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Your Coin-Shopping Routine


TreasureGirl
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Back when I was at school in my dinky college town, I had a great routine for pestering the local banks on a regular basis, monthly or so, asking for new dollars and quarters, plus any/all halves or perhaps Ikes (perhaps you remember when I bought, what was it, $500 of them from the U.S. Bank and sold them on eBay by the roll for about 50% profit?).

 

Anyway I've gotten out of the habit - I guess the big city doesn't lend itself to neat finds like that - and was kind of curious what you all do when it comes to new releases, roll searching, uncommons; maybe even you have a circuit of the Coinstars you check regularly. How often do you dig into the bargain bins?

 

I'm not asking for spending limits or personal stuff like that, I mostly want to see if it gives me some new ideas and to kickstart my motivation again.

 

Thanks!!!

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I guess I normally don't go for circulated coins so I am not too much of a help.

 

I collect a lot of foreign coins and I have a habit of buying perhaps a bit too much. However at the same time, I would have a good idea if the coins are good bargain or if I know some of the tougher coins could use an upgrade, I would buy them and sell of the lower grade coins. Sometimes, you could break-even even though you have upgraded some coins because they could be difficult to find and you bought a better coin at a good price. I would also buy coins in bulk because you never know what you can find. I found some of the toughest coins in unexpected coin lot.

 

Persistance and spare cash do help when you are looking for tougher coins. Sometimes when you have sellers that are desperate to sell it and you are in luck, you need to have the money to snap it immediately.

 

Not too much of a help but maybe something different?

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I can honestly say I have swung from one spectrum of collecting, ie buying stuff at Stacks, Heritage Auctions etc and gone to searching circulating coins from banks - the thrill is in the hunt for me. I can say that I enjoy searching through boxes, bags, rolls of coins for stuff a lot more than buying some four or five figure coins like I used to. I have found cents dated as early as 1889, nickels as early as 1890, tonnes of silver war nickels, buffalos, thousands of wheat cents and some rare and pricey stuff.

 

My search network kind of expanded over time, I have five credit unions and all their different branches and three commercial banks and all their dozens of branches that I visit in a circuitous route every 3-4 weeks. I know for a fact that tellers prefer to sell coin to me, well because I have a reward programme if I find really good stuff like 100+ year old coins, silver etc. I have a stock of Sunkist candy boxes that I hand out. Amazing how much more friendly banks and credit union tellers are when you "bribe" them. I manage to squeeze out boxes from banks that will not sell them to non-commercial customers, also other banks that charge 5% per roll - somehow that charge is overlooked when I buy.

 

Gosh TG - if I was there in SF, I would own the place in 6 months to a year. Maybe you should step up so I don't come out and buy out all your banks goodies - SF is my hometown.

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I collect by osmosis, mainly. I just shed a fair load of coins, actually, giving a stack of duplicates to my best friend's wife's best friend--mostly British copper, and a few strays.

 

Generally, I hit the LCS once a month, have a big blowout at the Ohio State Coin Show every Labor Day weekend, and scour eBay periodically. Bought a bunch over eBay this summer. I'm still waiting for the Central States show to come back to Ohio, but it seems to be permanently lodged in Chicago now. :angry:

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I'm a series collector primarily. I have 4 series going on: Peace dollars, $1 silver certificates, barber dimes, and V nickels. In the first two series, I only have key coins/notes left. In the others, I have tons of holes. How does this relate to my shopping routine? Well, when I go to shows, I have $X that I want to spend. If $X means I can fill one of the key holes in the first two series, I'll make that my priority. If I don't see one of those rare coins/notes at the show, then I'll drop down to the easier series and fill as many holes as I can.

 

In short - I love the hunt, so I'm pretty much only adding to my collection when I go to shows which are far and few between.

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Although most of the coins I collect just cannot be found in circulation anymore, I do get a thrill when I see something unusual in my pocket change. There was one convenience store located in the underground shopping passage of the railway station here where I work (Switzerland), and I once received a 20 cent piece dated 1908 and a 10 cent piece dated 1912 in my change money -- at different times, but both from the same store! :crazy: Someone must have been spending a collection little by little.

 

The most recent find -- cannot recall if it was from that same store or not -- was a 1967 silver 5 Franc piece ... Switzerland called in all silver coinage back then, later striking everything only in copper-nickel (for everything but 5 cents) or copper-zinc (? for 5 Rappen?). It has become quite rare to find any silver coins in circulation these days, although finding some older 10 and 20 cent minors as I did is not quite as rare. I was also thrilled to find a nice BU silver 50 cent coin from 1967 once in my change.

 

For other things, I used to shop quite a lot on eBay back in the days when there was still good material to be had there. Today, I rarely buy anything there unless it is from one of a few respectable dealers with whom I have done business in the past.

 

I frequent some local coin shows and dealers, but I have been gravitating more and more to the more established international auctions. There just isn't any other way to acquire nice material these days, although the dealers I mentioned will have a nice Morgan dollar or Indian cent on occasion. Imperial Russian material has just about dried up except for the auctions, and even then it just isn't nearly what it used to be. :(

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I like the way you think, SM! I'll see what I can do, but even after a year and a half I'm only really familiar with the routes to and from my work.

 

All very interesting stories and approaches; once I get my next couple of paychecks I know how I'll be spending my weekends! Thanks all!

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