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What does "complete" mean to you?



I can't seem to "complete" a set.

I noticed, the other day, that I have six registry sets that have that coveted 100%. This means that I own a coin for every slot in that set. I'm pretty happy about the accomplishment, but I'm not satisfied. Not Yet.

I still remember being 11 or 12 years old and going to a boy scout meeting. One of the scouts was receiving his coin collecting merit badge and he had his collection with him. I think he had a birth year set, a Lincoln cent folder, a Jefferson nickel folder, and a buffalo nickel folder with a few holes filled. I asked where he got the buffalos, and he said he bought a roll for $7 from a mail order coin dealer who advertised in a magazine. He had some extras, so I traded him a dollar bill for 5 different dates. I didn't collect coins yet, but I was intrigued by these old nickels. We had a book shop that my mother frequently visited, and they kept a small stock of whitman folders. I bought the three Lincoln folders, and started looking for pennies to put in the holes. I would ask everyone I saw if they had any pennies in their pockets, and I would trade for any I needed. One day, my mom suggested that I run over to the local liquer store and see if they had any rolls of pennies. I asked the guy there if I could get some pennies for my collection, and he said "sure, you can pick the ones you want. Then he scooped out all of the pennies in his till and put them on the counter. I found quite a few that I needed, including a 1958-D wheatback. When I reacted to this find, he asked, "what's so special about that one"? I told him it was the first one I had found for that folder. He said, "I'll keep an eye out for those, and put them aside for you." I went back about once a week to pick up the neat coins he had found for me. I kept filling holes until I had nearly all of them filled. Then it started getting boring looking for the last few coins I need to fill my Memorial folder. This whole time, I would replace the ugly brown ones with shiny red ones whenever I could - Upgrades. Even when that folder finally got filled up, I would still try for upgrades. And every year that went by, there were always new pennies to put into that folder. I upgraded from a folder, to a whitman album to keep people from touching my nice red Lincolns. I am now 48 years old, and I am still working on that set. Now I am looking for the best of the best to upgrade with, but "TOP POP" coins are not only very expensive, they are very hard to find. The people who own these coins just don't sell very often, so I have to snag them when that rare oppertunity comes along.

I started by filling holes. Then I progressed to upgrading. If I ever get to the point where I have all "TOP POP" collection, I guess I'll have to start going through Uncirculated rolls to find those ever elusive super gems and make my own upgrades..............

Do you see? It never ends, and my collection will never be "COMPLETE".

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