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Because the #1 set should be worth looking at...



So I'm probably going to come off like a bit of a "super judger" (as my wife puts it) while also preaching to the choir a bit, but I wanted to post about the work I've been doing on my Half Cent set recently.

I said recently that my wife gave me a 1955 Rhodesian Half Cent, following up on the 1957 and 1958 she'd given me at Christmas, buying things I'd put on my watch list. 

Putting this coin in my set put it in the #1 spot in the category. And so, it was a #1 ranked set for me - with none of my own photos, just NGC photos, no set banner image, no set description and no coin descriptions.

This happened in large part because I hadn't been focusing on this - I'd been focusing on buying and working on coins for another set that I'm also researching at the moment and I'm going to build it out as a phase 3 to what I've done with Zimbabwe and Venezuela. But then this new set snuck up on me, going from 20% complete and rank 5 to 80% complete and rank 1, driven completely by my wife, who knew I liked them and had heard me talking about them.

But once it was #1, I really felt a need to table some of the other stuff for a while, get pictures of these, and build out a presentation for the set. Because - I really think, if you made a #1 ranked set, you should make it worth looking at and fun to look at if you're at all able too - no shade intended at those that can't get a good photo of a coin, perhaps just because they don't have the equipment. But it is just so much nicer to click on a #1 ranked, 100% complete set and see gorgeous, lustrous, detailed, close-up photos. And I love that NGC made it easy to pop-in their verification photos... but that's photos are just not as good as what many of us can produce and they often do not do a good job of showing off the coin. Those photos are produced in a quick, generic, assembly line kind of way and you're not going to get the best images of a particular coin unless you're taking your time with each coin - something NGC just can't afford to do unless you're paying them an extra fee for their high-end photos.

And so, that's what I've done and built and at this point the set presentation is more or less finished and built. I have at least 1 more coin description to get to, as I'm about to get to.

Getting the 1955 meant I only had one more coin - the 1956 - left to get to complete the set. So getting that coin moved up my priority list in a big way after the 14th of last month.

As I started looking into building a presentation for the set, one of the things I like to look at and reference is the mintage for each year.

And that brought something to my attention - the 1956, the only coin I hadn't acquired, the only coin I hadn't even really seen for sale, is also the lowest mintage year with only 480,000 made that year. The next lowest had 720,000 made - 50% more - and all the other years were in the 1-2.5 million range. 

And, coincidentally, as I was looking at all of this and figuring all this out, a seller I've bought several of these Rhodesian coins from listed a 1956 in MS65RB. For reference, there are no coins at MS66 or above presently, there's a single MS65RD graded by NGC and only about 3 MS65RBs. So, this was one of the better NGC-graded examples.

So I immediately wanted that coin, and I have some hobby money saved up and I was ready to bid aggressively to get it, since it was an auction. Because, I'm not sure how long I might have to wait to see another one this good - maybe not long, maybe quite a while.

Turns out I didn't need to worry - no one else bid and no one fought me for it. But the set is now complete. ^^:takeit:

I won the coin last weekend, and it arrived on Wednesday. I took some time last night to get pictures taken and edited to go with the pictures I took of the others last week. And so, here it is. I just need to get that last description finished.


And so the next post will probably focus on what I've been working on now that this is done.



Recommended Comments

Congratulations on completing the Set :golfclap:

Lots of these 'modern' Sets from the start of the 20th century until ~1970's are surprising difficult to complete and even more so in high grade. I seem to have given up and am settling for typesets xD

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On 3/18/2023 at 4:25 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Congratulations on completing the Set :golfclap:

Lots of these 'modern' Sets from the start of the 20th century until ~1970's are surprising difficult to complete and even more so in high grade. I seem to have given up and am settling for typesets xD

Some 16 years into this journey I find that I do far far better with type sets and mint/year sets where-in every coin is different than with date sets where every coin is more or less the same. Where I have had success with date sets it is with series with short runs - 15 years seems to be about my limit. lol

My Zimbawe and Venezuelan sets - my main claims to fame this decade - are both type sets. These Rhodesian sets are manageable for me at only 5-7 issues.

Edited by Revenant
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On 4/6/2023 at 5:00 PM, coinsbygary said:

Your pictures are looking good to match your set!

Thanks! Hopefully it'll prove difficult to challenge for a couple of years. :wishluck:

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“Because the #1 set should be worth looking at…..”

Here’s another twist on that statement.  Should a set that “(Includes varieties)” actually include at least some of the recognized varieties?

My “Walking Liberty Half Dollar Set (Including Varieties)” was #1 for several years.  It includes 16 of the originally recognized 17 varieties (NGC keeps adding more, and dropped one,  so now it’s 15 of 22).  My set is now #2, replaced by a set that includes ZERO of the 22 recognized varieties.  That set consists of all of the regular issues in very high grades, which is certainly an impressive set, but does it really belong in the “Including Varieties” category? If you want to see examples of the varieties, the #1 set will only show you empty slots. Worth looking at?

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On 4/12/2023 at 7:51 AM, CBC said:

Here’s another twist on that statement.  Should a set that “(Includes varieties)” actually include at least some of the recognized varieties?

My statement was more focused on the idea of having good pictures/ the best pictures of the coins you can make and generally investing effort in the presentation that reflects, essentially, "pride of place."

If you wanted to go further - a set that is 90% complete except for 1 or 2 rare coins losing to a set that is 25% complete that has that rare coin(s) and others in high grade?

The points system of the registry, for better or worse, privileges key dates and high grades by design because this helps encourage/ drive demand for high grades and top pops. That's inevitably going to lead to some outcomes that some of us consider not ideal. I just hope and wish that the 25% complete set gives us good pictures of those high grade coins - sadly, they usually don't. 

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