• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Nearing Decision Time posted by Jackson

4 posts in this topic

  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

can my compulsion for completion be quelled or do I just finish the set?


When I started my Barber Half set it was with simple parameters and an understanding. First: I would build a "short set" of Barbers. No registry or even any album that I'm aware of has a barber half short set but it seems to me to provide the perfect series for a partial collection of a much larger series.


The division I made was for the 1900 thru 1915 dates. This allows for a clear division by century and also allows for an easier set. Many of the dates from 1892 thru 1899 are really scarce and pricey so that made my decision to pursue a simpler and shorter set more attractive.


There are plenty of challenging dates in the shorter set with the 01-S, 04-S ( which can be $1000+ in VF 20 grade) and the super low mintage 1913, 14 and 15 philly coins. This set also surprises with many other challenging "semi-keys" which are pretty hard to find in circulated but undamaged condition. The VF to XF grade coins are actually pretty scarce for Barbers if you are looking for examples that have not been cleaned, scratched, dinged, gouged, hairlined etc etc.


I can also say that whereas most list values from numismedia, coinworld and collectors universe are higher than the actual costs and resale values of coins--with the Barber halves, it is hard to near impossible to find certified and quality circulated examples below the list costs.--I don't know whether there is some unintentional collusion or just high collector demand for limited numbers of coins, but Barbers list values are lower than their selling/buying costs.


So this less challenging set of my own creation has still been quite challenging. After several years I have finally whittled the empty slots down to a smaller handful and have 39 coins in the collection.-( granted, many of the final few will cost me several hundred each for F or VF condition when I can find them.)


So, decision time looms closer--when I finally fill that last slot from 1900 thru 1915. Do I go ahead and fill the dates from 1892 thru 1899? Will I have to change my criteria for some of the dates that are super scarce?-or will I sell and exchange and trade enough to be able to afford the few thousand bucks for a micro-O in an F12 grade?


I don't have to decide just yet, but the time for beginning to think about it is here. Right now I'm leaning toward finishing the short set and then beginning a nice 3c nickel collection...time will tell..


The latest uber-crusty addition to my set. A nice 1902-O with darker browns and patches of cobalt--even has some light luster with its uncleaned patina



See more journals by Jackson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have to step back and reflect on what experiences the short set offered. Was is it frustrating? A hassle? Enjoyable? I say if finding the right pieces to make your set was a fun and enjoyable challenge, then by all means, it will be even more fun with the 19th century coins. If you found it tiring or exhausting, it's time to move on.


I strictly collected Barber halves in VF undamaged, uncleaned, problem free for the past few years. It is a very challenging series with that criteria as you have found out. I have since sold most, but hang on to a few pieces.


In my experiences, I think you have hit two key points. There is not enough problem free key and semi key coins to satisfy the demand. But to the other side of that, I have seen a number of people hoard those coins paying top dollar and releasing as little as possible with giant premiums. There are people holding sizable collections of these in problem free and most of them are dealers. When these coins come to market is a shoot. But until then, the scarce coins will still be sought after by those with deep pockets. And the coins that are being held will not have a problem being absorbed by the market IMO.


I can say I had a lot of fun 90% of the time collecting these coins. When I would find a key or semi key on my own, it felt like winning the lottery. And it should feel that way. But I had enough of competing with some of the hoarders for some of these coins that I decided it was time for me to move. I will say that when you collect the most eye appealing coins for the grade, they resell easily.


Here's one that will probably never leave my collection and one of the few coins I still own:






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you sure that you don't want to part with that 1905-O? It is actually one of the empty slots I still have to fill.


Thanks for the input-it is especially helpful coming from someone who collected with the same eye I use and the same grade range I chose. I suspected that many of these nicer circulated examples are being hoarded.


I actually feel as though 1 or 2 of the sellers on ebay are keeping these coins "hostage."


They have these great coins in VF to XF range and certified yet they are asking a full 2x or more for the coins in BIN than the list values. That is why one must be vigilant with a weekly look at ebay and the routine auction sites--you never know when one held by a collector is going to pop up for bidding ( but like you said-then you must compete with the hoarders who look to grab the available coins also and add them to their hoards.)


I think you've helped me edge closer to making my decision--there really has been a degree of frustration in collecting these and getting squeezed or forced to overpay to fill slots and complete the set. I suspect that finding and purchasing the scarcer early years may be even more of a frustration than a hobby is supposed to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not for sale anytime soon. But keep bugging me and maybe someday I will give up. :D


I understand your frustration. But don't be so quick to make the decision yet. I paint a lot of doom and gloom but the fact is there are more out there waiting to be found. Case in point, I bought my 93-S in VF20 for 50$ less than PCGS guide. I just so happened to check my newly listed search and it just popped up. I think the ad lasted a whole minute and a half. I kept that one as well.


You have some holes to fill, and it sounds like you are more patient than I was. I think that added to my frustration more than anything. Work on the last few and give it some time. The series is a bit tougher with the 19th century dates, but can be a lot more rewarding when you find that special piece.


Fact of the matter is, this series is one of the toughest series to put together in mid grade problem free. Other people recognize this and try to corner as many pieces as they can. Have a little patience (unlike me) and wait for the right time to pounce. A lot are still waiting to be found at local shows. It just takes boots on the ground.


Whatever your decision, I wish you luck. If you ever want to chat Barbers etc, send me a PM.



Link to comment
Share on other sites