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'Rare' usage in the coin universe

lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

Do you have a usage of Rare with coins be it good, bad or indifferent?

So I was reading and thinking about Rare and the varied usage when discussing coin stuff. Here are a few.

Rare Coin Market - this usage is perhaps one that encompasses the widest or most territory.

On the opposite end are the Rare associated with rarity scales. This one I took from Overton book. Imagine if the Rare Coin Market was limited to these, a relatively small market.
R4 Very Scarce 81 to 200
R5 Rare 31 to 80
R6 Very Rare 13 to 30
R7 Extremely Rare 4 to 12
R8 Unique or nearly so 1 to 3

But then the above Rare can be applied in various ways to where not all things are equal. A few are:
Rare to a date.
Rare to a variety of a date.
Rare to a die state of a variety of a date.

Rare is sometimes implied, correctly or not, through mintage - Rare date with a mintage of only 12345.

Sometimes a manufacture will use Rare. :)
.

.
There are many various usage of Rare which are sometimes seen in write-ups, descriptions, advertisements or similar. A few are:
Rare Error
Rare Full Steps (or pick a designation)
Rare Color
Rare Find... Rarely seen... Rarely encountered

It seems like Rare is not used as often in relation to Patterns. Perhaps it is just me or maybe since that is the nature of many patterns (small mintage or test pieces) that the Rare is often skipped over as it is more typical for them.

So any other Rare confusion out there?

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

Comments

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,423 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't forget conditional rarities.

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

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 said:
    Don't forget conditional rarities.

    Oh Yes. I am surprise I did not think of that one when typing this up.
    I had a registry set (still have a small subset of that set) and paid up for some of those condition rarities. :)

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

  • daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lilolme said:

    It seems like Rare is not used as often in relation to Patterns. Perhaps it is just me or maybe since that is the nature of many patterns (small mintage or test pieces) that the Rare is often skipped over as it is more typical for them.

    Funny, I almost always see Patterns listed with their Pollock numbers.

    I feel this link should be included in this thread:

    https://novanumismatics.com/the-various-numismatic-rarity-scales/

    I've said before that I define a rare coin as one that trades for more than its face value. Said to much derision, I might add.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 4:03AM

    @daltex said:
    I've said before that I define a rare coin as one that trades for more than its face value. Said to much derision, I might add.

    Would that include parking lot finds? ;)

  • daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @daltex said:
    I've said before that I define a rare coin as one that trades for more than its face value. Said to much derision, I might add.

    Would that include parking lot finds? ;)

    If you can get someone to pay you 8c for the Jefferson you found in the parking lot, than I suppose so.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @daltex said:

    @lilolme said:

    It seems like Rare is not used as often in relation to Patterns. Perhaps it is just me or maybe since that is the nature of many patterns (small mintage or test pieces) that the Rare is often skipped over as it is more typical for them.

    Funny, I almost always see Patterns listed with their Pollock numbers.

    I feel this link should be included in this thread:

    https://novanumismatics.com/the-various-numismatic-rarity-scales/

    I've said before that I define a rare coin as one that trades for more than its face value. Said to much derision, I might add.

    For Patterns - agree with the R number. When typing this up I was thinking of descriptions and for patterns I just didn't remember Rare being used nearly as often as it could. Yes, it could be considered as mentioned with in the R number. The Simpson stuff is an example of both the R number being used but 'Rare' in the descriptions is not used so often when one considers that most of them qualify as Rare per the number (unless unique or nearly so and then that is mentioned).

    https://coins.ha.com/information/bob-simpson-collection.s

    Does paying more than face value encompass or is it more territory than Rare Coin Market? A wheat cent is more than face value and might be part of the Rare Coin Market to some but not others. Any cull silver is certainly more than face but not sure it makes the Rare Coin Market but then other might think it is. So paying more than face value, could that be the most encompassing definition of Rare?

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

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,587 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like looking at CoinFacts Rarity and Survival Estimates and also CAC pops.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I recommend sticking with the rarity scale for a good foundation. Like many terms, 'rare' is both truly descriptive, and a term used to hype sales. It is used in many other fields as well. As always, do the research prior to the purchase. Cheers, RickO

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't forget "RARE L@@K!!!!!111", which means nothing.

  • Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 843 ✭✭✭✭

    @daltex said:

    @Zoins said:

    @daltex said:
    I've said before that I define a rare coin as one that trades for more than its face value. Said to much derision, I might add.

    Would that include parking lot finds? ;)

    If you can get someone to pay you 8c for the Jefferson you found in the parking lot, than I suppose so.

    Would not be a problem if it were a wartime silver Jefferson.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the comments. Goes along with what I was thinking when the thought of Rare came up. Almost anything goes. :)

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

  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 4:01PM

    Did an eBay search for “PCGS rare”coins.
    It came back with 7,600+ hits. Lol
    I wonder what it would have been if I just searched for” rare coin”.
    Wayne
    Just did so.
    12000+

    Kennedys are my quest...

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,659 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Statistically, the word "rare" has value when revealing a known number. Conversationaly, rare means whatever you want. IMO. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

  • daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    I recommend sticking with the rarity scale for a good foundation. Like many terms, 'rare' is both truly descriptive, and a term used to hype sales. It is used in many other fields as well. As always, do the research prior to the purchase. Cheers, RickO

    Did you see the link I posted above? It had about ten rarity scales all pertaining to coins.

  • goodmoney4badmoneygoodmoney4badmoney Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭✭

    I prefer to hype my coins as “scarce”.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In order to be "rare" a coin must be:

    1. Corroded
    2. Underweight
    3. Run over in a parking lot
    4. Have a floating roof
    All glory is fleeting.
  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM said:
    Some “rare coins” are always available. Morgan proofs, HR Saints, 3-legged nickels, etc. Even the $50 PanPacs trade frequently.

    They are objects of desirability and nice to own. Since they are always available, the money from selling them could be better spent elsewhere?

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Popularity trumps rarity. The regular 48 Philly QE has fewer survivors than the 48 CAL. but at a small fraction of the price. The 16D Merc has thousands of survivors, but an F Costs about the same as a 46 small date HE in VF with 50 survivors.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m careful to not use that word improperly. I have a few coins with only a few hundred known tops and still use “scarce” to describe them.

  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Demand oftentimes trumps rarity.> @Smudge said:

    Popularity trumps rarity. The regular 48 Philly QE has fewer survivors than the 48 CAL. but at a small fraction of the price. The 16D Merc has thousands of survivors, but an F Costs about the same as a 46 small date HE in VF with 50 survivors.

    Agree. Ridiculous demand on the '56 flying eagle produces ridiculous valuations.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is a difference between rarity and availability. Usually, higher priced coins of the same or similar scarcity are (far) more available than those selling for (much) less.

    This is probably the primary reason why more expensive US coins are easier to buy versus non-US.

    One of the above posts provided some examples of typically considered "rare" coins which aren't hard to buy. I'd extend that to practically every 20th century US coin, excluding some specialization. The exceptions are patterns, the 1913 LHN, and a low number of gold (such as the 1933 DE and some of the proofs). Earlier US coinage is seldom hard to buy either, though the buyer needs to compromise on quality a lot more often.

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The Overton rarity scale works well for the limited scope of coins covered by Overton, but is not to be applied universally; applying it to any modern coin series, no coin would qualify as "rare" - which kind of defeats the point of having such adjectives.

    "Rare" is a subjective, adjectival descriptor and must be calibrated to the series in which the term is used. The traditional adjectival scale, used by collectors for hundreds of years, goes:

    • Abundant
    • Common
    • Scarce
    • Rare
    • Unique

    There are of course as many intermediate levels of rarity as you think you might need; "very scarce", "very rare", and "extremely rare" are commonly employed.

    The only absolute number attached to any of those words is "Unique", which by definition means "only one known to exist". All of the other words are relative, and ought to be calibrated in comparison to other coins in the series. The availability criteria is a good calibration measure: how easy is it to wake up one morning, decide "I want to buy one of those", and go and try to buy one? If something is readily available and any coin dealer is likely to have multiple examples for sale, then it's "Abundant" or "Common". If you had to shop around the dealers or have to wait a couple of days or a week or two, then it's "Scarce". If you need to wait a few months or even years before one is offered for sale at a major auction house, then it's "Rare".

    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)
  • CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    I like medium rare at coin shows :)

    Looks fancy but hardly rare maybe it’s a hidden gem.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sapyx said:
    "Rare" is a subjective, adjectival descriptor and must be calibrated to the series in which the term is used.

    Rarity is subjective but the difference in US collecting today is that the most lenient definition is used, both compared to the past here and the rest of the world both now and previously.

    Also, it makes no sense to call any coin "rare" when it can be bought at any time or with little difficulty. As an example, an expensive coin with 100 survivors and a holding period of 10 years (probably usually more than average) will come up for sale approximately once per month. That's not hard to buy. The most likely reason most coins are hard to buy is due to the low price.

    Your avatar is an ancient coin. Many ancient coins are common, but I presume (not collecting any) that potentially most are scarcer than my primary interest (18th century Spanish colonial design), if for no other reason that the mintages (even if not known) are lower and the coins have no dates so the rarity must be compared by type.

    Even excluding this, most rarity in US collecting is more often than not in the context of a TPG equivalent grade or one of the more widely used specializations, such as die varieties. There isn't anything unusual in scarce die varieties. It's the norm. There must be several hundred thousand coins by date or prior to coin dating, by type and with it, several million die varieties. I'd guess the typical scarcity for a die variety is an R-5 on the Judd scale, or 31-75. It's a low number compared to mintages for US 20th century coinage as a date, but it's an apples-to-oranges comparison.

    In the rest of the world, TPG is mostly not preferred, so condition rarity is either not relevant at all or much less so. There is die variety collecting, but it's limited and a big reason is that collecting by date is often difficult enough (outside of more recent developed country coinage). I've never heard of any strike collecting (like FS nickels) or toning specialists, much less "low ball" collecting. My inference has always been this came about to make it more interesting to collect these series because this coinage is generically so common.

  • neildrobertsonneildrobertson Posts: 1,181 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Things feel rare to me when you don't know how long it will be until another shows up.

    IG: DeCourcyCoinsEbay: neilrobertson
    "Numismatic categorizations, if left unconstrained, will increase spontaneously over time." -me

  • emeraldATVemeraldATV Posts: 4,031 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rairty always ment to me as lets say "A Survivor" no matter what it 's referring too.
    Unique is maybe a class for the researching starting point, temporarely used to describe the piece.
    With some coins being so unstable , "how long would be to long to designate it's stable?"
    Many other questions with research supporting a theory may produce the "One of a Kind".
    Then what ?
    I'm new at this but it's only logic and patience with fun debates.
    Auction's do seem to be the final conclusion or agreement.
    These are my rare thoughts.

  • erscoloerscolo Posts: 481 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 12, 2022 4:17PM

    Nothing more than hype and click bait. An overused word like team and a host of other words. Good words ruined by bad usage.

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