As a Type Set collector myself, I've found there's no "right way or wrong way" to go on subjective issues. Collect what YOU like. For my sets, I decided to go with more common dates, so that I can afford a higher grade for that Type.
In addition to the above, I discovered several strategies a few years ago:
1. For many coins in higher grades, it's actually less expensive to buy a Proof coin than a Mint State business strike in the same grade. For example, with Shield nickels
, common date business strikes like 1882 or 1883 in MS66 have a PCGS
Price Guide value of $850, where those same years as PR66 have a PCGS
Price Guide value of $600. So not only can you sometimes save money by buying Proof coins for your Type Set, but you end up with coins that (in my opinion) have greater eye appeal due to the usual better strike, much higher luster, and watery mirrors. These coins more truly represent what these particular coins were designed to look like, at their best!
2. Tied in to the above strategy, particularly for those collectors who partake in the Registry of PCGS
, a CAM
version of a Proof coin typically counts as a full grade higher in the Registry than the grade without the CAM
suffix (a PR66CAM usually counts the same in the Registry as a PR67, and the same as MS67). Using my same Shield nickel
example above, those same common dates in MS67 have a PCGS
Price Guide value of $3,500, while a PR67 is $1,150, but a PR66CAM is only priced at $800!