World of Coins

Collecting coins => Coin collecting => Collections and views on collecting => Topic started by: Prosit on July 27, 2009, 02:34:39 AM

Title: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Prosit on July 27, 2009, 02:34:39 AM
When I was much younger, I collected coins, and after I had acquired them, I took them out regularly (daily) to admire them.  I admired the design mostly and spent much of my time looking for better examples and other designs that I admired and had not yet acquired.  Also, I was attracted to the history and used the coin as a launching platform to explore and learn about the history of the coin's time.  I spent a lot of time at the public library  ;)  Also, I was possessed with the desire to get every example from every year of that issue for that series.  Who might have used it and what was happening when it was minted was important to me as well.

Who might have used it and what was happening when it was minted is still important to me. I still get excited when I find a coin I am looking for.  However, now, I do not take them out and admire them after I have acquired them. Many of the items I have collected, I have never looked at again and I no longer feel a compelling need to get every example from every year although old habits are hard to break.

Examining my current collecting motives, I find they have changed considerably.

I am seriously considering selling out and starting over.  I know I am likely to take a loss on some (many) of them, but new areas to explore, and the funds to explore them is attractive and maybe I might be a bit more selective this time.  It might make a big difference to my heirs too  ;)

So what kind of collector are you?  Have your collecting habits changed over the years?  Do you:
Collect by series?
Collect by theme?
Like the art/design?
Collect by type?
Collect by country?
Collect by time period?
Like the history?
Like the prestige of owning a rare coin?
Have a "completion" bug?
All of the above?

I need to seriously address these question for my own sake over the next few months.
Actually, it is very refreshing thinking about it   ;)  Get rid of old baggage and habits.  If I consider my collection, only 15-20 items out of probably 5000 come to mind that I would not part with.  That might make a very good core to start with anew  ;D

Dale

Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: BC Numismatics on July 27, 2009, 06:16:31 AM
Dale,
  I'm a specialist collector.

As I live in a British Commonwealth country (New Zealand),I specialise only in the banknotes,coins,postal orders,& traders' currency tokens from across the British Empire & the British Commonwealth.

I did use to try & collect coins from as many countries as possible,but it proved to be too hard & pretty difficult to store.

I sold my non-British Commonwealth banknotes & coins,so I bought my computer with the money.

Aidan.
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Galapagos on July 27, 2009, 01:31:05 PM
As a very young child in the early 1960s, I was fascinated by the variety of our UK circulation coins. There were still pennies and halfpennies to be found from Queen Victoria's time: both bun head and "mourning" head, and even more denominations from the monarchs afterwards. I remember being impressed that my dad was able to explain to me the mysteries of the "FID DEF" and other Latin inscriptions, and why the "IND IMP" legend disappeared after 1947. As for our shillings, there were both "Scottish" and "English" variations in circulation

Then there were the differences in reverse designs: the George VI brass threepence showed a thrift plant, but this was replaced by a portcullis on QEII's threepences. My favourite design of these times was the Golden Hind on the reverse of the QEII ha'penny - halfpennies from some prior reigns showed Britannia instead. Another favourite was the wren farthing - all children love animals, of course. These had actually been withdrawn from circulation when I was only two, so I had no memory of using them, but plenty of households still retained a few.

Between the ages of five and seven I was given various foreign coins by uncles who travelled about in the military. This opened my eyes to the fact that there was a world beyond Britain. I was particularly fascinated by the Irish "barnyard" series coins. Here was a country that used a similar system to ours - their pennies and halfpennies were of the same specifications as ours, yet portrayed farmyard animals, and yet their threepence was round and nickel instead of twelve-sided and brass. Being a child, I was delighted by these designs (and still am!), and I also had the sense that an alternative reality lay across the sea - similar but different. Up until the age of seven, on visits to the seaside I would try my best to see across the other side of the sea in order to glimpse Ireland. Living in Newcastle upon Tyne, I would actually have seen Esbjerg in Denmark, had I been able to see all those miles across the curve of the Earth.

From the age of 11 onwards I had occasional trips to the continent and was pleased to bring coins back from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. From the age of 18, I took myself off an series of youth hostelling trips to France, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Luxemburg, etc. and these trips were often planned with the aim of bringing back sets I lacked. In France in 1979 I was able to pick up the new style 2 francs, and in 1980 or 1981 in Switzerland one of the smaller denominations of coins had morphed from cupro-nickel to a kind of brass, so I was able to pick that up too. In 1978 in Norway, I found their old animal designs were still in circulation, so I was pleased to have acquired another wildlife set.
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Prosit on July 27, 2009, 01:54:27 PM
When I was 7 or 8 the coins that facinated me were the US "Merc" dime, buffalo Nickel, standing liberty quarter dollar, walking liberty half dollar, Peace and Morgan dollar and Indian head cents.  Funny (odd) to think about those series...I have never seriously pursued them as an adult.

I didn't become aware that anything real existed outside the US until much later  ;D

Dale
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Galapagos on July 27, 2009, 02:01:15 PM
From 1979, I entered a new phase of coin collecting. Anomalously, the pre-decimal sixpence still circulated and was accepted as two-and-a-half decimal pence. It had been saved by the public's affection for it, but by 1979 that affection no longer existed, and the government announced it ws to be demonetised from 1980. As a university student by this time, this sparked my interest, so I made sure to retain a few of the variations of the sixpences still in circulation.

After that, I discovered the now defunct "Coin Monthly" magazine, and was surprised to see adverts for sets from exotic sounding places such as the Cayman Islands and Papua New Guinea. For my birthday that year, my parents bought me Krause-Mishler's "Standard Catalog of World Coins", so I was able to see illustrations of these exotic designs. I was stunned by the beauty of many of the wildlife designs, and this recalled my childhood enthusiasm for wren farthing and the Irish barnyard series. Yet another surprise was to see how many of these coins carried QEII's effigy on their obverse, so there was a connection with my home country and another theme for me to collect. As an impecunious student, I now nervously set about ordering some of these sets from mail order coin dealers for the first time, worried that I might be scammed - though I never was.

My first aim was to collect all the current beautiful circulation wildlife designs I could get my hands on. After that, in the 1990s, my attention turned to pre-decimal Commonwealth/Empire coins of QEII and GVI's reigns, but whose designs may or may not have included realistic wildlife themes: Ceylon (GVI and one QEII design), Cyprus (GVI), India (GVI) and Malaya (GVI and QEII) largely didn't; Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, etc., did include some (remember, I am talking *pre-decimal* coins here, though I also collected the *current* decimal coins of these states or their successor states). In the 1980s I went to a lot of coin fairs, but that petered out as I gathered up most of my "wants".

I also collected some wartime issues, such as the Nazi Germany set, the Fascist Italy set, the Slovakian "clerical-fascist" set, the Fascist-Occupied Albania set, plus some odds and ends from Vichy France and wartime Serbia and Croatia. I also have some superb designs from 1920s and 1930s Danzig, and just wish I could afford to own Danzig's highest denominations.

By the beginning of the 1990s, I had  purchased virtually all the historical stuff I wanted, but by now communism had collapsed and attractive new sets were emerging from Croatia, Slovakia, Macedonia, Russia, etc.

You'll see from my posts that I'm mainly interested in modern thematic, representational designs on circulation coins (wildlife, ships, architecture), but I do deviate from that and occasionally buy "trinkets", as I call them, (medal coins, pseudo-coins, tokens), if their designs interest me.
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Galapagos on July 27, 2009, 02:08:31 PM
When I was 7 or 8 the coins that facinated me were the US "Merc" dime, buffalo Nickel, standing liberty quarter dollar, walking liberty half dollar, Peace and Morgan dollar and Indian head cents. 

It was the variety of coins in circulation that similarly grabbed my attention as a child in England. However, all that variety was swept away as the decimal system took hold, though shillings and florins, which circulated as 5p and 10p equivalents, were not got rid of until 1990 and 1992 respectively. By contrast, you in the US have not experienced such a numismatic revolution. What are the oldest varieties of coins you are now likely to find in circulation in the US? Any of the ones that fascinated you as a child?
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: a3v1 on July 27, 2009, 02:47:35 PM
Same here !! Born in 1941, I grew up in a transitional period of Dutch coins. Wartime-issued zinc coins still circulated widely, pre-war silver and bronze coins popped up again in masses, while newly-issued nickel and bronze coins started to circulate. It was an interesting time for a young boy starting to develop an interest in collecting coins. ;D An interest that never has faded since.

When in the late 90s the news broke that Europe would issue a common coin soon, I decided that the Euro in all its manifestations would be my main interest from then on.
Regards,
a3v1
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Prosit on July 27, 2009, 02:58:57 PM
..... What are the oldest varieties of coins you are now likely to find in circulation in the US? Any of the ones that fascinated you as a child?

None of the coins I was interested in as a child still circulate and haven't since about 1964.  IThe change away from silver drove all the older stuff out.  In the US nothing old or odd is now encountered in circulation except the ocassional Canadian cent or some other souvinir of someone's travels but those are not truly in circulation...they got in some till by accident   ;) probably.  In the Jefferson Nickels series, you can still find coins in circulation from the 50's and ocassionally earlier.

Dale
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Austrokiwi on July 27, 2009, 03:14:51 PM
I started out as an eclectic collector...........focusing first on sovereigns............however I then discovered numismatics and then the eccentric interest of Re strike Maria Theresa talers.  Currently my interest is not just on filling gaps in my collection but in filling in blanks in the knowledge of this coin. Currently my latest track is to identify minting method to variety....... for me that a huge challenge.
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: chrisild on July 27, 2009, 03:15:09 PM
As a kid I found it interesting that some of our older German coins did not say "Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (the country name) but "Bank Deutscher Länder". Learned that this was the Bundesbank's precursor (well, I probably did not really understand that as a boy, but so what), and then tried to find nice shiny pieces from that time, basically 1949. Also at roughly that age I was amazed that there are people, not too far from "home", who not only speak differently but also have different coins. So I wanted those (gulden and cent pieces) too. A little later my collection then focused on easily affordable pieces from here (Federal Republic) and the neighbors, mostly Austria, GDR, Netherlands, Switzerland.

As for the euro, for a long time I kept a gas station receipt dated 1-Jan-1999. That was the first day of the euro, and the receipt was in DM but also showed the amount in €. Oooh, how exciting! :) Unfortunately it took a long time until, in mid-December 2001, I got my first euro coins - a starter kit that I picked up in Rome. That is also the focus of my collection these days - euro coins, primarily the circulation and commemorative coins, by type. Don't care too much about regional collector coins, but if there is an interesting theme or design ...

I also have quite a few modern US coins (because I travel there fairly often), and pieces from the UK (again, modern stuff). Admittedly I do not care a lot about what happens with my collection when I am dead - it is my hobby, not really an investment. :)

Christian
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Galapagos on July 27, 2009, 05:16:45 PM
As a kid I found it interesting that some of our older German coins did not say "Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (the country name) but "Bank Deutscher Länder"....

Also at roughly that age I was amazed that there are people, not too far from "home", who not only speak differently but also have different coins.

I too noticed the different legends when in Germany. Didn't one 50 Pfennig type have a milled edge whilst the other was smooth?

Seems that for you too, coins opened your eyes at a young age to fact that there were countries and people beyond your own.
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Figleaf on July 27, 2009, 05:22:18 PM
I started out like most collectors: modern coins of my own country. My big chance was the government deciding to give people one more chance to change their pre-war silver for copper-nickel coins. I posted in post offices, intercepted quite a few silver coins and I suddenly had a collection going back to the 1870's. Expanding on that was difficult, so I got bored and started a British Commonwealth collection, since I liked the long series of similar heads with different reverses. That area was thoroughly poisoned and my interest burnt to the ground by the pseudo coins of the likes of the Franklin Mint, Pobjoy Mint and many, many others. Euro coins made my interest flare up for a short while, but the euro mints tried their best to beat that out of me also with their pseudo issues. Well, on average they were at least better designed than the irritating sugar coated Norman Rockwell style of the Franklin Mint.

What brought me back were detectorist sites. People found coins in the ground they could not identify and I could. It made both parties happy. Today, I no longer collect any theme within coins, but I buy what I appreciate (mostly the bizarre, the seldom encountered, the spurned and those pesky little holes in earlier collections) and trade duplicates for anything traders have to offer.

Among the things I've learned along the way (in no particular order):

- coin collecting is no fun until you decide yourself what coins you want. You never need a coin.
- completeness is an illusion
- it is not necessary to own a coin in order to study one
- most of the fun is not the purchase, but discovering all there is to discover about a coin
- you learn more from a high-resolution picture all over your screen than from a coin on your desk
- coin collecting is a community thing
- time I enjoy wasting is not wasted time
- coins depend on people and events that are at least as important to know about as coins
- there are coin-like objects that can be much more interesting than coins
- there are coin-like objects that can be much less interesting than coins
- coins lie, catalogues lie - finding the truth is important

and above all:

- never judge what someone else collects and don't accept such judgements from others

Peter
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Bimat on July 27, 2009, 06:53:50 PM
When I started collecting coins,I used to collect only Indian coins as I didn't know how and where to get other world coins.On one of my B'day,one of my cousin brother gave me his small collection of coins as b'day gift which had some foreign coins.All were common,but I was extremely excited at that time! Later,my aunt also gave some foreign coins,majority of which were German mark/pfennig coins and a few U.S. and African coins.
But I seriously started collecting coins about 2 years ago.My main intention was to get at least one coin from each country.Initially,it was not so difficult.I was able to get them for a good price.But as I crossed 150,it became little frustrating.Then I decided to collect by theme.I was highly fascinated by bimetallic coins,so I decided to collect bimetallic coins with preference.My bimetallic collection has developed decently since then and I'm proud of it :)
Started swapping with collectors from other countries about year ago,and got some really good friends.(Most of my 1 and 2 Euro coins from them.)
And besides bimetallic coins,I do collect easy to find/affordable FAO coins and coins with animals on them.Fortunately,I was never involved in pseudo coins.
And I have never asked my parents to give me 'extra' money to buy coins.I just save some part of my pocket money for coins.That is another fun ;)

Aditya
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: chrisild on July 27, 2009, 08:00:03 PM
I too noticed the different legends when in Germany. Didn't one 50 Pfennig type have a milled edge whilst the other was smooth?

Right, but that came later. The BdL pieces, and the BRD ones until 1971, had milled edges. The 50 Pf edges between 1972 and 1996 were smooth.

Collecting domestic circulation coins requires some discipline, as I found out the hard way. I remember that the "Munich Olympics" 10 DM coins first went into my collection, were then taken out and used at face for, ahem, important purchases. Some time later, being mature and wise and all that, I bought them again. Of course there was a difference (not much fortunately) between the face value and what the dealer charged ...

Christian
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Figleaf on July 27, 2009, 08:59:38 PM
Re-reading, I realize I was too absorbed in my own situation and not clear enough trying to answer Dale's concern. Here's another go.

Point one. Dale, I don't think changing whatever you collect means you "have to" sell stuff because it no longer fits into your collection. I also don't think you "have to" buy stuff because it does. You simply change your priority and therefore the status of the coins you have. What was once an important piece in your collection now becomes less important or vice versa. What you were willing to trade for another coin once becomes a prized possession or the other way around. Changing your collecting focus takes no more than studying other things

Point two. What and how to collect? I think the answer depends on a preceding question or set of questions. One is why do I collect? To impress the neighbours / other collectors? To while time away? To learn new stuff? To write articles? To entertain visitors? To start my own coin museum? There are so many different motivations I can think of. Another preceding question is what's fun for me. Obviously, Overlord, Oesho and others find it fun solving the puzzles that are Indian subcontinent coins, while others may like nicely ordered rows of coins in albums and catalogue numbers crossed off. There's nothing wrong with either approach and there's a lot in between.

Maybe it helps to have a role model. There are many, but here are a few, mostly from the anglo world, to think about:

- Michelangelo: driven by curiosity. If it works in theory, that's good enough
- Benjamin Franklin: It's good enough only if it works in practice
- Isaac Newton: learning from predecessors, ordering and understanding is everything
- Oscar Wilde: only beauty and elegance matter
- Alexander the Great: see where fate leads you
- Heinrich Schliemann: you can learn anything if you put your mind to it
- Paul Getty: gotta buy, gotta sell

You can probably think of more and better examples yourself. The names don't matter. What matters is that you like the method. You don't have to become a great scientist or leader, but you can always follow one.

Once you've done the Big Thinking, there's plenty to glean from the answers given in this thread. We start from curiosity, we start collecting what's easy. We develop our taste, we change our collecting focus. We end up older and a little bit wiser and we collect what we have come to appreciate. What we appreciate depends on our nature, not on what other think/do/collect. There's always a reason for what we collect; that reason is ours and within us. Maybe most important: there's no reason to restrict your collection by a set of dates and a geographical area, but if that's what appeals to you FINE.

Peter
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: BC Numismatics on July 27, 2009, 10:52:00 PM
Phil,
  The last year for British silver coins was 1946.1947 was the first year for cupro-nickel coins.

Aidan.
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Prosit on July 27, 2009, 11:06:08 PM
I agree, a person doesn't "have to" sell stuff because it no longer fits into your collection.  However, consdolidating my collections, selling off or trading no longer wanted stuff would provide funds to explore other areas, make room and maybe bring a little more order.  That is attractive to me.

For many years I was a series collector.  For instance, I have every year and every mint-mark of the Jefferson Nickel in uncirculated condition from 1938-2003...146 examples, (no proof) some not so cheap in that condition.  I did the same for the Kennedy half-dollar and SBA dollar and several other US series.  I did the kennedy set like five times over the years.  I have fairly well complete set of US Washington quarters in unc, 1932-1998, again no proofs (missing a few of the more expensive ones of course).  I have Canadian cents complete 1924-2006 and 21 pre-1924.  Also have pretty much every coin minted by Austria since 1892 and many prior to that.

While I would probably keep many of the above since those series are complete or nearly so, I am no longer very interested in collecting like that.  Even if I kept those I have thousands of other items, many not even catalogued, just sitting in boxes.  I have hundres if not a thousand duplicate Austrian good luck tokens.

Sometimes if I want to show an image here I have to look for it up to an hour  ;D before I find it.  I think a little house cleaning and a new focus for me would go hand in hand very well.

Oh I forgot  ;D  have almost a complete set in uncirculated and proof US modern psuedo coins.  A lot of Austria's psuedo coin output as well.  Many of those it wouldn't bother me to let someone else have a chance to enjoy them  ;D

I firmly believe there is no wrong way to collect coins and every one should do so in the manner that best suits themself.
Just not sure what that means to me at the moment  :)

Dale
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: BC Numismatics on July 28, 2009, 12:23:24 AM
Interestingly,'IND. IMP.' was also on the British 1948 coins as well,but not on the 1948 coins of any other British Commonwealth country.

Aidan.

 
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Figleaf on July 28, 2009, 12:41:48 AM
I have thousands of other items, many not even catalogued, just sitting in boxes.  I have hundres if not a thousand duplicate Austrian good luck tokens.

Sometimes if I want to show an image here I have to look for it up to an hour  ;D before I find it.  I think a little house cleaning and a new focus for me would go hand in hand very well.

That's an altogether different problem and now I also understand better why you don't take out coins to look at any more. The simple solution is albums. Once you have decided what to collect, you start setting up albums. I find albums in the waste of big offices. All I need to do is show an interest and they take out the paper and give them. Just make sure they are of the four ring type. Two rings won't hold heavy coin pages. I have more albums then I can use. Other requirements are album pages and coin holders - they are cheap if you buy a lot at once - and something to make labels on the back of the album (I use one of those Dyno contraptions, but I have seen very fancy computer-operated devices also).

The trick is to get started. Make a mess on a table you need, so you must clean it up quickly. Collect duplicates in plastic bags (I like to use the ones they sell hashish in, they're free) that go back in the boxes you use now, get the rest in the holders and the holders in albums. Now you can find what you're looking for and taking out a coin to look at it is no big deal any more. As a bonus, you can start trading away or selling off duplicates.

Peter
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Prosit on July 28, 2009, 04:04:07 AM
.....The simple solution is albums. Once you have decided what to collect, you start setting up albums.......
The trick is to get started......As a bonus, you can start trading away or selling off duplicates.

Peter

I have 14, 4 inch thick 3-ring D-style binders and 7 Dansco Albums and 7 Whitman style albums.  I have nearly a unlimited supply of binders and quite a few emptys floating around.  Like you I get them given to me from offices after the paper is removed.  The binders each cost about $20 US new so getting them free is a great help.

I did spend a lot of time on the Austrian New Year tokens and think I have all the varieties separated and nearly completed a pdf catalogue of them.

You are right, I should do more of that  ;D

Dale
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: lehmansterms on August 09, 2009, 05:25:49 PM
Too much repetition can cause that. I am going to spend some time with my magnifying glass looking through the rest of the bag of coins... it is fun to find something so special and so old.
Ginger

This, I believe, is why we're seeing a major uptick in interest in coin-areas like Greek, Roman Provincial, Medieval and "Eastern Cultures", etc, in recent years.
We're about 10 years out from the time the internet and easy availability of inexpensive uncleaned Late Roman AE's hove upon the scene, big-time, and created, what? thousands? tens of thousands? of new "Classical Numismatists". 

Ten years, in my experience, is just about long enough for any beginner to have adequately mastered (or given-up on) cleaning and gotten one's fill of "FEL TEMP's" and "GLORIA EX's". This therefore tends to be the point at which folks will look for a change.

Some may give up or "temporarily put-away" the hobby for lack of interest adequate to justify the expenditure. Others may specialize in some field, aspect or niche, or move on into a different area of the hobby altogether.  For some, this will mean dealing in coins on some level - for others, populating a website is a challenge more suited to their skill-set.  Perhaps becoming more expert in photography or volunteering to speak about ancient coins and cultures in schools will be attractive as the next step.  But the point is, we all come to the point, eventually,  where we realize that it's time to take the next step.

One of the most popular of next steps is, in my experience as an "old timer", an interest in working with the sorts of coins which may have been seen as "too much of a challenge" in years past.  When one has overcome the challenge at hand - becoming proficient at attributing Roman coins on which the legends have not survived in readable condition, or completed a type-set or a series collection to the your personal satisfaction, then it's time to look around for new challenges. At this time, perhaps Greek coins with their small or non-existent inscriptions will appeal as a further development of the hobby - as may branching out into areas which do not use the Roman Alphabet at all.

So what I'm saying here is that if you're not getting quite the same thrill from your involvement with ancient coins, you should probably look for something more challenging to pique your interest.  That's both the greatest ultimate draw and finally, possibly the greatest frustration inherent to numismatics - there is always another field to delve into, so much so that no one person could ever manage to know and experience it all.

Mark
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: MS on August 18, 2009, 08:38:18 AM
Personally I don't think I would want to collect the elusive and expensive modern Indian coin because I can't justify spending such large sums of money. 
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Figleaf on August 18, 2009, 01:21:36 PM
Personally I don't think I would want to collect the elusive and expensive modern Indian coin.

That is one of the great things bout collecting. You decide yourself what you collect. You can adapt your collection to your personal taste, budget and circumstances. If you enjoy the chase and the details, the rumours and discussions as in this thread, you were made to collect by date and mintmark. Just watch out for the "completeness" trap. While it looks like an approach where you could have a "complete" collection, there will always be a new variety, discovery or error to look for. Anyway, the point of collecting is having fun, not being complete.

The other extreme is collecting by type. The advantage of this approach is that your money will buy a whole lot more coins and you will build a collection that is more "accessible" for non-collectors. It's up to you. In the case of India, my approach has been to collect by type, but if a different mintmark or variety comes my way, I don't complain and put it right in the collection.

I can suggest a third type of collection, that will allow you to expand your collection and gain depth quickly. I call it timeline collecting. Try getting one coin (any type) from each Mughal ruler, then slowly work back in time and start including local rulers, maybe first from the area where you live. You'll be surprised at how cheap and effective this approach is.

Peter
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: asm on August 18, 2009, 01:55:42 PM
Peter,
Indian numismatics is indeed full of surprises. I was originally into collecting only British India and Independent India coins. Next were bank Notes. Then I started,as you mentioned, one coin of each Mughal Ruler. I thought I could do it. But unless you have really deep pockets, it is almost impossible. I missed the short lived rulers. Since I could not complete the rulers list, I thought, why not different types - different couplets. This was also difficult. In the end, I got so engrossed, I thought, one coin of each mint. There are so many, that I could not. So I said to myself-well if not one each of all mints, at least one of each mint of each major ruler of the area (Gujarat) where I stay. In the end, I am aimlessly collecting all mughal coins that come my way. On the way, I learnt from Oesho that quite a few local princely states issued coins in the name of th Mughal monarch. That got me hooked onto the IPS collection.  Then I opened a box of Sultanate coins which I had picked up as a kid. That got me into the sultanate coins. I am not sure now where I am headed except for the fact that I do intend some day to own a collection which is reasonably complete. I do not think it is possible with Mughal, Sultanates or States. Hence I tried my luck with modern Indian coins. However, I have greatly enjoyed collecting and have learnt a lot. 
(I am not sure if these posts are relevent to the topic and it may be better if they are split into a different topic) 

Amit
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: MS on August 18, 2009, 02:04:35 PM
Quote from: Figleaf
You can adapt your collection to your personal taste, budget and circumstances.
So far in the last couple of months that exactly what I have done. I look out only for circulation coins and trade them for coins I don't have. If I find coins that are UNC or AU then I am thrilled but I don't go out of my way to spend so that a UNC can be acquired. The idea is that once I have all the coins I want, over a period of time, I can always improve their grades. Living in India and wanting to collect Indian coins mint wise and year wise makes collecting that much easier. For the budget, I have a rough idea on how much I want to spend in a month and hope not to exceed that budget.

Quote from: Figleaf
Just watch out for the "completeness" trap.
;D Yes I think I am falling into that trap already. I have '06, '07, '08 10 Rupee and now I want a '05. I know its expensive comparatively but my point is that I don't want to shell out $2000 in any circumstances for a 2 Rupee coin allegedly with a mintage of only 150. I know a lot of things that I could do with $2000 to improve my lifestyle and a two rupee coin is not going to be give me that. 

Another thing that I infer about completeness is that a lot of it is about how much patience you have as a collector. Do you have the ability to wait for the right opportunity? I am guessing people with patience end up as better numismatists or at the very least less poorer for it. Patience is not one of my stronger qualities LOL but I hope coin collecting will teach me a thing or two.

Quote from: Figleaf
I can suggest a third type of collection, that will allow you to expand your collection and gain depth quickly. I call it timeline collecting. Try getting one coin (any type) from each Mughal ruler, then slowly work back in time and start including local rulers, maybe first from the area where you live. You'll be surprised at how cheap and effective this approach is.

That is a great idea and something I have in mind. The problem with coin collection is that you there is so much approaches. I thought about world coins, commems, Indian coins, British Indian coins. In the end I know I am collecting Indian coins because that's what I want the most. I am in my 30s. The coins with which I used to run across the street as a kid and buy candies are no longer there. Instead, I am left with FSS every which way I look. And I don't like any of them.

My plan is go backwards, start collecting ROI and once I hit a saturation point, go after BI and other European Indian coins. My main reason for not thinking about going further back than that is lack of knowledge about these coins and to understand their authenticity. Its easy in India to go to some rustic little tourist spot outside an ancient temple or a fort and find coin peddlers dumping fakes on you. As you rightly said, coin collecting is all about having fun and that is something I am enjoying in high doses. Almost everyday I find out things and learn that I didnt previously know.

MS
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Bimat on August 18, 2009, 03:19:31 PM

The other extreme is collecting by type. The advantage of this approach is that your money will buy a whole lot more coins and you will build a collection that is more "accessible" for non-collectors. It's up to you. In the case of India, my approach has been to collect by type, but if a different mintmark or variety comes my way, I don't complain and put it right in the collection.
I am in favor of this type of collection.Let me give you my own example.When I started collecting Euro coins,my ultimate aim was to collect them by mint,which I thought that it will not be so difficult.But soon,realized that it's really difficult,especially when you are in India.Just in case of German Euro coins ,they have 5 mints and my want list of German coins had not less than 65 coins ::) As he said,If I come across any mint variety,I would rather accept it,but I'm not crazy for it.And now,I have a pretty decent collection of Euro coins :)

@ KR,
There are so many stories about the 1992 commemorative.It's mintage is believed to be less than 500.(The coin was 'released' by our current Agricultural minister Sharad Pawar ) but I really do not consider it as a coin.The Calcutta mint website mentions this coin as 'Uncirculated' but I know at-least one collector who has this coin.(The coin was to all  those who attended the event in 1992 as a souvenir).After all,it's up to you..What should I collect and what not...

Aditya
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: a3v1 on August 18, 2009, 04:28:52 PM
Let me give you my own example.When I started collecting Euro coins,my ultimate aim was to collect them by mint,which I thought that it will not be so difficult.But soon,realized that it's really difficult,especially when you are in India.Just in case of German Euro coins ,they have 5 mints and my want list of German coins had not less than 65 coins ::)
Aditya,
Being an European living within the EU makes things so much easier! ;) My collection of Euro coins is both by mint and by date and now counts over 1450 coins, including some 425 bi-metallic 1€ and 2€ coins.
On the other hand: The only Indian coins I ever see are in pictures on this forum. ;D
Regards,
a3v1
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Bimat on August 18, 2009, 06:48:02 PM
MS,see reply# 25 by Mark.
Aditya,
Being an European living within the EU makes things so much easier! ;) My collection of Euro coins is both by mint and by date and now counts over 1450 coins, including some 425 bi-metallic 1€ and 2€ coins.
On the other hand: The only Indian coins I ever see are in pictures on this forum. ;D
Regards,
a3v1
Hats off to you,man! I certainly can not think of collecting Euro coins by date,but I'm sure I'll complete it by type some day.it's nearly 55% complete now (Excluding those of Vatican,San Marino and Monaco,obviously ;D)Not too bad for an Indian collector :)
Title: Re: Advancing as a collector
Post by: Kid Romeo on August 18, 2009, 06:49:39 PM
If I may suggest another collection type about which I have read an article by Mitch Sanders which appeared in ANA magazine 'Numismatist'. It's called 'Concentrated Collection'. I tried to attach the PDF of the article but it exceeds the size limit.
So here are the excerpts:

EVERY COIN collection
is unique, reflecting
its owner’s individual
approach to the
hobby. But while
there is considerable
diversity in what numismatists
collect, decisions about how to
collect generally focus on two well established
methods. A type collection
includes representative examples from
many different coin series, while
a date/mintmark collection aspires
to completeness within a single series.
Though different in focus—the breadth
of type collecting contrasts with the
depth of date/mintmark collecting—
they both have an important place
in numismatics.

A type collection provides a broad
overview of numismatics—20thcentury
U.S. coins, small cents, dimes,
Seated Liberty coins, or pieces produced
at the Carson City Mint—and typically
contains a single example of each design
type within the scope of the set. For instance,
a basic type set of 20th-century
half dollars would have a Barber,
Franklin, Walking Liberty and two
Kennedys (one with a standard reverse,
and one with a Bicentennial reverse).
Within a particular series, type sets
usually account for significant changes.
For example, at various times Kennedy
halves were 90-percent silver, 40-percent
silver or copper-nickel, and each
alloy is eligible for inclusion in a type
set. Also, major design subtypes, such
as the Lincoln cent’s Wheat and Lincoln
Memorial reverses, usually are
represented with separate coins. Minor
modifications in design or composition
also might be included, depending on
the collector’s preferences.
Assembling a type set generally is
very economical, both in terms of effort
and expenditure, because the coins chosen
from each series are entirely up to
you. If you’re seeking a Lincoln cent for
a type set of cents, small cents, 20thcentury
issues or coins portraying
Presidents, the common 1944 will serve
just as well as the rare 1909-S VDB.

Date/mintmark collecting, on the
other hand, enables you to pursue a
particular interest in detail by acquiring
every combination within a specific
coin series. This approach is more expansive—
as well as more expensive—
than type collecting. Not only are there
many more coins to collect, but sooner
or later, a date/mintmark collector will
encounter “key” dates, like the scarce
1916-D Mercury dime. Every date/
mintmark set also involves choices
about whether to include collector-only
issues like recent S-mint proofs, or
die varieties such as the 1955 doubled die
cent.

Your particular collecting approach
likely will depend on the interaction of
interest and budget. Series with many
inexpensive issues, such as Jefferson
nickels or Roosevelt dimes, generally are
good candidates for date/mintmark collecting.
For series that are more elusive,
or not currently major interests, you
might be satisfied with a single example
of the type.

However, there is a middle-of-the road
approach between the breadth of a
type set and the depth of a date/
mintmark set that I call “concentrated
collecting.” This kind of collection contains
one example from each decade of a
series’ lifespan, and one example from
every mint that struck them. Concentrated
collections are compact, because
the same coin can represent both a
decade and a mint.

Take the Morgan dollar, for example.
A date/mintmark collection has more
than 100 pieces, which can be quite
daunting to complete. On the other
hand, acquiring only a single example
might not seem sufficient for such
a sprawling series. A concentrated collection
falls between these extremes,
capturing the essence of the series with
only five coins. There are many ways
to represent the series’ five decades
and five mints, such as an 1878-CC,
1881-S, 1896(-P), 1903-O and 1921-D.
Whichever specific coins you
choose, a concentrated collection can
be a nice blend of breadth and depth.
Your collection is just that—your
collection—so its contents and development
should reflect your priorities
and your preferences. Whether you’re
pursuing a type collection or a
date/mintmark collection, or mixing
these methodologies, a definite collecting
approach will help you achieve
your collecting goals.