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What type of coin collector are you?


Topcat7

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On a recent post (May 11) Ed Snible referred to the nine types of coin collectors.

I found the list (descriptions) here  https://coinsweekly.com/the-nine-types-of-coin-collectors/  and I found that I didn't fall into one group exclusively, but I (mainly) fell into two groups, being Group 1 and Group 9.

I wondered which group(s) some of the others on this site would place themselves in, so I thought it might be fun to start a page where each member could identify themselves through their 'drive' in collecting.

Below there is a list of the nine categories, and an expanded explanation of them can be found here:https://coinsweekly.com/the-nine-types-of-coin-collectors/

Here goes. I hope this helps all to understand each other, a little bit more.

Magical Snap - 2023.07.17 09.17 - 004.jpg

Edited by Topcat7
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Interesting. I would say I am maybe one-third No. 3 (Aesthete) and two-thirds No. 9 (Historian). My interest in ancient coins comes largely from my interest in ancient history, in general.

 

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Fun topic, and I know collectors who would fit in any category. Myself, I'd say I'm:

75% The Classic Hunter. Completeness is my primary goal, and I will readily sacrifice grade and aesthetics when a coin I "need" is rare and I doubt I'll soon see another.

5% The aesthete. Most of my coins aren't exactly FDC, if you get my drift, but I have a few that are of very fine style and well preserved and I DO appreciate them for what they are.

10% The researcher. I like to think my discoveries of previously unrecorded bust types for certain issues of Faustina I or II make a difference. I do die studies to refine the dating of the Antonine women, which are undated.

10% The Historian. I still get the shivers sometime when I realize there are traces of centurion sweat, gladiator blood, ancient olive oil, and pagan altar smoke on my coins!

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I would categorize myself as fairly equal parts of 3, 5, 7, 9, with maybe 5% of completist thrown in.

I collect the best coins I can afford, and while I've been better about shying away from junky examples (unless they're super rare), I tend to like to have 3-5 coins in my order instead of just one. Larger coins also tend to be appreciated more.  I also have such a wide interest that while I have my specialties/favorites, I'm more of a generalist. 

 

Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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3 & 9? I'm reluctant to pigeonhole myself, but the others don't really fit me quite as well. Although I do enjoy researching coins I buy, I have no ambitions to make new discoveries. And I admit that for certain limited series (e.g., Hadrian's Travel Series, the Gallienus Zoo Series, the Philip I SAECVLARES AVGG Series, etc.), I like to try to obtain as many different types as possible. So I suppose there are elements of 7 and 1 in me, too.

I'd love to know if anyone ever admits to being Type 6!

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Nine types of collectors? Wow. Sometimes it's easier to say what one is not.

#1 "The Classic Hunter" - Not me at all. I have never really cared about completeness. Besides, it's too expensive. Even a complete set of SBA dollars can put a person back a few hundred dollars.

#2 "The Speculator" - My experience has taught me that I will likely not make money from the vast majority of the coins that I purchase, so I have given up even trying. Not to mention that I don't want to spend excessive amounts of money on "investment grade coins." So, I'm hopeless on that one.

#3 "The Aesthete" - I certainly fit into this one. I like pretty coins. But I also really like very unusual looking ones. I look for coins that I will likely still enjoy looking at years into the future.

#4 "The Perfectionist" - Again, it's usually far too expensive. But I suppose it depends on what one means by "perfect specimen."

#5 "The Rubbish Chute" - I've always considered this kind of collecting hoarding. I did it for a while and it just depressed me. Especially when I unknowingly started purchasing coins that I already had.

#6 "The Self-Exposer" - Monument? Eternity? I can only assume that this category is satire.

#7 "The Researcher" - I would like to be more of this kind of collector, but I only have so much time for coins right now. Perhaps later in life?

#8 "The Local Patriot" - I refer to my answer for #1.

#9 "The Historian" - I identify more with this type than any other. After I stopped hoarding (or embodying #5), I starting purchasing with more discretion. This led to my buying older coins and more interesting coins that held my attention longer than 20 minutes. A total resurgence of collecting ensued. I couldn't believe that I could actually hold a coin created during the reign of Elizabeth I. Or during Nero's time. Or even much earlier. Sometimes, I still can't believe it. This aspect of owning very old coins still fascinates and beguiles me every time I break open another ancient coin. This has also led to my now almost exclusive focus of buying ancients. Moderns have mostly lost their luster for me at this point.

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3 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

3 & 9? I'm reluctant to pigeonhole myself, but the others don't really fit me quite as well.

Same for me, 3 (Aesthete) and 9 (Historian).
I'm indeed trying to acquire coins that fit well to each other, historically and aesthetically. My idea is to form a collection that is more than the sum of the single coins that are part of it. I really like the Adrian Lang Collection, that was sold in May 2022. But achieving something similar would need an incredible amount of ressources. 
Although I like the #7 (Researcher), the description wouId not fit to me.
 

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In an attempt to bring some objectivity to this self-categorization, I went to my own Profile page.  My background picture is part of a coin tray;  click on it and you can see the entire tray.   What sort of collector would have developed this curious assembly?

The coins start with some very high grade Tetrarchic and Constantinian bronzes. We see several Carolingian deniers, only one of which has any significant wear.  One coin is ex-jewelry.  A few later French deniers.  There’s a Byzantine gold coin of Constantine X, a multiple tari of Frederick II, a crusader coin of the duchy of Athens.  Then two rows of various imitative late Roman and early Byzantine coins, mostly gold.  image.jpeg.15c99e2fc8db884ed36b1cba7a736994.jpeg

I think this a historian with a strong dash of perfectionist  thrown in.  

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2 hours ago, DonnaML said:

3 & 9? I'm reluctant to pigeonhole myself, but the others don't really fit me quite as well. Although I do enjoy researching coins I buy, I have no ambitions to make new discoveries. And I admit that for certain limited series (e.g., Hadrian's Travel Series, the Gallienus Zoo Series, the Philip I SAECVLARES AVGG Series, etc.), I like to try to obtain as many different types as possible. So I suppose there are elements of 7 and 1 in me, too.

I'd love to know if anyone ever admits to being Type 6!

Donna, if you aren't a researcher then I don't know who is!!!

JK - I get your point that the definition provided maybe doesn't fit your collecting goals. But your research posts are an incredible source of information and I always enjoy reading your roman republican write-ups. 

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I'm no.9, but TBH - the description is hopelessly inaccurate.

My coins aren't limited to 12, and they're not limited to certain names/Bible etc.

Not including standard circulation coins, I have around 80 coins in my collection. 

My areas are defined by a period of time relevant to a historical empire/kingdom/state/cultural group.

I make up my own set so to speak, and I don't subscribe to "having to own the whole set" - because my set is what I make it.

I am also a little bit of no.3, but it is most certainly subservient to no.9.

P.S. reading through the list again, perhaps I am actually a classic hunter - no.1

Edited by AussieCollector
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7 Researcher, with a good amount of 1 Classic (completer) thrown in. Primarily want to learn about Constantine and his coinage; understanding his coinage, adding to what's known about it, and what it tells us about him.

Aren't we all, or at least most, a bit of "Classic (completer)" too? I don't want to own every type issued by Constantine, but there's much satisfaction in completing the groups that I do find of interest.

 

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1. Classic hunter - certainly, however hopelessly I may keep narrowing my collecting focus. I like the idea of hunting down that one final most precious piece, whatever adventures this may bring (I have a candidate piece in mind).

7. Researcher - certainly, to justify to myself the purpose of the hobby.

9. Historian - very much so, with a reflection that centuries apart, we are still very same people.


I feel 4. Perfectionist conflicts with 1. I found the balance to this by being 1. for a focused collection area and 4. for coins outside it. I am on a watch for my first perfect RR denarius.

6. Self-exposer - I hope not, but being a human, it would be hard to be completely free of this, I suppose.

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I would place myself at 60% historian, 20% classicist, and 20% researcher.

Most of my coins are obscure bronzes that are very worn, so I'm not a perfectionist, nor do I intend to sell any of my coins.

However, I do have a list of coins I'm after an am always seeking to complete it.

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Solely 3 and 9 applies to me. Condition and value are unimportant to me. I continue to add 1 new emperor-empress to my collection as they come along. The beauty for me is holding each piece of history as it progresses, and learning about that precise period of time that person existed, what contributions they made and what legacies they left behind. I am solely a custodian of this little pile of historical pieces. After I am gone, hopefully someone else will continue to cherish and protect them.

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I'm essentially a Nine Niner-Niner, with the kind of qualifications that @AussieCollector mentioned.

From a medieval kind of place, the dynamic of referential significance over esthetics really nails it.  But by the same token, some of the history itself is a little, well, arcane might not be too strong a word.  I'm into whatever period /milieu I happen to be engaged in at the time. 

Here's a good collective example.  In the case of French feudal (which for a long time was the spine of the collection --may still be), the perfect storm involves the convergence of a relatively small feudal polity (usually smaller counties), in the name of a specific, lifetime issuer (vs. an immobilized legend), who has some level of notice in contemporary chronicles.  I've had good luck finding a few of those, and they're especially fun.

But, with the history really being the dominant criterion, I also end up being pretty eclectic.  Since historical connections between them are all over the place, there's some of pretty much all of northwest and -central Europe, Iberia, Italy, Byzantine, and the Frankish and Islamic Middle East.  I like context!!!

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It's interesting, to see, what types of collectors, our fellow Nvmis Forvms members are. In my mind, I'm 70% type 9 (Historian), 26% type 3 (Aesthete), 1% type 1 (Hunter And Completist), 1% type 2 (Speculator), 1% type 6 (Self Exposer And Social Aspect), and 1% type 7 (Researcher). For the 1% of type 1 (Hunter And Completist), I have an almost complete collection of Lincoln cents from 1909 to 2009, including the various mints (Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver). I've had most of the Lincoln cents since childhood. Also, I like the thrill of the hunt, mostly because I'm hunting for a particular coin type with an interesting history, not because I'm trying to complete anything. Also, I'm always looking for new, interesting coin types, with interesting history. For the 1% of type 2 (Speculator), I like the idea that, my coins have value in the market, even though I hope never to sell them. Also, I like to see my coins increase in value, over the years, even if they are merely keeping up with inflation. Also, I have some bullion coins, which will hopefully keep up with inflation. For the 1% of type 6 (Self Exposer And Social Aspect), I like showing my coins on coin forums, and seeing other collectors's coins, and talking with other collectors. For the 1% of type 7 (Researcher), I like studying the coins, and I like studying the history surrounding the coins. Perhaps, my studying has resulted in a tiny amount of original knowledge, about history and coins. Or perhaps will someday.

Edited by sand
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I’m pretty sure that I started as a #1 about 40 years ago. I picked a pretty narrow time frame, Imperatorial, consisting of only about 400 types (according to Sear). No provincials so the targets would be less numerous. After all, how hard could it be to get 1 example of each? Well, I know now! So I think I’m pretty solidly a #3 with some #9 thrown in.

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