A COLLECTOR’S HISTORY
Let me start by telling you that I have been collecting coins for the better part of 30 years. I consider myself someone of average means working a white collar job in middle class America. If you are like me and my family you know first-hand that this is not an easy task. We are the “dying breed” whose shoulders carry much of the financial burden in our great country today.
One day when I was about six years old I found a Buffalo nickel and a Winged Liberty dime in my father’s jewelry box. After he explained what they were I was bitten. During my early collecting days, as many collectors did, I diligently attempted to fill the blue Whitman albums with coins that I received from my father and those that my grandparents had throw in a jar from earlier times. I would dream about having a job and the money to buy those dates that I could just not afford. My father would happily take me to local coin shows where I attempted to fill-in the albums with my allowance and the money that my father could manage to give me at the show. I owe my father many thanks for taking the time to foster my collecting ambition although no one in my family collected coins. He could tell right away that I had the collecting fever and his dedication and encouragement developed a life-long hobby. Today, it is my wife who provides this same encouragement and understanding in supporting my total obsession with collecting. She patiently listens to me explain where I went, what I found and how rare it is.
To this day I continue to fill albums, although my preferred album is now Dansco, as I believe that a true coin collector understands that collecting is not always about slabs, registries, awards and prestige. I do admit that I find myself firmly planted in both “camps” and happily so as I feel balanced and content in my collecting approach. For those that may have forgotten, do yourself a mighty big favor and select a series, and fill-in an album with higher grade coins than you collected as a kid. I GUARANTEE you will have more fun than you have had in a long time collecting and this is a great alternate activity at the coin shows when you realize that the certified example you went to find is just not available. In keeping the balance, I raw collect series that I do not collect certified.
SELECTING MY SERIES OF CHOICE
Starting around the year 2000, I finally have some means to attempt a much more challenging set and therefore I chose the Capped Bust quarter series for its beautiful design and relative rarity. There are many issues in this series with very low published mintages for the day (many of these figures have been called into question based on current population reports) and I believe the series is just awaking to collector demand as people begin to realize this fact. My set is not intended to be coins of the absolute highest grade that simply brings more registry points just for the sake of more points. Instead, I have been constantly searching on a daily basis, without exception, magazines, the internet, eBay, area coin shows, online auction houses and calling dealers across the country in my attempt to locate the “right” examples.
What is the right example you ask? I have been trying to balance the collection with expertly struck, beautifully toned, original examples with eye appeal that makes you stop and look twice and then not want to put the coin down. For those are the coins that should be purchased immediately or face the fact that you may never have the chance again. Needless to say that this has not been an easy task and there are still many a coin in this collection that need to find a new home once a suitable upgrade has been located. For those of you who already collect these quarters you know exactly what I am talking about. It is already very difficult to locate this series to begin with and then competition for eye appealing coins if often fierce. You can throw ANY price guide out the window and expect to pay a substantial premium for many issues in this series.