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Is Currency Collection A Rich Person's Hobby?

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Pillar of the Community
United States
2942 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2020  4:51 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I was in an all day class and had some time today, so I went perusing to a few "other" forums. And from the little time on their, I came to what I believe is a sad conclusion. The collection of US currency seems to be very much a wealthy person's hobby. IN NO WAY AM I SAYING YOU HAVE TO BE RICH TO PARTAKE. But it does seem that having a healthy budget does help. Once one gets to the graded PPQ and high grade notes the prices skyrocket.

So the question, does the hobby have a place for collectors of VF notes? I know that with a budget there are notes we won't collect, but checking out that other forum, it seemed that the lower cost notes weren't acknowledged. Again this is based on a cursory view, not reading every post, but seeing enough to in my mind validate the original hypothesis.
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 Posted 06/18/2020  4:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mtuma3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are coins that sell for ten of thousands dollars also (way out of my league)... I have quite a few notes that are ungraded - some were a little pricy... I just liked the look of them...
Hobbies can be expensive or they can be inexpensive depending on what keeps you interested in it. I used to own an airplane. Being retired, it's no longer an option. I do, however have enough friends I made over the years in the hobby that I can hitch a free ride now and then to keep current...
Mark
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My7070
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14646 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2020  6:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Like I recently told you in an e-mail , just buy the highest grade note that you can afford and call it a day .
There is nothing wrong with owning worn creased Horse Blankets , they have history behind them !
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53738 Posts
 Posted 06/18/2020  7:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The number of people who typically collect mid-grade notes vastly outweighs those who collect only high-grade notes or condition rarities.

That said, whatever your area of interest, research your potential purchases carefully and try NOT to buy the same note twice.
Pillar of the Community
United States
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 Posted 06/18/2020  11:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for great advice. On cff the range of notes is more I guess you can call it common, but on the few other currency forums I checked out, circulated bills were just not presented. All I saw were high end, crisp uncirculated bills. I felt out of place.
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United States
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 Posted 06/19/2020  05:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A quote I read many years back addresses this subject, "Comparison is the thief of joy" - Theodore Roosevelt

I learned early on that someone will always have something nicer than yours. If you collect to compete you might want to get a second job. Personally and respectfully, I collect as an outlet for continuing education and the camaraderie between the other collectors. I enjoy the history while learning about the era when the notes were being circulated. We are all temporary stewards of the notes we posses, preserving them for future generations.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1170 Posts
 Posted 06/19/2020  09:03 am  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If you collect to compete you might want to get a second job.

Nicely put 'SteveinTampa.' I also enjoyed reading the Teddy Roosevelt quote.

Quote:
The number of people who typically collect mid-grade notes vastly outweighs those who collect only high-grade notes or condition rarities.

I am pretty certain that this observation by 'Coinfrog' is a fact. I surely cannot wrap my head around those collectors of "condition rarities" but they're a part of this hobby too (& I'm assuming those people collect TPG UNC 68, 69 & 70* of common notes).

To me, "a rich person's hobby" is just a derogatory label intended to get my back up (& I've actually rarely heard it). I started collecting banknotes at 16 (working at a carwash for minimum wage) and I thought I was the only one who did it! I absolutely never (or seldom) told anyone about my hobby until about twice that age b/c I thought everyone collected coins. And I had no clue what I had until I stumbled on some catalogues in the library (& I certainly learned my notes weren't rare/in demand). It took me 30 years to start buying UNC notes on eBay (thus sink a bit of $ into it). But, alas, I'm still not very rich (at least compared to my neighbours). Perhaps, if I were compared to some person struggling to survive in some 3rd world ghetto- I'd be considered "rich." I think it's a matter of perspective (as most have commented here).

I counted 741 hobbies listed on Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies & I would imagine that "Equestrianism" or the simple hobby of "Travelling" would better suit the label of "rich person's pastime (but I'm sure there are many other fitting candidates).
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United States
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 Posted 06/19/2020  09:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I would imagine that "Equestrianism"


My daughter is an equestrian, well... you can do that somewhat reasonable, just don't buy a horse!




Quote:
or the simple hobby of "Travelling" would better suit the label of "rich person's pastime (but I'm sure there are many other fitting candidates).


We like traveling also.






But those aren't really hobbies. They are lifestyle choices.

Edited by hfjacinto
06/19/2020 09:58 am
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1170 Posts
 Posted 06/19/2020  3:12 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
They are lifestyle choices.

- your stunning photos are a treat.

I have an Irish buddy who has travelled & visited over 100 different countries (frugally) & his idea of a banknote collection is any rag he doesn't spend at the end of his journey. We travelled the Baltics together in 2013 & he gave me some of his extra "rags" (which I didn't have the heart to turn down). That's what makes this hobby interesting- everyone has different aspiration/perspectives on what/how to collect. He's got a good hoard in a brown legal envelope somewhere stashed in his place. I was thinking of him when I developed my website (as a hobby).
Pillar of the Community
United States
2942 Posts
 Posted 06/19/2020  3:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I have an Irish buddy who has travelled & visited over 100 different countries (frugally)


Ireland was incredible!!












Quote:
& his idea of a banknote collection is any rag he doesn't spend at the end of his journey. We travelled the Baltics together in 2013 & he gave me some of his extra "rags" (which I didn't have the heart to turn down). That's what makes this hobby interesting- everyone has different aspiration/perspectives on what/how to collect.


And while I don't aspire to collect "rags" , I do enjoy the VF collection of notes, I do have. Yes its nice to get a CU note, but sometimes the budget just doesn't warrant it (well to me). And I've never noticed the CU only attitude at CFF, on this other forum, I did see it. I'm content staying here, doesn't mean I won't read the other sites, but like T-bop says above "just buy the highest grade note that you can afford and call it a day .
There is nothing wrong with owning worn creased Horse Blankets , they have history behind them !
" I agree with him
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United States
4795 Posts
 Posted 06/19/2020  6:54 pm  Show Profile   Check barryg's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add barryg to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A rich person's hobby?

I suppose it could be, just like coin collecting can be if you set your sites on the rarest and most expensive notes out there. But, as with coins, you don't need to be rich to be able to amass a quality collection. Being financially stable certainly helps, but so does being patient.

When I first got back into coin collecting as an adult some 10 years ago, my son was 5 years old and my wife and I both had good, stable jobs with money put toward our son's college education and a decent amount in our retirement fund. I started out just collecting coins, but soon decided to start collecting notes as well, starting out with a few inexpensive examples and eventually working my way up to more expensive ones.

At the beginning, I was just buying cheap coins on eBay and had no real direction. After discovering this forum in 2011 and learning about the [in]famous Dansco 7070 Type Album, however, I decided to try my hand and assembling a set of my own. And then, about 8 years ago I started going to one large coin and currency show in my local area each year and for the last 5 or so years I've been bringing about $5000 with me, which has basically been my budget for the entire year.

For the first few years I bought almost exclusively coins with a few low end notes added in if I had any money left over at the end of the day. As the years went on and I completed more and more of my coin collecting goals, however, I started spending more and more of that budget on notes, culminating in a few that cost me north of $3,000 in the last couple of years.

My main goal with notes was to assemble something analogous to the Dansco 7070 coin album, but limited primarily to the 20th century and excluding notes above $100 denomination. I haven't quite got there and also managed to wander a bit afield with regards to earlier notes, but I'm very happy with where my collection is now:

My United States Currency Collection

There are still a few general "types" of notes missing, but overall I'm very pleased with how it has turned out over the years.

My Coin & Currency Collection
(Dansco 7070 and 8100 albums, Proof Type Set, U.S. Currency Type Set & Foreign Bullion Collection)
Pillar of the Community
United States
2987 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2020  02:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Love that website @barryg. Well done sir.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4795 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2020  07:52 am  Show Profile   Check barryg's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add barryg to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Glad you like it, Steve!

My Coin & Currency Collection
(Dansco 7070 and 8100 albums, Proof Type Set, U.S. Currency Type Set & Foreign Bullion Collection)
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1170 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2020  08:22 am  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another great set of Ireland photos this time "hfjacinto"
(makes me wish I got to see more of the countryside/next time perhaps?)


Quote:
There are still a few general "types" of notes missing,


Very interesting collection "Barryg." It will take me a bit of time to explore but I always enjoy viewing the artistic beauty of the Educational series (& designs of the other "horse-blankets" examples of history you posted). I like your little explanation under each banknote. Thanks for sharing.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2942 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2020  08:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I went to the LCS yesterday as I had a note on hold and asked him if I could see the horse blankets. He gave me the money packet and the last 2 where a CU $10 Gold Certificate only $875 and a CU $5 Educational note in the best state I ever saw at only $6300. Sadly I passed on both but also drooled at the VF $2 educational note at $725. I guess these 3 are notes I'm not buying
Valued Member
United States
391 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2020  10:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bzookaj to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At its core, currency does generally require more money. Most notes are simply higher face value than most coins. Some coins are expensive, yes, but the purchase floor for notes is higher. The lowest a quarter will cost to acquire is 25 cents, but good luck getting a $5 or $10 note for anything near that.
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