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The Heart of the Matter



Investor, collector, or both? There is nothing like a robust conversation to get the juices going.

One of the things I love about collecting coins is that there is no right or wrong coin to collect. There is only what the individual collector enjoys collecting. This effectually brings diversity and variety to our hobby. I am also heartened by the fact that the king?s hobby is no longer just the king?s hobby. Anyone of any financial means can collect coins. I still enjoy finding coins in circulation that, for the most part, have stopped circulating. That occasional ?wheatie? I find only costs me a penny! Most people start collecting by plugging Whitman folders. When I was a much younger collector, I enjoyed plugging a Lincoln Memorial folder. I particularly liked trying to find all the dates and mints of the series in circulation. This scavenger hunt gave me hours of enjoyment as I constantly checked my change for a date and mint I was missing.

When I was young, there were only proof sets and mint sets of our circulating coins. Now if a modern commemorative coin grabs my attention, I will add it to my collection. The state quarters in silver or clad offer diversity to our coins that was unheard of before 1999. For a short time, my son plugged a state quarter folder much as I did for Lincoln Memorials. Unfortunately, he lost interest. However, I believe many other young and old collectors alike have not.

Now many years later, I own classic and modern, proof and circulated, foreign and US coins of every type of coining metal. Talk about diversity, it resides in my collection! I collect coins that to me have interesting designs and beauty. I have often spent more to have a coin graded and placed in a holder than it will ever be worth because it fits into one of my theme collections.

No one wants their coins to go down in value. However, to buy that special coin for my collection, I have often paid more than the coin was worth. The key here is relative, for instance; I may pay $25 for a coin that is worth $12.50, but I will not pay $2000 for a coin that is worth $1000. I consider the $12.50 premium I pay as the cost of having fun in order to add that coin to my collection.

My recent interest in Morgan Dollars is based strictly on a desire to collect coins rather than use them as an investment. However, I would be a liar if I told you I am disinterested in the performance of my coins in the marketplace. The current commodities' market is taking us all on a ride and my Morgan Dollars are swept up in this buying frenzy. If the key to investing is buying low and selling high then I should be selling my Morgan Dollars. However, while I am tempted by the prospect of capital gain, my coins are not for sale. This effectively removes any possibility of my collection being an investment. Circumstances in the future though may change my perspective, but for now I am simply a collector.

As for points, cumulative points are a joke, last time I checked my ranking is 608; whoopty do, personal milestones is all they are. The only thing that matters are that points within a set are equally applied to all the coins in that set... What do I care if a ?prezzie? is one point or a thousand as long as everyone with a MS-65 coin has the same amount of points? That said, I do scratch my head at the current rational for awarding points. To tell you the truth, I own many valuable coins that have no points because there are no competitive sets available for them. These coins reside in my custom sets where the hobby is all that matters.

So until next time happy collecting, and posters keep those posts coming, I am enjoying the current blogosphere conversation because nothing gets me to think more about my own collection than differing perspectives.




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