Coin collecting has similarities to sculpture.
Our vision sculpts our collection. In my case, there have been (with hindsight) clear transitions from "accumulation" to "collections" to "one collection". It has been only in recent years that I began to view my coins as one collecting entity, as opposed to a collection of Buffalos, Walkers, Barber Dimes, etc.
Most of us collectors add and delete coins from our collections at various times. Over the years, I've sold a few coins, while buying a lot. As my collecting vision has come into focus, my deacquisitions have taken on a strategic focus to hone the collection into the one I see in my "mind's eye".
Approximately 3 years ago, I decided to trim the collection of duplicates and designs that no longer interested me. My initial thought was that this would be a 6-7 month effort. Last month ( 42 months later) I sold the last large group of coins to be eliminated. As the selling process went on, I began to see the collection as a huge lump of clay which I was molding into the image that I wanted for a collection, and as each "chunk" was removed, my ultimate vision was altered- requiring a reassesment of my end goal. The result is that I've sold roughly 60% of the coins which I held 3 and a half years ago.
I now see not only the collection that I own, but also, the one that I want to create!
Finally, 2 discoveries that have become clear to me:
- I have come to enjoy the culling process and selling coins almost as much as I do buying them.
-THE BIGGIE! Looking back in time, I (and most collectors that I know) frequently say "If only- Why didn"t I buy this or that 10, or 15, or 20 years ago?" Now, I know the answer. It's because I wasn't the same collector back when. I didn't buy it because I couldn't "see"it. My vision was that of a collector 10- 15- 20 years less mature, and I bought what I could see, just as most of us do.
So, I am now happily sculpting a collection that is in tune with a more mature "vision" than I had last month. And as the months and years pass, I will, hopefully, continue to enjoy the evolving sculpture that is MY collection!