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An unintended consequence of the set registry?

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Look at all the old time collections auctioned off in the past few decades. No attempt was made to collect both proofs and mint state coins - for the most part Philly coins were represented by a single example, usually a proof. The proofs were more available in high grade and often times represented the finest looking example in existance.


Now, the set registries come along and list separate MS and Proof sets - but no combined sets. Doesn't this severely reduce the desirability of collecting like the old timers did? Granted, a proof coin is manufactured differently than a circulation strike, but why isn't a proof Philly coin a good example of the date and type? Why don't we have combined sets that would allow collectors with the old philosophy to participate in the new technology?


Personally, I prefer MS coins because I like the luster in most cases - but not when there is a wide disparity in quality. Take seated dollars for example. A combined set would be a truly noble accomplishment and, quite frankly, doesn't a beautifully toned lightly hairlined PF64 look a whole lot better than a bagmarked & luster impaired MS63? I use this set as an example because the early MS coins are practically non existant in high grade. Many dates will only allow a collector to own an MS61, 62 or 63 whereas a PF 63 or 64 or even 65 might be available. Is it a numismatic sin these days to mix sets?


What do you think? Should mixed sets be acceptable for Registry purposes?

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I understand what you're saying, but feel that this is not a big issue (imo).


Set building, in its most ideal form, is a personal challenge. If you wish to to compete with Seated dollar specialists, but wish to form a customized set based purely on eye appeal as opposed to strike format, then you can still do so.


Suppose that your SD pursuit is as follows:


1840 - 1850: PF65+

1851 - 1853: MS64+

1854 - 1858: PF65+

1859 - 1873: MS64+

1846-O: MS63+

1850-O: MS62+

1859-S: MS63

1859-O, 1860-O: MS64+

1872-S: MS62+

1870-S: any

1870-CC: MS62+ (or, BMP)

1871-CC: AU58+

1872-CC: MS62+

1873-CC: AU58+


Some would be in the MS set, and others will be in the PF set. It may look incomplete to casual observors, but aficionados would understand what you're trying to do.




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Why don't we have combined sets that would allow collectors with the old philosophy to participate in the new technology?


I'm sorry, but when did this "technology" become part of collecting? This is what is wrong with too many people in this hobby. The registry is driving them. If someone wants to put together a mixed set, then good for them. If it won't fit in the registry, who cares? Who cares that "old type" collections won't fit in the registry. The people collected coins this way for a long time and seemed to enjoy it long before the registry came along.


Should they have mixed sets? I don't know. I guess only if NGC/PCG$ wants to create yet another sub-set. How about a date set without regard to mint marks? Yet another sub-set. How about a mixed PF/MS date set without regard to mint marks? It goes on and on. They'll be 10,000 different sets if the company across the street gets its way.


Personally, I think the most basic set compositions are OK. If someone wants to collect something outside these, then good for them. Who cares if it isn't possible to register those sets. Not *many* of the collectors.


When collecting I've NEVER ONCE thought to myself, gee, will this coin fit in my registry set. Too many people think that before deciding to purchase a coin or not.

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The same discernment occurs in collecting types and varieties of any given series. For example, varieties are often not on the radar screen of many collectors, but because they are selectively listed in the registries, they become a focus of collecting a given series. It is a bit preposterous, and since variety collecting is not historically part of collecting a given series for many collectors, then they should be removed from the mainstream sets and placed in their own. I agree that the registries "should" not influence a collector's collecting impetus, but the fact is that the registries do. They should be fully structured in a way that best reflects what the statre of the hobby concerns itself with. Either full mix the sets, proof, MS, varieties, or provide that option along with fully segregated sets. It's time that the companies who provide the registries recognize that they have an impact on collecting impetus, for better or worse.



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