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tline3open  How to start a collection???

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Author Topic:   How to start a collection???
iconnumber posted 10-26-1999 11:38 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am interested in starting a coin silver flatware collection, but I don't know where to begin my search. Can anyone point me toward some good, reliable resources and advise me on how pricing is structured?

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iconnumber posted 10-27-1999 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a huge topic in itself, so I will just offer the basics. You need a copy of Kovel's American Silver Marks for starters. The book itself is of limited value for identification, but each entry includes references to the extensive bibliography. The bibliography contains the books you need for a more positive ID. Don't believe anything in Kovel's until you have checked it out elsewhere; the book has many factual errors and some glaring omissions. It remains the most readily available resource, however, and everyone needs a copy for quick reference. That said, you also need a copy of Rainwater's Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, mainly for the later coin pieces. Rainwater's book is the only source for many marks, and it is generally accurate.

As you get more into collecting, you will certainly want more and more reference books. Unfortunately, some of the best are out of print. Check out used book outlets, both in person and on-line, to build your library.

As for pricing, I will leave that to people in the business. There is no exact price guide, thank God, and that is part of what makes collecting coin silver so much fun.

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iconnumber posted 10-27-1999 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first step, as Brent said, is to start reading and don't stop. Once you have a feel for the various forms and styles, spend a little time figuring out what you want to start collecting. To begin with, pick as narrow a category as you can. This might be work from a particular city, or a single maker, or a form that attracts you. This will allow you to concentrate your studies and get a feel for the market without spreading your resources too thin. Be realistic; collecting Boston Federal tea sets is certainly possible, but will require fairly deep pockets. Look at everything, however, and keep a log of prices, even on what you don't buy. Ebay and the like can be a good source, but take the prices with a grain of salt: much besides desire and pocketbook enters into the closing price. Once you have a general idea of values, buy the very best you can afford and fill in behind it. Hope this is of some help.


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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 10-28-1999 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

What is it that first caught your interest about coin silver? Am I incorrect in assuming your interest is limited to American coin silver?

For me, my original interest sprang from the age, regionality and history of these items. What I like best is the challenge of decoding the names and pseudohallmarks. While you (& others) start your collection, here are some marks we can explore as a group:

When someone has something to post about a particular mark, let me known via e-mail . I will start a new post with the photo of the particular mark and then you can add your comments to the new post.


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iconnumber posted 11-27-1999 07:05 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to thank you for the very informative response to my question about coin silver. I've been away from the computer for a bit, so I haven't had a chance to reply until now, but I am grateful for the very thoughtful and helpful information you provided. I'm sure I'll be back in touch with future questions as I start my attempt at collecting.

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