afford it?

    Can I live without it?
    Am I happy with the money I’m going to get for it?

    Q: When does a collector become a numismatist?

    A: The year they spend more on their library than their coin collection.

    A numismatist is judged more on the content of their library than the content of their cabinet.
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    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:
    No fingerprints, minimal or no spots, the coin must be appealing to me, those are my only three rules.

    Oh yes, you reminded me of another - I agree, no fingerprints!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
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    crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 13,814 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When buying, eye appeal is everything.
    When selling, I rarely sell my coins but when I do, eye appeal is everything.

    The bitterness of "Poor Quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
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    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,360 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No BAD strikes! But the hobby is swamped with them. Why is that?


    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @leothelyon said:
    No BAD strikes! But the hobby is swamped with them. Why is that?

    Because coins are intended to be used in commerce and it's a waste of time/money to make them to any higher quality than necessary for that purpose.

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not really any rules here. Am I looking to get a high grade coin for a slab set or to fill a tough expensive hole in a fun album with a filler to keep it fun and cost down or something else? Then there are many variances between series and/or dates/MM. Comes down for me to evaluating each potential purchase individually.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

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    Mr Lindy Mr Lindy Posts: 982 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 6, 2022 6:03PM

    I know I need it when I see it.

    If I hesitate, then it's gone for years or decades.

    If its grossly overpriced, and I am not willing to pay their hostage fee, then I move along.

    There's always something else, in or out of numismatics, to pursue.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,633 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 5:52PM

    Dealer shows and online:

    1. Stay on budget
    2. Buy it right / don’t overpay.
    3. Buy strong demand eye appealing material that will sell.
    4. Achieve plan contribution margin.
    5. Try have nice material the competition (shows) may not have. Example Mexico low pop PCGS66 Peso.
    6. Don’t finance with debt.
    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,519 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As a collector, I'm all over the place.

    Sometimes I buy after doing a lot of research; sometimes I buy on a whim.

    I'll pay up for the right coin.

    I prefer PCGS and CAC stickers but CAC doesn't sticker colonials.

    I hate fingerprints. I also hate spots and other unsightly marks in the primary focal area.

    I don't like copper that looks wet.

    All that said, I don't have any absolutely unbreakable rules. You gotta be flexible if you want to collect colonial coins.

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    scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don’t buy AU53.

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    FlatwoodsFlatwoods Posts: 4,122 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting question. I never really thought about it.
    I guess it happens to all of us though just through habit.
    While not "rules" I tend to live by these.
    Only buy coins that I like, even if I can make a profit otherwise.
    Don't dabble in MS-60 through 62 grades.

    Nothing wrong with either of these, just not what I tend to do.

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    AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Only rule is buy as cheap as possible and sell high. For example, one of my last purchases was a Whitman Deluxe cent album purchased for under $60. I sold the wheats for $850 and kept the memorials for myself. Everything had some sort of toning like this.
    Most everything I buy is under $50 and I make at least $500+ on it.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,213 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have spent less, yet bought more coins.

    Mostly raw proof/mint sets or albums.

    My purchases or submissions have to have a purpose.
    Focus is quality strike, spot free, and worthy of my grading set.
    Do they achieve my expected grades?
    Am I achieving my goal of education?

    My sales directed toward cash flow for the above purpose.

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

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    SapyxSapyx Posts: 2,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Buying coins:
    1. Don't deliberately buy duplicates. Upgrades are fine, so long as they're a clear upgrade.
    2. If you do buy a duplicate, do not keep both. Pick one, sell the other.

    Selling coins:
    1. Never sell coins, unless they're a duplicate.

    And that's it, really. The only other "rule", is more of a guideline: "Don't spend over AU$1000 on a single coin". That's about US$669 at current exchange rates.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
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    TimNHTimNH Posts: 127 ✭✭✭

    What story am I trying to tell with my collection?
    If a coin adds to it, BUY.
    If a coin does not contribute to it, SELL.

    And yeah, eye appeal, for the coin itself nothing else matters.

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    OnwardOnward Posts: 23 ✭✭

    Compliments @braddick on a very interesting question about "the rules." I discovered upon thinking about this, that I have many. Here are a few of the important ones.

    In my area, rarity affects the "rules." Most of the time, I know all the aspects of rarity for a given coin better than the person I am buying from. For coins I end up wanting to buy, unless I feel the seller has overpriced the coin (to the current market), Rule One: Always pay the ask, or walk away.
    Rule Two: Pay more than ask, if the seller has undervalued the coin.
    Rule Three: Advise the seller to reprice, when declining a coin that seems undervalued to the current market.
    Rule Four: Always keep my word.

    On the selling side, whether it's a single coin or a larger deal,
    Rule One: State the price up front.
    Rule Two: No negotiation.
    Rule Three: Disclose all flaws or issues.
    Rule Four: Guarantee title.

    A thank you to all for your thoughtful contributions this thread.

    Pursuing Charles & Joanna, especially Early Series

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    privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 3,185 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rule 1. I can't just buy. I must also sell. Or l'll never have the funds when the great opportunities occur to jump on them. Advice given to me by a long time friend in the field.

    Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero. Voltaire. Ebay coinbowlllc

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    KSorboKSorbo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    I don’t buy details graded coins and also avoid anything below a G4. Other than that I’m wide open.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Buy what I like and buy the best quality that I can afford. Quality always pays off in the end.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    slider23slider23 Posts: 638 ✭✭✭✭

    1) Coins over $300 must be purchased in TPG holder.
    2) Set my max auction amount before bidding, and do not go over.
    3) Target problem free coins with eye appeal and original skin.
    4) No new money used to purchase coins, must sell existing collection to buy new coins.

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 6, 2022 10:33PM

    Don't buy anything I can't pay cash for. I'm in the process of breaking that rule, so the weaker form is Don't go into debt for any coin (really anything).

    Other than that, I'm (unfortunately, but I expect not unusually) all over the place.

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,944 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As a collector, my only rule is that I won’t put a coin in my collection if I’m reasonably confident I’ll have a chance to upgrade it later.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really do not have any 'rules'.... Some guidelines perhaps.... For buying, price must be reasonable IMO... Rarely sell... but if I do, again, fair price. It is a hobby for me, not a business. Cheers, RickO

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    jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No set rules for me either. I do tend to buy VF+ coins with absolutely no cleaning or similar appearance.

    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

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    seatedlib3991seatedlib3991 Posts: 512 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't think of it as a rule or rules, but I have a very set research process I do before each purchase. Second, I was given as a gift a set of 5 lighthouse certified coin albums. They hold 9 coins to a page. I have 2 5 page, 1 4 page and 2 3 page. Every coin has to fit into the set collection I have established for a particular holder. 3's and 9's tend to become very important collecting numbers.

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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    edited from a previous post...

    My cardinal rule for Early Copper... DON"T BUY CORRODED COINS! Early Copper can be difficult to find nice... they do exist, but for fairly strong money. For copper, it's all about surfaces. I typically don't accept coins that have corrosion, pitting, or porosity. Color is also important. I look for medium to dark brown... orange/red typically indicates an old cleaning. I also don't buy pieces that are holed, damaged, bent, scratched, etc... I will accept contact marks as normal use, but if they get too excessive for the grade or if there's an obvious rim dent, I'll pass.

    Exceptions to "The Rule"... pre-1816 copper coins. Many of these were likely struck on corroded planchets or planchets with errors (clipped, flaws, lamination, etc). The pieces with perfect surfaces and color exist, but they're well out of my price range... and here is where a large dose of reality sets in... collecting early copper (for those with pedestrian pocketbooks) is a constant balancing act between exceptions to The Rule, how bad the problem is, and cost!

    So, the bottom line is, I'll buy copper that may have some flaws but it's usually a rare piece and the price is substantially marked down. For instance, I have a 1794 Liberty Cap in a straight-graded VF20 holder in my Box-of-20 that I paid fairly strongly for. It has a planchet flaw on the obverse and a very tiny speck of corrosion in the wreath on the reverse (I'll likely submit for conservation at some point). Overall, the coin has very nice surfaces (other than the planchet flaw) and excellent color. It's also a fairly rare die variety (R4). I also have a 1796 Liberty Cap that is uniformly corroded and was struck on a clipped planchet. It has strong G4/6 details (and a strong date) but it does have issues. I got it for less than half of what a straight-graded G4 would bring, and I'm happy having it in my collection.

    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.
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    TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    I really do not have any 'rules'.... Some guidelines perhaps.... For buying, price must be reasonable IMO... Rarely sell... but if I do, again, fair price. It is a hobby for me, not a business. Cheers, RickO

    I thought your rules were :smiley:

    1 Never buy damaged [read: toned] coins.

    2: Buy only white coins


    BHNC #203

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Treashunt ... :D That is a guideline.... For example, circam coins from the 1800's are OK. Cheers, RickO

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 837 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rule #1: Don't tell the wife how much I paid for the coin
    Rule #2: If I like it, I can afford it, and I can find a home for it, then I'll get it.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

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    vulcanizevulcanize Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have no particular rules per se. If I like a coin and it is within my budget, then it is all systems go.

    As member @DeplorableDan had noted in another thread Tools of accountability, having an extensive sales & marketing career, I make it a point to stay away from sellers using high pressure tactics and especially those who pretend that I am invisible no matter how big of a name they are in the hobby.

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Straight grade only.

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    oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,634 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One only: don't settle.

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,693 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Eye appeal is very important, originality is also very important.
    NEVER problem or processed coins, altered coins, etc.
    CAC is nice, but not mandatory as I know a nice coin when I see it. B)>:)

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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @scubafuel said:
    Don’t buy AU53.

    Very curious on this one. I have an 1803 C-4 Half Cent in AU53 and it is one of my favorite coins. It's actually a pretty desirable coin with a great pedigree. Why do you target AU53 as a less than desirable coin? Are AU50s okay... 55s? I find your "53 rule" so interesting!

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    OKbustchaserOKbustchaser Posts: 5,441 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My only rule....

    Checking account balance must be greater than price of coin.

    Just because I'm old doesn't mean I don't love to look at a pretty bust.
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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,693 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NeophyteNumismatist said:

    @scubafuel said:
    Don’t buy AU53.

    Very curious on this one. I have an 1803 C-4 Half Cent in AU53 and it is one of my favorite coins. It's actually a pretty desirable coin with a great pedigree. Why do you target AU53 as a less than desirable coin? Are AU50s okay... 55s? I find your "53 rule" so interesting!

    Same here, I have two pieces of southern gold in AU53 that I like a lot.

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