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What do you think is the most important attribute for a collection to be considered great?

MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,520 ✭✭✭✭✭

Completeness?

High overall grade?

Eye appeal?

Consistent look?

Value?

Number of rare pieces?

Other?

Comments

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    pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,151 ✭✭✭✭✭

    While I would appreciate a complete set in high grades I think the word "great" would have to be reserved for a complete set in the highest grades possible.

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For me eye appeal trumps all others grades naturally follow.

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    MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,520 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I'm going to write something that may appear counterintuitive or even as blasphemy

    I certainly would not call it blasphemy, but it is a very interesting take on this topic. Thanks for sharing.

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    Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rather simple for me. Awhile back I remembered to collect what I like and sure enough, I’m creating a great collection. As with all collectors there’s room to upgrade and expand into new aspects of the hobby.
    Following this simple advice has surprised even family and friends as they can’t perhaps understand why but they appreciate my passion and dedication.
    That’s pretty great 😁

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 7,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB I was gonna say, considered great by who! I am the only one I can afford to please so, I cannot speak other than to say, all of the above.

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    pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,151 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great - of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average

    There are collections that are "great" because they far exceed what the average collector could accomplish; Eliasburg, Brand, Bass, Lilly, Smithsonian, etc. These are once in a lifetime sets to put together if you have the means and the coins become available.

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is a good question. To me, it's one that's worth remembering, researching and appreciating, for example:

    Some times it's due to the greatness of the coins and sometimes it's due to the variety.

    This is challenging due to the sheer number of great collectors there are and the ability to discuss the top ones.

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    mirabelamirabela Posts: 4,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me, that judgment has to be relative to means and opportunity. Like if you can do what Pogue did or something, awesome -- that was a great collection, one of many. But there are also people with a tiny fraction of that to spend, but who are super choosy and purposeful in their acquisitions, who read and learn with great intensity and build collections of outstanding quality and focus relative to what's possible for them. Hallmarks of this are when every piece is in some way really special, and when taken all together there is some kind of meaningful coherence to the group -- like, why these particular coins and not any of the bajillion others that could have been selected instead? I'm happy to admire the fruits of such informed and dedicated curation as great also.

    mirabela
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like coins, I like collecting coins, I like seeing other collections. Certainly some collections have impressed me with quality, rarity or even quantity. However, I am very happy with my collection. To me, that is great. ;) Cheers, RickO

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,944 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hype by the "right" people.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,518 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Eye appeal and consistent look works for. One can really put a nice set together. It does not have to expensive, jmo

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    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,604 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mirabela said:
    Hallmarks of this are when every piece is in some way really special, and when taken all together there is some kind of meaningful coherence to the group -- like, why these particular coins and not any of the bajillion others that could have been selected instead? I'm happy to admire the fruits of such informed and dedicated curation as great also.

    I like the above comment, particularly the idea of "dedicated curation". It conveys selectivity and persistence.

    And, it doesn't have to be relatively expensive. When I see a carefully assembled Dansco 7070, I'm impressed.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,224 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2022 8:41AM

    Have studied collectors of art for quite awhile. For many it is the study, the hunt, and enjoyment.

    For me there has to be eye appeal. Consistency then develops.

    The value will likely follow to extent, reaching a level of getting whole (if that is even a goal).

    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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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seeing a group of recognizable coins one does not often see that have strong eye appeal. The key word here is a "collection," not a "set."

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    CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,615 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had an interesting chat with a whale about this. They did not think in terms of "greatest collection," but rather "greatest legacy." So it was a question of their total impact on numismatics, not just the most impressive auction sale presentation, which they thought was simply a matter of having a fat checkbook and working with the right dealer for an extended period of time.

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    OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When this thread gets to 100 posts, I'll say "all the about". That should cover it! 👍🏻 😉

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2022 9:02AM

    @mirabela said:
    To me, that judgment has to be relative to means and opportunity. Like if you can do what Pogue did or something, awesome -- that was a great collection, one of many. But there are also people with a tiny fraction of that to spend, but who are super choosy and purposeful in their acquisitions, who read and learn with great intensity and build collections of outstanding quality and focus relative to what's possible for them. Hallmarks of this are when every piece is in some way really special, and when taken all together there is some kind of meaningful coherence to the group -- like, why these particular coins and not any of the bajillion others that could have been selected instead? I'm happy to admire the fruits of such informed and dedicated curation as great also.

    A beautiful thing about Pogue’s collection is that he has several sub-collections, including a well-matched lowball set that many of us could put together.

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    MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,520 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for finding this and posting it.

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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Eye appeal

    Uniqueness

    Rarity

    High Grade

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    neildrobertsonneildrobertson Posts: 1,181 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2022 11:12AM

    Great collections will also push the boundaries of the hobby. Sometimes there are sets that show us what's possible when it comes to grade and eye appeal. Or even more simply, it can show that something is even possible. I am working on a set that previously does not have any documented "great sets" that I am aware of. I don't yet know how high of a grade is possible. I don't yet know how consistent of a look I will be able to achieve. I just don't know if the coins are even out there. I think success could just be pushing the boundary on what's been done before and using my set to write about what I've learned.

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

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    Inspired70Inspired70 Posts: 504 ✭✭✭✭✭

    “Edit to add: Don't be afraid to REACH for quality pieces. You'll regret more coins that you DIDN'T buy than those that you DID.“

    @Walkerfan This is SO true and such an important point. Talk to any long time collector and they will generally tell you about the coin that got away, the one they passed on or the one they sold when they shouldn’t have a lot more than the one they found and purchased. At least that has been my experience in the past.

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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2022 4:18PM

    My feelings are that your (not you but others opinion) of my collection aren't important to me.

    I like my collection and I think its great, I have everything from MS 70 coins.

    To VF.

    To Foreign


    To currency

    Whether you think its great, doesn't really matter.

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,485 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Quality - which is not limited to high grade, nice for the grade is important too.
    Rarity - Rarities are great, but an appreciation for some of the less dates is good too, which leads me to
    Historical significance - Some rarities are just rare with no great historical significance behind them.

    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 ... ?
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    neildrobertsonneildrobertson Posts: 1,181 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 27, 2022 1:46PM

    When I think of collection completeness I am reminded of a common anecdote about modern art. Someone could be walking through a contemporary or modern art museum and say "Wow. I could have done that." And the correct response is "but you didn't do that, and that's the difference."

    Building a collection and completing it regardless of difficulty is important. The same logic could be applied to being the first to do something, regardless of difficulty.

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

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,348 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I'm going to write something that may appear counterintuitive or even as blasphemy, but even though I believe individual coins can be "great" and someone can make a "great" buy or a certain set can be "great" to build, I don't really value or rate collections. Therefore, the idea of stating that a collection is "great" seems foreign to me. I don't know how to put it in words, but I feel a real disconnect in attempting to place a superlative on the body of someone's work in numismatics.

    A great set is a reflection of great passion. If a collector has passion he can explain the set to you and point out the various things that make it special or unique but those without such passion can buy unique coins and not even know it.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so are great collections assembled by collectors. Money and slabs might not make a great set

    Tempus fugit.
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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,946 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’d say “greatness” is roughly equivalent to the difficulty required to build a comparable collection, assuming the collector has the required knowledge, skills and means.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    While all of the previous are excellent defining qualities, we collectors have the final say in what sets are great. I like to poke at Hansen (b/c I'm envious, etc.) because he has amazingly put together a near complete set in record time. Does that make his set great? Is he to be as revered as those meticulous numismatists of the past? Or is his set great because he's just another wealthy individual who has unlimited discretionary funds? I enjoy that the registry has brought attention to the everyman sets, many that have taken decades to assemble. To me those can be just as 'great' and sometimes as difficult as a top pop set.

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    TheRegulatorTheRegulator Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭

    I think in order to be a great collection it has to represent a great challenge.

    The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -Thomas Jefferson
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    124Spider124Spider Posts: 848 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To paraphrase Justice Stewart (writing in a very different context), I cannot define it, but I know it when I see it.

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    bidaskbidask Posts: 13,863 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I'm going to write something that may appear counterintuitive or even as blasphemy, but even though I believe individual coins can be "great" and someone can make a "great" buy or a certain set can be "great" to build, I don't really value or rate collections. Therefore, the idea of stating that a collection is "great" seems foreign to me. I don't know how to put it in words, but I feel a real disconnect in attempting to place a superlative on the body of someone's work in numismatics.

    BLASPHEMY

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




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    RayboRaybo Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I'm going to write something that may appear counterintuitive or even as blasphemy, but even though I believe individual coins can be "great" and someone can make a "great" buy or a certain set can be "great" to build, I don't really value or rate collections. Therefore, the idea of stating that a collection is "great" seems foreign to me. I don't know how to put it in words, but I feel a real disconnect in attempting to place a superlative on the body of someone's work in numismatics.

    My coin collection is "great" IMHO, and that's my superlative without a disconnect in my endeavor in my body of numismatics.

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    Aegis3Aegis3 Posts: 2,896 ✭✭✭

    My view only, of course.

    I can think of two ideas:

    First is that a "great" collection has to say more than merely how much money one can put into the collection. Whatever the scope of the collection, it shouldn't ignore common coins (within the scope) for rare coins, nor lower grade examples for only higher grades, nor inexpensive coins for ultra-expensive ones. Think Partrick, for example. Brasher doubloons, yes, but also counterstamps, numerous HTTs, and an inordinate fondness for Vexetor tokens.

    Second, it should say something worthy numismatically, more than, say, a simple listing of dates and mints of a series.

    --

    Ed. S.

    (EJS)
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    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,604 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bidask said:

    @TomB said:
    I'm going to write something that may appear counterintuitive or even as blasphemy, but even though I believe individual coins can be "great" and someone can make a "great" buy or a certain set can be "great" to build, I don't really value or rate collections. Therefore, the idea of stating that a collection is "great" seems foreign to me. I don't know how to put it in words, but I feel a real disconnect in attempting to place a superlative on the body of someone's work in numismatics.

    BLASPHEMY

    HERESY!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,795 ✭✭✭✭✭

    4 words

    Quality for the grade

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

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    P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinkat said:
    4 words

    Quality for the grade

    That's a relative indicator, so did you mean to imply that a great collection must be slabbed by a TPG?

    Even if, take an average collection of "B" coins and downgrade them all so they all become "A" coins in the lower grade—is that collection now great?

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RLSnapper said:
    I am building a collection of large cents where the bulk of them were part of "Great" collections of the past. While my >collection may never be great on its own it has coins that once resided in a "Great" collection. I like to think of it as a >collection of Collections. This 1850 N-24 arrived today. Tough variety..R5. From Col. Ellsworth Collection. If it was good >enough for Colonel Steve then it's good enough for me!

    >

    nice. :+1:

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    DreamcrusherDreamcrusher Posts: 210 ✭✭✭✭

    The beauty of coin collecting is that there are no rules so that you can collect what you want and in your own mind, if that makes it great, so be it.

    With that being said, I particularly admire a collection that was difficult to put together. The work and study involved is what makes it interesting for me. As an example, I have a very good friend who is known throughout the hobby. He is putting a set of coins together that are in poor condition but otherwise problem free. Very difficult to do.

    I have been putting a set of the classic commemoratives together and with each coin have found literature (a book, pamphlet that was printed at the time) that is related to each coin. Is my set the best in terms of grade or eye appeal? Not by a long shot but the literature is an extra step plus it helps me understand the subject of the coin more fully. That's why my collection is great.

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