Numismatics has been a part of my life for decades, sometimes very involved and others not so much. I repeat this tired, old mantra for the simple point that collecting has REALLY changed over time. From brick and mortar coin shoppes to coins in the Sears catalog, thumb busters at the bookstores and finding silver or wheaties in pocket change, we've really come a long way- and much of it for the better.
One thing I do find maddening is the collecting of a simple modern "set." Those of you who collect the Silver American Eagles know exactly what I mean. One=per-year date sets are a relic of the past, if you also collect the "full" series including proofs then it gets nuts. You now have burnished coins, enhanced finish coins, reverse proofs, coins with different mints, some with no identifying mintmarks but must be certified in a sealed box, anniversary sets and even a top prize proof that was sold in a separate mint offering with a valuable W on it.
However the most maddening set this P,D,S classic coin collector has encountered has got to be the Canada $2 "Twonie" series. I should have known at the beginning when they issued the regular cuni issue, a special gold issue and an oversized Pierfort silver issue. It doesn't help matters that it is a bi-metallic coin giving the creative desiggners even more options. I'm not going to run through every year or change as I could write a small book ( now there's an idea!) but just some of the variations you'll find in a supposedly annual, circulation series coin.
There have been design modifications for the aging of the queen, there are special issues for the millennium, queen anniversary, nunuvats and coin anniversarys-- there are gold, silver clad, silver 92.5%, silver 99.9%, gold inner circle with silver ring, gold outer ring and white gold inner circle etc etc. The problem often is multiple proof sets and each has a different metal composition on the $2 coin. The alloy coins of nickel outer ring and brass inner ring are sporadic, many years have just the alloy, others just the silver/gold gilt, and some years have 3 or even 4 different metal configurations with gold, gilt, clad, alloy, silver combos.
Some collectors act almost as hoarders, purchasing every beautiful coin they see and simultaneously having a dozen or more incomplete sets "they are working on." I have about 12 series in my registry page and about 8 of these are complete. I also have 5 or 6 series that I've completed but never added to the registry. Then I also still have multiple coin albums I've completed but still will upgrade on occasion if the price is right.
I probably fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from the "hoarder collector" as I have this innate desire to create order with my collecting-- maybe a touch of OCD? This is why the $2 series is so maddening for me, it seems as if I can't complete it or stay caught up. Just when I think I have caught up to the current year it seems an older, obscure "alloy" issue or multi-color, colored or anniversary issue has been added for a back year.
I've decided to make one final push to get the set to 100% through 2021- this has involved purchasing a 5 oz $2 coin, several older proof sets which have the obscure alloy versions of certain dates and a few "anniversary sets". I'll have them all in hand in the next few weeks and send them off for slabbing. Then I'll take a sigh of satisfaction-- and hope that 2022 does not bring out 5 separate issues for this series!