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Question for Jefferson full step collectors

7 posts in this topic

I just received my first 2004D Jefferson Peace Medal in MS67. Initially I was very excited to get it. I examined the obverse – average for the grade, then flipped the coin over and was disappointed there were no steps. Obviously I knew this.


So I asked myself a question - am I a Jefferson nickel collector or a full step collector? After collecting this series exclusively for over 20 years the simple answer is I’m a full step collector.


While I believe the reverse changes will create additional interest in the Jefferson series and higher prices, I have mixed feelings. It will be interesting to see what Monticello reverse will be used in 2006 – steps or no steps.


So for those of you who collect Jefferson full step nickels – are you a Jefferson nickel collector or a full step collector?


Has the new design created more excitement in the series for you, or like me do you have mixed feelings?



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We have a number of hard core Jefferson nickel collectors on this board, like Hoot, spy88, and Kingofthejungle. As for me, I guess I would consider myself a Jefferson nickel collector. Don’t get me wrong, when I was putting my Jeff set together I looked for coins with full steps, but I did not obsess on the steps. I bought as many full step coins as I could find, and as for the harder full step dates, so long as the overall coin was nice and the steps were fairly well defined, I was happy.


I think the new design just may do for Jefferson nickels what the state quarters did for the Washington series. It will be interesting to see just what effect the design change will have on prices for the ’38 – ’03 coins.


Anyway, Welcome to the board and I hope you enjoy your time spent here.



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Frank, welcome to the boards! Always room here for another FS fanatic!


As John pointed out, I am another FS collector and have enjoyed the hunt for the elusive little devils in the raw. And although I do place a premium for FSers, and I let that search dictate my decisions to buy or not to buy, I do not overlook the fact that there are certain dates/mm that will either be impossible for me to obtain in FS or will likely never be able to afford should one come up for sale. There are enough EDS Jeffs out there of the rarer FS dates that have some steps to them to satisfy my collecting.


As for the new nickel design, IMO it is just too early (for me) to foresee their impact on the series, Jeff collecting and the '38 to '03 values. I do believe that the series will see '04 as the first year of them coming into their own and will continue to do so. We have already seen some extremely high hammer prices of FS Jeffs from various auctions this year. Many of us believe it is only the beginning! Don't know if this would have happened on it own or is due to the new design but feel there is some correlation.


I'm not too excited by the new designs but am using it as sort of a hiatus in that I don't have to think about finding a FS Jeff for the few years they will be used. Will use the time to concentrate on bettering what I have.


Mark, Leo, Jason---your thoughts?



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That's exactly my thoughts David - use the time to better the prior step years of ones collection.


I collect the varieties of the series so steps is not of a huge concern to me. As far as the 04 changes, to me, its a new variety, and collectable to me. Once I obtain a particular die variety I then go back and try to upgrade them to 1. an earlier die state 2. and then steps.


Many people feel that the series is closed, I tend to disagree. (That is unless the reverse design is changed in its entirety in 06 whereas collectors cannot resume FS collecting). I think there has definately been a new spark in the series with the 04 design change but how long that spark will last will hinge on the reveres in 06.



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I'm one of those who at least HOPE that the series is closed. I'd like to think that the Schlag designs will end this year and that the elevational view of Monticello, as we know it, will be one of antiquity as of 2004. My sentiments have nothing to do with my fondness for the design, rather that I (1) think that the designs on our change should change more often than they have in the last century, and (2) believe firmly that we should get the presidents off of our coins, thus de-politicizing our coinage with a return to allegory. Now, I know that the latter is not going to happen soon and that Jefferson will be on the obverse of the nickel in 2006 and Monticello on the reverse, but I hope that they are new portraits.


As for what type of collector I am (BTW, great question), I'm a Jefferson nickel collector who also collects coins with full steps. But the series is so diverse and the diversity is so great within any given issue, I simply cannot be insanely focused on full steps (even though there was a time that I was). I'm like many folks who collect the series seriously (or is that seriesously? insane.gif): I find the greatest fun in searching for raw coins. This hones my skills as a collector and makes me more familiar with the series at large. I'm a fanatic for well-struck nickels, no matter how many steps they show or whether they have ticks on the steps, etc. An MS 67 coin in the series is quite rare for many dates/mm's and I generally find that gem grade or better coins are simply worthy of collection.


I have at least 7 sets of Jeffersons and am always looking for a different angle on assembling another. I'd do the same with other series as well (and do, to some degree, with Lincoln cents) but most series are unaffordable that way. This series is one of the very best for the entry-level collector and I find it a bit of a shame how out-of-hand some of the FS prices have gotten. sign-rantpost.gif


So far, three fanatics and another serious collector of the series have answered this question, all with a slightly different twist! smile.gif That's what makes this hobby full of room for every collector and style. cool.gif



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Thanks for your insights. I guess only time will tell what happens in 2006. I would also prefer removing the presidents.


My Jeffersons sets include proof, MS and the varieities. It has certainly been a challenge collecting this series. I have passed on many so called full step coins that either did not have full steps or a full strike. Most of my coins are in PCGS slabs, simply because NGC only certifed 6 full step coins when I submitted my raw set for grading. About 1 year ago, I raised the question with David Hall about PCGS certifying 5 & 6 step coins. His response was that adding the 6 step desination would be confusing and only benefit the Jefferson specialist. Obviously I do not agree.


I have "upgraded" about 20+ coins that have higher a higher grade but only have 5+ steps for my registry sets. (My set is The Corso Collection.) I have a box of 6 full stepers mostly from the 40s with some in the 50s that if I ever get organized will send them to NGC for 6 step certification. My initial focus was on 6 full step coins (with full strike and eye appeal).


Now I spend my time collecting Jeffferson Cherrypicker varieties, some raw, some slabbed. This series certainly has a lot to offer. Good luck in the hunt!

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I believe I am a Jefferson Nickel collector. It started with War nickels

and key dates like 39-D and 50-D. Then I got interested in the allure of variety coins like the '39 Doubled Monticello, 43/2-P, 54-S/D and 55-D/S. Finally, I started picking up nicely toned coins. This is certainly a diverse series with something to offer every collector!


Somewhere in the mix of all this comes full-step coins. I enjoy the challenge of trying to find a nice coin that also has full steps, but won't spend the premiums for ultra-rare full step issues.


I'd like to see all Presidents removed from our coinage and get back to

Liberty themes. Since that most likely will not happen soon, I would like to see the old design closed as a 1938-2003 series (I've not ventured beyond 1964 as of yet!) and the Jefferson nickel completely redesigned when it comes back.


The original reverse design by Felix Schlag (as depicted on the FSNC patterns) is very nice, but would not include steps as a design element.



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