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What is the future for coins with minor problems?

291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,944 ✭✭✭✭✭

Prices for problem-free coins are now reaching levels that will price many collectors out of the market. Will the market for coins with minor problems that prevent them from getting a "straight" grade from the major TPGs gain in popularity as a result? Think light cleaning, small scratch, minor rim bump, etc.

All glory is fleeting.
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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Check out Charlotte and Dahlonega coins on eBay. Almost all are details coins. Someone has to be buying them. Just not me.

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    ShaunBC5ShaunBC5 Posts: 1,633 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I thought I accidentally bought them all up, raw, in the 90s and early 2000s.
    For the ones that are left, I think they’ll just continue trading around to collectors who appreciate what they are (and are not).

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    oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I buy details coins as exceptions. Some Colonial varieties, a few foreign that are counter stamped or very old with honest damage. Never any coins that have been intentionally altered, at least not yet. There are some cleaned coins that have tempted me but I would have to see the coin in hand.

    Great collections is now offering a bunch of details coins, so there seems to be an active market for them.

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My guess is that they will have the same future as their past, problem coins have always found a home somewhere and I see no reason that will not continue.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    epcepc Posts: 161 ✭✭✭✭

    I've been going after half dime die marriages and die states. I check various numismatic auction sites, coin dealers, and ebay. If I see something on ebay that I don't already have, and if it doesn't look like a parking lot find, or worse, and if the price isn't out of line, I'll get it. Most such coins that I've gotten, I've sent to be slabbed. Maybe a quarter of them come back "Details". I expect and accept that as part of the process. That said, I don't think I've actually purchased a coin that was already in a Details slab. I did purchase quite a few (87) coins from Steve Crain's collection, and had them slabbed as well. A number of those are Details coins. Apparently, Steve had a similar approach to building his variety reference set. And I think many of these Details coins could get that NSB sticker!

    Collector of Liberty Seated Half Dimes, including die pairs and die states

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    alaura22alaura22 Posts: 2,664 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 1, 2024 6:14PM

    @messydesk said:

    John, that is hilarious
    But I still wouldn't buy it :)

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    TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,849 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coins with problems have a promising future. There are bottom feeders and I plead the fifth for the 291st time.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,640 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 10, 2024 7:20AM

    Not to worry - just start the auction at 99c.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    2windy2fish2windy2fish Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My experience is that “Problem coins” continue to sell well for me. Either graded or raw and surprisingly for decent money, sometimes near Greysheet.
    I do believe tho that this conversation deserves a caveat or 2 …, the coins i’m selling are mostly 50 to 500 or so, nothing scarce or rare.

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    TimNHTimNH Posts: 128 ✭✭✭

    Anyone trying to do a full type set on any kind of real-world budget will eventually have to go Details. Won't name any names here..

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    alaura22alaura22 Posts: 2,664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TimNH said:
    Anyone trying to do a full type set on any kind of real-world budget will eventually have to go Details. Won't name any names here..

    Totally disagree with that, although I'm not complete yet it can be done within a budget and without detailed coins
    Just look harder for clean coins, they are out there

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    TimNHTimNH Posts: 128 ✭✭✭

    @alaura22 said:

    Totally disagree with that, although I'm not complete yet it can be done within a budget and without detailed coins
    Just look harder for clean coins, they are out there

    OK we haven't set a size of "budget" here, but please do point me to a straight graded half disme, 1808 $2.50 gold, small eagle quarter, small eagle half, and chain cent within this budget?

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    alaura22alaura22 Posts: 2,664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TimNH said:

    @alaura22 said:

    Totally disagree with that, although I'm not complete yet it can be done within a budget and without detailed coins
    Just look harder for clean coins, they are out there

    OK we haven't set a size of "budget" here, but please do point me to a straight graded half disme, 1808 $2.50 gold, small eagle quarter, small eagle half, and chain cent within this budget?

    As you said, we didn't establish a budget.
    The coins you're asking about do exist without problems, some of which I am on the hunt for. In time they will show up, I just hope that when they do I'm in a position to secure them.
    Be patient, they will come out of the woodwork

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    BarberianBarberian Posts: 3,053 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @epc said:
    I've been going after half dime die marriages and die states. I check various numismatic auction sites, coin dealers, and ebay. If I see something on ebay that I don't already have, and if it doesn't look like a parking lot find, or worse, and if the price isn't out of line, I'll get it. Most such coins that I've gotten, I've sent to be slabbed. Maybe a quarter of them come back "Details". I expect and accept that as part of the process. That said, I don't think I've actually purchased a coin that was already in a Details slab. I did purchase quite a few (87) coins from Steve Crain's collection, and had them slabbed as well. A number of those are Details coins. Apparently, Steve had a similar approach to building his variety reference set. And I think many of these Details coins could get that NSB sticker!

    I have had a similar approach as well, except I've grabbed a few extreme "details" coins of rare die marriages.

    WB-6

    3 rim nicks away from Good
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    HoledandCreativeHoledandCreative Posts: 2,766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I collect holed, all denominations. I'm still looking for hundreds of them.

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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Desirability is a function of the age and rarity of the coin.

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    TypekatTypekat Posts: 161 ✭✭✭

    Every collector has a unique sense of taste.

    Some want pristine specimens only. Sealed In slabs, of course, which must also be flawless.

    Others prefer to own old coins within their budgets: coins with as much of their original details that they can afford, even though they may be lightly cleaned, or have a scratch or rim bump. Coins that you can crack out of their (“details w/problem”) slabs and play with!

    The owner of a top-pop MS Lincoln cent from the mid-20th century, and someone else with a VF details 1795 silver dollar which cost the same amount, are both just buying what they like!

    30+ years coin shop experience (ret.) Coins, bullion, currency, scrap & interesting folks. Loved every minute!

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    tcollectstcollects Posts: 846 ✭✭✭✭

    Over the years, I've bought and sold lots of damaged 1793 chain and wreath cents, each of them captures the imagination somehow, so if you know what they sell for, they're a safe buy and they sell fast. For example, a fairly common beat up no date chain cent can still attract 50 people on eBay willing to pay $3000 for it.

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,640 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2024 6:28AM

    In that scenario demand would go sideways. Dealers and Investors (priced out) would go to another area or lower grade of that issue (vs buying details coins) buying less expense stuff vs settling for problem coins.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Album filler for me.

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

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    seatedlib3991seatedlib3991 Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    I think there is a lot of potential in detail coins. Having said that I will also admit I tried to break away from my cast in stone rule NO PROBLEM COINS. Every time I came close to bidding actual money I balked. Finally I just quit trying.
    When I was 7 I got the "Let's Collect Coins" kit from J.C. Penny. It comes with a small booklet in which Kenneth Bressett states, "Never buy damaged , cleaned or problem coins. They will cause you to have an inferior collection and will rob you of valuable money for good purchases." I now know those words are tattooed on my brain. James

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    oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To provide a bit of perspective, I collect foreign coins that circulated in the USA before 1857 - types that is. I own a VF details 1799 8 reales minted in Lima to represent the Lima mint. It is details because it has been chopmarked. Obviously, the chopmarks add to its history and interest. More to the point, if it were a TD it would have been straight-graded. I also own a 1794 8 escudos in an AU details holder. It's a beautiful coin with a small triangle-shaped countermark on the reverse, which has been treated as damage. Again, an interesting coin providing hours of (so far unsuccessful) research. Then consider the Dexter dollar.

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    skier07skier07 Posts: 3,697 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve done very well selling problem coins on eBay that I bought 30-40 years ago when I didn’t know any better. Most shows have a lot of collectors filling holes in their albums buying raw coins who don’t care if the coin has a small imperfection. There are a lot of collectors who have very modest budgets.

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    TypekatTypekat Posts: 161 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2024 12:07PM

    https://images3-cdn.auctionmobility.com/is3/auctionmobility-static-cluster3/lyrp-1-11DHZ/3-18AS7V/f7b55ac3-d758-48e8-bf23-6e58b2e4c66a?maxwidth=2400&maxheight=2400

    This one certainly had a bright future! It sold today at Stack’s for $22,800 all in, despite being in the wrong holder and having 2 mentioned problems - ANACS AU details, cleaned, scratch.

    Lot 10436. It photographed very well, anyway!

    30+ years coin shop experience (ret.) Coins, bullion, currency, scrap & interesting folks. Loved every minute!

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,640 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2024 4:40PM

    Not to worry - offers are discounted for them.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,485 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I marvel at the prices that problem coins bring these days, especially in “Platinum Night” sales. Time was you had to deep discount these pieces before you had a chance of selling them.

    I remember I met an old dealer who had a ton of rare coins in off brand holders. It was stuff like an 1804 quarter, with EF aharpness, that had a coat of artificial toning. He said to me, “l’vd got a fortune here if I could sell these coins in these grades.” Yes, he did, and if he were still around today, he’d make his fortune.

    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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    @BillJones said:
    I marvel at the prices that problem coins bring these days, especially in “Platinum Night” sales. Time was you had to deep discount these pieces before you had a chance of selling them.

    Isn’t this just a “rising tide lifts all boats” kinda situation coupled with supply and demand? Everything’s up and good material is harder and harder to locate. Thats going to put upward pressure across the ranges.

    And perhaps, there’s still a dearth of Covid period new collectors who haven’t learned the way, or just don’t care to?

    Having fun while switching things up and focusing on a next level PCGS slabbed 1950+ type set, while still looking for great examples for the 7070.

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    alaura22alaura22 Posts: 2,664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My personal belief is that the problem free coins are in strong hands. Only when an event happens that these coins will come to market.
    In the interim we are seeing all the other problem coins surface. Some collectors really don't think that a true problem free coin exists because all they see offered are detailed coins even if they are straight graded. The good ones are out there, one just needs to have patience to find the right one.

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    AotearoaAotearoa Posts: 1,373 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I frankly don’t understand the aversion to details coins. The eye appeal of a less circulated ‘problem’ coin can be far superior to an equally valued but battered straight-graded coin. Maybe you despise this S-215 but I find it beautiful. Lucky me.


    Smitten with DBLCs.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If they are cheap, I buy a few problem coins in in the NGC/PCGS/ANAC slabs for study purposes.

    On occasion, I have been known to pursue a certain die marriage in a series or particular rare VAM.

    Got to be picky, but financially, I am well ahead all things considered.

    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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    mark_dakmark_dak Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Details coins sell every day in nearly every auction. Of course I would prefer "problem free" coins but at the right price, I'm a buyer... and a seller. I've made plenty turning coins that others have turned up their noses at... keep 'em coming!

    Mark

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    bramn8rbramn8r Posts: 752 ✭✭✭✭✭

    there's always a future for a details coin, I like 1983 coins too. Even oddballs.

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