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New Video: The Dark Side of Coin Collecting


Leo
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Here is a little different video for this week. This time lets reflect on a couple of aspects of coin collecting that can go "bad", despite this hobby being one of the very best out there.

Hope you enjoy it! Share any stories related to the subject, and of course nay coins you might consider relevant 🙂
 

 

Edited by Leo
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Great video Leo! It's a topic most of us here and probably familiar with but it was interesting to hear your descriptions of the three archetypes.

Near the end I think you talk how one should really think hard about whether a coin belongs to one's collection or not when deciding whether to consign or sell it etc. What I've found a bit interesting in my own journey is that I often find that the coins I buy for a sub-collection are often the ones that move fastest from sitting on top of my coin cabinet to being sorted away in one of the drawers. That's probably because collecting for a specific theme can mean buying less common coins that are in middling condition and thus don't always have a lot of in-hand appeal. 

The other coins I buy, that don't fit a sub-collection, I really try to focus more on getting ones that do have great in-hand appeal, and those tend to stick around longer on top of my coin cabinet and within arm's reach. The flip-side to this, though, is that I spend a lot more time reading and researching about coins related to my sub-collections, while the "miscellaneous" coins I buy from outside those areas may get more in-hand attention but a lot less "academic" attention.

Not to say this will be the case for everyone, just something I've noticed when buying coins myself.

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I enjoyed this video & viewed it as a personal introspective journey of the narrator ☺️. I've been a serious collector for well over 50 years & haven't been snared into elements Leo has termed the "dark side". Collectors who have been at the hobby a long time go through different stages of collecting & realize change is a good thing. At times I've sold coins because I had to & at other times because I wanted to. My interests have changed & over the last decade & my scope has narrowed. The last decade I've been at work selling nearly all my U.S. coins & modern foreign coins & medals. I've done this mostly by auction. This coming Tuesday I've got 6 expensive U.S. gold coins in Stack's & Bowers Collectors Choice Online Auction. A portion of the proceeds will go into ancient coins I still collect.

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@Leo Thank you for the interesting video. I've been watching your Youtube videos for a long time. I've learned a lot, from your videos.

I've seen some aspects of the Dark Side of coin collecting, in myself. The aspect, that I most fear, is the Addict.

This year, for the first time, I've been keeping track, of how much I spend each month, on coins and coin books, including shipping, taxes, etc. It's amazing to me, how a bunch of small purchases, add up, during one month. I think that, this bookkeeping, has really helped me a lot, to keep my spending under some semblance of control.

And your description of the "Cranky Old Man" put a smile on my face. I hope that, I don't become a Cranky Old Man, if I'm not already one.

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Thought-provoking video, @Leo! Spot on, too.

I try not to be an addict, and so far, I haven't overspent or gotten into debt because of my hobby. But my wife keeps on top of my coin budget and I know for a fact that I'd spend much more per month were it not for her oversight.

I don't think I've become a cranky old man; just an old one.

My problem is that I can't bring myself to sell any coins except a rare few that I've upgraded. A coin type that isn't a duplicate -- I NEVER sell. I'm a real Smaug, as you say. I even justify not selling duplicates through mind games I play with myself, such as "that's not really a duplicate; it has an opposite die-axis" or "The British Museum has duplicates; there's nothing wrong with having duplicates," and so on.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Arts/Arts_/Pictures/2013/12/9/1386605372096/A-detail-from-JRR-Tolkien-010.jpg?width=620&quality=85&dpr=1&s=none

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I've sold a few coins and it was an economic disaster. Ended up getting 50% of what I paid for a few Byzantine Nummi. That's my main motivation for not selling at the moment. My collection isn't big enough to have coins that get absolutely no love! 

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Leo - "collecting gone bad" is a great topic -  I enjoy your classification: addict, cranky old man, dragon.  Going from zero ancient coins to one is certainly a unique thrill - for me an antidote to addict: I revisit a "coin that I have" as much as consider "the next coin".  As I learn more from friends and reading, I often find new insight in the details of the coin I hadn't appreciated or history associated with the coin that I didn't know when I first acquired it.  I owned this coin for a while before I noticed an important detail (see: https://www.sullacoins.com/post/sulla-s-grandson-and-a-rare-obverse-die):

2108556732_QPompeiusRurusBlu.jpg.aa4ef806abb10a126aab725e2b9d7a8b.jpg

I especially enjoyed your comment about "collection vs. hoard" which reminds me of this  article from The Celator that has stuck in my head for many years:

"Just My Claudius II Ant's Worth"

"Douglas Smith opened my eyes with force when he, in an Internet discussion group, told the tale of how he, after years of dreaming and hoping, at last had found a coin that he knew could exist! This was a person who not only knew every catalogued coin within his area of interest, but also those not catalogued, and as if that was not enough: he could see which coins that logically should/could exist, and was patiently waiting for them! What a feeling it must have been to finally find that Julia Domna. I had at that point already realized that I was not really a coin collector, merely a coin accumulator."

-Finn Johannessen, The Celator, Oct 10 2002 p.22

The source of Finn's inspiration is perhaps not surprising.

 

 

Edited by Sulla80
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1 hour ago, Steppenfool said:

I've sold a few coins and it was an economic disaster. Ended up getting 50% of what I paid for a few Byzantine Nummi. That's my main motivation for not selling at the moment. My collection isn't big enough to have coins that get absolutely no love! 

I've had better experience selling coins through an established venue - from what I've seen, selling on Ebay when you don't have a regular community of buyers usually doesn't go well: overpriced coins sit, and auctioned coins will sell for less than top pricing given risk with an unknown seller.

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32 minutes ago, Steppenfool said:

That doesn't translate to UK eBay apparently! Maybe my mistake was putting them for auction rather than fixed price. 

Yes you have to put them on at fixed prices and be prepared to wait. Years, maybe, especially for unfashionable areas like Byzantine. Someone will buy them eventually if your goal is to break even. Discounting from a reasonable price doesn't seem to make much difference, unless you sell them so cheaply the buyer can make a profit.

Edited by John Conduitt
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I've found consigning coins once a year or so to be a refreshing process for my collection, kind of like slash-and-burn in farming. It gives me a good opportunity to really consider what I would miss having in my collection and what I could live without. Selling these coins then frees up spaces in my trays, gives me new budget to work with, and helps me focus on what I really want to collect versus what I might end up consigning in a year's time.

So far I've yet to regret any coin I've consigned. I try to make a draft consignment pile and separate them from my collection for a few weeks to give me time to see if I miss them or whether I should add any other coins to the consignment.

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I used to by large lots and would keep a few that piqued my interest then sell the rest.  I've occasionally traded with people interested in a certain coin in my collection.  Now I just collect and even when trading it is hard to let one go.

 

Edited by AncientOne
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15 hours ago, Sulla80 said:

I've had better experience selling coins through an established venue - from what I've seen, selling on Ebay when you don't have a regular community of buyers usually doesn't go well: overpriced coins sit, and auctioned coins will sell for less than top pricing given risk with an unknown seller.

By this do you mean selling them dealer or offering them to an auction house?

Edited by Steppenfool
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3 hours ago, Steppenfool said:

By this do you mean selling them dealer or offering them to an auction house?

I've been happy with "all of the above" : vcoins dealers, ebay dealers, auction houses, when compared to my own selling on EBay.

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