How do you build a great Registry Set? The 5 most important "secrets"

Obviously, #1 is MONEY. You need some long green to build a great Registry Set. Even the el cheapo modern series -- like the Roosies -- cost 6 figures to put together a great set. That's why I put money up there on the top of the list.

But money's clearly not enough. There are many very, very wealthy people collecting coins who have nothing more than smidge of this and a dab of that. No clarity of vision in their collections.

So my #2 is FOCUS. You have to zero on a single series and go after that single-mindedly. If you decide to build a Liberty Nickel Registry Set, and then start buying nice toned Mercuries, oh, and here's a lovely shield nickel -- its not going to work.

Instead, you have to look at endless numbers of Liberty Nickels and learn the tell-tales for good strike ... learn the where the wear shows first ... and osmose which are the hard dates and which are the easy. And the popular ratings don't tell the story. What the dealers tell you about the Liberty Nickels (or whatever series it is that you're going after) is usualy only part of the truth. You have to discover the rest of the truth yourself.

Those are my top two. Now, let's get your ideas.
Jefferson nickels, Standing Libs, and US-Philippines rock
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Comments

  • Okay, not that I have any world class registry sets, but #3 should probably be PATIENCE. Over the last 15+ years I've passed on more than I've purchased for my collections ... always have and probably always will. Sometimes it's because of strike, or color, or grade, or technical merits ... sometimes they just won't fit in the set right.
    Todd image




    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”
  • rainbowroosierainbowroosie Posts: 4,627 ✭✭✭
    Roosies = "el cheapo??" I RESEMBLE that remark!!!!image
    "You keep your 1804 dollar and 1822 half eagle -- give me rainbow roosies in MS68."
    rainbowroosie April 1, 2003
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    Based upon the above, my #3 would be :

    You need to know someone who is highly expert/capable AND willing and able to spend the time to educate you about the coins and the marketplace.

    This isn't necessarily a plug for dealers - that someone can be a non-dealer, so long as he fits the bill in the aforementioned qualifications.

    Mark Feld
  • I'm afraid that the honest answer is that you sometimes have to accept an inferior coin in a higher holder to a superior one that is in a lower numerical holder.


  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 5,414 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would add PERSEVERANCE:
    I adopted a philosophy of buying nice coins to fill my set, even though they were not top-pop coins. Top pop coins do not come up for sale often (depending on the series). So you have to have the perseverance to keep looking for upgrades to your set.

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin
    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • FairlanemanFairlaneman Posts: 9,920 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Based upon the above, my #3 would be :

    You need to know someone who is highly expert/capable AND willing and able to spend the time to educate you about the coins and the marketplace.

    This isn't necessarily a plug for dealers - that someone can be a non-dealer, so long as he fits the bill in the aforementioned qualifications. >>



    This is certainly open for debate. Many collectors need no help at all but then there are some collectors that could use four or five people to help them.

    Ken
  • RussRuss Posts: 50,068


    << <i>You need some long green to build a great Registry Set. >>



    I suppose that's true in classic sets. But, there are many more modern sets that can be built with sweat equity.

    Russ, NCNE
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 26,246 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>You need some long green to build a great Registry Set. >>



    I suppose that's true in classic sets. But, there are many more modern sets that can be built with sweat equity.

    Russ, NCNE >>



    This is true but it gets increasingly difficult every year. There are some series
    that are getting incredibly difficult raw. Ikes were always tough but now you'll
    have to look at twice as many sets to find gems and it's getting harder to find
    the sets. Rolls of many of the moderns are virtually non-existent and even the
    proof sets are getting harder to locate.

    It's a hoot to assemble all these sets raw and getting the coins slabbed after-
    ward might appeal to you, but unless you can see very large numbers of sets
    you're probably better off buying most of the coins already slabbed from a cost
    standpoint. $10 to $100 moderns are generally cheaper to buy slabbed than to
    find. And, of course, the higher priced ones are very difficult to locate raw.

    However you attack these sets; Happy hunting.

    Tempus fugit.
  • MistercoinmanMistercoinman Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭
    I would add PERSEVERANCE:

    I would have to agree with the perseverance as #3, sometimes you can go months even years between finding a suitable upgrade. The sets that achieve greatness are built one coin at a time!!!!
  • roadrunnerroadrunner Posts: 27,620 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1. Sometimes it takes 4 dealers to equal the knowledge and skill
    of one good collector.

    2. PCGS coins (say it ain't so). Because the recognition and
    prestige is next to zip otherwise.


    roadrunner
    Barbarous Relic No More, LSCC -GoldSeek--shadow stats--SafeHaven--321gold
  • keojkeoj Posts: 853 ✭✭✭
    A couple more for consideration:

    - Judgement - Knowing when to extend on a coin and knowing when to walk away from a coin regardless of the holder.

    - Thirst for knowledge - I'm not sure that this holds for everyone, but most VERY knowledgable people about a series are generally NOT dealers, they are dedicated collectors. Listening to those experts is a great start.

    - Honesty - What goes around, comes around. Treat others as you expect to be treated and you'll make out well in this hobby. I had lots of deals come to me because I've helped others at some point.

    - A healthy irreverence for TPG's, they serve a great purpose but ......recognize grades are subjective.

    keoj
  • badgerbadger Posts: 1,141
    I'm not sure where it goes in the hierarchy, but I would say Relationships is one key.

    Building a solid base with collectors, experts, dealers and auction houses. Honesty and integrity come into play. At some level, the $ don't matter and people sell to whom they want to sell. It's like placing a coin into someones care.
    Collector of Modern Silver Proofs 1950-1964 -- PCGS Registry as Elite Cameo

    Link to 1950 - 1964 Proof Registry Set
    1938 - 1964 Proof Jeffersons w/ Varieties
  • Hello Pursuit of Liberty:

    Yes, you need patience to build a great Registry Set. My Standing Liberty Quarter collection, now #1 best of all time, has been 14 years in the making.


    Dear Rainbow Roosies:

    No offense intended in my comment and I hope none taken. But the reality is that the Roosies are blessedly cheap. For example, there are no 5-digit Roosies, and even the "lowly" Jefferson Nickels is full of 5-digit coins, including several well up into the 5 digits.


    Dear Mark:

    Yes, the active aid of a knowledgeable dealer can be a great assist, as Warren Mills and Mitch were with my Standing Liberties. What's great about them is that I like to think of myself as having high standards, but those two are absolutely SOB's about the coins and make me look like a patsy. So they really, really helped me build my collection.

    But as Fairlaneman correctly points out, a dealer connection is not always necessary. And indeed, my US Philippines collection, the #1 best of all time in all 18 categies, was built by me with the great majority of the coins homemade. And in a way, it's more satisfying that way, if you can do it.


    Hello ColonialCoinUnion: I'm sorry, and no offense meant, but I think you have it exactly backwards when you say we have to accept an inferior coin in a higher holder.

    If you want to build a great Registry Set of coins, as opposed to a great set of Plastic Holders, you have to be willing to turn your back on the inferior coins in a higher holder, regardless of the cost in the rankings.

    This is one of the reasons that I don't like the Registry Sets -- they put pressure on collectors to go for inferior coins in the higher holders.

    But the ones who accept the inferior coins in the higher holders are soon known for doing that. The garbage starts to flow to them. Their collections, when it's time to sell, are known to be maxed out, and sell at a discount.

    It ain't always easy to turn your back on a upgrade that's really an inferior coin. I've been put in this position over and over again; with a gem 1927-S Standing Liberty Quarter that was correctly graded but looked terrible ... and again with Jefferson Nickel full steppers than weren't really full steps. It IS painful to let the coin go and know it's going to appear in someone else's set, who will make a large gain on you because of it. But you have to insist on quality if you want to build a great collection.


    Hi cameo nut:

    Yes, perservance is important. It's easy to get discouraged sometimes and you just have to fight on past the discouragement. To me it's part of the same point "Pursuit of Liberty" made: You have to be patient.

    I like to think of it as using my butt to great advantage. I sit and wait until the right coin comes along.


    Hi Russ

    Yes, you can still build a great Registry Set in the Moderns with homemade coins, but as Cladking points out, even that's becoming harder and harder. With Mr. Wondercoin going after the bullion coins and make the perfect 70s in deep cameo, we're reaching the outer limits of what can still be done with homemade coins.

    Several of the great Roosie collections were homemade. But I'll bet a nickel that nobody could start a new Roosie collection today and make it to the top 5 just with homemade coins. Even with just half homemade coins. I don't think it can be done.


    It's morning here in Asia. Gotta get to work. More later.

    Enjoy,



    Just Having Fun






    Jefferson nickels, Standing Libs, and US-Philippines rock
  • rainbowroosierainbowroosie Posts: 4,627 ✭✭✭
    "Several of the great Roosie collections were homemade. But I'll bet a nickel that nobody could start a new Roosie collection today and make it to the top 5 just with homemade coins. Even with just half homemade coins. I don't think it can be done."

    100% accurate, even if you just did all brilliant coins....imageimage
    "You keep your 1804 dollar and 1822 half eagle -- give me rainbow roosies in MS68."
    rainbowroosie April 1, 2003
  • LindeDadLindeDad Posts: 18,372 ✭✭✭✭
    On a very much lighter note to this is pick a set that nobody collects then you can get close to the top easy. My mint year set hit #5 and all I was trying to do collect that years coins.

    Link to Syl's 1944 Mint Set
  • I agree with #2...

    I am working on a Morgan Basic Circulation Set, and a Peace Dollar Circulation set...finding the money can only go so far...I may just concentrate on the Morgan Series for the time being. May consider selling the Peace Dollars sometime

    Morgan Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes:

    Light of Mars
    currently ranked 196/232

    Have a PCGS 1899O MS65 on layaway at local dealer

    Gary


  • << <i>Hello ColonialCoinUnion: I'm sorry, and no offense meant, but I think you have it exactly backwards when you say we have to accept an inferior coin in a higher holder.

    If you want to build a great Registry Set of coins, as opposed to a great set of Plastic Holders, you have to be willing to turn your back on the inferior coins in a higher holder, regardless of the cost in the rankings.

    This is one of the reasons that I don't like the Registry Sets -- they put pressure on collectors to go for inferior coins in the higher holders.

    But the ones who accept the inferior coins in the higher holders are soon known for doing that. The garbage starts to flow to them. Their collections, when it's time to sell, are known to be maxed out, and sell at a discount.

    It ain't always easy to turn your back on a upgrade that's really an inferior coin. I've been put in this position over and over again; with a gem 1927-S Standing Liberty Quarter that was correctly graded but looked terrible ... and again with Jefferson Nickel full steppers than weren't really full steps. It IS painful to let the coin go and know it's going to appear in someone else's set, who will make a large gain on you because of it. But you have to insist on quality if you want to build a great collection.

    >>



    I agree with you 100%. But the question was how do you build a great Registry Set, not how do you build a Great Collection.

    Last I checked, collections in the registry were ranked solely by numerical grades on the holder, with no regard for actual quality of the coins within. I don't like it, but thats the way it is.







  • Number three is know the right people/dealers. A lot of the best stuff is traded privately, without showing up on a web page or in a borst case. You need to know the top onterage of the series in which you choose to collect.

    David
  • saintgurusaintguru Posts: 10,204 ✭✭✭
    Don't lose track of the fact that you are buying, FIRST, because you want a great set and not a COMPETITIVE one. Only buy coins you love...filling holes with sub-standard (yours) coins will bug you every time you see that coin. LOVE OF THE ART is the most important key to building a great set....No passion...no enjoyment. Pick every coin carefully. Don't substitute quality.

    That's MY philosophy...and I am very happy with the results.
    image
  • rainbowroosierainbowroosie Posts: 4,627 ✭✭✭
    "Only buy coins you love."

    My 47S and 62D were originally in PCI holders......I bought them because "I loved them" as coins, not plastic.image

    Both UPGRADED!!!!
    "You keep your 1804 dollar and 1822 half eagle -- give me rainbow roosies in MS68."
    rainbowroosie April 1, 2003
  • saintgurusaintguru Posts: 10,204 ✭✭✭
    ttt
    image
  • 3. Do your homework, and take your own counsel. Learn what you are doing. No one is going to build a collection for you at a fair price.

    4. To build a great collection, its not what you buy, its what you send back. If you are buying on-line, you will send back more than you keep. Of course, the best is to see the coin in person at a show if you can.

    5. Build relationships with the major players in the series whether collectors or dealers.

    Greg
  • keetskeets Posts: 19,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1. Focus.
    2. Education/Knowledge.
    3. Patience.
    4. Money.
    5. Relationships.

    al h.image
    image
  • Hello Badger and Keoj. Thank you for bringing honesty to the fore as a key ingredient. The relationships you build with your dealer suppliers and other friends are extremely helpful in building a great Registry Set, and if you treat them dishonestly, you burn them off.


    And LindeDad ... you hit it right on the nose when you said ... On a very much lighter note to this is pick a set that nobody collects.

    I agree, and to me it's not "a very much lighter note" but rather a key ingredient of building a great Registry set. Unless you have megabucks, it's essential to pick a series that's out of favor. That's what I've been doing. I started with Standing Liberty Quarters and Nickel Three Cent pieces 12 maybe 15 years ago. Back then both series were way, way out of favor. I went into Jefferson Nickels, full steps, before they become popular. And into Roosies while they were still uninteresting.

    And if you follow that approach, you'll find that you'll be able to get great coins on the cheap. A pop 1/0 silver three for a third of what a pop5/0 Walker costs. The only 19th century nickel graded 69 for a quarter of what it's worth today. That way you quietly build up great sets while nobody is looking. Wonderful fun.

    Enjoy!
    Jefferson nickels, Standing Libs, and US-Philippines rock
  • nobody mentioned timing...you have to be in the right place at the right time when the monsters come out...snooze and you loose

    i will never forget i was at the right place when jack lee bought george bodeways morgan set.....it was a combination of the 2 going at it for 15 years...thus all the monsters where there...all of them...and jack picked then i did...numerous coins were really close and jack did make a few errors ...naw not really they were that close...but i did make 3 coins pop 1 after i bought them....take like the 02-o....there were no 67 s and when i made it i felt obligated to offer it back to jack so i did...i only paid 500 for it but he grined and said ...i will give you the one a kept ( which was george`s coin ) and give you 10,000 for it...i felt bad but i id take him up on it...then i made that one too....same deal on 1886-p only it was 1500 to me...ditto for the 87-s

    the other not mentioned item is.....time in the market....in building my commem set i have been very determined to out do all of them...and i think i have

    i was there for the shepherd sale ...and bought some

    i was there for the rothenberger sale..and bought some

    i was there for the south beach sale ...and bought some

    i was there for the heller sale ...and bought some

    i was there for the latrenta sale ...and bought some

    i was there for the johnson sale ..and bought some

    i was there for the asmeth sale....and bought some

    i was there for the jfs sale...and bought some

    i will be there for the sher sale...and buy some

    i could go on but you get my point

    now there are only 4 other collections i havnt had a chance to pick clean yet...all the others...been there done that....and unfortunately its going to be a while as they are all my buddies ( as well as their wives...if you get my point )

    the point is nobody can build the best ever 144 piece set in 5 or 10 years its impossible....as you just cant get a shot at all the mooses...the trick is time in the market ( grading skills is a given )...you simply have to be around long enough

    the REAL skill is to do it with a cost factor of the day you started when prices where much cheaper...in other words you have the best for the least...and its not that hard


    all you have to do is buy that 02-0 for 500 and sell it for 10,000...then buy that 10,000 oregon ..which now you only have 500 in it

    or buy that indian cent for 5,000 in a ngc holder ..then cross it to pcgs and sell it for 20,000 to pcgs only guy and buy 2 more monster oregons

    then buy that wonder monster toned morgan for 350 and sell it for 10,000 and boom instant finest known boone

    it can be done ...the trick is not to have patience...the trick is to go to the under valued series...buy em when they are down....and sell when they are hot...then move the money into your work of art

    thats what i did

    monsterman
    my goal is to find the monsters and i go where they are but i sometimes miss some.... so if you have any and want to sell IM THE BUYER FOR THEM!!!

    out of rockets ...out of bullets...switching to harsh language
  • wondercoinwondercoin Posts: 15,214 ✭✭✭
    "the trick is to go to the under valued series"

    This thread is a great read and the above position a common denominator among many successful collectors.

    Wondercoin

    Please visit my website at www.wondercoins.com and my ebay auctions under my user name www.wondercoin.com.
  • I completely agree with Mark Feld aka coinguy 1
    The key is to find a dealer who is knowledgeable,trustworthy,active at most coin shows and has the best track record.One also must remember you will eventually sell your coins.You can't take them to the grave with you.
    In my HUMBLE OPINION the best dealer for putting together a registry set is Joe O'Conner.He is all of the above plus more.

    The second is passion.The more the merrier and the better your set.

    Remember the best sets take time.I would say a minimum of five years.You must have a relationship with your coins.

    Stewart
  • Guys, as a newbie to collecting coins I really appreciate all the board members wealth of experience. Thank you for teaching a newbie like myselfimage.

    DivaCoinLady
    Anki King- a newbie at collecting coins.
  • Justhavingfun - thanks for an excellent thread!

    I also want to thank you for always being so conscientious about replying to other posters in the threads in which you participate. It is obvious that you carefully read others' posts and give considerable thought and consideration to the opinions of others, whether you agree or disagree with them.
    Mark Feld
  • You know I think the most important statement I read here is that you must know when to go for the coin (meaning stretch) and when to back off. Remember that sometimes the OPPORTUNITY to buy a rare coin is RARER than the coin itself. Sometimes you just have to make it work. I stretched to buy the $10 1933 Indian in PCGS MS65 when it became available. I had all of 5 minutes to decide whether to spend a half million on a coin. In hindsight, it was a no brainer but at the time I was questioning my judgment.

    My $10 Indian Gold Registry Set
  • I agree with Typetone on his three items.
    One that has nothing to do with preparation, is luck. Being in the right place at the right time and being willing to pull the trigger.
    A long term relationship with your dealer is a must. I bought probably half a dozen coins for my all time finest Walkers set that came out of the blue. Coins that had been put away for years and came back to a dealer that I had a long term relation with.
    Be willing to buy a place holder coin while you wait for the special one. It keeps you, price wise, in the market so when your special one comes along you have a trade in that has moved with the market.
    Dick
  • Hi Greymars:

    Yes, if you want to build a great Registry Set, better to FOCUS on one of those sets and do a superb job than to dissipate your energies by doing a mediocre job on two.


    Yes Badger, relationships really, really do help.

    That's a problem for a loner/outsider like me, who has no collector friends and attends no shows.

    But it's a problem that can be corrected by good relationships with a few dealers who have been very helpful for me over time; like Mr. Wondercoin (Mitch), Warren Mills (Rare Coins of New Hampshire), and to a lesser degree Mark Feld, formerly of Pinnacle.


    Hi there ColonialCoinUnion!

    Am delighted to see that we're on the same page about what makes a great collection. The only issue separating us is whether a great collection makes a great Registry Set and vise versa, if a great Registry Set makes a great collection.

    Obviously, you're correct: the two are not the one and the same.

    But my considered opinion is to say that they're normally -- though not always -- the same. Speaking experientally, i.e., from the great Registry Set collections I've seen, by the time a person has built one, he or she creator has come to appreciate quality.

    Thus the coins in the great Registry sets have tended to be really, really good coins. Few sliders and many premium quality coins. There's only one exception that I've seen and I won't name the collection. But all the others have been beauts.


    THank you Mr. Lincoln Cent Man.

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that contacts are important, for exactly the reasons you say: They open doors for you that might otherwise have been closed shut.


    And Saint Guru, thank you for your felicitous phrasing which carries an enormous amount of truth in it.

    Only buy coins you love...filling holes with sub-standard (yours) coins will bug you every time you see that coin. LOVE OF THE ART is the most important key to building a great set.

    I truly think if you follow this, many of the other "secrets" will fall into place. You will focus. And you will build connections. And you won't even have to try. When people see that you zonk on a series and are going for the cream, then dealers (and other top collectors) who feel the same way will seek you out.


    Whoops. Business calls. Gotta go now. More later. In the meantime, enjoy.


    Just having fun







    Jefferson nickels, Standing Libs, and US-Philippines rock
  • Dear Rainbow Roosies:

    Yes, Saint Guru has said it beautifully and brought out the importance of passion. If you buy the coins you love, it's hard to go wrong. And if you buy a coin you don't like for the plastic, it will bother you each and every time you look at the set.


    Right on typetone!

    To build a great collection, its not what you buy, its what you send back.

    You know, now that I'm a wizened old fartski with many biz successes under my belt, young friends ask me to help them with their own entrepreneurial attempts. And I love biz and love chatting about it, so I do advise 'em, pro bono. One of the key points I emphasize to them is exactly your point: "to build a great company, it's not who you hire, it's who you fire."

    Just recently, one young friend who runs a Call Center was having trouble with his staff. I made Typetone's same point to him about two or three times before it sank in. Just about a week ago, he phoned to thank me and say I was 100% right. He cleared out 6 people and the whole staff got the message. Company's doing much better now. Amen.


    Keets -- you got it.


    Hello Monsterman

    I picked up on the same think that Mr. Wondercoin did: the trick is to go to the under valued series...buy em when they are down....and sell when they are hot.. Right on. Though it takes iron discipline not to fall in love with the coins and actually to sell them when the time comes.


    Hello Stewart Blay:

    I'd certainly expect someone like you, who has built several great Registry Sets, to know what it takes, so it's no surprise that you do. Good luck with your great sets.


    Welcome Diva Coin Lady!

    Are you an operatic singer or a collector of coins that feature Diva's on them?

    In any case, thank you for your comment: Guys, as a newbie to collecting coins I really appreciate all the board members wealth of experience. Thank you for teaching a newbie like myself about learning from this thread as a newcomer.

    Hey, I've had a coin collection for more than 50 years, and I'm learning from this thread too A lot of thoughtful meat that I never thought of before.


    Well guyz, it's beginning to push 9pm out here in Bangkok. I'm going for a walk and then beddie bye. More tomorrow am before I start work.

    Enjoy!


    Just Having Fun








    Jefferson nickels, Standing Libs, and US-Philippines rock
  • You know, I will probably never have the $$$ to achieve a top rank registry set, but I have enjoyed reading the wisdom you all have graciously shared in this thread. One of my biggest mistakes in the past has been lack of focus...once that series starts to slow down and get boring, boom, start another one. I never got anything done that way. I recently sold off a bunch of those incomplete sets and am now starting over. You all have gotten me started on a good foot.
    Frank

    E PLVRIBVS VNVM
  • MistercoinmanMistercoinman Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭
    Slabfab, Focus is the key to achieving a great set. As your collection grows upgrading coins becomes more difficult, because of one or more reasons mainly expense or availiability. You must stay the course if you hope to have a top collection. I have only two collections I focus on Roosevelt dimes, or Type coins which the latter helps keep me sane when upgrades in my Roosevelt sets are hard to come by. I have passed on many coins in my Roosevelt sets for the same reason (expense) mainly because I believe some are overpriced. Take collecting slow and you will get there! Fred

    Just Having Fun! It seems that we can all benefit from your wisdom, I hope to meet you someday when you get state side!
  • Thank you coinguy1 both for helping me build my Registry Sets and for your kind words!

    You write It is obvious that you carefully read others' posts and give considerable thought and consideration to the opinions of others, whether you agree or disagree with them..

    You better believe it! This turned out to be a thread very rich in content, suggestions, and insights -- and I've learned a heck of a lot from them, including those I disagree with. And when you have thoughtful people disagreeing with you, you'd be a fool not to listen with your mind's eye very carefully.

    I've actually started making hard copies of my favorite threads, so I have a permanent record of them. I recently did that with a Roosevelt Dime thread and a Washington Quarter thread. Like this, very rich in content and insights. And when this thread has run its course, I'm going to do the same.


    sometimes the OPPORTUNITY to buy a rare coin is RARER than the coin itself. Thank you jpkinla. What a great insight that is, right there!

    And I had a similar experience as yours, when you stretched for the half-million dollar coin, only on a smaller scale appropriate for me. To wit: coinguy1 also known as Mark Feld in the "real" world, came to me with an 1851 silver proof 3 cent piece, graded PR66 by PCGS. This is not only pop 1/0, but it's the only Type 1 silver three cent piece proof available to investors.

    Mark was asking $90k for it and I absolutely did not have that type of bread at the time. But I knew I'd NEVER get a chance to complete my proof silver 3 cent piece collection unless I nailed that coin. To quote Elvis Presley, it was "now or never."

    So I told Mark I'd take it and then got on the phone and raised the money, pdf. I don't think Mark ever knew -- until now -- that he had caught me short when he phoned, did you Mark?

    Anyway, I got the coin -- the 1913 Liberty Nickel of the silver three cent pieces, and now it's the pride of my collection.

    And congratulations on your spectacular Indian $10 gold coin collection. It's one of my favorite coins too, along with the Standing Liberty Quarters, and the US-Philippines Pesos.


    Hello WalkerGuy. Yes, you have to be there at the right time in the right place -- and be willing to pull the trigger.

    On many occasions, I've had Mitch or Warren come to me with coins that I needed but that were above market -- not by an absurd amount, but above market. Any one that was at a reasonable level, I nailed. Sometimes they would even groan that I was going to raise the market. But I said that if you want a great collection, you have to be willing to swing for the fences.

    I haven't been an active member of these boards for long, but one thing I've gotten is that this is one of Legend's secrets for building great Registry Sets: They, too, swing for the fences -- and they hit a lot of home runs.


    You're welcome slabfab and if you've gotten, really gotten deep down inside you, the need for focus, then you've gotten something of intense value and importance. And if you select the right series to go after, you'll be amazed at how far you can go with a lot of focus and a modest amount of money.


    And thank you, Mister Coin Man. I've never thought of myself as possessing much wisdom outside of business, and your heartfelt comments are very, very welcome.

    I'll be coming back to the states in early March. I'll be splitting time between Northern California (where my company is located) and Washington D.C., where my 15-year old daughter is training to become a ballerina. I keep my name off the boards not to be mysterious but simply because I do travel to kidnap prone areas of the world, including the Philippines, where one of my numismatic friends was indeed kidnapped and held hostage for ransom. So, if you're willing to not make my name public, and are located anywhere near either of those locales, I'll be happy to meet.


    Thanks and warm regards to all the contributors,


    Just Having Fun





    Jefferson nickels, Standing Libs, and US-Philippines rock
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>I don't think Mark ever knew -- until now -- that he had caught me short when he phoned, did you Mark? >>

    Justhavingfun, I didn't know you could be "caught short". And, I'm honored, in a way, to have done so, even though it was by complete accident and I was unaware of it at the time.image



    << <i>To wit: coinguy1 also known as Mark Feld in the "real" world, came to me with an 1851 silver proof 3 cent piece, graded PR66 by PCGS. This is not only pop 1/0, but it's the only Type 1 silver three cent piece proof available to investors. >>

    I will take that a (major) step further - I have never even seen or heard of another unquestionable Proof Type-1 3CS. And, apparently, neither have PCGS or NGC. A very small number of cleaned and/or somewhat prooflike UNCERTIFIED examples have appeared in public auctions from time to time. But, they weren't the real thing. To my knowledge and belief, the 1851 is UNIQUE as a Proof type coin. And, I use the word "UNIQUE" in the literal sense here, not as some do in distorting the true meaning of the word.

    Thanks again to all involved for a great thread.
    Mark Feld
  • RegistryCoinRegistryCoin Posts: 4,912 ✭✭✭

    The story continues...

  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Without #1................all hope is lost :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN,

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • StoogeStooge Posts: 3,876 ✭✭✭✭

    This thread I learned a lot from when it originally aired. Everyone should read it from time to time.


    Later, Paul.
  • rainbowroosierainbowroosie Posts: 4,627 ✭✭✭

    This thread is so “civilized.” It is wonderful that others can recognize all the work needed to seek greatness. JHF set a great example.

    "You keep your 1804 dollar and 1822 half eagle -- give me rainbow roosies in MS68."
    rainbowroosie April 1, 2003
  • WingedLiberty1957WingedLiberty1957 Posts: 2,307 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 18, 2017 2:55AM
    1. Persistence (long-term focus), 2. Dedication (searching ebay at 2am), 3. Willingness to Gamble (i've gambled a lot on raw coins), 4. Luck (you can't discount luck, being in the right place at the right time), 5. Love/Passion/Enthusiasm for what you collect.

  • RegistryCoinRegistryCoin Posts: 4,912 ✭✭✭

    WOW! While most other “beautiful” sets are a sea of red with three silvery dots, this amazing “Color Collection” is mind-blowing.

  • RegistryCoinRegistryCoin Posts: 4,912 ✭✭✭

    @lablover said:
    It's also helpful to have lots and lots of money.

    Very true, but lots of money may not be necessary in all cases.
    Consider the United States Philippine coin collection built by JustHavingFun and his comment from above:

    “But as Fairlaneman correctly points out, a dealer connection is not always necessary. And indeed, my US Philippines collection, the #1 best of all time in all 18 categies, was built by me with the great majority of the coins homemade. And in a way, it's more satisfying that way, if you can do it.”

    Most of the coins in the JHF United States Philippine Collection were purchased raw by JHF in an exhaustive (visionary?) search over many years in The Philippines. :)

  • KkathylKkathyl Posts: 1,811 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I assume if you really really work on part 1 then part 2 & 3 will fall into place. :)

  • Assuming one has a limited budget, my secret....I've never seen this published....is to assign a dollar value to a grade increase. Now, of course, you have to have a strike, eye appeal, etc. that appeals to you...but how do you decide if it is worth "stretching" for a MS 66 over a 65, or a 67 over a 66? Take a look at the PCGS set composition...there is a weighting applied to each coin in your set. For instance, I have decided that in the 144 piece commemorative set that a grade from 66 to 67 is worth approximately $500 multiplied by the coins weighting within the set. The highest weighting is for the Lafayette Dollar with a weighting of 9. PCGS price guide for a 64 is $2,200. By my system, a 65 should be worth $500 times 9 or $4500 more, or $6,700. The PCGS price guide is $6250 for a 65, making it worthwhile to buy the higher grade. A 66 should be worth $4500 more, or $10, 750. The 66 price guide is $11,000....right in the ball park. A 68 is prohibitively expensive, with a guide value of $80,000.

    Looking at the New Rochelle half dollar, the PCGS price guide values are $400 for a MS 65, $475 for a 66, $1250 for a 67 and a whopping $16,500 for a 68. The assigned weighting for a New Rochelle is 3. So, by my reckoning, the 67 is the one to shoot for.

    Once you have decided what the value of an increase in grade is, you can apply that to the weighting and maximize your dollars spent to move up the registry.

    Note that PCGS gives a double of the weighting if the coin is "top pop". That can easily be figured into my system.

  • The $80,000 quoted for a Lafayette is MS 67, not 68.

  • Justhavingfun is correct, IMHO. I got bored with coins - same dead presidents, different dates and mint marks. I found my niche with So-Called Dollars, excluding Monetary Issues. I began over 15 years ago, defined my collection parameters. I too am a 'cheapo collector' but in my budget have acquired more rarities than I ever imagined. As a kid, I'd get my allowance and go to the nearest banks and go through rolls of change. Silver change!
    Collecting today is difficult. I have most of my old collections, most were upgraded to only CH BU grade, prior to graded coins... Oh well, tommorow is hump day and perhaps it will stop raining.

  • jcpingjcping Posts: 2,602 ✭✭✭

    I agree with the top 3 words listed above, MONEY, FOCUS, and PERSEVERANCE. For thinly trading series, you have to know where are the coins that you are looking for. In other words, you need to get into the circle of top players (they are either dealers or collectors) of the series. When any is selling, you could get first shot.

    Having a few key duplications is another strategy to trade among top players. Many times, trading could be easier to get what you want comparing to pay cash to the top players who did not want to sell (many would accept trade).

    an SLQ and Ike dollars lover
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