How To Collect Pattern Coins from An Expert

How To Collect Pattern Coins from An Expert

So, like if someone really is interested in collecting US Pattern Coins and wants to be active and aggressive in starting a collection of patterns, then if you had to start from scratch, I mean what would you do, how would you approach it Charles Jonath active collector and Dealer of US Pattern Coins ask renown expert in Pattern Coins Saul Teichman. It depends. First, I’d asked what they collect normally, what type series they're interested in, for example if you're a person that collects Morgan dollars let’s say that's your niche, then I would probably tell you to go collect some Morgan dollar patterns. You know the patterns that were before the Morgan Dollar, the precursors to the Morgan Dollar, right? You can get a Judd 1550 which basically looks like a Morgan dollar. The reverse instead of having that nice little brush it has the leaf you know, a three-leaf branch on it. It just has a different, slightly different reverse those are nice additions to that set you want. Then you can get some copper die trials and things. If you want to get some patterns around what type series you already like and a series that you know, you can find neat additions that can really make a set interesting, that's usually what I tell people. Find out what you like and just add a couple of patterns to make your set better. If you’re a liberty nickel collector, you know get some of the 1882 and 1883 patterns to add to it right? You can get nice ones of those they are a little more affordable too. You can get a nice proof 64-65 for a few thousand dollars. If you want to go a little fancier then the aluminum ones are a little rarer and they may cost you a little more but you can add that too but that's the nicest way to collect. It's hard to collect patterns you know, the pattern selection itself is too broad for most people to collect. You have you know some things you can never complete so there's no point but you try.  You like the Amazonian that’s fine but you know you need a big pocket for that.  If you like 1877 halves and you want to collect the settlers you need a good pocket to collect that, you know the wallets got to be big, they are going to cost you money. Especially now after these big sales you know it's funny the prices in the first Simpson sale were much lower than the last ones. That's true, prices have been going up. Charles asked him, if you had a smaller budget what patterns would you go after and is there still opportunities even for a smaller budget in the pattern market? Saul said yeah, the most affordable ones are common and you can find them easy. You can get Indian cent patterns, most of them that look like Indian cents, like an1858 make a nice run, again they're nice to add to your collection. If you're collecting it especially or even flying eagle cents but you know that's a nice little short set where you can collect from it an 1856, you got three years to collect but there's 1854 and 1855 flying eagle patterns that are the size of a large cent that are neat also. That's basically really how I tell people to collect. If you’re going to broadly collect patterns, it's much harder. It's very hard to collect you know because patterns are too broad of a series. Wayne Wilcox collected Nickel hand dye patterns or mostly Nickel patterns and since he passed you know dealers have been selling them privately, but the point is it's so hard to make a complete set, it's virtually impossible. Some of them are so rare it's just very difficult.

I tell people to collect like a typeset. If you like those Seated Longacres’ because you know a lot of liberty seated collectors and some people like the 1870 barber seated coins and those are really nice. 1870 Longacres’ you can make a nice set. You can get it with or without stars with the standard background, just a wreath background, you can create a four-piece type set that its gonna cost you a little money, but it makes for a nice little set. If you like the Goloid Dollars from 1878 to 1880 you can make a nice set of those but again the prices are starting to get high.

 It's very hard for a person who collects proof sets for example you know modern stuff. The prices are prohibiting to most people. I mean you're trying to buy circulated patterns that's very hard some patterns did manage to circulate that's always neat but they're still what I’d call short sets that you could buy. If you like a specific design, you can try to get that. When Loye Lauder was collecting colonial things, she had nice Indian cent dye trials in aluminum, so did Simpson now. To make a set like that is so hard. Some of those patterns are only one or two known so you may never get the opportunity to buy them.

Charles Jonath then asked wouldn’t it be easier to collect some of the patterns that the mint actually sold for which Saul replied, well most of those were 1873 trade dollars they sold, those standard silver sets for nine dollars things like that but they're still hard to collect but yeah there's some of them you have a chance to make a nice run of them at least, there are a lot of people who have done that. 1870 produced a lot of patterns you know they have reeded edges and plain edges but you can find them you certainly can make a nice set of them now. Saul then emphasized to try and collect pattern coins of the type series you really like, for which he says “I have a lot of seated coinage” I collect them in aluminum for the most part. Because he likes the Seated Liberty designs. The conclusion of the conversation was to use pattern coins as a way to make additions to a type series you are interested in or already collect.


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