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Being the best is not a bad thing

I have often seen on various forums people either being critical of someone trying to put together the "best" collection of a various series or at least implying that is not what collecting is all about.  I always found it odd and thought I would post this thread.

I agree that there is not one way to collect coins.  There is nothing wrong about collecting coins out of circulation.   It certainly can be rewarding to put together a collection without spending any serious money.   But to be fair, there is also nothing wrong with someone who only wants to buy top pop coins or condition census coins.  Neither type of collector is wrong or "loves" coins more.  

I think a good analogy is golf.  There are millions of golfers who love golf, enjoy playing and don't really care if they ever break 100.   There are other golfers who want to be the best and want to play on the pga tour.  They both love golf, they both are doing what is best for them, and have their own challenges.

Some people thrive on competition and for them buying top pops, the registry, etc is fun.   Others achieve great satisfaction putting together a Franklin Half collection and not spending more than $20 on any coin.   Both are fine.  Just my thoughts...
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Comments

  • I love taking a coin that is under-graded or raw, and getting it to where it belongs.  Over the years, I have reached top pop a few times doing this.  

    Buying the top pops when you are loaded does not seem as fun to me.  I can't prove that though!   
  • Agree, but registry fever can undermine a quest for quality since there is an emphasis on the grade and not necessarily quality within a grade. 
  • Catbert said:
    Agree, but registry fever can undermine a quest for quality since there is an emphasis on the grade and not necessarily quality within a grade. 
    Definitely 
  • No truer words regarding numismatics were ever spoken.
  • Well said. 

    I've put together a few registry sets, and working on one currently.  My goal is never to be the best, but among the best with nice for the grade coins within my budget. For one set I can say "I want to crack the top 5", or "If I'm inside top 20 all-time I'll be happy".
  • redseals said:

    Well said. 

    I've put together a few registry sets, and working on one currently.  My goal is never to be the best, but among the best with nice for the grade coins within my budget. For one set I can say "I want to crack the top 5", or "If I'm inside top 20 all-time I'll be happy".

    This!
  • edited January 7
    From what I've seen, being the "best" can cause issues when competitors are using different definitions of "best".
  • When a foot compares itself to a yard it always comes up short. Comparison can be a motivation to improve but it can also be greatly discouraging if you're not careful. With my registry sets and collections I don't strive to be the best because I'll never achieve it with my budget and opportunities. I'm just happy to play along and build a set that I like.

    I doubt anyone will look at my TurtleCat sets on PCGS registry and be in awe or envy of much, lol.
  • “Best” isn’t always the same as highest graded. And a couple of challenging, but still affordable goals to consider pursuing are “best for the assigned grade” and/or “best eye-appeal”.
  • I learned long ago there always is a market for the finest of anything. Some people are that way in life.

    In coins, the finest coins usually look the best . To own a perfect PR TD or Early Gold coin-WOW!
  • MarkFeld said:
    “Best” isn’t always the same as highest graded. And a couple of challenging, but still affordable goals to consider pursuing are “best for the assigned grade” and/or “best eye-appeal”.
    Absolutely.  That is why some people have CAC only collections.  Some sophisticated collectors would prefer an all CAC collection rather than the highest graded collection.  In many, cases the all CAC collection would be considered the "best".
  • edited January 9
    The 1894-S dime has an interesting situation when considering which coin is the "best".

    The coins are:
    • PCGS PR66 CAC: Clapp, Eliasberg, Stack
    • PCGS PR66: Daggett, Simpson
    • PCGS PR65+ CAC: Clapp, Eliasberg, Morelan
    The interesting things are that Eliasberg sold the Stack coin as the duplicate while keeping the Morelan coin, and that the Daggett-Simpson coin isn't CAC.

    For people that have seen all three, how would you rank them? Which one is the "best"?
  • Being the best you can be is more important.

    Define your individual collecting goals and budget then stick to it.

    Collect to please YOURSELF and you will be more satisfied and enjoy collecting more at the end of the day.
  • I strive to find the finest eye appeal (for me) and the highest graded (for me) if possible with eye appeal being number 1 priority as long as it is graded high ms. But I also know that there will undoubtedly always another one to come along with better eye appeal and a higher grade, so all I can do is buy the one that moves me at that moment in time and be happy knowing I did my best. And maybe I will upgrade it if that better one moves me more.
    If mine ends up being in the top 5 I am elated. If it has a great pedigree then I know I did good having another great set of eyes appreciate it too 100 years ago and then when you add that historic nature into the equation it never hurts only enhances. Couple that with an old holder and top it off with a CAC sticker and you got the Trifecta of coins.
    As far as the Registry goes, couldn't give a rat's arse. I don't compete and only care about what I like & collect. But a fully respect others choosing to be in the registry, just not for me. And maybe someday when the comp calms down I will reconsider.
  • edited January 10
    Gazes said:

    MarkFeld said:


    “Best” isn’t always the same as highest graded. And a couple of challenging, but still affordable goals to consider pursuing are “best for the assigned grade” and/or “best eye-appeal”.

    Absolutely.  That is why some people have CAC only collections.  Some sophisticated collectors would prefer an all CAC collection rather than the highest graded collection.  In many, cases the all CAC collection would be considered the "best".
    Are you thinking from a Set Registry perspective? PCGS does the CAC-only Set Registry which would allow easy evaluation of all CAC collections and I can see this being used for the type of evaluation you're discussing.

    Other than that, I imagine you'd need to consider the individual coins and it may be more nuanced. An overgraded coin may still be the "best", even if it's not stickered.

    I think about it this way, what super well-known collection is all CAC? Pogue was not all CAC. Tyrant is not all CAC. Stewart's Lincoln collection isn't all CAC. Hansen has a number of all CAC collections but they are a subset of his larger mixed collection. Even Bruce has purchased non-CAC coins, like the Dunham-Dexter Dollar which was part of his Early Dollars and Trinity collections. Is any major, top collection all CAC?

    From looking at it this way, I think the best sets are first about the coins. The grades and stickers help a lot but are not the end all. The collectors of the best collections know how to use stickers (and grades) to help their collections, not be a "slave" to them.
  • Zoins said:
    “Best” isn’t always the same as highest graded. And a couple of challenging, but still affordable goals to consider pursuing are “best for the assigned grade” and/or “best eye-appeal”.
    Absolutely.  That is why some people have CAC only collections.  Some sophisticated collectors would prefer an all CAC collection rather than the highest graded collection.  In many, cases the all CAC collection would be considered the "best".
    Are you thinking from a Set Registry perspective? PCGS does the CAC-only Set Registry which would allow easy evaluation of all CAC collections and I can see this being used for the type of evaluation you're discussing. Other than that, I imagine you'd need to consider the individual coins and it may be more nuanced. An overgraded coin may still be the "best", even if it's not stickered. I think about it this way, what super well-known collection is all CAC? Pogue was not all CAC. Tyrant is not all CAC. Stewart's Lincoln collection isn't all CAC. Hansen has a number of all CAC collections but they are a subset of his larger mixed collection. Even Bruce has purchased non-CAC coins, like the Dunham-Dexter Dollar which was part of his Early Dollars and Trinity collections. Is any major, top collection all CAC? From looking at it this way, I think the best sets are first about the coins. The grades and stickers help a lot but are not the end all. The collectors of the best collections know how to use stickers (and grades) to help their collections, not be a "slave" to them.
    My point in my OP is that we are all wired differently.  I've noticed what I would call a "negativity" towards collectors who are competitive with their collecting.   I'm not talking about just registry.  There are collectors who try to build a collection in complete secrecy and be the "best" like Tyrant.   For many people, competitive coin collecting would not be enjoyable and actually counter productive.  But not let's put down those who take on the challenge to have the "best" whether they succeed or whether they just enjoy the challenge.

  • Zoins said:
    “Best” isn’t always the same as highest graded. And a couple of challenging, but still affordable goals to consider pursuing are “best for the assigned grade” and/or “best eye-appeal”.
    Absolutely.  That is why some people have CAC only collections.  Some sophisticated collectors would prefer an all CAC collection rather than the highest graded collection.  In many, cases the all CAC collection would be considered the "best".
    Are you thinking from a Set Registry perspective? PCGS does the CAC-only Set Registry which would allow easy evaluation of all CAC collections and I can see this being used for the type of evaluation you're discussing. Other than that, I imagine you'd need to consider the individual coins and it may be more nuanced. An overgraded coin may still be the "best", even if it's not stickered. I think about it this way, what super well-known collection is all CAC? Pogue was not all CAC. Tyrant is not all CAC. Stewart's Lincoln collection isn't all CAC. Hansen has a number of all CAC collections but they are a subset of his larger mixed collection. Even Bruce has purchased non-CAC coins, like the Dunham-Dexter Dollar which was part of his Early Dollars and Trinity collections. Is any major, top collection all CAC? From looking at it this way, I think the best sets are first about the coins. The grades and stickers help a lot but are not the end all. The collectors of the best collections know how to use stickers (and grades) to help their collections, not be a "slave" to them.
    Since we don’t have a like or agree button, I want to say that @Zoins precisely reflects my opinion. 

    I don’t have any hostility toward those who collect CAC only, yet those who choose this path will unnecessarily limit themselves by avoiding a great number of meaningful and attractive coins. 
  • edited January 10
    Yes, as a CAC ONLY nut, I am limiting myself to only coins approved by CAC. The question I suggest you consider, that “Great number of meaningful and attractive coins” that I forego, did they not get a CAC since they are lower end (“C” coins) for the grade than those approved by CAC, OR did the coins in this group have their surfaces “messed with” in some fashion that is acceptable to the TPG’s, but not CAC? Your thoughts on why they didn’t merit the CAC? Perhaps it’s neither, and the sellers of these meaningful and attractive coins chose to leave money on the table by not spending just $16 to get the CAC?

    I fully agree each of us can choose to collect what WE EACH want, and I honestly believe there’s nothing wrong with that! But I think some people may be fooling themselves in thinking this great number of meaningful and attractive coins each have the merits of getting CAC’s, but they just don’t have them!

    Perhaps I’m fooling myself for thinking as I do?
  • edited January 10

    Yes, as a CAC ONLY nut, I am limiting myself to only coins approved by CAC. The question I suggest you consider, that “Great number of meaningful and attractive coins” that I forego, did they not get a CAC since they are lower end (“C” coins) for the grade than those approved by CAC, OR did the coins in this group have their surfaces “messed with” in some fashion that is acceptable to the TPG’s, but not CAC? Your thoughts on why they didn’t merit the CAC? Perhaps it’s neither, and the sellers of these meaningful and attractive coins chose to leave money on the table by not spending just $16 to get the CAC?

    I fully agree each of us can choose to collect what WE EACH want, and I honestly believe there’s nothing wrong with that! But I think some people may be fooling themselves in thinking this great number of meaningful and attractive coins each have the merits of getting CAC’s, but they just don’t have them!

    Perhaps I’m fooling myself for thinking as I do?

    Many non-CAC coins have already been rejected or weren’t submitted, because their owners didn’t think they’d sticker. However, there are still many other deserving coins which, for one reason or another, still haven’t been tried.
  • As noted above, some sellers apparently choose to leave money on the table by not submitting to CAC for just $16 each the coins they are selling.
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