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Registry completion strategies? Requesting Advice and input

Aspie_RoccoAspie_Rocco Posts: 3,252 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 6, 2017 7:56PM in PCGS Set Registry Forum

I would appreciate any advice, helpful hints, or pointers...

I have been working to complete my set and I had some questions for then seasoned veterans of the registry.

What is / was your strategy for adding to or building your set or sets?

Have you used the Free Registry Grading offer for sets over 90% complete?

Did you make your own or buy pre holstered (autocorrect haha, holdered) coins?
Especially when the cost less than submitting coins to PCGS...

Did you end up with a box or three of extras and leftovers from upgrading?

Do you resubmit coins for upgrade or reconsideration? If so at how many attempts to do you draw the line?

How do you discipline yourself to avoid impulse buys not "required" for your primary set? (Other denominations are starting to appear in my blue boxes)

Does pcgs coin storage environment have any impact on the surface condition of coins inside?

My approach has been acquiring varieties and higher dollar coins first, then any I see along the way which cost less than grading fees (Jefferson nickel sets)
I have a few raw sets of choice coins I bought with a very picky eye. I also get distracted by other denominations, and want to slab a little of everything.

I am now "60" coins away from a complete 341 piece set on the registry, 82% there!
I never expected this to be so much fun, with so much anticipation!

The MS64 coins dot my set like little black-eyes or bruises, and I look forward to upgrading them but they were so inexpensive I could not resist.

Here is my pride and joy (Sorry Camaro, you have been replaced)



  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I probably have at one time done all the things you mentioned. I am currently at 93.15% on a 657 coin set. Most of the coins missing (except varieties) I have had in the past, but sold in 2005 when I thought I was getting out. Thank goodness I kept most coins, but the ones I sold were biggies that I haven't replaced yet. I make some buy some already made and do upgrade from time to time and try to sell the dups. I too have ventured into other series and always end up selling them to buy Dimes I need for my passion set. My advise is just keep on keeping on.

    By the way....your Nickel set looks great. :)

  • sparky64sparky64 Posts: 7,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very impressive set A_R.
    That's a daunting number of coins required. I'm only at around 45% of a 105 piece set.
    That's also a lot of questions at once and I'm not a "seasoned" Registry participant but I'll add my experiences so far.

    Not much of a strategy. Been putting off the few pricey ones 'till the end, which most people would not recommend. I am disciplined when it comes to the "look" I'm after.

    I have tried to make a coin or two on my own but haven't been successful yet. I feel it would enhance the accomplishment. Sometimes it just isn't worth trying and failing to get a MS66 on a $50 coin when others have done the work for you.
    I have bought a few off the BST. I like to give credit to those members in the notes section.

    "If I say something in the woods and my wife isn't there to hear it.....am I still wrong?"

    My Washington Quarter Registry set...in progress

  • erwindocerwindoc Posts: 4,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2017 5:06PM

    A couple of my sets are linked below if you wanted to check them out.

    When I have tried to build a champion registry set over at NGC(points are allocated differently) you need a few heavy hitters to bump your score mixed in with the average or above average coins. Take Washington quarters, for example. MS66s are given low points for some years but huge points for others. Same thing for MS67s. Huge point premiums for both star coins and quarters in MS68. I guess my point is to figure out where you could splurge for the bigger coin and where and average coin will do.

    Lately though, I have just tried to make nice, eye appealing sets that I enjoy owning and I would assume(when its time to sell) that someone else would enjoy owning. Im not too sure of the market on some of those Jefferson varieties. Good luck with your set!

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,466 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What are you goals and dollar restraints? I remember seeing a top set developed in about 2 years, but they also bumped up the sales prices of the entire series with record prices on many coins. When they liquidated about 5 years later, many of those top sales prices sold for a fraction of purchase price (but they did have pedigree on label).

    How may months/years do you plan on spending to reach your goal?

    How well can you grade your series? Do you like searching for the varieties that are lower population?
    For some registry sets, the top pops are heavy in a couple sets, so getting ahead of them will not be possible until they liquidate.

    You can roughly calculate how much it would cost to get your set to where you want to be with CoinFacts and sales prices.

    I think you are doing well by continually grinding away. Get to aggressive and will get frustrated and/or run out of cash.

    Try not to spend to much on any coin, especially if it will be upgraded in a couple years.

    Remember that at certain periods there will be 'grade inflation', where what was once a ms66, may now be a ms67+ ,

    PS I do not expect you to answer those questions I ask here to us, but to think about them yourself so you can decide whether you should change your strategy.

  • Aspie_RoccoAspie_Rocco Posts: 3,252 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't chase top pop coins, although they are nice to have.
    My main goal is 100% completion and my place in the registry is not critical. I am content with top 5 where possible.
    Most of the remaining coins I need are the more expensive varieties so my progress will slow significantly.
    I had kind of hoped for two years to complete but at about 14 months into this I'm realizing I may need another 5 years to acquire the last group.
    I have thus far avoided paying out larger sums for coins I may upgrade, and only committed to major keepers.

    It looks like about $10,000 to finish with the grades / quality standard I want.

    The D over horizontal D varieties seem way too pricey for me, as being a rare rpm. I prefer ms65 to be a minimum grade.

    I hope to maintain this set for at least 30 years, so future liquidation is not a major concern yet.

    I thoroughly enjoy variety searching and my grading skills are improving. I tend to grade lower than pcgs, but a few genuines and slipped past me.
    Each submission I get back magnifies my enthusiasm as my variety attribution is usually vindicated, and I find higer than expected grades quite often.

    I appreciate your time and help Dave. You are one of a few people who helped me get this far and I sincerely thank you for all the encouragement :)

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,466 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A good thing about the D over D varieties, is they are not obvious. They are still in the wild and can be cherry-picked with hours of searching.

  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Searching for varieties is very time consuming, but lots of fun...especially when you finally find a variety that you have been looking for for years.

  • WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I had money, I went on a buying spree. That is to say, I bought coins, not the holders, until I finally figured I should attempt the registry game and needed them all in PCGS holders. So I set about sending in the “other” graded coins for PCGS grading – always cracked out, always acetone bathed.

    About the time I was hitting 95%, I took advantage of a free grades offered by PCGS. When you collect Lincolns, its seems you never run out of the need to upgrade. A word of advice on free grades – PCGS will not offer or tell you have free grades available. YOU need to keep track of and make your request on which sets, etc.

    Again, the problem with Lincolns, is that it is a competitive field. My only expectation was to crack the top 20 – figuring if I had sets that scored that high, it was good enough. I have been able to keep interested in collecting by first building basic sets, then adding on proofs, and finally the varieties. But when varieties came along, things changed. First, I retired – so lack of disposable income set me back. At first, I was collecting a group of varieties, again, in other holders. So when PCGS began to recognize them, there were none in PCGS holders. So not only was I able to make top sets in 2008, but there were few coin varieties for those who only buy pre-slabbed varieties to even purchase. I made a lot of money then, buying raw varieties, getting them slabbed, and either upgrading my coins, or selling off the duplicates.

    I had a rare opportunity to trade 15 of my varieties to a set holder who not only wanted to be #1, and remains so to this day. He agreed to trade 15 of my varieties for a 1990, No S Proof Cent he had, a coin I could never afford to purchase, but one he could readily afford to replace. It was a great transaction, as looking back, not only have I replaced all 15 coins –ALL with higher graded specimens – and I still have a 1990 No S proof!

    At this point I came to the realization I would never have a #1 set – and that is OK. I am not going to repurchase all Plus grades, or worst yet buy all the MS 67 cents that PCGS refused to acknowledge they existed 10 years ago to keep me at the top. I will let others do that. I feel sorry for my fellow collectors who purchased $600-$1200 modern proof coins that barely sell for $50 today. My set has dropped significantly in value with the advent of Plus and higher graded populations. But again, that’s OK. I am not trying to be #1. I am just to have a complete set of Lincolns.

    So all of this “transition” has taught me what a good collecting friend told me a while back. If a coin comes up, and you cannot afford it, that’s OK, another will come along. I have found myself learning more about variety cents, because frankly the purchased and on line resources on varieties are lacking. This has made me a better cherry picker, but at the same time, there are more pickers out there searching as well. Again, that’s OK, there are plenty of coins to go around.

    It is very tempting to add/expand a new series. But again, a bit of advice I got long ago was to ask if you have a “collection” or “accumulation”. The amount of money tied up in accumulations can increase your collection if you simply sell the stuff off and stop being tempted to collect the world. But as the saying goes, collect what you like, and have fun.

    Proud recipient of the coveted PCGS Forum "You Suck" Award Thursday July 19, 2007 11:33 PM and December 30th, 2011 at 8:50 PM.
  • GRANDAMGRANDAM Posts: 8,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I thought they did away with FREE Grades for set completion years ago?

    GrandAm :)
  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting :smile:
    I did not know that.

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe, softparade, derryb

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

  • Aspie_RoccoAspie_Rocco Posts: 3,252 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well after weeks of Red down arrows as my ranks fell in cents, dimes, and 1965+ nickels... I added a common date low grade MS64FS and its green arrows all over the screen. In various nickel categories I moved up to: 3,4,4,7,10,11, and 15!
    Woooo. Inching closer to 90% on the main set. :smiley::smile::wink:

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