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Edging Ever so Closer



This past week I made an upgrade to "Gary's Golden Wilhelmina Guldens" that brings me ever so closer to the ultimate goal for this set.

About three years ago, I started an 11-coin set of Netherlands Wilhelmina 10 Guldens. Before the end of 2009, I completed my set of small European gold coins with six previously certified coins and five raw coins submitted to NGC for certification.

My original set containing six coins grading at MS-63 and 64, and five coins grading at MS-65 and higher, won the "best in category" award in 2009 and every year since. However, only being "best in category" was never my intention. As stated before in past journals, my ultimate goal is to populate this set with coins grading MS-65 and higher.

My first objective was to complete the set using lower-grade coins as placeholders until higher-grade coins become available. The lower-grade coins in turn would subsidize the purchase price of the higher-grade coins. With an eye on incrementally improving my set, I have purchased MS-64 coins to upgrade MS-63 examples even though MS-64 coins are not the final objective. My rational for this is based on the very limited availability of high-grade coins on the open market. For example, I will buy an MS-64 coin to upgrade the MS-63 knowing that it may be years before a MS-65 is available. That said, this collection will always be the best that it can be.

While high-grade Wilhelmina's are rarely available for sale, very few people have an interest in collecting them, thus making them relatively inexpensive. For instance, this week I upgraded my 1927 Wilhelmina from MS-64 to MS-65 for only $80 more than melt value. The only coin that I will have to spend significantly more to upgrade is the key-date 1898 Wilhelmina.

Another goal that is not particularly hard and fast is to populate my set with NGC graded coins. My reasoning for this is based upon the NGC and PCGS population reports. By comparing both reports, it seems that NGC grades these coins much more conservatively. That makes my 1927 MS-65 Wilhelmina all the more sweet as it represents the top-pop in the NGC report as one of four coins.

Today seven of the eleven coins in my set grade at MS-65 or higher. This includes two NGC top-pops (1927 MS-65 and 1932 MS-66) and one NGC coin (1897 MS-66) that has only one coin graded higher. This leaves me with four coins left to upgrade, two MS-63 (1898 and 1912) and two MS-64 coins (1925 and 1926).

Because of the smallness of this set and limited availability, every coin that I purchase towards the end goal is a big deal and hence this post detailing my latest addition. Additionally, because of the relatively low cost of the coins in this set I have an opportunity to build the best set obtainable. This shows that there is a niche available for just about anyone who desires to acquire a set that is the very best. I hope that you all have the opportunity, no matter how small or large, to assemble a set that you can be proud of just as I have with this set.



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