C.D. Harrell's Blog

07 Apr 2020

The Truth About Quality over Quantity

Coins | C.D. Harrell

The Truth about Quality over Quantity

By. C.D. Harrell


As proud members of the numismatic community, there is a good chance we've all received / given the "talk." Oh yes the talk. The talk that can make you feel anxious. The talk that can make you feel like an inferior collector. The talk about quality over quantity. While yes, studies show that coins of higher quality do better in the coin investment world. Studies also show that the majority of the numismatic community cannot financially afford to spend $10,000+ on a single coin.

As coin collectors we all have our separate interest. Some of us collect U.S. coins. Some of us collect coins from all over the world, but the one thing we all have in common is that our coins are important to us. I would be willing to bet there is one of you out there that has a coin worth $5.00, yet you cherish that coin the same, if not more than an investor would care for a coin worth $5000.00. When it comes to coin collecting, sentimental value can go a long way.

For many of us coin collecting is about the story the little pieces of metal could tell. "Oh if they could talk." Or the old "Imagine the secrets they know." It's these very questions that keep myself and many of us fascinated with the hobby.

My personal numismatic interest reside in the capped bust half dollar series. My collecting strategy may be the same as yours, it may be different. As of now my collection includes NGC and PCGS slabbed coins graded from G, all the way up to MS, with the vast majority being graded AU. None of the coins are "problem coins" just what I call "pure grades." I have no issue with a coin graded G, sitting next to a coin graded MS in my cabinet. In some cases, I actually prefer to look at the coin with the lower grade because I know that it has been through, and traveled more than the coin with the higher grade. My goal is to have one capped bust half dollar of every grade. Yes, that would mean having $150.00 coins in the same cabinet as $5,000.00 coins.

During these strange corona-virus times I have a small challenge for you all. Consider infiltrating your collections with a couple low pure grade coins. The key here is that the coins are not cleaned or damaged but naturally worn. I think that many of you will find great satisfaction in letting your mind wonder about how many pockets that coin has lived and oh, the story's it could tell.



Level 7

Yes there is a a reason. For one thousands collect them. I collect them for there beauty. The hard work die sinkers like P.Kempson worked for on weeks at a time. The story that they tell about the history of England. Until you see them I don't think you would understand. There are books and books on them. There called art on copper.. And they are. There in the BrItish museum. That's were mine belong. But I worked to hard . Five years for 19 beautiful tokens. They were used as money. I just wish you would look at them. Then maybe you will understand. We collect what we like. I like them.


Level 6

My collection leans toward AU and I like that. They have more character and tell a tale... You collection box is really cool!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

You and I are on the same page. I started collecting early in life 8 or 9 maybe. Started with Canadians and U.S coins from the 40s -60s. Not for any value, I just liked then. I went rhrough stages of passive and a river collecting until my mid 40s. Didn't get really serious about it until I was in my late 40's. I still have that first coin I ever bought, an Indian cent in f condition in the mid 1969s. Now I can buy nicer coins, but no coin is above me or below me. I love them all and they all have a place in my collection


Level 6

I couldn't agree with you more. I too have many grades and non graded, raw, coins. I even have some dreaded details graded coins. Got me into some series I wouldn't be able to normally. Nothing feels better than a worn coin in ones hand. Well maybe a few things. You know the problem with some very low grade, P1 and such, is that they are called low ball coins. Many people collect these and they can go for more that MS coins. Check out PCGS Registry if you find this crazy. They have their own category. NGC has not picked up on this the last time I looked. Thanks. P.S... Beautiful coin cabinet..

I have a cool old French coin that is certainly not a looker, but well used.... The sentimentality of a coin is important.... I guess what matters is how you enjoy the coin to be; for instance, I really like a high grade, full details Walker I finally found recently, the grade helps me further appreciate the art of it, whereas I find liberty head nickels to be cool pieces in lower grades..

I loved this post, great job. I prefer to have both types in my collection. I buy a somewhat circulated EF-AU coin that looked like it had some history behind it, and then I usually buy a proof of the design to see what the designer intended at its peak. And a 50 dollar coin can make you smile more than a 5 thousand dollar coin.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I agree completely with your thoughts about coins and collectors. I prefer thee worn coins to the PF or MS because, as you so ably stated, they have seen circulation and done their job in commerce. Those MS and PF coins are like Trailer Queens in the Car Collecting world, so perfect, their owners are never going to let them drive again. Sad!!! To paraphrase, Happiness is a Worn Rupee.

You had some very good points on your blog! Thanks for sharing


Level 6

You had some very good words of advice. Nice looking cabinet.


Level 7

Thank you. I believe every coin or token can tell a story Your absolutly right. I have some coins not very expensive and some expensive. I cherrish them all. They receive the same treatment of protection as any coin. I collect Condor tokens. These are 250 years old and up. The details are better than some modern coins. The grade from MS 63 to 66. Some.Proof like allot red brown. Why they took very good care of these. And i have written a stiry on everyone. From the research to the history.To date over 700 Pwople have looked at them on NGC Registry set custom . So as you see inenjoyed your blog very much. . I look forward to more. Thanks.


Level 5

Most of my collection is well circulated. I actually prefer a nice AU over an uncirculated in most cases because it actually did the job it was made for.

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

I absolutely agree, thank you for the comment!


Level 5

Great post ! Coin collecting is about enjoying what you have and collect. I have all kinds of things that I really enjoy. It might be all the coin club medals from different years and coin clubs I have purchased for a dollar each at flea markets. I have a lot of lower valued coins that I really like having. Be it the 1970-D Kennedy, or 1950-D Nickel. I have been looking at large cents dated around 1797. I would love to purchase a 1797 large cent, even if it's in AG condition, provided it looks nice for the grade. I have seen some lately, but just haven't won one yet. I have bid, but I should just find a nice one for buy it now and purchase one. Maybe I can meet your challenge by purchasing a capped bust half dollar. I don't own any bust half dollars, but would love to have one, even if in a low grade. Thanks for the post to get me thinking about what's next !

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

Thank you for the positive feedback! Is there a specific reason for you chasing the 1797? I myself look for coins dated 1797 due to the fact I was born 200 years after that year. Good luck!

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