Hints for Newer Collectors
I know that at least 1 organization uses a slogan "Be Prepared". A few tips gained over the many years in the hobby.
1. Have an objective in mind you want to achieve, if possible.
2. Carry a Grey Sheet, not a Red Book. Make sure the dealers see you are holding the Gray Sheet. You will probably get a better deal.
3. Always look at any purchase before purchasing with a loop or magnifying glass.
4. Coins that are black, corroded, or damaged should not be saved in most situations.
5. Cleaning coins is never recommended, however, if necessary, the least harmful cleaner is acetone. 2nd is ammonia, and finally a dip as a last resort.
6. Any item marked .999 silver, 10 MIL, is plated. Anything marked MIL is plated.
7. The Grey Sheet has a "Bid" and "Ask" price for most coins. Bid is generally thought of as the price a dealer somewhere is willing to pay. The Ask is what a dealer is willing to sell for. Very rare coins can go over both "Bid" and "Ask". Very common coins can both be below "Bid" and "Ask'.
8. If looking to buy Silverware at a YardSale or garage sale, it must be hallmarked with STERLING or .925. If neither, there is a 99% chance it is NOT SILVER.
9. TV, printed media, and telemarketers will push MODERN coinage in PR or MS 69 and 70. Therefore, most people think they are valuable. Most MODERN coins do grade MS or PR 69 or 70, so they are not rare. The average MONSTER Box purchased from the mint will grade 55% MS69 and 45% MS70. Anything other percentage would be out of the norm. 10. What makes a COIN RARE? Low mintage combined with low survival rate, high quality, and FINALLY, demand for the item.
Just 2 cents worth of learning the hard way over many years.
Excellent information!! Iâ€™m with Rebelfire though. Canâ€™t see paying the subscription price of the greysheet, when Iâ€™ll only be using it on occasion. Your suggestion to find someone to share the cost is a good one,IF you can find somebody. My understanding was that the â€śblue bookâ€ť was a wholesale guide, and â€śred bookâ€ť was retail. Iâ€™ve had both for years. Have NEVER been able to buy anything at blue book prices, and always tried to go below red book when buying. Actually sell quite a bit at or above red book price though.
Correct on the colors and supposed purpose of each. Problem, pricing over a year old in both when published.
High markup for coins when new collectors use the Red Book or coin price magazines. The collector can take years to figure out "real pricing".
Sounds like you have a structured approach to collecting. Thanks for sharing your tips.
It took years and some money to figure it out.
Great list! Appreciate your ideas! ; )
Thanks for the kind comments, everyone.
Good list of hints. Thanks.
I. R. Bama
Looks like a good list to me. I like to use ebay's sold search. Tells what a person REALLY paid for a coin. Thanks.
RS, so as a newer collector, Iâ€™m still working on the pricing thing. Iâ€™m learning how to roughly grade coins myself, using various references for pricing, and of course shopping around. That being said, why the Greysheet? I keep both the Blue Book and the Red Book to compare dealer and retail prices. And how can one obtain a copy of the Greysheet without subscribing to their service, which requires you to pay for â€śDealerâ€ť subscription in order to get a hard copy Greysheet.
First off, the Red Book is the industries Bible for General Collectors information. By the time you buy both books, (Blue and Red) the pricing listed is already 6 months old before printing. The prices printed are good general pricing information to know. However, the retail and wholesale prices change quickly and often. Grey sheets or other monthly pricing publications, on-line or printed are more recently tied to the changing market. As for obtaining, get a couple of friends, or a Club to subscribe to reduce the cost as a group.
Very accurate assessment.
Experience is the best way to learn. Learning from other people's mistakes is Priceless.