Three Point Wonders



If there is anything that rubs me the wrong way, its paying $300 for a classic coin thats worth a paltry three registry points.

When it comes to points, I am not as much interested in total points or competing with other collectors as I am competing with myself. It is this sense of competition and pure absurdity that I just cannot tolerate one-point slaps in the face or three-point wonders. In a manner of speaking, I am also competing against the points themselves.

For instance, I have an MS-64, 1950-D nickel that merits one measly point in my type set. The 1950-D nickel first gets above 100 points in MS-67, but barely at 102 points! With a FMV of $156, the value of each point is about $1.50. At $20 FMV for my coin, the math is simple, let me see; one point equals $20! If it wasnt for the sentimental value of that coin, it would have been updated long ago.

Among Morgan Dollars, this phenomenon most often manifests itself with three-point wonders. For example, I have been eying an 1880-CC rev of 78 and rev of 79 in AU-58 for FMV $350 and $335 respectively. However, I simply cannot bring myself to pay that much money for AU coins worth three registry points. This dilemma effectively leaves me with two choices; either I buy the coins in AU-58 condition or less, or buy them at a higher cost in mint-state condition.

Although I often disagree with the points assigned to particular coins, I believe the point system is a very good means with which to measure the quality of registry sets. This is why I am also grateful for the current system of points because it encourages me to buy higher-quality coins. Naturally, higher-quality coins have a greater marketability and potential for a larger return on investment.

The obsession I have over coins and points often causes me to stretch my budget to buy coins that I would not have otherwise. Nonetheless, I do not typically regret buying the higher-quality coins, especially if I can get them at a good value. Consider this when working with a budget of say $200 per month. Do I buy two coins at $200 each over two months, or do I buy one coin at $400? Often I find myself buying the $400 coin. On the other hand, if a coin is worth $200 in one grade and $1000 one grade higher, then I usually buy the lower graded coin based on my overall budget.

This brings me to my latest find. I was surfing on E-Bay one day to see if there was anything reasonably priced for my Morgan Dollar set (this can be dangerous). During the search, I happened on a GSA Hoard, NGC MS-62 Proof-Like, 1880-CC rev of 79 Morgan Dollar with a asking price more in line with that of a regular MS-62 dollar.

Although this coin, much like that of most MS-62 Morgan Dollars is not particularly appealing to the eye, it was more than I could resist, and I purchased it for about $220 more than a comparable AU-58 and much lower than its FMV of $750. Without deluding myself into thinking I can turn around and make a quick profit on this coin; I believe that this coin in contrast to an AU-58 has a greater potential for growth. At the very minimum, I think my coin will hold its own over time. As a collector and a man living in the real world of unexpected expenses and bills, I can appreciate this.

This brings me back to marketability, and the fact that this coin is desirable on two fronts, first it has a MS PL surface, and second; it is encapsulated in its original GSA holder. Furthermore, the point value, which is much more to my liking, rises to 990 points.

In the end, whether or not NGCs system of points is fair I own higher-quality coins because of points and so my love/hate relationship with points persists. With that, I think I can unequivocally say that the level of quality within ones budget is the bottom line of any registry set. The coin I am attaching in my post is a little scruffy, but I am happy that I purchased it over the other alternatives.

Finally, I wish everyone a Happy Easter. My family and I will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with my mom and sisters.





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