A while ago, coin collectors and coin investors were usually considered to be two different categories. A coin collector was just considered to be a hobbyist and collected his coins for their beauty and educational and historical backgrounds. A coin investor however collected his coins for profit and nothing else. Today, these two groups are a thing of the past. Now the group’s boundaries have become blurred. What happened to the two distinctive groups?
Investors were suddenly noticing a popular trend. And all of a sudden hobby collectors were starting to sweep up the profits. Why? What happened? Maybe the hobbyists knew something that the investors didn’t and maybe the hobbyists had a different approach to buying coins that was different. Investors started to study the “lowly” hobbyists and their buying habits. They started to learn more about the collector’s “fundamentals”. The investors were intrigued to find out that the hobbyists were building meaningful sets of coins. And many of these sets were selling for much more money than the individual coins might. The concept of collecting “coin sets” was new to the investors. But they paid heed.
Then the investors noticed another thing the hobbyists were doing. They focused their attention on the nature of the coins and the stories and history behind them. When the hobbyist assembled a collection of coins with similar backgrounds he collected a theme set, not just a group of unrelated coins. Another thing collectors did was to be able and willing to add time to their investment plans. This is a very valuable aspect of building wealth through collecting coins for sets. The hobbyists understood that the best sets might contain coins that were not easily available or even easily located. So they just learned to become patient and kept up the vigil in order to locate that elusive and oftentimes valuable coin.
This patience does definitely pay off, since some of the finest collections in the world were collected and assembled over decades. An interesting example is the Harold Bareford Gold Collection. This set was assembled in the early fifties for $13,800.00. Today, this amount doesn’t seem to be a whole lot, but if you can imagine back then, that it was the price of a modest home, so you can appreciate the value of the collection at the time. Several years were required to complete the collection and in 1978 it sold for 1.2 million! It might not be typical, but it is a good example to coin collectors that well though-out and designed collections can result in extraordinary returns.
Collectors of sets do not always bring a profit of course, but carefully planned collectors can often realize more money. And since a set draws more attention, its liquidation can be increased. Of course, the process of locating, acquiring and building a set is more fun that just collecting individual coins. Even the investors have figured that out since they learned that the historical relationship of the coin becomes more important and more valuable within a set.
So when you start your coin collection, keep in mind the value of coin sets. It could be a collection of the entire mint of the coin, or just a collection of one of each year. It could also be the theme of the coins. When you start collecting your coins, think sets and you’ll be on your way to a great coin collection!