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Condition matters! (A thread for beginners)


Valentinian

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This may be obvious, but here is evidence that prices depend strongly upon condition.

ConditionMatters1000.jpg.f2fbf1a3e65acf900a77b540da0e2330.jpg

 

It is not just the coin type, but the condition the coin is in, that matters to its price. A coin is better condition is worth more, and often a lot more, than one in lesser condition.  

This is good news for collectors of limited means. You can buy very old coins with lots of history for not much money if you are willing to sacrifice condition. (It is also possible to buy very interesting old coins for not much money if you focus on less-expensive areas such as late Roman bronze, Greek bronze, or Byzantine bronze.)

 

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Yes, the anepigraphics sold very well, but prices later in the auction (P-R campgates and Rome vota series) seemed generally weak.

There has certainly been a huge change in prices for Constantinian rarities over the years. At least he's getting some respect, but seeing as that's what I collect, not so great!

 

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I actually prefer the 77 CHF one.  I only have one good eye at the moment, but the cheaper one seems to have better hair definition, better obverse legend definition, etc.  For 1300 CHF, that puppy had better be FDC.

A Justinian of mine has a similar 'oreo' patina to the expensive one.  Do you think that it's an artistic preservation of the highlighting soil or a faux patina?

The cheaper one seems to have the powdery, chippy type of patina.

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I can understand why buyers stayed away from the cheaper Constantine II. The picture suggests, that the surface may not be stable (note at 6 o’clock, 11 o’clock on the reverse). There maybe a risk that further bits will flake off and the 77-dollar purchase may end up becoming completely worthless (in the worst case). On the other hand, the 1300-dollar coin may well sell for 1500 or 1800 in a few years time. 1300 dollars is a lot, but it may turn out to be the relatively better purchase.

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I do not buy many coins.  In 2022, I purchased approximately 20 additions to my collection.  I have added 7 more thus far this year.  Since I am rather serious about my hobby, and numismatics in general, one might expect I would have cultivated a disciplined approach to acquiring new material.  Alas, almost anything is apt to end up in my trays, if it is sufficiently beautiful and historic.  The most common attribute of my purchases is excellent condition.  

I am not the only collector who prizes condition, and the market reflects this.  In my collecting lifetime I have seen a growing obsession with condition come to dominate the market for US coins, then spill over into numerous other areas of coin collecting.  This includes ancient and medieval coins, where the minutiae and gradations of “Mint State” just do not apply.  But even here, condition appears to me to have become a much more important determinant of price than it once was.  This is neither good nor bad.  If you collect high grade coins, it is bad if you are adding to your collection, but good if you are selling it.  If you buy based on historical interest, it is a good time to buy, but less rewarding when you sell.  

 

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On 3/27/2023 at 4:51 PM, Valentinian said:

This may be obvious, but here is evidence that prices depend strongly upon condition.

ConditionMatters1000.jpg.f2fbf1a3e65acf900a77b540da0e2330.jpg

 

It is not just the coin type, but the condition the coin is in, that matters to its price. A coin is better condition is worth more, and often a lot more, than one in lesser condition.  

This is good news for collectors of limited means. You can buy very old coins with lots of history for not much money if you are willing to sacrifice condition. (It is also possible to buy very interesting old coins for not much money if you focus on less-expensive areas such as late Roman bronze, Greek bronze, or Byzantine bronze.)

 

Good observations, high-grade common coins have been bringing high prices at auction, even more so after the Covid 19 pandemic 😉. I'm glad you mentioned Byzantine coins too ☺️. The two very common coins pictured below prove your point. Five years ago the coin on the left could have been bought for $50, & today would cost $100 or more. Five years ago the coin on the right would probably have sold for $200, & today would probably sell for $1000 or more. TwoJustinianI40nummicoinsAWK.jpg.ec29935cca02b31ba0540d07ec095cda.jpg

Edited by Al Kowsky
photo added
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