I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the longest attention span. Rest assured, I reach for the clicker every time a commercial comes on the television. But patience is a prerequisite for any collector who is serious about building a type set, a lesson I learned in working to piece together my latest conquest.
About two years ago, I took an interest in collecting high-grade State Quarters. Granted, these coins had to meet certain criteria to even be considered for my set. Specifically, they had to have been professionally slabbed and graded by either PCGS or NGS. They also had to earn a grade of no lower than PR-69 (I stuck solely with proof coins for this effort). By my estimates, setting these standards would ensure that I could acquire the pieces for a reasonable cost, but would be buying high-grade coins that should have shot of retaining their value over the long haul.
As I went about this venture, I quickly came to understand two certainties. The first was that this was not going to be an easy undertaking, not if I intended to stay within my budget. Second, this was one pursuit that was going to take some time to see through. Granted, the State Quarters set is expansive, including 50 pieces dedicated to the states alone and an additional six coins if you include U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. That said, it was clear from the start that if I was going to secure the type set that fit both my standards and budget, I needed to be persistent. For sure, that is a mantra that holds true to this day, as even two years after setting out on the mission, I am still only half way to completing the type set.
But perhaps that’s what real collectors will come to appreciate most about cobbling together a type set. It isn’t about accomplishing the task as fast as you can. In fact, the real fun comes from finding the best pieces for the best prices possible. By using those factors as motivation, any collector can turn what might seem like a tireless task into a way to keep collecting fun for an extended period of time. After all, just as the old saying goes, nothing that is worthwhile comes easy!