NOT PERFECT 1851 GOLD $1
I have here a coin denomination I have always been fascinated by: the Gold Dollar. In this case it is a 1851. You will notice it is graded by NGC as Unc Details Improperly Cleaned. This coin in problem free condition is listed as about $265-$300'ish. At the time I won this coin, it was at auction, I didn't have that much money in my coin budget. I was able to get this coin at less than half that price. I believe buying less than perfect coins is a good way to get coins you are interested in but can't afford right now. You have the coin to study and enjoy while you build up your budget for a better grade coin. Once you are able to get that coin of your dreams you have the other one to sell or trade. I should add that I only do this with third party graded coins. This is just my opinion I could be wrong. How does everybody else feel about this strategy? I hope to use this same strategy to buy a $3 gold Indian Princess Head! I think I will show this coin in the My Collection area to tell a little about it. I am proud of it!
Anyone wants problem free coins. I am a very low budget collector, so it is impossible for me to buy perfect coins for myself. I did the same with an 1810 Large Cent. I finally found a good one in AG-3, but still had some detail, slight corrosion, but the thing that I think sold it cheap was the fact that the date is almost unreadable! So what?!? I have a beautiful (in my eyes) Classic Head Large Cent, the hardest of all to find!
I personally enjoy problem free coins however, if a coin has minimal damage and has a desirable aspect than I might buy a problem coin. Normally I try to stay away from problem coins because they can be harder to liquidate, being so if you don't want to liquidate and are limited on your options, then go for some problem-ish coins. You could get nice detailed coins at prices of problem free coins but in much lower grades - that's the trade-off one should think about...
I agree with Ian. It's hard to have patience but it's a virtue that will always serve you well. These are fascinating especially since a dollar won't buy much these days. I see these on eBay by the dozens, usually worn and sometimes damaged. You can turn your hobby into a long term investment by finding an example that has low mintage (comparatively), high grade, and won at auction at a better than average price.
I like the idea of being able to buy a coin that you might not have been able to afford...even though say it's been cleaned or has a problem. It's a way to get your foot in the door so to speak.... by the way that's a beautiful gold coin! : )
Like all strategies its perfect until contact with the enemy.....then you have to adjust it. For moderately (US$100-$ 500) priced coins it probably works well. However I would add some provisos, if the coin is common, and the market for that coin is stable I would say wait till a good one comes up, a space filler in that case is a waste of your money which could be getting even some minuscule interest in the bank while you save and wait for a much better grade. If the coin is hard to find, and the market for it is moving fast then buy the space filler "yesterday". it may well be the only chance you have to get an example at an affordable price