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How would I go about selecting coins for a type set?

What grades should I look for when trying to purchase older/more expensive issues, like draped bust, capped bust, and coins which are harder to obtain in high grades?

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  • BruceSBruceS Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Depends on your budget and goals.


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  • @BruceS said:
    Depends on your budget and goals.

    That is where I am not sure. I mean, my goal is to make the best set possible, and my budget just depends on how much I have...I just want to know what other people do so I have something to go off of

  • BruceSBruceS Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are as many ways to collect as there are collectors. Read, research and look at a lot of coins. Don't rush, and be picky now, and you'll be happy later that you didn't settle. Most of all have fun with it.

    And when you have a more specific question on a type coin, ask here. There are a ton of knowledgeable guys here.


    eBay ID-bruceshort978
    Successful BST:here and ATS, bumanchu, wdrob, hashtag, KeeNoooo, mikej61, Yonico, Meltdown, BAJJERFAN, Excaliber, lordmarcovan, cucamongacoin, robkool, bradyc, tonedcointrader, mumu, Windycity, astrotrain, tizofthe, overdate, rwyarmch, mkman123, Timbuk3,GBurger717, airplanenut, coinkid855 ,illini420, michaeldixon, Weiss, Morpheus, Deepcoin, Collectorcoins, AUandAG, D.Schwager.
  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,593 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 18, 2017 7:12PM

    Usually something like this,
    B = Annual Budget = some % (5%?) of annual income that you don't mind losing 20-30% on when it comes time to sell.
    N = number of coins in type set
    T = number of years you want to spend building the set. Implies buying M = N/T coins per year on average.
    AP = average price per coin in type set = (B*T)/N = B/M .

    You could pay about the same P for each coin, by varying the grade.
    Or you could keep the grade about fixed and vary P since the earlier / scarcer coins cost more.
    You can also reduce N if the grades implied by P are not "sufficiently nice" that you want to own them for that price.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The question you ask has many variables.... the most important ones (funds, personal preference in appearance of coins) are variables only you can provide. Normally, the advice is buy what you like and can afford. The other variable is time.... do you have patience? Cheers, RickO

  • FlatwoodsFlatwoods Posts: 4,122 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are at least 2 things to consider.
    The grade range and look of the coins.
    +
    The set you want to build.

    I am working on a 7070 set of coins in VF-30-XF-40 grades.
    I am picky and it is taking longer than I expected.
    Money isn't the problem. Finding the coins is.

    I prefer every coin to be closely matched in grade and eye appeal.
    That keeps me from doing a complete type set.

    You can make a set of anything you like to fit your budget and goals.

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is no set formula. When I started, I decided to spend roughly X on each coin in the set. For most everything from 1920 on, this meant pretty nice gem BU coins. For some coins, like Memorial Lincolns or Pres Bucks, I spent only a fraction of X to get a solid example. Working backwards, I ended up with AU examples of Seated dollars, Seated Halves, etc. When it came to early copper and Bust issues, I was happy enough with VF coins, and coins in the F12-15 range for Flowing Hair and the scarcer types were just right. Obviously, some of the earlier issues required more money than X. I made exceptions for certain issues I really love. I found a nice MS64+ CBH (how can you be satisfied with only one of these?) and a gorgeous VF30 Small Eagle Dollar, for example.

    A little while in to this and most of the slots were filled. I've been slowly upgrading and slowly adding some of the scarcer types. I don't know if I'll ever get to the Wreath or Chain cent. It's tough to spend multiples of X for a coin with almost no detail remaining just to say you've got one. I don't think I'm likely to ever own a Half Disme, Small Eagle Half Dollar, or Small Eagle Quarter. Putting half of the collection's value in one almost-smooth coin is silly.

    ..... and then there's gold. Lately, I've been falling for this stuff, acquiring and slowly upgrading a basic 12-piece type set and expanding it slowly to include earlier issues. Here, it's the same problem. These are deeper waters but the coins are SO COOL! Sooner or later I'll find a few earlier type pieces, but short of winning the lottery (that I don't play), I very much doubt a Small Eagle $10 is in my future.

    If you like toners, great. If you like blast white, great. If you are OK with problem coins, fine. Have a little consistency. Try to assemble something that YOU like, but consider what would appeal to a wide audience.

    However you do it, realize it will require a significant outlay of time and money. Try to have at least a loose strategy so you keep working toward a goal. Keep a little stash so when a great opportunity arises you can act quickly.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I read your question in one of two ways. The first way is that you might want to know how to purchase older, more expensive coins for a type set that would have more modern and higher grade coins already in it and the second way to interpret your question is more broadly and simply based upon your title. In that scenario, you appear to be asking about how to purchase any coins for a type set.

    I would suggest you read, understand, have patience and discipline and don't buy beyond your knowledge pool. I'd also tell you to be aware that over time your tastes are likely to change, especially if you are relatively new to numismatics. If you are relatively inexperienced, I would say you may want to begin a Dansco 7070 album first and in this way you will have a chance to acquire coins, build the set and see how it all hangs together.

    Good luck.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Start with a raw 20th century type set of circulating designs. Take your time and learn a lot about coin grading and the market before spending large amounts for early coins.

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    After reading Tom's reply, it occurred to me that I made no mention of quality! Of course this is paramount. Unless you already "know the ropes" I'd recommend plenty of reading, research, and looking. There is no shame in finding and using trusted advisers to help you find the right coins. There are a few great dealers, loads of good dealers, and a few charlatans. All will be happy to help you.

  • WDPWDP Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CoinCollectorJR posted under the title, How would I go about selecting coins for a type set? "What grades should I look for when trying to purchase older/more expensive issues, like draped bust, capped bust, and coins which are harder to obtain in high grades?"

    I like and agree with what Forum members wrote above. Collecting early U.S. coins by type is a very different challenge than collecting 20th Century Type.

    In my experience most type collections will and will have to mix grades, with the more expensive coins, early dates, and certain series of coins often being collected in lower grades than the "later dates" or "conditionally rare" dates. This to me is normal and acceptable, and after all, you as a collector get to define "your set."

    As an extreme example, Capped Bust Half Dollars are relatively affordable in circulated grades. Pick your grade and you can find a nice example in any grade. But the Draped Bust, Small Eagle Type Half Dollar is at the other end of the spectrum in affordability. You have a choice of two dates, 1796 or 1797, and even an example in a certified Fair-1 grade would set you back $18,000 or more.

    If you want a matched set (by grade) you would likely need to go with lower grade Capped Bust coins and then can buy the Draped Bust coins in a similar grade. But even doing this would present an impossible challenge.

    If you haven't already, take a look at "The D.L. Hansen Type Set" in the PCGS Registry. The set has Mint State coins along with a number coins in circulated grades. For example the half cents range in grade from PCGS F15BN to PCGS MS66BN. In my experience this is "normal and necessary."

    https://www.pcgs.com/SetRegistry/complete-sets/master-sets/u-s-coins-complete-set-major-varieties-circulation-strikes-proof-1792-1964/alltimeset/150011

    Most importantly, have fun with your type set!

    W. David Perkins Numismatics - http://www.davidperkinsrarecoins.com/ - 25+ Years ANA, ANS, NLG, NBS, LM JRCS, LSCC, EAC, TAMS, LM CWTS, CSNS, FUN

  • LindeDadLindeDad Posts: 18,766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't ever think of collecting what are called key dates. Especially RAW keys or rarer type coins are almost all counterfieted now.

  • TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    carefully

    Frank

    BHNC #203

  • WDPWDP Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Deleted - duplicate post.

    W. David Perkins Numismatics - http://www.davidperkinsrarecoins.com/ - 25+ Years ANA, ANS, NLG, NBS, LM JRCS, LSCC, EAC, TAMS, LM CWTS, CSNS, FUN

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would buy the Whitman Red Book by David Bowers on U.S. type coins. The suggested retail price is $19.95, and it's worth every penny. I had been collecting type coins for 50 years and still got some insights from it.

    The way type sets work, if you are going for everything, or at least representative pieces back to the early 1800s, is to buy the best coins you can afford. That means that you can get the modern pieces in Proof or Mint State and then buy the older, scarcer coins in the circulated grades. Don't get hung up on the idea that everything has to be the same grade. That is impossible unless you are a zillionaire who can afford everything in Mint State or a junk collector who buys problem and low grade material. Buy coins that look nice to you.

    As for how far you go, there is nothing wrong with collector, generalist, "Dansco Album" type set. That covers the main items without getting into the types that are beyond the means of many collectors. Later if your interests and pocketbook support it, you can go for the tougher stuff. That is what I did, and after 50+ years, I collected a complete type set.

    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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