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Trash Or Treasure
Do you collect low grade coins? Is this a bad way of collecting? Only you as a collector can answer these questions for yourself. Many coin experts advise you to buy and collect the best grade of a coin you can afford. If you are looking at your collection as an investment, this is probably good advice.
If on the other hand, you really like to touch your coins, lower grade coins may be the way to go. Collectors who like to handle their coins are probably put off by coins that have been slabbed. Unless a coin is extremely rare, you aren’t going to see very many low grade coins being slabbed.
You should be free to collect coins in whatever manner you want to. Your coin collection is your own personal treasure. A case can be made for collecting low grade coins:
1. Trash--Trash coin collecting is personal. Collecting high-grade slabbed coins can be like having to visit someone through a transparent barrier. With a low grade coin you can confidently examine them and not be worried that you are going to lower the coin’s value doing so.
2. Genuine--Trash coins are more likely to be genuine. There is probably little profit to be made counterfeiting a low grade coin unless it is extremely rare.
3. History--A trash coin has a history. It has been well circulated. Think how many hands the coins has passed through over the years. High grade coins have obviously been stored for much of their lives.
4. Cheap--Trash coins cost less than a high grade version of the same coin. The condition of a coin greatly affects its value. Depending on your budget, lower grade coins may be all you can afford to buy.
5. Future--Coin collecting as a hobby is going to face some serious challenges in the future. Coin counterfeiting is becoming easier to do, thanks to new technologies such as 3-D printers. In the future a novice counterfeiter could be able to put a coin into a 3-D printer and produce a copy that experts would have a hard time authenticating. The provenance of a coin will become extremely important then.
Those collectors who collect “trash” will be safe from this type of scenario. So don’t be afraid to look through someone’s junk box of coins and see what kinds of bargains you can find. While you can appreciate and admire a pristine collection, you can always play with your “trash” coins.
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