Poll

can you buy whatever you want to have into your collection ?

I know exactly what I want and have the money for it
I only want the expensive stuff
I only collect what I receive from daily circulation, friends or collectors
Sometimes I try to sell coins to upgrade my collection
I am unemployed living on social wellfare so keep on the wishfull thinking

Author Topic: Buying coins  (Read 4432 times)

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Offline muntenman

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Buying coins
« on: April 30, 2007, 05:04:08 AM »
In between jobs I sometimes see things I want to obtain, but it is frustrating because of the price-tag attached. You know what I mean??? :'( :'( what sentence above is typical for your collecting behaviour?
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2007, 01:04:02 PM »
It seems to me that if you know what you want and you are realistic in deciding what to collect that implies you got the money for it. However, the beauty of coin collecting is that it's cheap. A 100 year old antique will generally cost you more than a 100 year old coin for circulation and while a 1000 year antique will in general be priceless you can, if you set your mind to it, own a 1000 year old coin.

The trick is therefore not how much money you can spend, but how well you can hunt for the coins you want. As an example, the euro countries have each issued a 2 euro coin for the Treaty of Rome. So far, I got all copies at 2 euros, because I have friends in many countries that I could send the Dutch variety. In the end, the best part of coin collecting is the many good people you meet, I think. ;D

Peter
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Offline muntenman

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2007, 09:35:24 PM »
I get by with a little help from my friends..
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Offline Rangnath

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2007, 03:52:38 AM »
This minute, I haven't an articulate rational clue about my collecting.  I love meeting people. I adore designs (Tibetan Tangkas, Moroccan and Belgian Colonial stars, Macedonian contemporary coins), calligraphy of the middle east), numbers (denominations of two, three and four), our plantet's variety of languages and scripts.  I like that I can collect coins and not leave a huge carbon foot print.  I like that the coins I have connect me to some incredible history. I like that I can hold them in my hands and I enjoy the infinite variety of detail possible in such a relatively small object
I feel some obligation to the urges of the collection I am growing.  It has a life of its own I think, and I act as a sort of temporary companion, manager and audiance. 
It's not that I don't like the choices you listed for me to choose, but that my inclination changes from day to day.  Here, take everything that I have! Yes, even that lovely silver Balboa with intricate decoration in the helmit. Take it, it's yours.
Too late, I've changed my mind.
I find it odd when someone congratulates another on a win at an auction or at a purchase when in someways I think condolances would be in order. 
You see?  It isn't particularly articulate or rational. 
Richie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2007, 09:18:14 AM »
@Richie: you make it seem like whimsical and inscrutably oriental, when it could just as well have been presented as rational (but not cold). A Dutch art critic once defined art as "the very deepest expression of the very deepest emotion" I think that applies to collecting too. You collect because it creates fun (unlike activities that just are fun). Since people are different, collections differ. You go for what you see on the coin, muntenman goes for the contact with others, I go for the economic-historical research, Ginger goes for a combination of history and art and I haven't a handy box for Bruce yet. :P

Moreover, we can all connect with all the aspects that the others go for, because we see those elements also and appreciate them. The end result is an extremely individual approach that all collectors can share. Just like art.

Peter

« Last Edit: May 02, 2007, 09:20:54 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2007, 11:19:30 PM »
I wouldn't put it as 'unempolyed' more like under paid! They are many great items, and often not that expensive each, but the sum is greater than my bank account! So it goes!

Bruce

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 02:20:02 AM »
     Bruce, do you have a goal in mind with your purchases? What would a perfect collection of medallions look like?
     I agree with you Peter, in your reponse.  I truly enjoyed looking at Bruce?s collection, admired the level of artistry and connections with the past, though my own collecting propensities are quite different.
     I also agree that I was being whimsical and inscrutable in my previous response.  My dog just came out of surgery for a repair of a torn AC; I was probably emotionally fragile and my thoughts may have bordered on the Gothic.  Maya, my standard poodle and dear family member, is sleeping soundly as I write this, and I?m feeling more upbeat about life.
     The words you used, ?inscrutably oriental? though, conjure up Rudyard Kipling for me. If only he collected coins and could send them to me! But I?d be willing to bet that most Orientals believe that Orientals are no more ?inscrutable? than Occidentals. I wonder what the research says on that one.
     Though I am particularly fond of Duchamp and his view that Art is that which is in service of the mind, I also agree with the definition of Art as ?the very deepest expression of the very deepest emotion?.  There was an ?Oriental? theater critic (and master yogi) who lived nearly 1000 years ago in ancient Kashmir named Abhinavaguptacharya. He said nearly the same as your Dutch art critic.  Abhinava also said that any of nine emotional states would do; Awe as well as Disgust for example.  In either case, the viewer of the art object has an aesthetic response; a momentary pause in thinking which might be rendered as ?Ah..? or ?Oy Vey!?.   From that pause and jolt to the senses arises joy.  Art is the object, the process and the response which connects with that joy.
     I suppose that there?s a place for pornography in coin or medal collections, isn?t there, or even a collection of ?the worst designs in the history of coinage?.  What Abhinava would look for in judging the strength of a collection is the unifying theme and its singular emotional component and the support this gives to the aesthetic response.   

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 04:07:07 AM »
I don't know what would make up a perfect collection of medallions. In a sense I am whimsical, I have about four different collections medallion going on. One is churches and cathedrals, another is English royal coronations, another is WW I, then there are ones without classification, like the Cellini. Many are interlinked, I have a WWI medallion of the destruction of the Rheims Cathedral, so where would it belong? It is more the stories and histories, not the items per say. I would love to add more churches and cathederals, some I have are new, some from the 1820's, bronze, white metal, silver it varies. I will post more to Tantalus and a few here, as I would like help from the European side of the pond. There are some Belgian WWI medallions that have people I cannot find histories of, but must have been well know in their homeland. These are the things that make groups like this fun.
  All right you made me do it, I posted the medallion ;D http://www.worldofcoins.eu/index.php/topic,257.0.html

  Ragnath, I can understand how you feel, many years ago I lost a cocker spaniel that had been with me for 10 years. He was hit by a car. It was losing a member of the family.

Bruce
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 04:25:48 AM by bruce61813 »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2007, 11:17:14 AM »
There was an ?Oriental? theater critic (and master yogi) who lived nearly 1000 years ago in ancient Kashmir named Abhinavaguptacharya. He said nearly the same as your Dutch art critic.  Abhinava also said that any of nine emotional states would do; Awe as well as Disgust for example.  In either case, the viewer of the art object has an aesthetic response; a momentary pause in thinking which might be rendered as ?Ah..? or ?Oy Vey!?.   From that pause and jolt to the senses arises joy.  Art is the object, the process and the response which connects with that joy.
     I suppose that there?s a place for pornography in coin or medal collections, isn?t there, or even a collection of ?the worst designs in the history of coinage?.  What Abhinava would look for in judging the strength of a collection is the unifying theme and its singular emotional component and the support this gives to the aesthetic response.   

That's an appealing thought. Looking for the most shockingly bad taste on coins. The sugary flowers and animals of the Franklin Mint come to mind immediately, but what is their redeeming virtue? They leave me indifferent. Pornography on coins! Certainly. There is a modern Danish coin (I forgot which) where the designer was able to put genitals on, masquerading as door knobs or such. Violence maybe? There are several hacked off Gorgon heads on coins, blood dripping. Burning holy hearts as well. Some English tokens show Thomas Paine hanging. "End of Paine", they proclaim. The very worst may be the Mexican 50 pesos 1984 (KM490), which depicts Coyolxauhqui, mother of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec supreme god. The mother is shown hacked to pieces by her son. Several levels up are ugly people on coins. Catharine the Great, so fat she died from breaking her toilet must be a contender.

Yes, the shocking is definitely a possible theme on coins, but why limit it to coins? Surely, the shocking exists in other art forms. I am not aiming to better Abhinava, but there is something to "the medium is the message". By combining the medium with the message you get an exceptionally strong message. This inspires me to open a thread on medals struck by minthouses for themselves one of these days.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 11:36:41 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2007, 07:54:59 PM »
One should separate true coins from medallions. The reason I say this is that coins, as circulating currency, generally represent the country of origin.

 Medallions on the other hand are sort form or art. Many, as the Thomas Paine medallion are political, some really radical in their support of the national government - see Karl Goetzhttp://www.karlgoetz.com/index.html, and those range from historic, to very political.

It is fun to look at the types and uses, but in the past, the medallions were means to reach the mass populace, and was heavily used by both sides in WW I .

Bruce

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Buying coins
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2007, 09:53:12 AM »
You're a source of inspiration, Bruce. Yes, coins represent the state. This is not necessarily positive. There are several fixtures on coins that are either abhorrent or untrue, because the state does not eschew propaganda. Among the white lies are the youthful second portrait of Elizabeth II, still used when she was ... uhhh ... beyond middle age, the date 1948 on Dutch coins struck until 1950 and of course the motto "god zij met ons" (may god be with us) when the second denomination of the country is muslim and by far the largest group is not religious - I wonder how truthful "in god we trust" is - and of course the US presidents on dollar coins, who are being treated as if they are all equally important and succesful. Some not so white lies are the evocation of brotherhood on the French coins struck during the terror period of the French revolution, the British roundhead coins with the decapitated king on them and the German coins with an oak wreath, symbol of strength, struck in 1944.

Medallions are indeed a form of art, so their message is smoothened by understanding, complications and capitalism. I know a few medallions making fun of the pope, but that is about as far as they dare to go. Love tokens are a class in themselves, often ignoring the underlying coin and putting on a forlorn message of forget-me-not. The message is honest, but memory short.

Counters are even more capitalist: the whole idea is to sell them, so you put on them what people like to see (a naked Venus, a likeness of a gold coin, a popular figure, a dead king, a pious motto or propaganda against the enemy or celebrating your own victories) or you go along with the social joke that, seen from a distance, the card payers seem to be using gold coins. You make sure you keep a safe distance from the law and the executioner and you know your market. (discussion on this paragraph moved here)

Some tokens are plainly (even crudely, as you put it) partial. They defend or take issue with the French revolution or the defend or attack the royal houses of France or Britain. Others contain tourist information, with local castles, churches, canals, locks or bridges and there's a whole class of stuffy tokens from a lower government with long forgotten coats of arms. Also, there are the new barons who "put their brazen face on copper" and show off their machines. Socialism shows its radical chic with austere co-op tokens in bright colours, with the tame equivalent of US tax tokens, just as minimalist but a bit less colourful. The latest entries are party organizers, rock clubs, fun fairs and shop chains. Colour has won and design has lost.

If you are looking for lies and the repulsive, you'll find it in coins, but medals, tokens and counters run the whole gamut of human emotions.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 09:39:54 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.