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Challenge Accepted: Building a “Blue” Type Set

Challenge Accepted: Building a “Blue” Type Set

Hello fellow numismatic enthusiasts. I invite you to join me on my quest to build a “Blue” type set and peek at some of the challenges a collector might encounter when attempting such a feat.  I would not consider myself the typical coin collector. In fact, up until recently, I would not have considered myself a collector at all. Strangely, I have been working in the coin and bullion business for almost two years. Having focused those years on the bullion side of the business.  I saw collecting numismatics as just paying a premium over the precious metals value they contained and could not justify the investment. However, that was then, and I am writing to you now from a very different opinion.

My newfound perspective on coin collecting was spawned from an act of kindness.  A dear family friend and colleague, Brian, presented me with a gift for my birthday. This was not just any gift, but in my newly formed opinion, the best gift you can get an apprehensive, collecting novice. He gave me a Dansco US type set album. Sure, it was gently used and from the 70’s, but I knew they were hard to get and certainly not cheap! I accepted graciously and soon found myself wondering what I would do with an empty coin album.  From there the album went onto a shelf at my desk.  Months went by and I still hadn’t bought a coin. Brian in all his kindness even presented me with a filler coin to start me off and I still didn’t add to it.  It wasn’t until this summer, at the annual Bay State Coin show that everything changed.

During the midday show lull, all the guys from the shop were sitting around comparing their finds. When I realized I still hadn’t gotten a single coin for my type set, what better place to find US type coins than at a coin show?!?!
So, I set out onto the showroom floor, moving swiftly, with eyes darting from one gleaming case to another.  I was overwhelmed and losing motivation quickly and then… there it was. From across the table, I saw something twinkle. A beam of brilliant color calling me over to her like Plato’s sirens. It was a capped bust dime, but not just any capped bust dime, it was the most beautiful radiant blue. I’m talking fully toned both sides with electric blue/violet color from rim to rim. It was as if I was looking at a work of art, a mini masterpiece.

And I bought it!


I took my prize possession back to the guys from the shop to show it off. They agreed it was a great looking coin and congratulated me on my first purchase. When asked what I would get next, I immediately knew I wanted the entire album to be a work of art, just like this dime. So, I replied, “I want something blue. I want them all blue!” My colleagues mumbled with all the ways that would be a challenge. “Finding some of those coppers in blue would be near impossible.” It was at that moment I realized, if I wanted the entire collection to be a work of art, I would have to be willing to take on that challenge.

Thus, the start of my journey as a novice collector, attempting to build a masterpiece of masterpieces.  Taking on the ultimate numismatic challenge of making a “toner” type set. I hope to share with you all the tips, tricks, and hard lessons learned along the way. I will leave you with some pictures of the first few coins so you can get a visual of where I am going with this. Until next time…


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