OT A Little

General discussion board about VAMs, but no buy/sell offers
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HawkeEye
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OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:30 pm

Related to the recent debacle with the issuance of 2021 Privy Morgans is what seems to me to be a significant hike in the price of upper end gold and silver coins, especially proof. One of my complete sets at PCGS is Proof and Regular strike Gold Buffaloes. In the early days these were priced above spot for sure, but it seems to me that the pricing gap has widened in recent years and this year I had to gasp and hope for a PR70DCAM rating on my one coin (which I got thank goodness).

But straight from the Mint the gold proof is now $2,790, plus $121 for grading and encapsulation and right out of the gate this gets you to 156% of spot at best. While you can sell these at a slight profit, if you are a collector and know you are buying to hold this is getting out of the collecting range for most of us. For sure I could not start a collection of Gold Buffaloes today. This set would be well north of $100k to try and amass, and if you went for all the sub-varieties I think you might have to fork over $200k. The same can be said for the Gold Spouse series with perhaps an even higher premium because of the lower denomination.

On a percentage basis silver proofs are no better. This is truly pushing our hobby into the realm of a "sport of kings" as more and more people are either priced out of collecting or never start. Anything other than the gold and silver coins are not worth the time to collect in my opinion unless you are going for mint errors or some strange varieties.

With these prices our meager Morgan VAM obsession is starting to look reasonably priced. Maybe we all need to get behind the 2021 Morgans as a way to hype more traditional Morgan interest as an affordable way to collect.
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Kurt28
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Re: OT A Little

Post by Kurt28 » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:14 pm

“Anything other than the gold and silver coins are not worth the time to collect in my opinion unless you are going for mint errors or some strange varieties.”

For years I have gone to the local coin shop and sifted through his buckets of foreign coins. At 10 to 15 cents apiece I could pick out a handful for $2.
My nieces and nephews enjoyed sorting through them. Some liked the animals, some collected the flowers. I challenged them to find the country of origin on a globe. We opened the encyclopedia and read about the country.
Then we dipped the coins in acetone and stapled them into a 2x2, labeled them and put them into their 3 ring binders of coin holder pages.
Later on, in school, when they were introduced to a country, a time period or subject of interest, these youngsters were well ahead of their peers.
I do not consider that a waste of my time.

Your comments strike me as an investor that is unhappy with the market.
This is not a criticism, just an observation.
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HawkeEye
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:22 pm

Actually a collector on the gold and silver end of the hobby and seeing prices reach a point that mint issued coins may become unaffordable for many if not most. In large part a function of market forces, but the premium charged by the mint is also a big factor in my opinion. When collecting outside of Morgans I look for things that have intrinsic value, but may be slightly off the beaten path and therefor may have some rarity factor to them.

I tried similar things with grandchildren but these days if it isn't electronic and requires more then 8 seconds of focus then it is difficult to get their attention. It sounds like you had more luck with grandchildren and coins than I did and that is great to see.
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Re: OT A Little

Post by alefzero » Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:35 pm

I have always had the approach of enjoying coins that present as absolute rarities, with conditional rarities secondarily. Many others collect differently. Most of us in the old days did the Lincoln cent Whitman albums. Completion was fun, but the focus was always on the real keys. A lot of us, in fact, got into it in pursuit of the 55 DDO that was dream to find. Never found one of course. But years later the 72 DDO rekindled that. Basically, the intrinsic metal value is meaningless for such coins. They never rise and fall with bullion. Same with legitimately rare silver and gold. VAMs are a lot like those Whitman pennies. You can have the completion mentality but with serious focus on the crazy rare ones. Where I have personally been for the past few years is in early dollars. Because completing an entire BB variety set is very expensive, I have settled on just the really rare ones. Those varieties are bound to gain increasingly serious respect in time. Been around VAMs long enough to have seen similar there. We know there are even popular VAMs that are MUCH rarer than an 1893-S key but took a long time to eclipse it in value. Could always find several 93-S on a bourse and there were always a few in any major auction. With early dollars, I have some where only a handful are known to exist but still do not price like a Scarface, which we know can be found for sale pretty much anytime. Supply and demand. Demand comes along in time, except for with trimes and shield nickels.

As for the Mint products, I could never see them as real coins not am particularly interested in them. I also do not watch the Superbowl; so go figure. Have not bought much of their stuff before. Took a dive in on the privvies and got lucky. I'll play that game and try to fetch some 70s, but only to hopefully balance out losses from real coins. It would be numismatic Hell to deal with them regularly for me. In the absence of any interesting varieties coming out of the 2021 releases, I am on the fence as to whether I think we should support them at the Registry. The plus might be that they could potentially draw over collectors of that material to considering proper VAMs. Morgans, in particular, are not fundamentally different in their origins anyway. Never were practical for commerce. So not coins in the same way that Seated minors and cents were. But the production quality, or lack thereof, and the fact that the Dollar is the base currency of the United States makes them very collectible. And hey, a lot were actually circulated. Nothing from these Mint promotions likely ever will be. There was an exception - the Lafayette dollar. They actually couldn't sell them out because the Mint sold them at a significant [outrageous] premium. Took years to distribute what they did. And then during the Depression people actually did circulate them in desperation. But silver eagles and these $85 2021 sequel dollars are not in the same league as costing double or so face value.

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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:01 pm

I also started on Whitman albums and still have a number of them. Along the way I gave away some key dates/mm to kids to encourage collecting, but I never completely emptied them so they are still in the safe.

We all know that outside of the circulation issues the Mint is now in the collectibles business, as are almost all mints around the world. But I find some issues to be interesting enough to collect them as noted. But unlike a profit motivated business the Mint does not price to volume in my opinion and is creating artificial rarity through production limits, odd features, dealer preference sales. A real example of this will be the 2020 eagles with the V75 privy marks. A full set is trending at $6k to $9k on eBay which is an artificially high price because of limited minting. The number of WWII vets and families who might have wanted one of these is effectively locked out of the market. Morgan collectors were somewhat limited in purchasing the 2021 coins because dealers piled in and bought up the 10 coin limit. They are certainly not rare and will probably come down in price quickly I think.

But we all collect what we find interesting and almost always find something that irritates us about the availability. Just my take.
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alefzero
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Re: OT A Little

Post by alefzero » Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:43 pm

The really unfortunate (by design) element is the 69/70 grade BS. Anyone who collects REAL coins could not fathom a significant enough difference to warrant the enormous retail spread. The TPGs (one in particular of course) welcome the nonsense. I honestly cannot tell the difference between a 69 and a 70. Perhaps it is because I really don't care enough about the potential difference (unintentional physics/electrical term usage). The unfortunate aspect is that the Mint does deliver their products in perfectly a adequate, arguably much better, presentation. So they end up in slabs mostly. I got lucky but I would be a fool not to ship my fulfillment to PCGS for the 70 lottery. Drawing one 70 should, in the short term at least, pay for the whole effort. Maybe it takes a coup. I don't really know the game in that much detail. Then I can move the others at more collector prices. I think the MS70/PR70 folks are fools, but I am sure they think the same of me.

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Re: OT A Little

Post by neals384 » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:16 pm

Kurt28 wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:14 pm
“Anything other than the gold and silver coins are not worth the time to collect in my opinion unless you are going for mint errors or some strange varieties.”

For years I have gone to the local coin shop and sifted through his buckets of foreign coins. At 10 to 15 cents apiece I could pick out a handful for $2.
My nieces and nephews enjoyed sorting through them. Some liked the animals, some collected the flowers. I challenged them to find the country of origin on a globe. We opened the encyclopedia and read about the country.
Then we dipped the coins in acetone and stapled them into a 2x2, labeled them and put them into their 3 ring binders of coin holder pages.
Later on, in school, when they were introduced to a country, a time period or subject of interest, these youngsters were well ahead of their peers.
I do not consider that a waste of my time.

Your comments strike me as an investor that is unhappy with the market.
This is not a criticism, just an observation.

Botswana 5 Thebe 1998 (2).jpg
Well, that's a coin I have in my "birds on coins" collection, along with the 1 Thebe and 50 Thebe. Imagine my surprise to see one pictured here.

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alefzero
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Re: OT A Little

Post by alefzero » Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:09 pm

I like the design elements. Beats the dead presidents and uninspired reverse monuments on ours.

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HawkeEye
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:43 pm

Well hold up a minute there, many of the dead Presidents are much better than the live ones!
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Re: OT A Little

Post by JASONKFLO » Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:46 pm

One reason I also like collecting Old Conder Tokens and Medals from Great Britain .
No way you are finding US Coins from the 1700's this nice for less than a hundred bucks.
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Jason Floyd
I climb Mountains , Grow Bamboo and like Coins

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HawkeEye
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:14 pm

Since this is OT, do you really grow bamboo?
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Kurt28
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Re: OT A Little

Post by Kurt28 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:22 pm

I confess, I've wondered the same.

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Re: OT A Little

Post by JASONKFLO » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:19 pm

HawkeEye wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:14 pm
Since this is OT, do you really grow bamboo?
I do I used to have 65 kinds now since I’m in town in have about 30 mostly clumping kinds
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HawkeEye
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:56 pm

What about mosa (sp?)?
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Re: OT A Little

Post by JASONKFLO » Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:46 am

HawkeEye wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:56 pm
What about mosa (sp?)?
Moso :)
I used to have A variety Goldstripe but when I moved to Idaho I gave t away because its to cold here
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HawkeEye
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:28 am

Thanks, I will keep looking. I need some for water control and the Mosa was recommended
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Re: OT A Little

Post by JASONKFLO » Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:01 pm

HawkeEye wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:28 am
Thanks, I will keep looking. I need some for water control and the Mosa was recommended
If you have a poor draining site it will not do well. The Phyllostachys heteroclada ( water bamboo ) Phyllostachys atrovaginata ( Incense Bamboo)or probably Phyllostachys parvifolia

these all have air pockets in there rhizomes and will take wetter or heavier soils.

also A variety of your native River Cane should do well.
Arundinaria gigantea Tecta
Bamboo Garden Nursery is a great mail order source
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:26 am

Thanks I will continue to research options
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:41 pm

alefzero wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:43 pm
The really unfortunate (by design) element is the 69/70 grade BS. Anyone who collects REAL coins could not fathom a significant enough difference to warrant the enormous retail spread. The TPGs (one in particular of course) welcome the nonsense. I honestly cannot tell the difference between a 69 and a 70..... I think the MS70/PR70 folks are fools, but I am sure they think the same of me.
I have thought about your statement for several days and finally came to the conclusion that I don't completely agree. So long as there is a subjective component to grading there will be minor differences in the opinion of the TPG's and collectors. I think the same observation can be made at any grade level. Is an MS 63 really a 62 or a 64, or is "eye appeal" in the eye of the beholder? Is a PL coin actually a DMPL, or is the reflectivity just not quite there? Is a toned coin artificially toned or a result of time and environment? For sure the grader exercises his/her opinion when grading the coin, but so do we all and once a coin gets a 70 grade it sticks and has value. An astute collector can always challenge the grade if it is too low, but I don't believe many of us would send it back as being too high because it would hurt us monetarily.

Whether or not a coin is a 69 or a 70 has a subjective component for sure, but as collectors we strive to get the highest possible grades to improve our sets. Otherwise we can always question the authenticity of a collection like the Jack Lee coins I referenced in another post.

Getting the TPG's to give a coin a 70 may be a challenge, but it is all part of the hobby and a component of the challenge we face building sets.
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Re: OT A Little

Post by HawkeEye » Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:04 pm

Well the images arrived and I am still a proud papa
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