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Coin Collecting Strategy

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Pillar of the Community
United States
5383 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2021  09:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kanga to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My suggested strategy:

Select a time period.
Select a country.
-- a particular face value OR
-- a type set
Select a minimum grade (I suggest)
-- AU or MS for 20th & 21st century coins
-- F or VF for older coins

For US coins the Red Book is VERY helpful for planning your goals.
Describe it as if there were no picture.
Picture it as if there were no description.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2679 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2021  12:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Oldfordman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I find what I can crh then will get what I don't have.
Pillar of the Community
United States
642 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2021  1:50 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At the beginning of each year, I make a list of the top ten coins I would like to buy. This year I am focusing on completing and upgrading my type set, plus a couple key dates.
I also keep lists on 3x5 cards of the dates I need to complete books. I keep those cards in my wallet so I can look at them anytime I need them. I buy a lot more than 10 coins a year though, when I find good deals and hole fillers here and there for great prices.

The main goal for my top ten list is to get quality coins, and to not compromise for cheaper coins.
New Member
United States
21 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2021  4:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pennyweight to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I was young and still a dreamer I would collect everything I could get my hands upon hoping that when I grew old that they would be worth a lot of money. We all know how that turned out. Now that I am getting old, at 62 some would say I already made it to old, I get roll coins in the best condition I can afford. Rolls of uncirculated, au, as well as mint and proof sets are what I like now.

I occasionally like to give away a few of these to friends and acquaintances because we don't live forever, and I like to spread a little cheer before I go. People will have nice memories of me and that is what I truly want after I go. Nice thoughts of me. We have a limited time available, most of us have no idea how much time that is, and we should make the best use of it. For me, coin collecting is a big part of that.

Now that I have turned a simple question into a life lesson, my apologies for being sentimental.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
20470 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2021  8:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Check out the security systems of all the coin stores in your area. Then go there when closed and help yourself.
Just kidding. Please don't do that.
just carl
Pillar of the Community
United States
1205 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2021  9:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


I began collecting back in the mid-seventies filling a blue Whitman board with Lincoln's and another with Buffalo nickels to get the Boy Scout badge. Over the years, the hoard as I call it now, was done one series at a time. Since I'm primarily a raw kind of collector, most in Air-tite holders and several albums. So I have quite a few complete series going back into the late 1800's. The best advice I could have is to keep it simple and keep at it.
ANA member
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BCCS Member

There are no problems only solutions - the late, great John Lennon
Edited by Ballyhoo
07/28/2021 9:30 pm
New Member
United States
43 Posts
 Posted 07/29/2021  12:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add russell1256 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I started collecting as a kid in the 60-70's and had a large collection of higher grade coins that I sold a few years ago. Now that I got interested again, I am having a blast filling Whitman albums with low grade circulated coins, A LOT more fun then the higher grades because I can get A LOT more!. It has allowed me to complete or get close to the following:

Indian Head cents - 5 more
Lincoln Cents - 5 more
Liberty Head Nickels - 3 more
Buffalo nickels - 4 more
Jefferson nickels - done
Barber dime - just started
Mercury dimes - 3 more
Roosevelt dimes - done
Standing Liberty quarters - 15 more
Washington quarters - done
State & Territory Quarters - done
National Park Quarters - done
Walking Liberty half dollar - 1 more
Franklin half dollar - done
Kennedy half dollars - done
Eisenhower dollar - done
Anthony Dollars - done
Sacagawea dollars - done
Presidential dollars - done
Native American dollars - done
20/21st Century Type set - done
19/20th Century Type Set - just started
and I just started early & modern commemorative, just the ones I like!
New Member
United States
4 Posts
 Posted 09/25/2021  9:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bust10cent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have learned over the years is to be opportunistic. If you are working on a single collection and are being selective (which you should be), you may not make a purchase at a show at all. If working multiple collections then you can switch gears and may find something suitable for that collection. This weekend I went to the VNA show in Fredericksburg Va looking for Buffalo nickels but came home with 3 nice Civil war tokens.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1024 Posts
 Posted 09/25/2021  9:57 pm  Show Profile   Check Collects82's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Collects82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Dabble around without spending much money and discover what appeals to your soul. That is different for so many of us. Some like to fill albums, some are working on a goal for which there is no album. Some want to compete for highest grade, others just grab what catches their eye. Some have county themes, other have denominational themes, others have date themes. So what tickles your fancy?

After that, educate yourself on what are quality pieces and which are damaged. Learn the keys and understand the commons. Then pick up what you can as your budget and opportunity allows. I think that for those who have been around a while in the hobby (there are some on this board doing this for over 50 years) that it's been leaned the hobby isn't often sprint. A general rule of thumb is the get the best quality that can be afforded rather than low grade for quantity. The longer I've been doing this, the more I've understood this principle and been patient; few coins are truly rare.
My hoard of '82s is up to 223! 218 BC x 1, 118 BC x 3, 18 BC x 1, 82 x 1, 182 x 1, 282 x 2, 382 x 1, 582 x 2, 682 x 1, 782 x 2, 882 x 1, 982 x 4, 1082 x 1 1182 x 8, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 5, 1582 x 13, 1682 x 16, 1782 x 58, 1882 x 62, 1982 x 37
Edited by Collects82
09/25/2021 10:00 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
2393 Posts
 Posted 09/25/2021  11:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Collect what interests you. While you're doing that, you'll see other interesting things. Then collect those.

For me this has repeated too many times to count. I have never completed a series of anything. If I had focused on that I wouldn't have a daric, or California fractionals, or Spanish colonial cobs, or etc etc etc..... They're all still interesting, too.
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Pillar of the Community
United States
1714 Posts
 Posted 09/25/2021  11:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just finished my 20th Century US Type set and my historical Netherlands Gulden set (1815-2001).
The coins in those sets are typically proof or AU, respectively. I searched for coins with good eye appeal. In both cases it took me about a year to completion.
Currently, I am working on filling a Statehood Quarter album with silver proofs. My goal is to buy the silver proof sets for close to melt as possible. If that takes a lot of time that's ok with me. I'm not in a rush.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1029 Posts
 Posted 09/26/2021  10:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JasonKflo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I collect what interests me. I have a nice mix of Morgans . Many BU and AU , A few harder vams and tougher years in VF
I collect AU Peace dollars
Also AU Conder Token.
And also have a few examples of many different coins .
New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 09/27/2021  11:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JRock23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great question. I have a few suggestions. Start with one type of coin and learn as much about that series as you can. Knowledge is important when you buy, very important when you sell, and take times to gain. Rather than attempting to complete an entire set, I would suggest focusing on the key dates in the best condition and grade you can afford. The common dates will always be available but the key dates are the challenge and hold value. Last, find a dealer or two that you can trust and will help you. Good luck.
Pillar of the Community
United States
8534 Posts
 Posted 09/29/2021  2:29 pm  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
JRock23

And excellent advice! Hits the nail on the head on all points.
"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, NBS Member, 2 variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
Valued Member
United States
466 Posts
 Posted 09/29/2021  2:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add johnny676767 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with a lot said, especially about finding what you like. That may change over time, but that's the fun. While I appreciate JRock23's advice, I would add a few thoughts. Make sure you are comfortable accessing a coin's condition within a particular series before buying the key dates. It took me time (and purchases and mistakes) to understand what to look for. I have complete sets of Buffalo nickels and Barber halves (except 1). I never bought keys until the end. I am glad because some of the first coins I bought were clunkers, looking back. Part of that was just being new to collecting, but some, like quality of strike, were not. Anyway have fun!
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