“It takes time (and patience) to build a great collection.”
This week feels like the first time in a while that I’ve had the opportunity to review want lists and refresh myself on some items we’re in search of for the Hansen Collection. As I was looking for items for the collectors, I found myself telling them, “No, that’s not the right coin,” on several occasions. Once or twice it was about a poor value, and a few times it was about the lack of quality of the coin for the grade. While they may disagree with me on the value, I take my job seriously when representing collectors that are entrusting me with their resources. This can absolutely cost us money. I understand that and I’m quite all right with it. In fact, it shows me that a collector is mature when they heed that advice. Too many times I have seen collectors entrust dealers who purchased coins for prices far in advance of the actual value of the coin. Other times, even more frequently, they are chasing coins that are of a sub-par quality for the grade. This is why we fully support CAC - it helps collectors recognize high-quality selections. However, as a dealer, it’s our job to work with collectors and to build the relationships that support them. Quite often it is also our job to protect them - that’s what I found myself doing this week.
When it comes to coin collecting, the opening quote above could not be truer. This sentiment is a reflection of someone's ability to wait for something. By calling patience a virtue, or state of moral excellence, it leads people to believe an ability to wait without agitation is an admirable quality. The problem is, it goes against our very nature to wait for a resolution or desired outcome. Too often we hear that collectors have bought something that wasn’t exactly a “perfect fit”, but a regrettable purchase based on an overwhelming desire to fill the hole in a collection immediately. This typically leads to not actually filling the empty spot at all, as the collector mentally bookmarks that a better replacement needs to be acquired. This can lead to what we’ll term as “Collection Anxiety”. Collectors in this state often make poor buying decisions on coins that ultimately do not end up being keepers. The anxiety is heightened when a collector has to spend even more on the upgrade than the original piece and often takes a bit of a loss when selling or trading the first one too soon. I guess “Good things come to those who wait” could also be applied here. We have customers each week that decide to buy or bid on a coin, only to find that a more perfect piece for them comes along soon afterward. Whatever your mindset on the speed and thoughtfulness of building your perfect collection is, keep in mind that it absolutely does take time to build a great collection. And as the need to “jump” when the right opportunity presents itself is certainly part of the process, the virtue of patience is equally crucial.
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