About this set: I loved Liberty Nickels even as a kid 65 years ago. I'd get occasional Liberty Nickels in circulation and the simple, classic beauty of Lady Liberty caught my eye even then.
Today, that same beauty of Lady Liberty still captivates me and was one of the key reasons I built this collection. I like the coins.
The reverse is also nice. It's not the dramatic beauty of the obverse, but as I learned, the reverse is key for collectors. The Roosies have "full-band lines" to help identify top strikes. The Standing Liberty quarters have "full-heads" (or "full nipples" for TYPE I's) The Jefferson Nickels have "full steps." And as Mitch Spivack (Mr. Wondercoin on the boards) taught me, the Liberty Nickels have full left corn ears.
It may never have caught on like "full steps" or " or "full-heads," but it's very much a key marker for strike and condition.
Warren Mills, at Rare Coins of New Hampshire, was a huge help in building this collection when I was starting out. He has a great eye for good coins and 8 to 10 years later, when I resubmitted his coins, about half crossed or upgraded. That's amazingly good, but then that's Warren for you.
Still after I got going, Mitch Spivack became my main supplier of great Lib Nicks. And I know it sounds funny, but we'd sit there on the phone discussing the left corn ear, on Lib Nick after Lib Nick. And it paid off, too, with again, as an amazing approx 50% of his coins crossed and/or upgraded. One ANACS coin even crossed and went up a point.
My belief is that if you want to build a great collection, you have to be willing to step up to the plate and swing for the fences. So when I saw a great Lib Nick, I went for it and repeatedly beat out bidders with 10 times as much money or more.
They thought I was nuts to ignore the price guides; I thought they were penny wise and pound foolish. Maybe I was nutz, but darn it, I'm just in for the fun of it, and building the number #1 collection of all time in this beautiful classic series was so much fun it made it all worth while.
Thanks again Mitch and Warren! I don't think Warren's ever on the message boards, but if you want to reach Mitch, he's on the PCGS Board of Experts and on the message boards as Mr. Wondercoin. If you're collecting these coins, do yourself a favor and contact him.
In the meantime, if you want to view my latest treasure, go see "The Land of Smiles" Liberty Nickel business strike. Just posted and the best ever.