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Who is the ultimate collector?


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I was thinking to myself the other day, which I often do because coin stuff bores everyone else I know lol. Anyway, I was thinking, who is the ultimate collector....my first thought was some rich person who has everything, but then again thats not exactly true. Then I thought maybe it's the small time collector with the meaningful collection? Again, that holds a lot of merit, but I don't think that's true.


Then I thought, what about coin dealers? They buy and sell coins like most collectors, they have some rare coins, tons of common coins, just like the average collector, but unlike the average collector is the volume of coins they deal in. Imagine being able to have owned nearly every rare coin, in a bunch of different grades, and selling it off, getting more and different stuff all the time. That would be the ultimate collector, you get to have it all, even if it's just for a short while, and you get to see all kinds in all sorts of conditions. I wish I had the money to get into the coin business so I could experience that.


So what say you guys on this? Do you think my thoughts are wrong, or completely off the wall, who do you feel is the "Ultimate"?

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Well I started working in a coin and jewelry store at age 12 and my first boss always told me you couldn't run a store and be a collector at the same time, and talking to some other store owners around the country I would believe it is true, as your motive with a store is profit and thus not keeping the good pieces for yourself. Most stores exist to make a profit of course.


IMO The ulitmate collectors do not have to be rich per se, but possess knowledge on the subject allowing them to find great coins. Now being "rich", whatever that means to some people, certainly allows one to go out and aquire a great coin.


As for me, I like collecting but I enjoy seeing and learning about coins more so seeing collections at the ANA or Smithsonian (Aluminum cent) or at shows (100,000 notes) or museums (the 33 $20 gold in Houston at "Gold") makes me happy.


But sadly on a personal note in the end I like the profit to much so if I ever had a cool "Status" coin like a US 1913 V 5c I would take the profit everytime. With notes I am not so profit happy but that might change who knows.


Intersting questions BTW!


Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,

Capt-AWACS, Actions speak louder than bumperstickers

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You're point of view is quite valid. Coin dealers would most likely get to see the most different types of coins and in different grades, and more importantly, they make a living (perhaps) with their hobby. I think it would be better to say however, that the ultimate collector is one who enjoys his/her collecting and can appreciate the value, history, and future of numismatics.


Nevertheless, I'm going to have to look at my own goals again and my own collecting interests.

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Louis Eliasburg who assembled a collection of every US coin or the 10 year old kid assembling a Whitman Lincoln cents folder...one can argue for either. The "Ultimate Collector" is a concept meaningful only at a personal level.


I'm going to post a more thorough answer later. But I just want to say Eliasberg accomplished quite a feat but from what I know, he opened the jar that others loosened.


If I'm not mistaken (and many of you out there make it your duty to "correct" me (Hi, Dock!)), but he bought the majority of the collection from someone else and filled in many of the holes. Of course it takes money and mettle to fill all of the holes but had he completed the collection himself... that would be the feat of a legend.




Also, I've got some coins he never had... like my 2006 pennies.

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I've just got to go with the little kid with a Whitman folder or album. The ultimate collector is just got to be someone with a future in the hobby, enjoys the simplist addition regarless of what it is, finds new to them ways of finding those coins, eyes open wide when someone gives them a coin they need.

What good is it to be a collector with millions in coins and be so old that in a few days it may all end up with a bunch of relatives that think it's just a pile of metal.

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The ultimate collector (I used "he" because of simplicity... feel free to put in any gender you want):


- started out with whitman folders and coins from circulation

- started buying nicer or scarcer coins anywhere he saw them, even if he unknowingly was ripped off

- evolved to earlier series and had more defined standards for grade and condition and learned he was ripped off earlier

- went after tougher and tougher series that he found beautiful and/or interesting

--- was perfectly fine adding a cleaned/damaged/well worn coin to this collection because it was still a step towards his goal

--- accepted that being ripped off doesn't really matter that much, its all part of the learning process and the fun

- refined his goals and acquired the knowledge to find his niche, he developped an interest in certain varieties or types that few other collectors share

--- he could be found hunkered over a dealer's table on the bourse for hours looking through for that perfect piece to fit his collection, you could also find him poking his head in shops every few days to see if that piece has wandered in.

--- if he wants that piece he will pay for it but he is smart enough to know when too much is too much, one will come along another day maybe.

- he happily shares what he learns with other collectors even if no one is listening

- he happily gives you tips and tells you stories about his collecting days

- he appreciates every coin for its history and beauty regardless of grade

- he ripped someone else off for the revenge... he was senile and crazy with all his days in the hobby


It's hard to explain how I see the ultimate collector but that's the best I can do. Perhaps I'll be one one day. I think I'm on the right track but can someone lend me some money and time to help get me there?

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I would not rank collectors and try to find one that is utlimate. That would imply the rest of you are just second rate collectors and I would never want anyone to feel second rate :ninja:


Seriously, collecting is a hobby, it is about enjoyment, learning, fun! Anyone who has fun is having the ultimate enjoyment out if the hobby and life ;)

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The ultimate collector to me is anyone who collects for the sheer joy of it without any thought whatsoever of how much he/she can sell the collection for at a later date.

Sell? :ninja:

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Boy! What a can of worms! What is a collector? Someone who is passionate about the particular series they collect - or the hoarder who grabs anything and looks to make a good return 'later'?

I'm a collector of Hammered English but a hoarder of anything new or unusual. I rarely look at the latter but am always arguing with myself on the former.

The "ultimate collector" in this case is one who 'lives' his collection! :ninja:

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We all know it's Tiffibunny. . . .






The ultimate collector is an addict! Can't stop... more ... more ...MORE... piles and piles of stuff even dupes... boxes in every nook and cranny... knowledge of weird trivia of where, how, who, when, about this/these thing/s(this does not just apply to coins).


I am running out of room for stuff.



The ultimate collector needs to buy a house to hold the stuff!



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  • 3 years later...
bump for the newbies


Thanks for bringing this thread back for members like me who joined long after it was started. Some good opinions from everyone... and I have never heard of Louis Eliasberg before :ninja: so reading up on him at pcgs.com and Wiki was awesome, I didn't know anyone has ever put together a full US coin collection. Holy crap...


I think the ultimate collector can be anyone who collects, regardless of what you collect, or how much you can spend on one piece, it doesn't matter. The ultimate collector is that collector that gets a rush and a high from a new addition to their collection.

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