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I’ve collected some coins, learned about them, now what? (Edited)

OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,521 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 11, 2023 11:34AM in U.S. Coin Forum

What is a good, cheap series that a intermediate collector can collect?

Edit: Wow so many questions! I like Lg cents and Morgans but I think I’m a type collector at heart. My budget is about $500 a year, and I’m looking to build a type set along side a wheatie and Indian set. I hope this answered some of your questions. P.S. I’m going to a coin show soon with about $200.

Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    US I would go with early dimes great series and not to much competition compared to other early series. You can still get a 1796 that will not break your bank account.

    Collecting interests: Coins from Latin American (2020-present)

    Sports: NFL & NHL

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    bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 3,777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Jeffersons are a nice series and no really expensive key dates to worry too much about.

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    Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,150 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Middle and late date walkers in AU, middle date large cents in F/VF, Indian head cents or Liberty nickels in F/VF maybe with the keys in Good, Barber halves VG/F…..of course cheap is relative….

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
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    PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,770 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 10, 2023 9:33PM

    @TomB said:
    Buy what you like with money you can afford to lose.

    @BillJones said:

    @KingOfMorganDollar said:
    US I would go with early dimes great series and not to much competition compared to other early series. You can still get a 1796 that will not break your bank account.

    Sorry, really? I would not start that series or any series that includes the dates of early U.S. coins. They have been difficult to collect as long as I have been a collector which goes back more than 60 years. I love the early U.S. coins, but sadly every one of them is a “project coin” where you have to pay strong prices to buy anything decent.

    If you want to collect a series, you need to start somewhere beyond the early years, unless you can accept very low grades.

    I did not see the word cheap in his statement sorry.

    Collecting interests: Coins from Latin American (2020-present)

    Sports: NFL & NHL

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    mrbrklynmrbrklyn Posts: 105 ✭✭✭
    So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
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    AdamLAdamL Posts: 165 ✭✭✭

    I'd choose a series of silver coins (pre-'64)
    Take a look at them and their prices. Decide what YOU like. Decide how much you want to spend. And then find out what condition you want and/or can afford.
    A couple of ideas are circulated Walkers, or mint state Franklins.

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    Capped bust dimes or half dimes are a good choice where lower grade pieces can be found at reasonable prices plus if you learn about die varieties you could find rare ones for common prices. Buy the books and learn. Alot of dealers don't know about or care about varieties. Be careful though it's easy to get hooked and you'll be finding yourself buying higher and higher graded pieces . Good luck

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ownerofawheatiehorde said:
    What is a good, cheap series that a intermediate collector can collect?

    A few questions...

    1. What $$$ amount do you consider to be "cheap"?
    2. Do you need to be able to complete the set at the "cheap" level?
    3. If not, how much above the "cheap" level are you willing to go, and for how many pieces?

    Answers to these will help people give you a better idea about what direction to recommend.

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    124Spider124Spider Posts: 848 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @OAKSTAR said:
    Start where many of us started.

    That very coin folder (which I still have, of course) is, in fact, where I started (in the early 1960s). It led, little by little, to so much more. It was fun, in those days, that there were so many series of coins still in active circulation (even Morgan and Peace dollars, if you were in Nevada).

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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider said:
    Cheap? I don't know what you mean by that, of course. Some people don't blanche at buying a slew of $2000 coins (or even much more expensive), some people cannot buy even one that's that expensive.

    I think most of us can afford those coins, likely even up to $10,000. The problem is that it would be such a huge share of the coin budget that you may not be able to buy another coin for months/a year/many years. Of course that can be part of the fun of it. If you have a $100 monthly coin budget then there can be great excitement in searching out the perfect VF 1909 S VDB over the course of a year.

    Anyone can buy any number of them at any time online, but the hunt of the very look you'd like can be very exciting. Plus, the way the Internet is now, you can see any coin you'd like to own online as often as you like.

    I completely understand that many of us couldn't stand to only add one perfect coin per year, or even longer, but you can build a much better collection on a much lower budget this way.

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    124Spider124Spider Posts: 848 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @daltex said:

    @124Spider said:
    Cheap? I don't know what you mean by that, of course. Some people don't blanche at buying a slew of $2000 coins (or even much more expensive), some people cannot buy even one that's that expensive.

    I think most of us can afford those coins, likely even up to $10,000. The problem is that it would be such a huge share of the coin budget that you may not be able to buy another coin for months/a year/many years. Of course that can be part of the fun of it. If you have a $100 monthly coin budget then there can be great excitement in searching out the perfect VF 1909 S VDB over the course of a year.

    Anyone can buy any number of them at any time online, but the hunt of the very look you'd like can be very exciting. Plus, the way the Internet is now, you can see any coin you'd like to own online as often as you like.

    I completely understand that many of us couldn't stand to only add one perfect coin per year, or even longer, but you can build a much better collection on a much lower budget this way.

    I have spent more on my coins than I spent on my first house; to me, that's a LOT of money. Yet, I have never spent anywhere close to $10,000 on a coin, and won't until I win the lottery (which I do not play).

    So I still have a couple of holes in my collections (since I don't like ugly coins, and I won't spend $10,000 on one coin).

    My response, of course, was aimed at OP, who gave us no hint as to what he meant by "cheap." But it suggests that $10,000 on a single coin is not in his plans at this time. And, perhaps I'm wrong, but I would be surprised if "most" of the people who check in here from time to time can "afford" comfortably to spend $10,000 on a single coin.

    But I do agree that the hunt can be great fun!

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    streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Depending on your budget

    Buffalos
    Mercs
    Late date walkers
    Peace dollars
    Kennedy's
    Early commems
    Box of 20
    20th century gold.

    Do not collect quantity. Collect quality.

    Have a nice day
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    OmegaraptorOmegaraptor Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11, 2023 12:15AM

    Buffalo Nickels are really cool coins and very completable (depending on what grade you're going for - above VF and below VF are two entirely different animals). Hardest part about collecting them is learning how to grade them, which is an art in and of itself.

    Barber Dimes and Barber Halves are similar, completable but deceptively challenging sets. Much tougher than you'd think looking at the Red Book. Both are still very much doable given enough persistence - I like them in original Fine.

    "You can't get just one gun." "You can't get just one tattoo." "You can't get just one 1796 Draped Bust Large Cent."

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    CoinHoarderCoinHoarder Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What type of coins have you collected so far?

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I suggest using coin money to attend some coin shows (preferably large ones) and spend time looking at coins and talking to knowledgeable coin people. You will develop a foundational sense of the hobby that way. As far as series etc., I have found (after building a few sets many years ago), that I like adding random coins that I find very attractive due to design and condition. I also like gold coins, but that has become expensive. Best to decide what you like, for your reasons. Good luck, Cheers, RickO

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    dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All good advice here! Many of us started with raw Lincolns, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Barber and Standing Liberty quarters, etc.
    The best thing I ever did that really expanded my interest and knowledge of US coinage, was to put together a set of Type coins. You can do raw or F/VF graded coins and not break the bank. A Type set is basically one example of every coin minted, and beginners can omit gold coins. This makes collecting interesting because you will learn about not just one, but almost all series that exist, and it also will give you an idea about what series interests you most. From there, you can specialize in one or a few series and become pretty proficient at grading, and what makes coins in that series more or less appealing.

    The main thing in this hobby is to have fun, and enjoy the history and art that is numismatics.

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    I like Lincolns personally
    They start off easy, with a few key dates that can be acquired relatively easily, and then of course you’ll want the 09svdb

    Eventually (at least in my case) the series becomes infinitely complex, and you realize you could spend the next 40 years making a set that is far from perfect

    But to me the long journeys are the best

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    bagofnickelsbagofnickels Posts: 349 ✭✭✭✭

    Have you considered building a type set? It's a good way to learn if one series interests you more than others. The Dansco or Intercept albums are a good way to start in my opinion. I would just focus on finding nice problem free examples if I went this route. If you want to be a little more fool proof and not have to worry about the pitfalls of raw coins you could always build a cheap certified set as some others have recommended.

    As for other cheap series I like, I think Jefferson nickels are at the top based on affordability and availability. I love my Jeff Dansco and it has cost very little money to make the progress I have made on mine. Consider buying a book or two if you decide to build either of these sets. I recommend "The Jefferson nickel analyst."

    All in all I think you've gotten some great advice in this thread and I wish you luck on whatever you choose to collect.

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    FrazFraz Posts: 1,855 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I find myself of a similar sort. Have you read any of the posts by @cladking, He points to some new ground.

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    bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 3,777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A couple things to also consider is age. Are you starting off early and have years to build? And budget. How much do you plan on budgeting for your collecting? How about goals. Do you plan on collecting for the hobby or for investment? And timeframe. Are you interested in classic coinage or modern coinage? All things to consider if you're wanting to venture into a series and not winding up with a couple of these and a couple of those.

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,434 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why collect a series where every coin has the same design which can get boring after a while? Suggest that you try type collecting. Buy the best grade you can afford for one of each the many types produced by the US as shown in the Red Book. Of course, some will be outside your budget range. Also, you can spice it up with a few classic commemorative coins and maybe a couple of colonial coins.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 843 ✭✭✭✭

    I think the comment regarding quality over quantity should be taken to heart. As a kid, I was more interested in filling holes in the Whitman albums and bought many coins in lower grades. I should've bought higher graded coins and regret not doing so. Hindsight is 20-20.

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    mirabelamirabela Posts: 4,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11, 2023 11:39AM

    I'll pile on with the suggestion that a type set is a great project. You can start out simple, say ~20th century type set with one nice example of everything from Indian Head cent / Liberty 5c / Barber 10, 25, 50 / Morgan dollar forward. I have no idea what your budget is, but one choice representative of everything from those dates forward is attainable for most people over time. Get into subtypes if you want (high-relief 1921 dollar, Type 1 & Type 2 buffalo nickels, Type 1 & 2 (and 3!) Standing quarters, etc.). You can encompass gold types if your budget allows, or don't. Then work backward across the 19th century, or don't.

    Alternately, you could do a single-denomination type set, like one of every kind of one-cent coin, or five-cent coin, or whatever. Some denominations will feature certain coins that would be an uncomfortable or impossible reach for most of us -- things like a Chain cent or a 1796 small-eagle quarter -- but you can leave out what you need or want to leave out.

    Or a year set -- one of everything from a given year, or a given year and mint.

    Lots of possibilities, but after decades of collecting I much prefer this type of project to single-series completion sets, which I've also done.

    mirabela
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    OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CoinHoarder said:

    What type of coins have you collected so far?

    I collect mostly type, but I love Lg cents and Morgans.

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

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    COCollectorCOCollector Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Collect whatever you like: The “Box of 20” collecting method.
    http://news.coinupdate.com/the-box-of-20-collecting-method/

    Successful BST transactions with forum members thebigeng, SPalladino, Zoidmeister, coin22lover, coinsarefun, jwitten, CommemKing.

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    Shane6596Shane6596 Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @COCollector said:
    Collect whatever you like: The “Box of 20” collecting method.
    http://news.coinupdate.com/the-box-of-20-collecting-method/

    Thats a great idea. Im gonna build one of those.

    Successful BST transactions with....Coinslave87, ChrisH821, Walkerguy21D, SanctionII.......................Received "You Suck" award 02/18/23

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    cladkingcladking Posts: 28,335 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11, 2023 3:23PM

    @Fraz said:
    I find myself of a similar sort. Have you read any of the posts by @cladking, He points to some new ground.

    My only advice would be to think outside the box, buy low and sell high.

    There are a million ways to have fun in the hobby but only one to make money.

    Coin collecting is a great hobby but lousy investment.

    Tempus fugit.
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    BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,413 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    @KingOfMorganDollar said:
    US I would go with early dimes great series and not to much competition compared to other early series. You can still get a 1796 that will not break your bank account.

    Sorry, really? I would not start that series or any series that includes the dates of early U.S. coins. They have been difficult to collect as long as I have been a collector which goes back more than 60 years. I love the early U.S. coins, but sadly every one of them is a “project coin” where you have to pay strong prices to buy anything decent.

    If you want to collect a series, you need to start somewhere beyond the early years, unless you can accept very low grades.

    I know you said intermediate, but you'll have fun starting a set and then looking for Jefferson Nickels to fill the slots.

    You can still find them all in circulation and bank boxes, but 1950-D and 1939-D are tough.

    Have fun!

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
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    I am taking on WLH's. As has already been said "cheap is relative". I don't expect to have a collection full of 67's but my goal is to complete a set that crosses the 65 threshold. Yes there will be some pricey coins along the way. Yes it's going to take some time.

    Yes I have taken a major beating when I first started collecting on my own because of mistakes like not knowing how to grade or believing what someone grades something when they are hustling for a buck.

    Take some simple advice into consideration. This is what I have had to learn and some of it the hard way.

    Don't do it alone

    Don't rely on one source ebay in particular, even though it can be a good source.
    Seek out good dealers. There are many.

    No need to reveal your income here but that comes into play. Expenses vs coin budget relative to income.

    Don't go into hawk to buy coins (unless it's a really good deal;) optional!

    Seriously though it's easy to get buried in compulsive coin purchases.

    I could say much more but this forum and the people on it are your best source for advice and guidance. You definitely will not like everything you read or hear but these guys will try to help you.
    It may hurt to hear it when you make a mistake and you will if your going to collect.
    It's a great hobby and it fills a big hole in my life.
    Most of all keep it fun because that's really what it's about.
    I hope this helps a little.
    I'm still a newbie with one foot over the threshold to rookie collector. Small steps. You'll be okay.

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