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My First Box of 20 Coins--7th Coin Acquired

124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 8, 2024 4:48PM in U.S. Coin Forum

7/6/2023 Edit: Four coins now bought! See below.

Hi,

I'm getting close to having taken my various series collections as far as I care to take them. So I'm pondering where I want to go next with my collecting.

I'm charmed by a type set. But I'm too old to take many years doing it, and not rich enough to do it quickly.

So I've decided to do kind of a mini-type-set, using the "box of 20" idea. That way, I can have a little collection with some very old, and some very arcane coins (e.g., a twenty-cent coin), but it's nicely bounded and achievable in a reasonable amount of time.

I've done a preliminary look through US coins that I haven't previously collected (I pretty much wiped out the 20th century with my present collections, plus Morgan dollars). My criteria were simple: (i) I must be able to get a decently attractive sample of the type without spending a fortune ( under--preferably well under--$1000 per coin; all will be certified); (ii) no gold; (iii) I'd like to cover as many of the types of coins in US history as I can, given the first two criteria (and the fact that there will be only 20 coins in the "set").

Preliminarily, this is my list:

Liberty cap half cent
Classic head half cent
Draped bust large cent
Matron head large cent
Flying eagle cent
Indian head cent
Silver three cent
Nickel three cent
Liberty head nickel
Capped bust half dime
Capped bust dime
Liberty seated dime
Barber dime
Liberty seated twenty cent
Capped bust quarter
Liberty seated quarter
Barber quarter
Capped bust half dollar
Barber Half
Liberty seated dollar

I think that this is a decent variety (both in type and in time), and I believe that all include some affordable samples.

But I'm interested in suggestions that could make the set better (while staying within my criteria).

Thanks.

Mark

Comments

  • JW77JW77 Posts: 438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not knowledgeable enough to give a worthy answer, but just sayin that looks like fun!

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks like fun! Add Trade Dollar to your list.

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2, 2023 2:52PM

    @MFeld said:
    My suggestion is don’t decide ahead of time, what types you’re going to buy. Instead, let the coins do the talking and call your name.

    The more I consider your response, the more I like it! I can spend some delicious time deciding what's most important (right now, I'm thinking something from the late 18th century, with all the romance that entails); then, after scratching that itch, see what gets my attention next. It's a great concept! My list can provide a road map, but I don't have to be ruled by it (make it a leisurely road trip, not a forced march).

    Thanks!

    Mark

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider said:

    @MFeld said:
    My suggestion is don’t decide ahead of time, what types you’re going to buy. Instead, let the coins do the talking and call your name.

    The more I consider your response, the more I like it! I can spend some delicious time deciding what's most important (right now, I'm thinking something from the late 18th century, with all the romance that entails); then, after scratching that itch, see what gets my attention next. It's a great concept! My list can provide a road map, but I don't have to be ruled by it (make it a leisurely road trip, not a forced march).

    Thanks!

    Mark

    I think you can use the list as a guide line, but don’t be afraid to go off track if a different coin speaks to you. Personally, I also use the box of 20 approach and I have an idea what coins I want to add, but I don’t actively seek out one particular coin, I wait until I see a fantastic specimen and decide if it meets my criteria.

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,678 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Way more fun to find 20 really awesome coins. Maybe 2 of them end up being Peace dollars. So what. Who knows?

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 'box of' concept is a fun way to collect. Rather than going after a structured list, I recommend (much as @MFeld did above) letting the coins speak to you... find really attractive ones (affordable) and assemble the set that way... You will be very happy with those coins. Cheers, RickO

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lots of good advice here... I started my Box of 20 with a list but it quickly developed into something more akin to what @MFeld suggested.

    Since I don't have the Gold Page of the 7070 I'm putting together and I wanted to include a $3... and de-emphasize the Liberty Head series... I'm going for Gold by denomination instead. As it turned out, i found a nice California fractional piece to include as well. There's a rich history here that's not captured in a traditional album.

    I also wanted to include some of the earlier coinage... 18th C pieces. I've always been fascinated by Colonial coins and the pieces that circulated during our country's early years. The 8 Reales was the most commonly used coinage at the time so I included it in the Box of 20.

    The bottom line is that I have a rough idea of what I want to include but this will likely evolve over time... and it's all about the journey.

    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.
  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From the list perhaps consider losing one of either the capped bust half dime or dime, same design and almost the same size coin. Same with the seated and barber coins, the barbers really all look the same just smaller or larger, maybe start with just one and of course if you find another of that type design that really calls then you can always add it in.

    Doing that gives you some freedom to add in say a type three gold dollar or an Indian head $2.5 gold coin, maybe something totally different like a piece of Hawaiian coinage. All of those can be found for under your price target and add some variety of design to the box, just a couple of suggestions.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great advice above already! Be patient and target coins that really excite you and will make you smile over and over.

    I made the switch from series collecting to type and Box of 20 a couple years ago. Less than 10% of my budget goes to series sets now. Never been happier - I spend more time looking at my coins and enjoying them than I ever have. It’s total freedom.

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Project Numismatics said:
    Great advice above already! Be patient and target coins that really excite you and will make you smile over and over.

    I made the switch from series collecting to type and Box of 20 a couple years ago. Less than 10% of my budget goes to series sets now. Never been happier - I spend more time looking at my coins and enjoying them than I ever have. It’s total freedom.

    !

    Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the concept.

    Collecting an entire series is, of course, a hangover from the old Whitman folders when I was a kid collecting out of circulation. I certainly am thrilled to have completed almost all of them (don't have a 1916 standing Liberty quarter or 1893-S Morgan dollar), but it sometimes felt like I was buying coins because I had to in order to finish the series, and there was no magic to yet another, e.g., walking Liberty half dollar.

    With the "Box of 20" idea, I can enjoy the treasures others post, and, when one speaks to me, go after it

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It occurs to me, as I contemplate what I'll go after first, that I've done something like this before.

    Some years ago, I sprung for a 1942/41 Mercury dime, because it was in the Whitman album. I was enchanted with it when I got it.

    That led me, over time, to buy perhaps 20 more die varieties (DDO--including overdates; DDR; RPM), all of which I have enjoyed a great deal. Most are Lincoln cents (who doesn't love looking at a 1955 DDO?), but I also have a buffalo nickel, a Jefferson nickel, another Mercury dime (the twin to the original), a Roosevelt dime, and a couple of Morgan dollars.

    Such fun--imagine, buying a coin just because I find that coin to be enchanting; what a concept!

    Mark

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just buy twenty great coins that you really enjoy. Done!

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • daltexdaltex Posts: 3,461 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps I misunderstand the "Box of 20" concept, but I don't see how one could have a list or really be "finished." FWIW, I don't see "20" as a number as much as an idea. That is if you can only find 17 coins that you really like, you needn't buy dreck to complete your collection, and if you have a full box and find two more coins that you really like, you're not compelled to figure out which two you like the least and then sell them off to stay at 20. It does mean that you need to be very selective.

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 4, 2023 10:43PM

    @daltex said:
    Perhaps I misunderstand the "Box of 20" concept, but I don't see how one could have a list or really be "finished." FWIW, I don't see "20" as a number as much as an idea. That is if you can only find 17 coins that you really like, you needn't buy dreck to complete your collection, and if you have a full box and find two more coins that you really like, you're not compelled to figure out which two you like the least and then sell them off to stay at 20. It does mean that you need to be very selective.

    I don't think it's meant to be taken as literally. The way I interpret the "Box of 20" approach means being very selective and not following a specific guideline for a set. You maximize the potential of each purchase while minimizing the frequency of said purchases. You could have anywhere from 1-30 coins and still be considered a "Box of 20" collector, IMO.

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    Looking over you list, I would say the one that will give you the most trouble will be the Liberty Cap Half Cent. Those coins are really hard to find with some decent detail and no problems. When I was a young collector, I almost never saw them. This was one I found in the early 1980s.

    I bought this raw. There was no slabbing then. When I sent this in for grading, one of the services had the brass to sent this back to me in a body bag. For a VF, this is about as good as you are going to get for this type.

    You might consider a Draped Bust half cent. Those coins are much easier to find. This also came back in a body bag.

    Yeah, I can believe that. The nice thing about this concept for collecting is that I don't feel any compulsion to buy a coin until it speaks to me (unlike, say, filling slots in a series, when a particular coin is hard to get). I'll be happy with any problem-free example (preferably from the 18th century). Time will tell, but I suspect I'll enjoy the hunt as much as the capture for most of these.

  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 17, 2023 6:35PM

    @MFeld said:
    My suggestion is don’t decide ahead of time, what types you’re going to buy. Instead, let the coins do the talking and call your name.

    This. It's exactly what I'm doing with my box of 20 and I think it's working out pretty well.

    Edit to add: Nice 1st coin!

  • alaura22alaura22 Posts: 2,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great coin
    Congrats.......

  • Russell12Russell12 Posts: 192 ✭✭✭✭

    following

  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We like to say our coins are all pieces of history but that sir is a bonafide legit actual piece of history. Very nice addition and a damn good looking one at that.

  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also, I think 30 is a tad on the conservative side. I'd say shot 35?

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cladiator said:
    Also, I think 30 is a tad on the conservative side. I'd say shot 35?

    In hand, I am surprised at a 30. I certainly am no expert on this series, but it looks better (to my eye) than I think of a 30 looking.

  • johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider
    Can you remind us how this is verified to have been made under the rule of CSA?

    I have an 1861-O with a die crack between the 8 and 6. Definitely nice coins to own.

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 17, 2023 8:27PM

    @johnny010 said:
    @124Spider
    Can you remind us how this is verified to have been made under the rule of CSA?

    I have an 1861-O with a die crack between the 8 and 6. Definitely nice coins to own.

    Our host says it better than I could:
    https://www.pcgs.com/news/was-your-1861-o-liberty-seated-half-dollar-struck-by-confederates#:~:text=The primary diagnostic of the,in the leftmost stellar arc.

  • jayPemjayPem Posts: 3,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic start to the box!
    Half dollars in choice VF... 😘

  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Absolutely outstanding addition to your collection, congratulations. A fascinating and truly historic coin.

  • Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Watching this thread closely @124Spider

    I really like the direction you’re taking!

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice addition @124Spider Box o' 20 collecting FTW!

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,746 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I try and fail. But gee, it's fun.

  • johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Speaking of the Athens Owl…. Another random favorite of mine. Will that be part of your box?

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 20, 2023 9:41PM

    Odd duplicate post....

  • GotTheBugGotTheBug Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭

    OP, your Box of 20 is going to be a Box of History. Looking forward to seeing what's next.

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A most interesting box with a variety of compelling coins!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,861 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lovely SLQ
    WTG

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I finally decided on a seventh coin!

    It's really a companion piece to the third coin; another 1861-O seated Liberty half dollar.

    The full, fascinating story of the 1861-O seated Liberty half dollar is given with the purchase of the third coin, above. This one is one issued while the New Orleans mint was under the control of the state of Louisiana, after Louisiana had "seceded" from the USA, but before it had joined with the other rebels to form the so-called "CSA." The third coin, above, was minted while the mint was being run by the Confederacy, so I thought it would be nice to have one from the brief period when the mint was run by the state. I am also looking for one struck while the mint was still in the possession of the USA.


  • CryptoCrypto Posts: 3,330 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @124Spider said:

    @johnny010 said:
    Speaking of the Athens Owl…. Another random favorite of mine. Will that be part of your box?

    No; it's half-owned by my wife, after we cracked it out and had a good goldsmith turn it into a pendant (with strict instructions to do so in a way that would not damage the coin).

    My friend, all of our coins are half owned by our wives.

  • 124Spider124Spider Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Crypto said:

    My friend, all of our coins are half owned by our wives.

    Indeed (and I wouldn't have it any other way)!

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