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Lincoln Cents: Having trouble deciding what material to purchase

Hello fellow collectors:

I am still a relatively new Lincoln Cent coin collector. I am working on a Lincoln Cents Short Set, Circulation Strikes (1934-58), and I had a few questions regarding where to get good material.

I currently skim through L&C and Angel Dee's. My problem is finding enough material online. Both of their inventories are alright (Angel Dee's inventory does have a lot of toned coins, though). But a problem I keep encountering is finding material that is good with the images not being a great indicator.

How can I get around this issue? I know my father, who was dealing with a lot more expensive material than I am, would have the coin sent to him to be inspected before deciding to purchase or not.

I just don't see that as a viable option for what I am looking at (with prices being much lower). Should I just purchase the material and return it if I'm not interested?

All advice is appreciated.

"I will prepare, and some day my chance will come." - Abraham Lincoln

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2017 8:35AM

    Go to a dealer or coin show and look what ORIGINAL copper Lincoln's look like. Then only purchase coins in slabs until you learn some things. For circulated cents, buy a cheap "unsearched" bag and have fun!

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    lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are you looking for slabbed coins only? What grade and color is your goal?

    Angel Dee's is an exceptional source. Andy Skrabalak has an excellent eye and may be the best grader of small cents in the business. He is also a very straight shooter. So ask him questions/opinions before buying and you won't be surprised.

    Charmy ("The Penny Lady") is another wonderful resource. She's a regular on this forum so maybe she'll pipe-in.

    I agree with Insider2 that attending a coin show would be ideal. For some collectors it isn't possible or practical.

    The coins you are looking for (whatever the grade and color) are not at all difficult. Take your time and buy only examples you are really happy with. Years from now you'll look back at your mistakes and regret them.
    Lance.

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    RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 8,371 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with Lance. Take your time, there is no hurry. Look at a lot of coins first (hopefully in the presence of an expert), and find out what you like.

    An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My advice would be to forget about the 1934 and later Lincoln cents. Unless they are very high grade slabbed coins most of what you pay for them will be "service charge" for the dealer bothering to handle them. Don't waste money on "service charge" coins.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Try contacting the OP on this post: "Value of 1941 to 1958 Lincoln cent set"

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    dpooledpoole Posts: 5,940 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There's a huge jump for those issues between the middle grades (MS63-66) and the high ones (MS66+ and up).

    If you're starting out, Lincolns are a great set for those years. Easily and inexpensively had, great looking, and a great way to learn how to grade and judge quality in coins. Visit coin shops and local shows, look around and take your time. Look at Coinfacts (free) for cost estimates.

    The higher grades, though, get you into the competitive ranges, where prices get nose-bleed, and fast. I'd stay away from those, unless you've money to burn. And in that case, I would definitely get a mentor like Andy Skrabalak to exclusively guide, screen and advise.

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    OnruttonNalydOnruttonNalyd Posts: 15
    edited October 24, 2017 10:08AM

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I am very interested in attending coin shows in the near future.

    I only look at material that is 66-67+, as other material either isn't to my standards or is out of my price range.

    My problem still is finding quality images for coins listed online. Of course if a coin is listed without images of both the obverse and reverse, and the full slab, then I will not consider it. However, color is hard to determine on some pieces and it is difficult to see the various contact marks and other blemishes on a coin when the image quality is poorer.

    Getting out to coin shows is probably my best bet to avoid this issue.

    If someone could please answer the following questions that would be great:
    1) Does Charmy ("The Penny Lady") have an inventory? Or is she a resource for getting more information? Contact information of any kind would be appreciated.
    2) Does "service charge" refer to the actual slabbing of the coin? As in the $30-40 (roughly) cost to submit to PCGS?
    3) How common is the material I am looking for at coin shows? Maybe not for my grade range but just in general is fine.
    4) Are people like Mr. Skrabalak looking to mentor/answer questions? Certainly about his material, right?

    "I will prepare, and some day my chance will come." - Abraham Lincoln

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    1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,772 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2017 10:32AM

    @OnruttonNalyd

    1) www.thepennylady.com @ThePennyLady

    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

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    OnruttonNalydOnruttonNalyd Posts: 15
    edited October 24, 2017 10:46AM

    @1630Boston thank you so much. The quality of the images on her site are really good, which definitely helps.

    "I will prepare, and some day my chance will come." - Abraham Lincoln

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    The “service charge” referred to is the upcharge above actual values dealers will charge for these coins for just keeping them around because they tend to not sell and take up space.

    I think your best bet would be to get to coin shows and look through raws a bit first. I think you’ll find that many raws in flips are those coins rejected by the dealer as not worthy for slabs but you can occasionally find a cherry. You can also check the value bins for already-slabbed coins in this range. Even the slabs tend to sell slow so sometimes they get blown out the door or overlooked on the bay.

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    garrynotgarrynot Posts: 1,874 ✭✭✭

    Www.indiancent.com also has a number of Lincoln Cents.

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    @garrynot said:
    Www.indiancent.com also has a number of Lincoln Cents.

    Thank you, I'll definitely check them out!

    "I will prepare, and some day my chance will come." - Abraham Lincoln

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    Musky1011Musky1011 Posts: 3,899 ✭✭✭✭

    Buy what you like.. keep them forever.. you will never lose.. your heirs might

    Pilgrim Clock and Gift Shop.. Expert clock repair since 1844

    Menomonee Falls Wisconsin USA

    http://www.pcgs.com/SetRegistr...dset.aspx?s=68269&ac=1">Musky 1861 Mint Set
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    au58au58 Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭

    Look at Angel Dee's (Andy Skrabalak) web site for his show schedule.
    Don't know where you are located but should try to attend one of those shows.
    If you show true interest, Andy will give you as much time as the show traffic will allow and will be pleasant about it.
    What ever it costs you in time and money to travel to the show will returned to you a few times over in what you will learn from Andy.

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    au58au58 Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭

    Above is true even if you don't buy anything.

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    WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,708 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just set up an appointment with Andy...He will take care of asking the questions.

    Good Luck

    WS

    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.
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    ldhairldhair Posts: 7,121 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fun set to build. There are a lot of great Lincolns out there.

    Larry

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    1Mike11Mike1 Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Best advice I can give is read, read, read and learn what to look for in grading. Purchase the best you can afford. Don't be afraid to send back what you don't like. Always be on the lookout for an upgrade. Use patience when selecting your coins, don't buy it just to fill the hole. Be honest with people whether you are buying or selling.

    "May the silver waves that bear you heavenward be filled with love’s whisperings"

    "A dog breaks your heart only one time and that is when they pass on". Unknown
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    ThePennyLadyThePennyLady Posts: 4,441 ✭✭✭✭✭

    OnruttonNalyd, feel free to contact me (email: charmy@thepennylady.com) and I'd be happy to discuss your specifics and help you find the coins you're looking for.

    Charmy HarkerThe Penny Lady®
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    BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good luck Dylan! Enjoy your collection.

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great advice above and super offer from Charmy..... she can be a super resource and also has a great inventory. Good luck... Cheers, RickO

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    1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,772 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Almost forgot to say ...................welcome to the forum @OnruttonNalyd :smile:

    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

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,681 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,527 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @OnruttonNalyd

    A lot of great advice was given here. I would just say educate yourself on what you want to collect and patient with your purchases.

    Good luck,
    Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Donato's Complete US Type Set ---- Donato's Dansco 7070 Modified Type Set ---- Donato's Basic U.S. Coin Design Set

    Successful transactions: Shrub68 (Jim), MWallace (Mike)
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    ECHOESECHOES Posts: 2,974 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1Mike1 said:
    Best advice I can give is read, read, read and learn what to look for in grading. Purchase the best you can afford. Don't be afraid to send back what you don't like. Always be on the lookout for an upgrade.** Use patience when selecting your coins, don't buy it just to fill the hole**. Be honest with people whether you are buying or selling.

    This.

    ~HABE FIDUCIAM IN DOMINO III V VI / III XVI~
    POST NUBILA PHOEBUS / AFTER CLOUDS, SUN
    Love for Music / Collector of Dreck
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    jedmjedm Posts: 2,940 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the forum Nalyd. patience is a virtue.

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    pmacpmac Posts: 3,189 ✭✭✭

    @ThePennyLady said:
    OnruttonNalyd, feel free to contact me (email: charmy@thepennylady.com) and I'd be happy to discuss your specifics and help you find the coins you're looking for.

    Here's the best offer for your needs. Charmy knows the most about "pennies" (they are really cents) and can talk the language of all level collectors. Cents are where most collectors start and get their "streetwise" education. All in all, you won't get nicked too badly with this start in collecting. Most of all, don't take yourself too seriously but enjoy the endeavor.

    Paul
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    MikeInFLMikeInFL Posts: 10,188 ✭✭✭✭

    You need to see as many examples of these coins in hand as you can. You can't collect effectively via photo. But to play the coin game you need to be able to see. And you only do that in-hand. That's my best piece of advice to any budding collector. See as many examples of the coins you collect in-hand.

    Collector of Large Cents, US Type, and modern pocket change.

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